28. Nature Cure
People get disturbed by the illness and then seek a doctor to cure it. They believe that the doctor will cure them, as if it was not their own responsibility. We often don't consider that god has given us this priceless machine (our body) and we behave as if we don't have any duty towards it. We behave carelessly when the illness is cured and get involved in the luxuries of life.
Gandhiji's views about this are thought worthy. The first thing to be remembered is that we should not loose patience during illness. One should try to cure it in the best possible way, and should not leave everything to a doctor.
Secondly, we need to understand that all ailments are caused due to improper and unrestrained habits. So we should be careful about it.
In spite of this if we still get ill; we must understand that the body machine is trying to purify itself of the undue stress we have burdened upon it. In such a case it would be better to let the illness do its job rather than taking high doses of medicines. This helps the body to cure itself in a few days.
Gandhiji preferred nature cure treatment to the medicines whenever he fell ill. He would use mud covered cloth strips on the ailing body part and would sit in a tub filled with water up to his waist. He knew that these treatments cure any fever and other diseases. So he usually liked to do such experiments.
He did such experiments on himself as well as on his beloved relatives and got results.
Gandhiji's nature cure included sunbath and sleep under the open sky.
But the most important part of his treatment was keeping fast. He had cured so many of his followers by encouraging them to keep fast for long durations.
Doing simple changes in food habits can cure so many ailments. People living with Gandhiji had experienced it so many times.
Yet Gandhiji knew and accepted that many dreadful diseases require treatment by an expert doctor or an operation too. He too had such experience.
He believed that it was not proper to get disturbed in case of illness. Gandhiji's son Ramdas and Kasturba had refused to drink mutton soup during their illness although doctor had recommended it. They said that they would rather die than take the soup. This made Gandhiji very happy. He had blessed the patients for their bravery.
The relatives do a lot of things running around a patient but seldom take care of him with love. Gandhiji was very fond of serving the people. He disliked loosing an opportunity to serve a patient even when there were important national tasks on hand. The brothers and sisters who were fortunate enough to be served and taken care by Gandhiji were not able to forget it ever in their lives.