The Telegraph
Thursday , November 15 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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The ‘lemon plant’ route to a healthy tomorrow
- Heeleakah tea estate near Mariani has found a natural way to keep its workforce fit

Jorhat, Nov. 14: If you enjoy a morning cup of healthy lemon tea, Heeleakah tea estate near Mariani is a place you would love to wake up in.

Of course, that is not exactly the idea behind the garden management’s planting lemon plants on a large scale within the garden premises, especially in the labour colonies. The idea is to make lemon juice available to the workers 24/seven to ensure a healthy labour force.

“Lemon has many health benefits and it is a natural healer. So we decided to grow the fruit for the benefit of the workers,” an executive of the tea estate told The Telegraph.

He said an event was organised in the garden recently where at least 2,000 saplings were distributed among the workers. “The saplings were distributed not only among the labourers but also the executives and other employees,” the official said.

He said the aim of the project was to ensure that every household in the tea estate had a lemon plant.

Among its many benefits, lemon is said to be a good cure for hangovers. The official said as garden labourers usually consumed alcohol in the evenings and woke up with huge hangovers, their work was affected. “A glass of lemon juice in the morning will help them get active.”

Noted herbal medicine expert Gunaram Khanikar said there were many health benefits of lemon that have been known for centuries. “Lemon has strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers besides aiding weight-loss by inducing better digestion. It is also a liver cleanser.”

He said ancient Egyptians believed that eating lemons and drinking its juice was an effective protection against a variety of poisons.

Khanikar said he had been advising small tea growers to start lemon plantation along with tea, as it also had huge commercial value. “Already, several small tea growers have started lemon plantations and are earning profits,” he said.

He said the lemon plantations along the boundary of tea gardens also act as good fences, as animals, including elephants, avoid these plants because of the thorns.

The executive of Heeleakha Tea Estate said the garden had been planning to plant lemon plants along the boundary of the estate to keep away wild animals, especially leopards and elephants, which were a constant menace. “Wild animals are in constant conflict with our labourers. There are instances when we have to stop work as elephants and leopards stray into the estate.”