June 20, 2017
Clay treatment for shingles, locally known as `Akki’, a type of skin disease caused by `Herpes Simplex Virus’ similar to chicken pox one, is catching up.
Though it has not been scientifically proved to be a cure as those affected generally consult a dermatologist, there is a section which believes that potters have a cure.
Potter V.Marimuthu told The Covai Post: “My family has been treating shingles for the past three generations. I learnt it from my grandfather. My wife and mother also know the treatment methods which is held closely within the family.”
“It is painful and itchy. The reason for the disease is pitta dosha (body heat). It mostly occurs on just one side of the body. In most cases it occurs on the face, hands or neck. In severe cases there might be fever too,” he says.
About the treatment, he says, “We make a paste by grinding three herbs and apply it on the affected areas. The most important part of this treatment is we need to draw a lion face at the back of the patient by using a mud paste mix with herbal water. The paste is drawn for three days and the herbal paste applied for at least five days. Diet is also very important and the patient can have only fruits, curd rice and tender coconut. The illness can be cured in a week.”
“In the case of child patients, they are taken to the temple nearby and some mantras are recited so that they don’t get scared and ash is applied on their forehead and threads are tied on their hands,” he asked.
On drawing the lion’s face, he says that such a figure on the back is believed to help stopping the spread even among other members in the family.
Daily, at least two people come for treatment and it is done between 7 am and 10 am and again between 5pm to 6 pm. Patients are not allowed to go out in the sun.
“My son M.Vignesh is working in a private company. He is interested in taking up my other jobs like puja at temple. But he is not interested in learning this treatment,” Marimuthu says.