New York City, NY — by Teresa Mo and Polina Belova
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
Cough drops are flying off shelves and scarves are becoming a staple accessory: winter is approaching. Combined with our collective midterm stress, prioritizing our mental and physical health is extremely important yet getting harder to do.
While you might be looking to cure your freshman flu with the typical over-the-counter medications from your local CVS, some students are leaning into other forms of treatment learned from family histories.
Many of these students approach healing as a unity between the mind, body and soul, including those bringing traditional healing practices from their family kitchens to their dorms and apartments.
Health as a balancing act: Traditional Chinese medicine
For CAS junior Andrew Zhang, traditional Chinese medicine was the go-to cure for his childhood ails. TCMs are sold exclusively by registered practitioners, which can be found at specific locations around the city.
“The results are more gradual than Western formulas, so it gives [the user] more control over the medicine’s effects,” Zhang said about various types of medicinal sachets.
Nature’s Prescription: Southern medicinal practices
One misconception that people have about traditional medicine is that it requires an exhaustive knowledge of herbs, their quantities and their preparation methods. But Steinhardt sophomore Madison Smith said that this isn’t the case.
“The idea is that all nature is healing, unless it’s poisonous, of course,” said Smith. “Majority of the time, as long as you put any sorts of edible herbs together, it’s gonna do some good for your body.”
More than just the body: Ayurvedic Medicine
Ayurveda is predominantly found in countries such as India and Nepal. Similarly to TCM, the concept of imbalance, or dosha, is paramount to Ayurvedic philosophy. Additionally, the philosophy centers on natural forms of healing by incorporating remedies made from spices, plants and herbs.
Having grown up in an Indian household, Stern junior and international student Anoushri Raheja knows these remedies by heart: a sandalwood and turmeric mixture for the skin, an aromatic oil for the hair, a fragrant tea for the gut. She remembers how when she got sick growing up, she was made to drink hot milk and turmeric.
“The underlying philosophy is to heal people naturally, to get rid of the imbalance,” Raheja said.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.