‘Toningkok’ cure and probable millionaires

    05-Jun-2021
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Free Thinker
Resource mobilization and revenue generation have been on our minds but we never try seriously to pursue the same.  Horticulture revolution, organic farming, blue revolution, rubber & agar plantation, commercialization of ‘Yu’, medicinal exploitation of ganja, making Moreh  a free trade zone, Asian Highway via Imphal, cultural tourism, war tourism, Loktak tourism, collage industries, small scale industries, reinventing lottery etc., etc are not properly working; and so, we still continue as an unsustainable economy.
Meanwhile an incredible news hit all of us that our ‘toningkok’ (houttuynia cordata) is a possible cure for Covid illness. If proven, it will mint money for us. Because ‘toningkok’ is found in this country only in the North Eastern region. In the last few days I have received 3 WhatsApp messages saying  that  the plant is a  killer of Coronavirus.
One Dr Iboyaima from Manipur has claimed that the extracts of ‘toningkok’ can eliminate the virus enzyme (3CL) and it will stop the virus from replicating. Perhaps it is proven in the lab.
Though the plant is familiar in the oriental world, the English name of ‘toningkok’ is heartleaf or fishwort. The botanical name is houttuynia cordata.
 In the oriental countries this plant  is called by various names-lizard tail, chameleon plant, fish mint, white chapels, rainbow plant etc., In Assam it is called ‘masunduri’ and in Meghalaya it is known as ‘ja mardol’.
The news first came to me from the former Chief Editor & proprietor of  ‘Hueiyen Lanpao’, Mr Bharat Bhusan.  We were not very serious about it. But in a day or two the message became viral and extremely popular among the masses. Even my brother and sister started sending the same message. Many of the WhatsApp groups started carrying the same news. In addition a local news channel also carried the news detailing the findings and at the same time the inventor/discoverer himself appeared; he was saying that they will start animal trials and before moving on to humans; he also said it will take  at least three months to complete the trial. So be it. We are very excited.
 Dr himself says that the juice of ‘toningkok’ can check the enzyme of the virus from replication; in other words the enzyme which is responsible for reproduction of the virus is eliminated by the extracts of ‘toningkok’. If the claim is true, the fluid of the plant will work against the virus.
 It is also claimed that the extracts of the plant augments immunity. So, now we are eagerly waiting for the miracle cure.
After the flash of this news, ‘toningkok’ is sold like hot cakes in the curfew markets and vegetable stalls. In the localities people are desperately trying to get the plants. Earlier there was free excess to ‘toningkok’ in any locality or neighborhood. But these days the owners have become suddenly possessive about it.  The plant is also wildly grown  in no man’s land in and around grazing grounds and  open fields. So it won’t be difficult to get the plants or its saplings for extensive cultivation.
My humble suggestion to my fellow citizens is that please start growing ‘toningkok’ immediately in your kitchen gardens or in every free moist space around your house or fields. I strongly feel that this plant is going to be a blessing for us.  Suppose the trial succeeds in three months time and gets the mandatory approval from the competent authorities, then it can be used as a medicine (herbal or otherwise). In these four /five months we can do extensive cultivation of the plant, both in the hills and valley.
But, I am told that the plant is more suitable for the valley areas which are swampy, moist and shadowed. Those who can take the trouble, may become rich in no time. What is wrong in taking this risk which involves minimum labour and little cost ? The stake is high.
‘Toningkok’ is already a medicinal plant recognized by herbal masters. It is an edible herb with immense medicinal value.  The whole body of the plant (leaf, stem, flower, root, rhizome etc) is used as medicine. The plant helps in the treatment of hypertension, pneumonia, constipation, hyperglycemia, dysentery, muscle pain, measles, ulcer, eye irritation, skin allergy, gonorrhea etc. These are claims and I am not sure about the efficacy of this plant in the treatment of the above illnesses or diseases.
The whole plant is useful as it is antibacterial, anti inflammatory, anti microbial, antiphlogistic, anti viral, depurative,  diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hypoglycemic, laxative and ophthalmic (health benefits times .com). Already the medicinal value of the plant is well known. Now the pertinent issue is whether it works against the Corona virus particularly against Covid -19.
Then within months our ‘toningkok’ growers may become millionaires (Indian rupees) if the plant turns out to be the panacea.  Dr and his team must proceed fast before other Asians  take advantage because the plant grows in their countries too, particularly in Vietnam, Korea and Japan.
For the time being let’s consume it as ‘maroi’ not as medicine (fingers crossed).