HE IS not a qualified allopathic doctor but he treats thyroid and cancer; he is not even a homeopath but he doles out suggestions to balance sugar levels in diabetic patients … all this with just leaves, which has given him the sobriquet of ‘Pattiwala Doctor’.
Sixtytwo-year-old Dr Raj Merchant of Mumbai does not wear a saffron robe but he is no less than a modern day avtaar of the ancient hermit who with his knowledge of natural healers like leaves and tree barks helps the humanity to get rid of various ailments.
It was a chance encounter with a sanyasi some four decades ago in the Girnar hills that proved to be the turning point for the then young commerce graduate. “I was just in my twenties but was drawn towards him due to his aura. He was a virtual treasure trove of natural healing and initiated me into this therapy,” tells the Pattiwala doctor, who says he then started spending time with his Master as and when he could to learn.
“Earlier I was a bit apprehensive about its efficacy. But an example in my own family convinced me. My dadiji had diabetic and doctors had advised to ampute her gangrenous foot. But with the leaves that my Guruji gave, she was all right in just six days and there was no need to operate,” he says.
And that was the starting point for the sexagenarian, who practiced himself first what he preaches, and as a result still does not have diabetes (his father too had diabetes) or any other ailment, normal these days for his age.
Starting his practice formally in 1978, he first turned the huge ancestral plot of land in Malad suburb of Mumbai into a lush green zone with many rare trees and also those not generally found in the coastal eco-system, apart from the regular sapodilla (chiku), guava, mango etc. The leaves for his treatment mostly come from this mini-jungle and also sourced from other relevant places.
But unlike his treatment, which gives instant relief, the recognition did not come instantly. It was only after he underwent a Naturopathy course from an institute in Nasik (“and hung a board outside my clinic”) that people started coming in hoards.
Dr Merchant has been treating patients coming to his Malad clinic free of cost but those who come to the Lokhandwala clinic, a plush suburb of Mumbai, pay whatever they can. Over the years he has started using other alternative therapies like acupressure along with the leaf therapy for a holistic approach.
He claims to have treated patients having thyroid, diabetes, asthama, cancer, gall bladder and problems related to eyes, kidney and many other diseases. Quiz him if there had been any complex case, he gestures upwards and says, “By God’s grace, it has been a smooth journey till date. One case, however, I would like to point out is of a 20-year-old girl from Bhopal who was suffering from vertebral cancer. “She was so ill, her parents said they cannot even bring her to Mumbai. So they called me and I started advising her on phone. Yesterday, the family came to meet me when they came to know I am here at Indore. The girl is pretty stable now.”
When asked if he ever thought of documenting his knowledge through case studies and he quickly counters, “Kisi ki majboori ko main apni yaaddasht nahi banana chahta (I don’t want to misuse somebody’s problems for my gains.)”
(Dr Merchant treated hundreds of patients at a two-day health camp in Patel Nagar organised by Matlani group of Industries.)
The leafs for quick relief
IF YOU are still recovering from chikungunya, eating 100 leaves of tulsi daily should give you quick relief. If you are a diabetic, daily consumption of 200-300 ‘kadi patta’ leaves should reduce your sugar levels substantially.
‘Curry leaves’ (kadi patta), tulsi leaves, carrot, onion, dhatura … the list goes on. These and hundreds of other shrubs and trees are the simple yet effective weapons with which the naturopath Pattiwala cures his patients. He mixes juice of leaves with water, ghee, honey or alcohol, which is then given to the patient in stages.
Most time the times, the mixture is for oral consumption but in some cases, like slip disc, the patient is given a massage with the mixture. (Readers can know more about leaf therapy at ww.drmerchantsleaftherapy.com)