If you've noticed that Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi's skin glows and that he is unusually agile for his years, you can probably attribute it to his herbal garden, a safe haven for about 30 to 40 herbs which are used to treat Mr and Mrs Gandhi as well as all staff of Raj Bhaban---for free.
A stickler for herbal medicine, the Gandhis are not only daily visitors to the herbal garden but never forget their daily dose of Tulsi, Basak, Brahmi and Shikakai---which are grown in plenty in the garden.
"While Tulsi cleanses the system, Basak takes case of the couple's cough and cold. Brahmi is used by the couple to sharpen their memory and shikakai is used for conditioning the hair", said Dr AK Jain, who prescribes the herbal potions to the Gandhis and others at the Raj Bhaban.
The first couple also apparently uses another herb, the Ghreetkumari, which is great for rejuvenating the skin.
However, mention this to the Governor and he says nurturing a herbal garden is nothing out of the ordinary.
"The Government of India encourages all State Governments to grow herbal gardens. We are not supposed to use any chemicals or fertilisers to grow the herbs. Other state Governments are also doing the same", Gandhi told Hindustan Times.
Other Raj Bhaban staff also use herbal medicines for curing common ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes, anaemia and common cold.
Every Tuesday, Dr Jain holds a special clinic just outside the Raj Bhaban's eastern gates and treats staff to dosages of herbal medicines. The gardener in charge of the herbal patch then processes the herbs, grounds them and supplies them in "powder" form. "The President and Prime Minister also the visit the herbal garden whenever they stay here.
Last year, the President inaugurated the garden. The Governor's staff have also benefited from the herbs", said S a Hussein, Sub Assistant Engineer in charge of gardens.
Just outside the herbal garden though are leafy veggies which routinely find their way into the Governor's kitchen and a whole lot of decorative plants which are used to adorn the rooms of the Raj Bhavan, when special guests come calling.