Sunday, October 27, 2013

My 6-Step Herbal Contraceptive/Birth Control Program

My 6-Step Herbal Contraceptive/Birth Control Program

Queen Anne’s Lace (by Faunarain)
To easily link this article, copy and paste:
Thank you Sean Donahue for hosting this awesome Blog Party – Herbs for Sexual Health!
Disclaimer: Even though it is shown that one can use herbs and other natural methods for birth control with success, this post, or any part of it, cannot make any guarantees whatsoever.  My personal plan is merely here for your information, meant to be read in its entirety, and the hope is that you would find the drive to do your own thorough research.  The term “research” can mean not only reading materials on herbology, anatomy, and related topics; but also a deep inner knowing of your body and its needs, an ability to communicate with your body, an ability to focus and will-fully set balanced and proper intention, and an ability to communicate with the plant kingdom.  If you manifest an undesired pregnancy, the blog poster and/or all involved are not responsible, and therefore they are to be held separately and collectively harmless.
So – shall we continue?  I hope my story and the system I personally use inspires you to find and successfully implement your own system of natural and/or herbal birth control!
My story begins with an attempt to take the lowest dose available for birth control pills in the early 1980’s – partly for birth control, but partly due to having serious adult acne, where friends of mine had it clear up when they went on the pill, despite the fact they gained weight.  Since I have a very thin build (and still do), this seemed like a good trade-off.  Little did I know that I would be so sick that after trying it for two months, I had lost so much weight that I would faint at work, but couldn’t eat due to the extreme nausea that never let up.  The doctor was crazy enough to tell me to wait one more month, and then I would be “fine.”  Little did he know that I would likely be dead of starvation before then!  So, I went off.  I later got married, had two kids, and got divorced by the early 1990’s.
Still struggling with adult acne, a friend of mine at my legal secretary job told me I ought to try the pill again, since they make them “better.”  So, I tried again, different types over a period of approximately three years – and I broke out worse, and even became more vulnerable to something I struggled with in the past – yeast infections.  I stopped again.

Ortho Tri Cyclen LO
By 2001, I was again prompted by a different friend, who said (guess!) they made the birth control pill even “better.”  So, I gave it a shot again – the Ortho-Tri-Cyclen types, as they advertised they were the best for skin problems.  I didn’t have nausea, I didn’t get yeast infections, and I could see I was breaking out less.  I thought my problem was solved.  But little did I realize what was really happening.  These new types of birth control pills only buried the symptoms much deeper in the body, so that you wouldn’t notice things – and not for quite awhile later.
As I remember, it was about a year later when I started to have mild headaches at the base of my skull.  I didn’t equate it with the birth control pill at the time because I had already been taking it for about a year with no noticeable problems.  Interestingly, my psychic abilities were growing at the same time, so I attributed the headaches to that instead.  What was really happening was that the chemical hormones present in the pill, which cannot break down and leave your body, were accumulating – and not just to give me headaches, as I was about to learn the hard way!
I got blissfully remarried in 2003, and by early 2004, I landed in the emergency room due to excruciating pain in the right side of my abdomen, where it could not be determined what exactly was wrong with me until the surgery was performed.  A large cyst developed on my right Ovary, and when I had leaned over, the ovary turned and wasn’t able to turn back, twisting my Fallopian Tube and causing pain.  Even the X-rays and CAT scans showed body fluids around that area – but they thought it could be a toxic and ruptured Appendix, of which could be life-threatening.  So, I had to agree for them to take my Appendix out regardless of what they found since they could not risk leaving it in under the circumstances.  It was only after the surgery that I learned that they removed my very healthy Appendix and my right Ovary.  The X-rays and CAT scans also revealed three fibroids inside of my Uterus, as well as a cyst beginning to develop on my left Ovary, and upon asking them what causes these types of things, they provided no answers.  The doctors and the staff told me that when those begin to “bother” me, to just call them to schedule my Hysterectomy!!  This was the beginning of my healing journey and what a wake-up call it was – because I was not going to get a Hysterectomy!
By 2005, I lost lots of my hair, had lots of body pain and was cold all the time (especially my upper body), and had migraine headaches for three days prior to my menstrual cycles.  I did not know these were symptoms of hormonal imbalance until I researched it.   Upon digging deeper, I also learned that all of my symptoms as well as the actual problems were all documents side-effects of (you guessed it) the Birth Control Pill!  By 2006, I was determined to use natural methods of re-balancing my hormones and heal fully.  I also wanted to see what was possible for natural and herbal contraceptive methods.
I manifested an excellent herbal education, and became a Master Herbalist through the School of Natural Healing in Utah.  Through my new knowledge, along with dowsing to read my body’s needs, I figured out the herbs to re-balance my hormonally-wacky body – the main one being Black Cohosh and other herbs that provided cleansing of my system (especially my liver), and nourishing herbs that helped me get back to normal.  On an energetic level, I decided to intend creating an energetic right ovary and appendix, so I could function well again.   After a couple months, no more migraines!  My body pain continues to lessen with each cycle too!  I shaped up my diet and while I don’t always follow the Mucusless diet recommended by the school, I know how to make food choices so I do not perpetuate bad health.  Foods that are a close to nature as possible is the best yardstick for this process – and making sure you have excellent drinking water.  We have a distiller, and then aerate through a charcoal-filter afterward, which I recently learned will slightly alkalize the acidic distilled water.  Add Reiki to energize the healing qualities, and you are good to go!
All the while that I was clearing toxins from my system and turning toward herbs for everything (I can’t remember the last time I even looked at an Advil, as Wild Lettuce works safely and wonderfully for pain or insomnia), I was beginning to become very aware and feel signals in my body that I never felt before.  For instance, I began to actually feel ovulation (from my left side, of course).  I also realized that the family that headed the herb school was Mormon, and therefore did not promote the ideas of birth control using herbs – and I can respect this.
So, I needed to search elsewhere – and luckily I found an excellent website to work with, Sister Zeus! This is the one-stop website to learn about all of your options, with historical use of herbs being my main area of study.  Little did I know that over time, much of this knowledge was lost.  There are arguments to be made that natural methods were not reliable, but I believe much of the knowledge was more likely (through political and religious means) deliberately wiped away.  The mere fact that Giant Fennel aka Silphium was so effective in Roman times to make it extinct was enough of a reason for me to keep exploring this option.
It is also hard for me to believe that only one plant available in one part of the world only would be effective.  It makes more sense naturally that each region would have its own plants and methods.  Also, in other areas of the world that were not interrupted in this way still use traditional herbal methods of contraception with success (one that comes to mind is the use of Neem for Men in India).
Unfortunately, despite thousands of years of use (as compared to about 50 years of birth control medications), there are not enough official “studies” on these topics to verify results.  However, I also realize that historical implications can be enough to start with.  For my personal use, my ability to communicate with my body and with plants, my dowsing ability and my pendulum could fill in those spaces of doubt and do the rest.
Being a careful person, and after doing diligent research, I decided to combine six steps, the first being preparation, and the last two of which are back-ups for just-in-case.
**Best results come from being grounded and stable ourselves, as free of man-made chemicals as is doable, and involved in stable relationships.**
1.  Prepare Your Body
When transitioning to go off the birth control pill, in the meantime have a barrier method to work with (condom, diaphragm, cervical cap, etcetera) because your cycle and chemical balance may really be out of whack.  Go off at the completion of one of your packs, rather than mid-way.
Then, start drinking Red Raspberry Tea at least once a day, while you are also doing an herbal liver detoxification (which will be explained).  Depending on how long you are on chemical medications (whether they are over the counter like Advil, Alleve, or Tylenol) or prescriptions (birth control, antibiotics, all prescription pain relievers, high blood pressure medicines, etcetera) – these do not break down and eliminate from your system, but rather accumulate (and when your liver has had enough, sometimes these are deposited in your muscles, which can cause fibromyalgic-type disorders).  This also counts hormones and antibiotics that are residue in meats and dairy products, so please cut back or eliminate these, or at least purchase organic.  The average time to do a liver detox is around 3-4 months, and if you find you must stay on medications (i.e. high blood pressure is a good example, those are more difficult to get off of, though it is possible), do a liver detox at least once a year, and it is most ideal in the early Spring (i.e. February-April for the Northern Hemisphere).
The liver detox formula I like to use:  1 part Turmeric, 1 part Burdock Root, 1 part Yellow Dock Root, 1 part Milk Thistle Seeds, 1 part Dandelion Root, and 1 part Cardamon Seeds (or Fennel).  Mix this powder in raw unprocessed honey until it is thicker than peanut butter consistency (if you are diabetic, try organic butter or olive oil).  Take ½-1 teaspoon twice a day – you can roll this into one or two soft “capsule(s)” and make it easy to swallow, and chase with water, herbal tea or fruit juice.  Take a break one day a week, making it the same day of the week as much as you can.  I found this eliminated my acne problem, but I first broke out worse – but I do not have the extremes of acne anymore!
Along with the Red Raspberry Tea, keep this as a daily habit from now on, since these teas are food!  Other types of tea that are very nutritive and recommended are Red Clover, Oatstraw, Nettle, Alfalfa, Dandelion, and Comfrey (which the FDA has shown to be “harmful” but they never actually tested Comfrey – they tested chemical constituents of Comfrey, isolated from the plant – a moderate amount is very helpful for many people, but use your best judgment).  Yarrow tea is very helpful around your menstrual cycle.  Get to know these teas – they will be your friends for life and even help you through menopause, which you can then add Black Cohosh, Wild Yam and/or Dong Quai (aka Angelica) to your herbal intake – find what works.
2. Focus Intention on What You Want
Being a rather “magical” person who knows how to direct intention, I decided to take the advice of The Secret or the Law of Attraction where it talks about putting energy into what you wish for, rather than for what you do not wish for.  What is the lesson?  Upon orgasm, of which the energy has amazing creative potential, immediately think of things you WANT, whether that is a new car, a big house, a new business, an abundant bank account – whatever you desire and wish to manifest.  How many times can we think of people who know that they are practicing “bad timing” with no protection, and yet immediately afterward, their first thought is, “Oh NO, I don’t want to get pregnant!”  Guess what happens?  The energy goes where energy flows, whether you qualify it with a “yes” or a “no.”  This takes some discipline, but pretty soon it becomes a habit.  It works even better if your partner is involved in the energy direction process, but it is not necessary.  I am peripherally aware of a Christian Pastor and his wife using ONLY this first method, and it worked every time for them, over a span of many years.  When they wanted a larger church building, they envisioned it, and it happened.  When they wanted children, they concentrated on pregnancy, and it happened right away.  They have all they want, including the exact amount of children they wished for, and spaced the way they wanted.  Don’t underestimate the power of intention!

Menstrual Cycle-Tracking Bracelet by Obsidian Star
3.  Find your Natural Monthly Cycle
A very helpful book to start with is Toni Weschler’s “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” which is a system of fertility or birth control that is even OK to use if you are Catholic – so I imagine these methods can work for nearly everyone – and it is NOT the rhythm method!  However, because of the herbs (especially Red Raspberry Leaf), my cycle is very regular, and is nearly always between 25 and 28 days (unless I am around other females for a large amount of time, which can disrupt this greatly, and I know this ahead of time).  I recently found online this article, and I enjoyed the method here of getting to know your body!  You may also wish to look into menstrual cycle-tracking jewelry like Cycle Beads, or these very pretty alternatives from Obsidian Star (who also amongst other sites runs  Please also note this blog post on tracking ovulation.
The key: There is only roughly a 24-hour period of time when you can achieve pregnancy, and that is Ovulation – when the Egg leaves the Ovary, travels through the Fallopian Tube and into the Uterus.  At that point, the uterine lining builds with blood to nourish the fertile egg, when it would implant in the lining and grow into a baby.  If the egg was not fertilized, the lining sheds, providing our menstrual cycle.  The beginning of the Menstrual Cycle is nearly always exactly 14 days after Ovulation.  So if your menstrual cycles are regular, you can count 14 days prior – and arrive at the Ovulation times.  The reason pregnancy happens?  It is because Sperm can live so long – and that there are so many!  Studies vary, but it is said Sperm can live from 5 to even 9 days!  They can even “hover” and wait for the Egg, which has sort of a “magnetic pull” to attract the Sperm while the Egg is travelling toward the Uterus.
Lesson: Pregnancy occurs when sex is BEFORE the Ovulation date, not AFTER the Ovulation date!   So basically, between the completion of the Ovulation date and the first date of the Menstrual Cycle, pregnancy does not occur, and no other methods are necessary.  The “beware” part is between the start of the Menstrual Cycle and the Ovulation Cycle!  If sex is occurring in the “beware” period, then follow the next steps.

Queen Annes Lace aka Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)
4. Queen Anne’s Lace aka Wild Carrot
This is the first place where the use of an herb is mentioned for herbal contraception, and it is none other than Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota), which is also called Wild Carrot. In this article as well as others I have seen on the internet, it is also abbreviated at QAL, and (like some other umbels) is ruled by the planet Mercury.  It is the seeds that are most often used, but it can be the flower itself if that is what is available.  When used properly, this herb has shown effectiveness as well as safety, so it was a natural for me to implement.  The seeds can be chewed but that is harsh-tasting (not to mention the texture is super-creepy).  For me, it is much easier to tincture the ground seeds in a mixture of half Vodka and half Everclear for at least a month (I prefer longer if possible).  Vodka alone (100 proof) could be used alone but would need much longer tincturing time (at least six to eight months), since the seeds have a rather resinous quality, making it hard for water content to extract the medicinal value of the seeds.  For those whose religious or spiritual values do not allow for killing the fertilized egg, you may wish to only use the first two steps, with a barrier method during the “beware” time, since QAL’s action is to not allow the (likely) fertilized egg to implant.  More information can be located fromSister ZeusHerbalisl, and of course Robin Rose Bennett.
It is clear that you do not use QAL in the same way you would use birth control pills.  In fact if you do, you are asking for trouble!  While I have learned dowsing so that I can test myself individually to see if I need a dose, how much of a dose, how often, and when to stop – the usual program for me follows:  I would take 1 dropperful (about 20 drops) between 8 and 24 hours after the last day of the pre-ovulation cycle sex, then schedule two more doses of the same amount, 24 hours later, then the final 24 hours later.  Then, I stop.  And as you will read, this is a very important step!  I have used these three steps for the last 4 years, with great success.  However, I am in my 40’s and had an ovary removed, but I am still menstruating monthly (or more than monthly currently, but that is a different issue I will blog about later).  I have the last two steps in place as my back-up plan, and I just feel safer that way!  For finding seeds, it might be best to purchase a few seeds and plant them yourself, or to wildcraft – but make sure you do not mistake for the very poisonous Water Hemlock or Poison Hemlock!  Please review these websites thoroughly before implementing use.
**NEWSFLASH**  Robin Rose Bennett and Mischa Schuler have finally posted their eagerly-awaited 2011 Wild Carrot Study!  In case this link doesn’t work, please view the PDF here.

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
5. Tansy
In the four years I have been using my herbal contraceptive plan, I have only had to use this step once – and I think it was provoked by stress more than it was a potential pregnancy, since it didn’t “feel” like a pregnancy to me (remember, I had two kids and I remember how it felt to be pregnant).  This is also nice (if you are like me) when you around other menstruating females for enough time that your cycle will change to their schedule.
Every time I have a new menstrual cycle start, I immediately go ahead 28 days (which is 4 weeks, so that is easy) and mark that day to be expecting my next menstrual cycle.  It nearly every time arrives before it, so when it does, I erase the marker and move it 28 days from my newest menstrual cycle date.  I then continue to keep my cycle on track.  If I do not begin my menstrual cycle at the 28th day, it is time for emmenogogue or abortificant herbs.

Tansy – Tanecetum vulgare
After a deep review of the list on Sister Zeus, as well as knowing my body and my herbal availability (in my case, in my own yard), I opted to use the distinctively-flowered, aromatic weed, Tansy (Tanecetum vulgare), sometimes called Yellow Buttons, which along with its de-worming quality, is highly abortificant and if used too much, can even be considered harmful.  It has been reported that some women will even feel pains in their abdomen if they are pregnant just being NEAR this herb, so be very careful.  Ruled by the planet Venus, it is also reported that some women use only this fifth step as their only form of birth control for many years, and have had good success and no side effects when used properly.
The upper plant parts are used and dried, and when needed, made into a strong cup of tea (as an example, two teaspoons of dried herb to 8-10 ounces of boiling distilled or spring water, steeped for 20 minutes).  It is bitter, and can be sweetened with raw honey or stevia if needed.  The maximum you ought to need in this day is two cups to have your menstrual cycle start – and in my one-time use in four years, I only needed one cup for my period to start in a matter of 2-3 hours.  I use my pendulum to dowse this, as I want to be sure this works.  One large reason is that Tansy is known to cause birth defects if the fetus lives – and I would not be able to live with that, so I make sure I have enough, without being harmful to my body.  This is also why I would take this on the 28th day exactly, because the longer you wait, the more difficult the process would be.  This is a very personal decision, as well as a personal relationship and connection with the collective consciousness, or spirit, of Tansy.  I find it helpful to be very pure with your intention and very loving.  There are alternative herbs to use at this stage, find out about them on Sister Zeus or at Susun Weed’s Forum.  Here is another learning source to study thoroughly!  Do what is right for you.
6.  Acupuncture to Stimulate the “Forbidden Points”
This last step I have never had to use and I hope I never have to use it.  But having it available gives me peace of mind that I maybe wouldn’t have had in order to pursue this program.  It is a big “curve” not only in learning, but in trust – trust in yourself, trust in the plants and your relationships, and trust in Spirit.  The FDA and even other orthodox medical doctors will not be able to isolate these relationships and study them, because they want things to work even if the person is not “aligned” – thus, the tests would never be able to happen in a measurable way for them.
The sixth and last step in my program is not herbal, but instead involves acupuncture.  I am not an Acupuncturist, so I found one whom I like, trust, and mentioned to her that if I ever needed it, I would ask her to stimulate the so-called “Forbidden Points” to bring about my menstruation.  This method has been used successfully in China for quite some time now.  Again, this choice is not for everyone.  In relevant part:
“If a woman in China is pregnant with a second child, or in numerous cases, if the couple knows the first pregnancy is a girl, the couple will go to the medical clinic for an abortion. One common method of abortion is simply to use strong acupuncture point stimulation of San Yin Chiao (SP6) in conjunction with He Gu (LI4). The abortion is generally realized within 24 hours.”
From another point of view:
Acupuncture Points to Avoid During Pregnancy
  • Points on the sacrum – can cause contractions
  • Point on the lower abdomen – there is a risk of needling too deep
  • Point on the low back – avoid deep needling.
  • Sanyinjiao (Sp6) – located three fingers above the medial malleolus (inner ankle bone). Can cause contractions.
  • Hegu (LI4) – located on top of hand in the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger. Can cause contractions.
Here is two sources each for the two Forbidden Acupuncture Points for Pregnancy:
Large Intestine 4:
Spleen 6:
Also consider:  Point “BL60″ – on the outside of the ankle, between the ankle and Achilles tendon* * * * *
***NEWSFLASH!  I recently have been reading Marie-France Mulller, MD, ND, PhD’s book, Facial Reflexology and am learning about a Vietnamese-based system of Facial Acupressure or Reflexology, called “Dien’ Cham’” – on pages 95-96, it speaks of an alternative female contraceptive use of this technique!  My blog post on this exciting update can be found HERE!
* * * * *
So – in Review:
  1. Prepare your body, and learn all you can during this stage.  Do Liver Detox and implement Daily Herbs that help you to balance hormones, regulate your menstrual cycle, and provide nutrition you need.  Also – learn the Dien’ Chan’ female contraceptive facial acupressure/reflexology technique, described above in the updated Acupuncture portion of this post!
  2. Set Positive Intention of what you desire during orgasm and direct energy toward that.
  3. Once your menstrual cycle is regular, distinguish your safe time (between the end of the Ovulation Cycle and the start of the Menstrual Cycle) and your “beware” time (between the start of the Menstrual Cycle and especially as it gets closer to the beginning of the 24-hour Ovulation Cycle).
  4. Use Queen Anne’s Lace if you do not use a barrier during the “beware” time of your cycle, as directed (and dowsing dosages and times for the dosages helps immensely).  The most important thing is knowing when to stop QAL dosages, or pregnancy is likely.
  5. Use Tansy or other emmenogogue or abortificant herbs if on the 28th day after your last start of your Menstrual Cycle that you haven’t started yet – one cup usually works within minutes or hours, and two cups maximum (unless you dowse for yourself and the reading tells you it is safe and that you need more).  Do not use this method much past the 28th day, due to undesirable complications.
  6. As a last resort, see an Acupuncturist who will stimulate the “Forbidden Points” of San Yin Jiao (SP6) and He Gu (LI4) for you – it is ideal to create a relationship with one before you would ever need this.
For learning Dowsing techniques, please visit my Dowsing Resource Links page at my blog.  While I will do my best here to answer questions on this method, you may wish to check into other resources.  One is the“Herbal Contra” Yahoogroup, ran by Sister Zeus.  Posting your questions there can inspire a response of many knowledgeable women on the subject.  You may also wish to post to the Wise Woman’s Birth Control section of Susun Weed’s Forum.
For instance, women who are not interested in children at all can consider researching the sterilizing properties of Stoneseed aka Gromwell or Puccoon (Lithospermum ruderale), Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisema triphyllum), and Thistles (Carduus or Cirsium genii), as well as how to find to wildcraft, the plant parts used, and safe dosages for you.  Working closely with a skilled Herbalist or other healthcare provider familiar with plant medicine is of course ideal.
**Modification: In the past and on this post, I was told by a classically-trained Homeopath that Homeopathy can only support life and thereby cannot be used for this purpose (she herself used Homeopathy for fertility issues that her clients had).  However, since I am now enrolled in training and networking with other Homeopaths, I have found a great many Homeopaths worldwide who not only strongly disagree with this premise; they in fact tell me much damage can be done with a non-knowledgeable application of Homeopathy!  One had even said that a non-knowledgeable layperson with high-potency homeopathic remedies is like a person with a loaded gun playing Russian Roulette!  Along this topic of natural contraceptive and abortificant issues, they have said that one such remedy that can be pretty dicey to deal with is Thuja occ. which is amongst other things a polycrest remedy for the Sycotic Miasm.  I linked this book above , but you may wish to explore more on this topic by looking at the Homeopathic remedies closer than I can post here.
Thank you for reading my very personal herbal contraceptive program – it is my hope that my story inspires you to find your own natural system of birth control that is right for you!
Thanks SO much for staying tuned via my Email List – so appreciated!

gaura devi

Gaura Devi A Leading Lady of Chipko Movement,गौरा देवी

 विश्व प्रसिद्ध चिपको आन्दोलन के बारे में सभी जानते हैं लेकिन इस आन्दोलन की जननी गौरा देवी को कम ही लोग जानते हैं। इस आन्दोलन को विश्व पटल पर स्थापित करने वाली महिला गौरा देवी ने पेड़ों के महत्व को समझा इसीलिए उन्होंने आज से 38 साल पहले जिला चमोली के रैंणी गांव में जंगलों के प्रति अपने साथ की महिलाओं को जागरूक किया।  तब पहाड़ों में वन निगम के माध्यम से ठेकेदारों को पेड़ काटने का ठेका दिया जाता था। गौरा देवी को जब पता चला कि पहाड़ों में पेड़ काटने के ठेके दिये जा रहे हैं तो उन्होंने अपने गांव में महिला मंगलदल का गठन किया तथा गांव की औरतों को समझाया कि हमें अपने जंगलों को बचाना है। आज दूसरे इलाके में पेड़ काटे जा रहे हैं हो सकता है कल हमारे जंगलों को भी काटा जायेगा।

इसलिए हमें अभी से इन वनों को बचाना होगा। गौरा देवी ने कहा कि हमारे वन हमारे भगवान हैं इन पर हमारे परिवार और हमारे मवेशी पूर्ण रूप से निर्भर हैं। 25 मार्च सन् 1927 की बात है। उस दिन रैणी गांव के अधिकांश मर्द चमोली गये हुए थे।

उत्तराखंड राज्य प्राप्ति आन्दोलन , अपने हक-हकूकों के लिये उत्तराखण्ड की जनता और खास तौर पर मातृ शक्ति ने आन्दोलन में अपनी महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाई है। आज हम बात करने जा रहे हैं, 1974 में शुरु हुये विश्व विख्यात चिपको आन्दोलन  की जननी, प्रणेता श्रीमती गौरा देवी जी की, जो चिपको वूमन के नाम से मशहूर हैं। 1925 में चमोली जिले के लाता गांव के एक मरछिया परिवार में श्री नारायण सिंह के घर में इनका जन्म हुआ था।  गौरा देवी ने कक्षा पांच तक की शिक्षा भी ग्रहण की थी, जो बाद में उनके अदम्य साहस और उच्च विचारों का सम्बल बनी। मात्र ११ साल की उम्र में इनका विवाह रैंणी गांव के मेहरबान सिंह से हुआ, रैंणी भोटिया (तोलछा) का स्थायी आवासीय गांव था, ये लोग अपनी गुजर-बसर के लिये पशुपालन, ऊनी कारोबार और खेती-बाड़ी किया करते थे। २२ वर्षीय गौरा देवी पर वैधव्य का कटु प्रहार हुआ, तब उनका एकमात्र पुत्र चन्द्र सिंह मात्र ढाई साल का ही था।  गौरा देवी ने ससुराल में रह्कर छोटे बच्चे की परवरिश, वृद्ध सास-ससुर की सेवा और खेती-बाड़ी, कारोबार के लिये अत्यन्त कष्टों का सामना करना पड़ा। उन्होंने अपने पुत्र को स्वालम्बी बनाया, उन दिनों भारत-तिब्बत व्यापार हुआ करता था, गौरा देवी ने उसके जरिये भी अपनी आजीविका का निर्वाह किया। १९६२ के भारत-चीन युद्ध के बाद यह व्यापार बन्द हो गया तो चन्द्र सिंह ने ठेकेदारी, ऊनी कारोबार और मजदूरी द्वारा आजीविका चलाई, इससे गौरा देवी आश्वस्त हुई और खाली समय में वह गांव के लोगों के सुख-दुःख में सहभागी होने लगीं।  

इसी बीच अलकनन्दा में १९७० में प्रलंयकारी बाढ़ आई, जिससे यहां के लोगों में बाढ़ के कारण और उसके उपाय के प्रति जागरुकता बनी और इस कार्य के लिये प्रख्यात पर्यावरणविद श्री चण्डी प्रसा भट्ट ने पहल की। भारत-चीन युद्ध के बाद भारत सरकार को चमोली की सुध आई और यहां पर सैनिकों के लिये सुगम मार्ग बनाने के लिये पेड़ों का कटान शुरु हुआ। जिससे बाढ़ से प्रभावित लोगों में संवेदनशील पहाड़ों के प्रति चेतना जागी।

इसी चेतना का प्रतिफल था, हर गांव में महिला मंगल दलों  की स्थापना, १९७२ में गौरा देवी जी को रैंणी गांव की महिला मंगल दल का अध्यक्ष चुना गया।  इसी दौरान वह चण्डी प्रसा भट्ट, गोबिन्द सिंह रावत, वासवानन्द नौटियाल और हयात सिंह जैसे समाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं के सम्पर्क में आईं। जनवरी १९७४ में रैंणी गांव के २४५१ पेड़ों का छपान हुआ। २३ मार्च को रैंणी गांव में पेड़ों का कटान किये जाने के विरोध में गोपेश्वर में एक रैली का आयोजन हुआ, जिसमें गौरा देवी ने महिलाओं का नेतृत्व किया।

प्रशासन ने सड़क निर्माण के दौरान हुई क्षति का मुआवजा देने की तिथि २६ मार्च तय की गई, जिसे लेने के लिये सभी को चमोली आना था। इसी बीच वन विभाग ने सुनियोजित चाल के तहत जंगल काटने के लिये ठेकेदारों को निर्देशित कर दिया कि २६ मार्च को चूंकि गांव के सभी मर्द चमोली में रहेंगे और समाजिक कायकर्ताओं को वार्ता के बहाने गोपेश्वर बुला लिया जायेगा और आप मजदूरों को लेकर चुपचाप रैंणी चले जाओ और पेड़ों को काट डालो।

 श्रमिक रैंणी की ओर चल पड़े और रैंणी से पहले ही उतर कर ऋषिगंगा के किनारे रागा होते हुये रैंणी के देवदार के जंगलों को काटने के लिये चल पड़े। इस हलचल को एक लड़की द्वारा देख लिया गया और उसने तुरंत इससे गौरा देवी को अवगत कराया। पारिवारिक संकट झेलने वाली गौरा देवी पर आज एक सामूहिक उत्तरदायित्व आ पड़ा।

गांव में उपस्थित २१ महिलाओं और कुछ बच्चों को लेकर वह जंगल की ओर चल पड़ी। इनमें बती देवी, महादेवी, भूसी देवी, नृत्यी देवी, लीलामती, उमा देवी, हरकी देवी, बाली देवी, पासा देवी, रुक्का देवी, रुपसा देवी, तिलाड़ी देवी, इन्द्रा देवी शामिल थीं। इनका नेतृत्व कर रही थी, गौरा देवी, इन्होंने खाना बना रहे मजदूरो से कहा”भाइयो, यह जंगल हमारा मायका है, इससे हमें जड़ी-बूटी, सब्जी-फल, और लकड़ी मिलती है, जंगल काटोगे तो बाढ़ आयेगी, हमारे बगड़ बह जायेंगे, आप लोग खाना खा लो और फिर हमारे साथ चलो, जब हमारे मर्द आ जायेंगे तो फैसला होगा।”

ठेकेदार और जंगलात के आदमी उन्हें डराने-धमकाने लगे, उन्हें बाधा डालने में गिरफ्तार करने की भी धमकी दी,  लेकिन यह महिलायें नहीं डरी। ठेकेदार ने बन्दूक निकालकर इन्हें धमकाना चाहा तो गौरा देवी ने अपनी छाती तानकर गरजते हुये कहा “मारो गोली और काट लो हमारा मायका”  इस पर मजदूर सहम गये। गौरा देवी के अदम्य साहस से इन महिलाओं में  भी शक्ति का संचार हुआ और महिलायें पेड़ों के चिपक गई और कहा कि हमारे साथ इन पेड़ों को भी काट लो।

ऋषिगंगा के तट पर नाले पर बना सीमेण्ट का एक पुल भी महिलाओं ने तोड़ डाला, जंगल के सभी मार्गों पर महिलायें तैतात हो गई।  ठेकेदार के आदमियों ने गौरा देवी को डराने-धमकाने का प्रयास किया, यहां तक कि उनके ऊपर थूक तक दिया गया। लेकिन गौरा देवी ने नियंत्रण नहीं खोया और पूरी इच्छा शक्ति के साथ अपना विरोध जारी रखा। इससे मजदूर और ठेकेदार वापस चले गये, इन महिलाओं का मायका बच गया।  इस आन्दोलन ने सरकार के साथ-साथ वन प्रेमियों और वैज्ञानिकों का ध्यान अपनी ओर खींचा। सरकार को इस हेतु डा० वीरेन्द्र कुमार की अध्यक्षता में एक जांच समिति का गठन किया।

जांच के बाद पाया गया कि रैंणी के जंगल के साथ ही अलकनन्दा में बांई ओर मिलने वाली समस्त नदियों ऋषि गंगा, पाताल गंगा, गरुड़ गंगा, विरही और नन्दाकिनी के जल ग्रहण क्षेत्रों और कुवारी पर्वत के जंगलों की सुरक्षा पर्यावरणीय दृष्टि से बहुत आवश्यक है। इस प्रकार से पर्यावरण के प्रति अतुलित प्रेम का प्रदर्शन करने और उसकी रक्षा के लिये अपनी जान को भी ताक पर रखकर गौरा देवी ने जो अनुकरणीय कार्य किया, उसने उन्हें रैंणी गांव की गौरा देवी से चिपको वूमेन फ्राम इण्डिया बना दिया।

श्रीमती गौरा देवी पेड़ों के कटान को रोकने के साथ ही वृक्षारोपण के कार्यों में भी संलग्न रहीं, उन्होंने ऐसे कई कार्यक्रमों का नेतृत्व किया। आकाशवाणी नजीबाबाद के ग्रामीण कार्यक्रमों की सलाहकार समिति की भी वह सदस्य थी। सीमित ग्रामीण दायरे में जीवन यापन करने के बावजूद भी वह दूर की समझ रखती थीं।

 उनके विचार जनहितकारी हैं, जिसमें पर्यावरण की रक्षा का भाव निहित था, नारी उत्थान और सामाजिक जागरण के प्रति उनकी विशेष रुचि थी। श्रीमती गौरा देवी जंगलों से अपना रिश्ता बताते हुये कहतीं थीं कि “जंगल हमारे मैत (मायका) हैं” उन्हें दशौली ग्राम स्वराज्य मण्डल की तीस महिला मंगल दल की अध्यक्षाओं के साथ भारत सरकार ने वृक्षों की रक्षा के लिये 1986 में प्रथम वृक्ष मित्र पुरस्कार प्रदान किया गया। जिसे तत्कालीन प्रधानमंत्री श्री राजीव गांधी द्वारा प्रदान किया गया था !

जोशीमठ के समीप स्थित है चिपको आंदोलन की नेत्री गौरा देवी का गांव रैणी -वर्ष 1974 में यहीं से शुरू किया था वृक्षों के संरक्षण का अभियान -गौरा के निधन के बाद सरकारी मशीनरी ने नहीं ली गांव की सुध , गोपेश्वर(चमोली): रैणी गांव का नाम आते ही जेहन में उभर आती है उस महिला की तस्वीर, जिसने गंवई होते हुए भी एक ऐसे आंदोलन का सूत्रपात किया, जो अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर उसकी पहचान बन गया। बात हो रही है चिपको आंदोलन की नेत्री गौरा देवी की।

 प्रथम महिला वृक्षमित्र के पुरस्कार से नवाजी गई गौरा देवी ने न सिर्फ जंगलों को कटने से बचाया, बल्कि वन माफियाओं को भी वापस लौटने पर मजबूर कर दिया। जीवनपर्यंत गौरा लोगों में पेड़ों के संरक्षण की अलख जगाती रहीं, लेकिन उन्होंने कभी सोचा भी नहीं होगा कि उनके निधन के बाद खुद उनके ही गांव में सरकारी मशीनरी व चंद निजी स्वार्थों के लोभी लोग उनके सपनों का गला घोंट देंगे। आलम यह है कि गांव के नजदीक ही जलविद्युत परियोजना के लिए सुरंगों का ताबड़तोड़ निर्माण किया जा रहा है।

 इससे गांव के लोग पलायन को मजबूर हो गए हैं। जोशीमठ से करीब 27 किमी दूर स्थित है रैणी गांव। 26 मार्च 1974 का दिन इस गांव को इतिहास में अमर कर गया। सरकारी अधिकारियों की नजर लंबे समय से गांव के नजदीक स्थित जंगलों पर थी। यहां पेड़ों के कटान के लिए साइमन कंपनी को ठेका दिया गया था, जिसके तहत सैकड़ों मजदूर व ठेकेदार गांव पहुंच गए थे। गांव वालों के विरोध को देखते हुए अधिकारियों ने साजिश के तहत उन्हें चमोली तहसील में वार्ता के लिए बुलाया और पीछे से ठेकेदारों को पेड़ कटान के लिए गांव भेज दिया गया, लेकिन उनका यह कदम आत्मघाती साबित हुआ। गांव में मौजूद गौरा देवी को जैसे ही खबर मिली वह ठेकेदारों के सामने आ गई और पेड़ पर चिपक गई।

 देखादेखी अन्य महिलाओं ने भी ऐसा ही किया। ठेकेदारों, मजदूरों ने उन्हें हटाने की बहुत कोशिश की, लेकिन एक नहीं चली। इस तरह चिपको आंदोलन का सूत्रपात हुआ और गौरा ने 2451 पेड़ों को कटने से बचा दिया। चिपको जननी के नाम से विख्यात गौरा का कहना था कि 'जंगल हमारा मायका है हम इसे उजाडऩे नहीं देंगे।' जीवन भर वृक्षों के संरक्षण को संघर्ष करते हुए चार जुलाई 1991 को तपोवन में उनका निधन हो गया। 

इससे पूर्व भारत सरकार ने वर्ष 1986 में गौरा देवी को प्रथम महिला वृक्ष मित्र पुरस्कार से नवाजा था। मृत्यु से पूर्व गौरा ने कहा 'मैंने तो शुरुआत की है, नौजवान साथी इसे और आगे बढाएंगे', लेकिन वक्त बदलने के साथ लोग गौरा के सपनों से दूर होते गए। सरकार ने गौरा के गांव में उनके नाम से एक 'स्मृति द्वार' बनाकर खानापूर्ति तो की, लेकिन पिछले 17 साल में शायद ही कभी कोई मौका आया हो, जब इस पर्यावरण हितैषी की याद में कभी सरकारी मशीनरी ने दो पौधे भी रोपे हों। हद तो तब हो गई, जब गौरा के गांव के जनप्रतिनिधियों ने ही उनके अभियान से मुंह मोड़ लिया। स्थिति यह है कि गांव में गौरा के नाम पर बनाए गए मिलन स्थल को गांव के नजदीक बनाए जा रहे बांध की कार्यदायी संस्था 'ऋषिगंगा पावर प्रोजेक्ट' को किराए पर दे दिया गया है। इतना ही नहीं, गांव के नजदीक इन दिनों सुरंगों का निर्माण कार्य जोरों पर है, जिसके लिए पेड़ भी काटे जा रहे हैं। परियोजना निर्माण के लिए हो रहे धमाकों से कई घरों में दरारें पड़ गई हैं। ऐसे में लोग यहां से पलायन करने को मजबूर हो गए हैं।

पूर्व ग्राम प्रधान मोहन सिंह राणा व्यथित स्वर में कहते हैं कि सरकार ने गांव को हमेशा ही नजर अंदाज किया। उन्होंने यह भी कहा कि गौरा के सपनों को पूरा करने के लिए दोबारा चिपको जैसे आंदोलन शुरू करने की जरूरत है। गौरा देवी के पुत्र चंद्र सिंह व ग्रामीण गबर सिंह का कहना है कि सुरंग निर्माण को रोकने व गांव की अन्य समसयओं के बाबत कई बार शासन-प्रशासन से गुहार कर चुके हैं, लेकिन कोई सुनवाई नहीं हो रही।

गौरा देवी मूर्ति का किया विसर्जन

चम्पावत  जिले के कई हिस्सों में गौरा महोत्सव की धूम मची। चंपावत में महिलाओं ने भगवती मंदिर में देवी गौरा की मूर्ति का विसर्जन किया। इस मौके पर प्रेमा जोशी, चंद्रकला जोशी, भावना बिष्ट, बसंती बिष्ट, पार्वती देवी, नीलम देवी, कमला पंत आदि महिलाएं मौजूद थीं।

नेपाल सीमा से लगे सुनकुरी गांव में गौरा देवी मंदिर में महिलाओं ने महाभारतकालीन गीतों का गायन किया, जबकि झोड़ा, झुम्टा, पूजा-पाठ का क्रम अनवरत रूप से जारी है। बृहस्पतिवार की रात को यहां कुमाऊं लोक सांस्कृतिक कला दर्पण के कलाकारों ने अनेक रंगारंग कार्यक्रम प्रस्तुत कर दर्शकों को देर रात तक बांधे रखा। रंग कर्मी प्रकाश राय के निर्देशन में कलाकारों द्वारा जै जग जननी ज्वाला, दुर्गा रे भवानी वंदना से कार्यक्रम की शुरुआत की गई।

गौरा-महेश्वर पर आधारित लोक नृत्य हरियाली खेत, गंवारा छ भादो में भादो ने समां बांध दिया। वहीं हास्य कलाकार तेज सिंह एवं रश्मि द्वारा इज बाज्यू ले बडो लाड़ प्यार ले पालो, ऐसी सैंणी का हाथ पड़ियूं हल लगा हाल्यूं लोक गीत पर दर्शकों की हंसी का फव्वारा फूट गया। कार्यक्रम में बेबी प्रियंका, मोनिका, खुशाल मेहता, दीपक राय, सुुरेश राजन, पवनदीप राजन, दीपक कुमार, प्रियंका राजन, विरेंद्र मेहता ने अपने दिलकश कार्यक्रम प्रस्तुत किए। बाद में यहां गौरा महोत्सव की धूम शुरू हो गई।

सामाजिक कार्यकर्ता मदन कलौनी, पुष्कर सिंह सामंत, बद्री सिंह, नर सिंह सौन, विक्रम सिंह, उमेद सिंह, खीम सिंह, राजपाल सिंह, हयात सिंह, इंद्र सिंह, शेर सिंह आदि लोगों द्वारा गौरा महोत्सव में उल्लेखनीय सहयोग कर रहे हैं। रविवार को दर्जा राज्यमंत्री हयात सिंह माहरा गौरा महोत्सव का समापन करेंगे।

नेतृत्व क्षमता  और विवेक शील बुद्धिमता सिर्फ शिक्षित लोगों  में ही नहीं पनपती  है, यह तो ह्रदय से अनुकंपित, स्नेह, और लगाव तथा मस्तिष्क की वैचारिक चपल  अनुगूँज  से प्रस्फुटित होती है, व्यक्ति की वैचारिक क्षमता, कार्यशीलता और अनुभूति की गति  पर सदा निर्भर  करता है, जितनी अधिक कार्यशीलता होती है उतनी अधिक वैचारिक  क्षमता और अनुभूति की व्यग्रता  बढती चली जाती है.

यही कार्यशीलता उसे कार्य की दक्षता  से नेतृत्व की ओर अग्रसर करती है.  इसी का परिणाम क्रांति में स्पंदित हो उठता है.  प्रायः क्रांतियाँ शांति और उपकारी दृष्टिकोणों से ही कार्यशील होती है.  तब इस कार्य का नेतृत्व कौन  कर रहा है इसके निर्धारण  का कोई मानदंड शिक्षा में  ही निहित नहीं होता है,  बल्कि अनपढ़ और अशिक्षित  व्यक्ति भी इतना संवेदन शील होता है किउनकी अभिव्यंजना पर पूरी सफल  क्रांति आ जाती है.

इसी तरह कि अभिब्यंजना से अनुकंपित, और अभिभूत थी शैल पुत्री गौरा देवी . पूर्णतया अशिक्षित, व् अनपढ़ एक निर्धन एवं हिमालयी जनजातीय परिवार  में,  चमोली जिले कि नीती घाटी के लातागाँव में १९२५ जन्म हुआ था इस हिम पुत्री का.  गौरा के जीवन की गाथा भी बड़ी संघर्ष पूर्ण है .
१२ वर्ष की आयु में विवाह, १९ वर्ष में एक पुत्र को जन्म देकर मातृत्व कि सुखानुभूति के बाद, २२ वर्ष की ही आयु में पति का आकस्मिक स्वर्गवास .विधवा का जीवन यों तो आज भी विकटहै किन्तु  ५० के दशक में स्थिति कितनी भयावह रही होगी कल्पनातीत है,  और तब सयम, और विवेक के साथ जीवटता से जीना आसान काम नहीं . अपने अटल विश्वास, और संघर्ष शील रहकर  कभी हार नहीं मानी इस वीरांगना नें, जिसने देश नहीं पूरे विश्व में  एक पर्यावरण कि क्रांति ला दी
१९६२ के चीनी आक्रमण के बाद जब भारत सरकार ने अपने सरहदों की सुध ली और वहाँ सड़कों का निर्माण किया तो धड़ाधड़ पेड काटे जाने लगे। इसे देखते हुए सन्‌ १९७२ में रैंणी गाँव के लोगों में चर्चा हुई और एक महिला मंगलदल का गठन हुआ जिसकी अध्यक्षा गौरा देवी को बनाया गया। गाँवों के जल, जंगल और ज़मीन को बचाने के लिए लोगों में जागरण पैदा किया गया।

बात सन्‌ १९७४ की है जब रैंणी गाँव के जंगल के लगभग ढाई हज़ार पेड़ों को काटने की नीलामी हुई। गौरा देवी ने महिला मंगलदल के माध्यम से उक्त नीलामी का विरोध किया। इसके बावजूद सरकार और ठेकेदार के निर्णय में बदलाव नही आया। जब ठेकेदार के आदमी पेड़ काटने पहुँचे तो गौरा देवी और उनके २१ साथियों ने उन लोगों को समझाने का प्रयास किया।
गौरा देवी ने कहा कि ये जंगल हमारे देवता हैं और यदि हमारे रहते किसी ने हमारे देवता पर हथियार उठाया तो तुम्हारी खैर नहीं। जब ठेकेदार के लोगों ने पेड़ काटने की ज़िद की तो महिलाओं ने पेड़ों से चिपक कर उन्हें ललकारा कि पहले हमें काटो फिर इन पेड़ों को हाथ लगाना। काफी जद्दोजहद के बाद ठेकेदार के लोग चले गए।

          क्या है जंगल के उपकार, मिटटी पानी और वयार,
         मिटटी पानी और वयार, जिन्दा रहने के आधार 
पुनः जनवरी १९७४ में सरकार ने चमोली जिले के नीती घाटी के जंगलों  में कटान  की योजना बनायीं  और तब मंडल फाटा की मुहिम पैन्खाडा  ब्लाक के नीती घाटी के रैणी गाँव के जंगलों  में फ़ैल गयी.   यहाँ  इसकी  सूत्रधार थी गौर देवी. २६  मार्च १९७४ को जंगलों में कटान का कार्य शरू होना था. गांववासियों  को पता चलने पर उन्होंने भारी विरोध दर्ज किया. ठेकेदारों ने विरोध में कार्य स्थगित कर रात में कटान की योजना बनायीं. किन्तु   शाम को गावं की एक लड़की  को इसकी भनक लग गयी. और तब उसने यह  सूचना गौरादेवी को दी. गौरा देवी  रैणी गावं की महिला समिति की अध्यक्षा भी थी. इस समय गावं में पुरुष वर्ग भी मौजूद न था

गौरा ने गाँव की महिलाओं को  एकत्रित कर जंगल  की ओर कूच किया. और पेड़ों को आलिंगन बध कर एक चेतावनी दे डाली ठेकेदारों को .
 कुल्हाड़ी पहले हम पर चलेगी फिर इन पेड़ों पर.  अपने आंचल की छाया से इन वृक्षों  को बचाया आततायियों के चंगुल से  और पूरी रात निर्भय और बेखोफ होकर जग्वाली की अपने शिशुवत पेड़ों की.  यही से आन्दोलन की भूमिका तेज हो गयी और आग की तरह पूरे उत्तराखंड  में फ़ैल गयी  .

तब इसी चिपको आन्दोलन को पुनः दिशा दी श्री चंडी प्रसाद भट्ट ने .तदुपरांत भट्ट जी को श्री सुंदर लाल बहुगुणा का  सानिध्य प्राप्त हुआ और इन दोनों के नेतृत्व में  चिपको आन्दोलन सिर्फ उत्तराखंड तक ही नहीं सीमित रहा   बल्कि पूरे विश्व पटल पर  पर्यावरण को नयी दिशा मिली . यदि गौरा देवी अपनी जीवटता और अदम्य सहस का परिचय  न देती तो शायद आज ग्लोवल वार्मिंग की स्थिति और भी भयावह होती. उत्तराखंड में  औषधीय गुणों की वनस्पतिया आज देखने को भी न मिलती.  इसी के प्रतिफल में इन दोनों नेताओं को मैग्सेसे  पुरुष्कार से भी सम्मानित किया गया . 

चिपको का अलख जगाने वाली गौरा देवी के साथ-साथ चमोली में इस आंदोलन की कमान संभालने वाली दूसरी महिला थीं बाली देवी.

उन्हें इस बार संयुक्त राष्ट्र पर्यावरण कार्यक्रम में अतिथि के तौर पर बुलाया गया था. बाली देवी 45 देशों की उन महिलाओं में थीं जिन्हें पर्यावरण के क्षेत्र में काम करने के लिए ये गौरव हासिल हुआ. शांति के लिए नोबल पुरस्कार पाने वाली केन्या की वंगारी मथाई ने इस बैठक की अध्यक्षता की.गौरा देवी अब नहीं हैं लेकिन बाली देवी कहती हैं, "मैं गौरा का संदेश लेकर वहाँ गई कि पेड़ हैं तो जीवन हैं."

पाखी और अंगडू की परंपरागत पोशाक पहने बाली ने जब अपना भाषण दिया तो देर तक तालियाँ बजती रहीं. उन्होंने कहा "पहाड़ हमारे लिए भगवान हैं और पेड़ हमारे लिए पूजा. भारत में हो या फिर दुनिया में कहीं भी पेड़ पौधे, नदी- झरने,पहाड़ सभी जगह एक जैसे हैं. चांदनी की जो किरणें धरती पर गिरती हैं वो भी सभी जगह एक जैसी ही हैं. पर्यावरण को बचाने के लिये हमारी लड़ाई एक ही है. हम सब बहनें एक हैं." 

बाली देवी को इस बात पर बहुत अचरज हुआ कि चिपको के बारे में वहाँ काफी लोग जानते थे,”लोगों ने बड़ी दिलचस्पी से इसके बारे में और जानना चाहा कि कैसे हमने पेड़ों से चिपक-चिपक कर उन्हें बचाया.”

Saturday, October 19, 2013



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ötzi the Iceman on a sheet covered autopsy table
Bornc. 3300 BCE
near the present village of Feldthurns (Velturno), north of Bolzano, Italy
Died(aged about 45)
Ötztal Alps, near Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy
Cause of deathExsanguination due to arrow wound on his shoulder[1]
Other namesSimilaun Man; "Frozen Fritz" (by British tabloids)/Otzi
Known forOldest natural mummy of a Chalcolithic (Copper Age) European man
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Weight50 kg (110 lb; 7.9 st)
South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
Ötzi (German pronunciation: [ˈœtsi] ( listen); also called Ötzi the Iceman, the Similaun Man, the Man from HauslabjochHomo tyrolensis, and the Hauslabjoch mummy) is a well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived about 3,300 BCE.[2][3] The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, hence Ötzi, near the Similaun mountain and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy.[4] He is Europe's oldest natural human mummy, and has offered an unprecedented view of Chalcolithic Europeans. His body and belongings are displayed in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in BolzanoSouth Tyrol, Italy.


Ötzi the Iceman half uncovered, face down in a pool of water with iced banks
Ötzi the Iceman while still frozen in the glacier, photographed by Helmut Simon upon the discovery of the body in September 1991
On 19 September 1991, Ötzi was found by two German tourists from Nuremberg, Helmut and Erika Simon, at 3,210 metres (10,530 ft) on the east ridge of the Fineilspitze in the Ötztal Alps on the Austrian–Italian border, while walking off the path between the mountain passes Hauslabjoch and Tisenjoch. They believed that the body was of a recently deceased mountaineer.[5] The next day, a mountain gendarme and the keeper of the nearby Similaunhütte first attempted to remove the body, which was frozen in ice below the torso, using a pneumatic drill and ice-axes, but had to give up due to bad weather. The next day, eight groups visited the site, amongst whom happened to be the famous mountaineers Hans Kammerlander and Reinhold Messner. The body was semi-officially extracted on 22 September and officially salvaged the following day. It was transported to the University of Innsbruck, where it was recognized to be primeval the same day.[6]
At the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919), the border of Austria and Italy was defined as the watershed of the rivers Inn and Etsch, and Ötzi's find site drains to the Austrian side. However, the border veers slightly away from the watershed, and surveys in October 1991 showed that the body had been located 92.56 metres (101 yd) inside Italian territoryCoordinates46°46′45.8″N 10°50′25.1″E.[7] The province of South Tyrol therefore claimed property rights, but agreed to let Innsbruck University finish their scientific examinations. Since 1998 it has been on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology inBolzano, the capital of South Tyrol.

Scientific analyses

The corpse has been extensively examined, measured, X-rayed, and dated. Tissues and intestinal contents have been examined microscopically, as have the items found with the body. In August 2004, frozen bodies of three Austro-Hungarian soldiers killed during the Battle of San Matteo (1918) were found on the mountain Punta San Matteo in Trentino. One body was sent to a museum in the hope that research on how the environment affected its preservation would help unravel both Ötzi's past, and future evolution of humans.[8]


By current estimates, at the time of his death Ötzi was approximately 1.65 metres (5 ft 5 in) tall,[9] weighed about 50 kilograms (110 lb; 7.9 st)[10] and was about 45 years of age.[9] When his body was found, it weighed 13.750 kg.[11] Because the body was covered in ice shortly after his death, it had only partially deteriorated. Analysis of pollen, dust grains and the isotopiccomposition of his tooth enamel indicates that he spent his childhood near the present village of Feldthurns, north of Bolzano, but later went to live in valleys about 50 kilometres further north.[12]His lungs were blackened, probably from breathing the smoke of campfires.[citation needed] Analysis by Franco Rollo's group at the University of Camerino has shown that Ötzi's mitochondrial DNAbelongs to the K1 subcluster of the mitochondrial haplogroup K, but that it cannot be categorized into any of the three modern branches of that subcluster.[13] Rollo's group published Ötzi's complete mtDNA sequence in 2008.[14]
The Iceman from the chest up lying on stainless steel table, with his left arm across his body just between the top of his right shoulder and under his chin
Ötzi the Iceman, now housed at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy
Analysis of Ötzi's intestinal contents showed two meals (the last one consumed about eight hours before his death), one of chamois meat, the other of red deerand herb bread. Both were eaten with grain as well as roots and fruits. The grain from both meals was a highly processed einkorn wheat bran,[15] quite possibly eaten in the form of bread. In the proximity of the body, and thus possibly originating from the Iceman's provisions, chaff and grains of einkorn and barley, and seeds of flax and poppy were discovered, as well as kernels of sloes (small plumlike fruits of the blackthorn tree) and various seeds of berries growing in the wild.[16] Hair analysis was used to examine his diet from several months before.
Pollen in the first meal showed that it had been consumed in a mid-altitude conifer forest, and other pollens indicated the presence of wheat and legumes, which may have been domesticated crops. Pollen grains of hop-hornbeam were also discovered. The pollen was very well preserved, with the cells inside remaining intact, indicating that it had been fresh (a few hours old) at the time of Ötzi's death, which places the event in the spring. Einkorn wheat is harvested in the late summer, and sloes in the autumn; these must have been stored from the previous year.
In 2009, a CAT scan revealed that the stomach had shifted upward to where his lower lung area would normally be. Analysis of the contents revealed the partly digested remains of ibex meat, confirmed by DNA analysis, suggesting he had a meal less than two hours before his death. Wheat grains were also found.[17]
High levels of both copper particles and arsenic were found in Ötzi's hair. This, along with Ötzi's copper axe which is 99.7% pure copper, has led scientists to speculate that Ötzi was involved in copper smelting.[18]
By examining the proportions of Ötzi's tibiafemur and pelvis, Christopher Ruff has determined that Ötzi's lifestyle included long walks over hilly terrain. This degree of mobility is not characteristic of other Copper Age Europeans. Ruff proposes that this may indicate that Ötzi was a high-altitude shepherd.[19]
Using modern 3-D technology, a facial reconstruction has been created for the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy. It shows Ötzi looking old for his 45 years, with deep-set brown eyes, a beard, a furrowed face, and sunken cheeks. He is depicted looking tired and ungroomed.[20]


Ötzi apparently had whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), an intestinal parasite. During CT scans, it was observed that three or four of his right ribs had been cracked when he had been lying face down after death, or where the ice had crushed his body. One of his fingernails (of the two found) shows three Beau's lines indicating he was sick three times in the six months before he died. The last incident, two months before he died, lasted about two weeks.[21] Also, it was found that his epidermis, the outer skin layer, was missing, a natural process from his mummification in ice.[10]Ötzi's teeth showed considerable internal deterioration from cavities. These oral pathologies may have been brought about by his grain-heavy, high carbohydrate diet.[22] DNA analysis in February 2012 revealed that Ötzi was lactose intolerant, supporting the theory that lactose intolerance was still common at that time, despite the increasing spread of agriculture and dairying.[23]


Ötzi had several carbon tattoos including groups of short, parallel, vertical lines to both sides of the lumbar spine, a cruciform mark behind the right knee, and various marks around both ankles.Radiological examination of his bones showed "age-conditioned or strain-induced degeneration" in these areas, including osteochondrosis and slight spondylosis in the lumbar spine and wear-and-tear degeneration in the knee and especially the ankle joints.[24] It has been speculated that these tattoos may have been related to pain relief treatments similar to acupressure oracupuncture. If so, this is at least 2000 years before their previously known earliest use in China (c. 1000 BCE).[25]

Clothes and shoes

Line drawing of a right shoe
An artist's impression of Ötzi's right shoe
Ötzi's clothes were sophisticated. He wore a cloak made of woven grass[26] and a coat, a belt, a pair of leggings, a loincloth and shoes, all made of leather of different skins. He also wore a bearskin cap with a leather chin strap. The shoes were waterproof and wide, seemingly designed for walking across the snow; they were constructed using bearskin for the soles, deer hide for the top panels, and a netting made of tree bark. Soft grass went around the foot and in the shoe and functioned like modern socks. The coat, belt, leggings and loincloth were constructed of vertical strips of leather sewn together with sinew. His belt had a pouch sewn to it that contained a cache of useful items: a scraper, drill, flint flake, bone awl and a dried fungus.
The shoes have since been reproduced by a Czech academic, who said that "because the shoes are actually quite complex, I'm convinced that even 5,300 years ago, people had the equivalent of a cobbler who made shoes for other people". The reproductions were found to constitute such excellent footwear that it was reported that a Czech company offered to purchase the rights to sell them.[27] However, a more recent hypothesis by British archaeologist Jacqui Woodsays that Ötzi's "shoes" were actually the upper part of snowshoes. According to this theory, the item currently interpreted as part of a "backpack" is actually the wood frame and netting of one snowshoe and animal hide to cover the face.[2]

Tools and equipment

A knife made from stone, and a woven sheath
Ötzi's flint knife and its sheath
Other items found with the Iceman were a copper axe with a yew handle, a flint-bladed knife with an ash handle and a quiver of 14 arrows with viburnum anddogwood shafts. Two of the arrows, which were broken, were tipped with flint and had fletching (stabilizing fins), while the other 12 were unfinished and untipped. The arrows were found in a quiver with what is presumed to be a bow string, an unidentified tool, and an antler tool which might have been used for sharpening arrow points.[28] There was also an unfinished yew longbow that was 1.82 metres (72 in) long.[29]
In addition, among Ötzi's possessions were berries, two birch bark baskets, and two species of polypore mushrooms with leather strings through them. One of these, the birch fungus, is known to have antibacterial properties, and was probably used for medicinal purposes. The other was a type of tinder fungus, included with part of what appeared to be a complex firestarting kit. The kit featured pieces of over a dozen different plants, in addition to flint and pyrite for creating sparks.
Ötzi's copper axe was of particular interest. The axe's haft is 60 centimetres (24 in) long and made from carefully worked yew with a right-angled crook at the shoulder, leading to the blade. The 9.5 centimetres (3.7 in) long axe head is made of almost pure copper, produced by a combination of casting, cold forging, polishing, and sharpening. It was let into the forked end of the crook and fixed there using birch-tar and tight leather lashing. The blade part of the head extends out of the lashing and shows clear signs of having been used to chop and cut. At the time, such an axe would have been a valuable possession, important both as a tool and as a status symbol for the bearer.[30]

Genetic analysis

A group of scientists have sequenced Ötzi's full genome and the report was published on 28 February 2012.[3][31] The Y-DNA of Ötzi belongs to a subclade of G defined by the SNPs M201, P287, P15, L223 and L91 (G-L91, ISOGG G2a2b, former "G2a4"). He was not typed for any of the subclades downstreaming from G-L91. G-L91 is now mostly found in South Corsica.
Analysis of his mitochondrial DNA has shown that Ötzi belongs to the K1 subclade, but cannot be categorized into any of the three modern branches of that subclade (K1a, K1b or K1c). The new subclade has provisionally been named K1ö for Ötzi.[32] Multiplex assay study was able to confirm that the Iceman's mtDNA belongs to a new European mtDNA clade with a very limited distribution amongst modern data sets.[33]
By autosomal DNA he is most closely related to southern Europeans, particularly geographically isolated populations of Sardinia and Corsica.[34][35]
DNA analysis also showed him at high risk of atherosclerosislactose intolerance, and the presence of the DNA sequence of Borrelia burgdorferi, making him the earliest known human withLyme disease.[36]
A 2012 paper by paleoanthropologist John Hawks suggests that Ötzi had a higher degree of Neanderthal ancestry than modern Europeans.[37]
In October 2013, it was reported that 19 modern Tyrolean men were related to Ötzi. Scientists from the Institute of Legal Medicine at Innsbruck Medical University had analysed the DNA of over 3,700 Tyrolean male blood donors and found 19 who shared a particular genetic mutation with the 5,300 year old man, which led them to identify the link.[38]


In May 2012, scientists announced the discovery that Ötzi still had intact blood cells. These are the oldest blood cells ever identified. In most bodies this old, the blood cells are either shrunken or mere remnants, but Ötzi's have the same dimensions as living red blood cells and resembled a modern-day sample.[39]

Cause of death

The Ötzi memorial near Tisenjoch. Ötzi was found ca. 70 m NE of here, a place indicated with a red mark. The mountain in the background is the Fineilspitze.

Initial speculation

It was initially believed that Ötzi died from exposure during a winter storm. Later it was speculated that Ötzi may have been a victim of a ritual sacrifice, perhaps for being a chieftain.[40][41] This explanation was inspired by theories previously advanced for the first millennium BCE bodies recovered from peat bogs such as the Tollund Man and the Lindow Man.[41]

Theories involving struggle followed by cold death

In 2001 X-rays and a CT scan revealed that Ötzi had an arrowhead lodged in his left shoulder when he died,[42] and a matching small tear on his coat.[43] The discovery of the arrowhead prompted researchers to theorize Ötzi died of blood loss from the wound, which would probably have been fatal even if modern medical techniques had been available.[44] Further research found that the arrow's shaft had been removed before death, and close examination of the body found bruises and cuts to the hands, wrists and chest and cerebral trauma indicative of a blow to the head. One of the cuts was to the base of his thumb that reached down to the bone but had no time to heal before his death. Currently it is believed that death was caused by a blow to the head, though researchers are unsure if this was due to a fall, or from being struck with a rock by another person.[45] Unpublished and thus unconfirmed DNA analyses claim they revealed traces of blood from four other people on his gear: one from his knife, two from the same arrowhead, and a fourth from his coat.[46] Interpretations of these findings were that Ötzi killed two people with the same arrow, and was able to retrieve it on both occasions, and the blood on his coat was from a wounded comrade he may have carried over his back.[43] Ötzi's unnatural posture in death (frozen body, face down, left arm bent across the chest) suggests that the theory of a solitary death from blood loss, hunger, cold and weakness is untenable. Rather, before death occurred and rigor mortis set in, the Iceman was turned on to his stomach in the effort to remove the arrow shaft.[47]
In May 2012, researchers using Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy concluded that Ötzi did not die immediately from his shoulder wound. They detected dried blood cells and possibly fibrin in a state of degradation from maturity, suggesting an established blood clot of more than a few days’ age.[48]
The DNA evidence suggests that he was assisted by companions who were also wounded; pollen and food analysis suggests that he was out of his home territory. The copper axe could not have been made by him alone. It would have required a group tribal effort to mine, smelt and cast the copper axe head. This may indicate that Ötzi was part of an armed raiding party involved in a skirmish, perhaps with a neighboring tribe, and this skirmish had gone badly. When the Iceman's mitochondrial DNA was analyzed by Franco Rollo and his colleagues,[49] it was discovered that he had genetic markers associated with reduced fertility. It has been speculated that this may have affected his social acceptance, or at least that his infertility could have had social implications within his tribal group, which could have played a role in the chain of events that led to the confrontation.[50]

Burial theory

In 2010, it was proposed that Ötzi died at a much lower altitude and was buried higher in the mountains, as posited by archaeologist Alessandro Vanzetti of the Sapienza University of Rome and his colleagues.[51] According to their study of the items found near Ötzi and their locations, it is possible that the iceman may have been placed above what has been interpreted as a stone burial mound but was subsequently moved with each thaw cycle that created a flowing watery mix driven by gravity before being re-frozen.[52]
While archaeobotanist Klaus Oeggl of the University of Innsbruck agrees that the natural process described probably caused the body to move from the ridge that includes the stone formation, he pointed out that the paper provided no compelling evidence to demonstrate that the scattered stones constituted a burial platform.[52] Moreover, biological anthropologist Albert Zink argues that the iceman’s bones display no dislocations that would have resulted from a downhill slide and that the intact blood clots in his arrow wound would show damage were the body carted up the mountain.[52]
In either case, the burial theory does not contradict the possibility of a violent cause of death as stated in the preceding theories.

Legal dispute

Italian law entitled the Simons to a finders' fee from the South Tyrolean provincial government of 25% of the value of Ötzi. In 1994 the authorities offered a "symbolic" reward of 10 million lire(€5,200), which the Simons turned down.[53] In 2003, the Simons filed a lawsuit which asked a court in Bolzano to recognize their role in Ötzi's discovery and declare them his "official discoverers". The court decided in the Simons' favor in November 2003, and at the end of December that year the Simons announced that they were seeking US$300,000 as their fee. The provincial government decided to appeal.[54]
In addition, two people came forward to claim that they were part of the same mountaineering party that came across Ötzi and discovered the body first:
  • Magdalena Mohar Jarc, a Slovenian actress, who alleged that she discovered the corpse first, and shortly after returning to an alpine house, asked Helmut Simon to take photographs of Ötzi.
  • Sandra Nemeth, from Switzerland, who contended that she found the corpse before Helmut and Erika Simon, and that she spat on Ötzi to make sure that her DNA would be found on the body later. She asked for a DNA test on the remains, but experts believed that there was little chance of finding any trace.[55]
The rival claims were heard by a Bolzano court. The legal case angered Mrs. Simon, who alleged that neither woman was present on the mountain that day.[55] This position is supported by a detailed description of the Iceman's discovery by Austrian researcher Elisabeth Rastbichler-Zissernig.[56] In 2005, Mrs. Simon's lawyer said: "Mrs. Simon is very upset by all this and by the fact that these two new claimants have decided to appear 14 years after Ötzi was found."[55]
In 2004, Helmut Simon died. Two years later, in June 2006, an appeals court affirmed that the Simons had indeed discovered the Iceman and were therefore entitled to a finder's fee. It also ruled that the provincial government had to pay the Simons' legal costs. After this ruling, Mrs. Erika Simon reduced her claim to €150,000. The provincial government's response was that the expenses it had incurred to establish a museum and the costs of preserving the Iceman should be considered in determining the finder's fee. It insisted it would pay no more than €50,000. In September 2006, the authorities appealed the case to Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation.[54]
On 29 September 2008 it was announced that the provincial government and Mrs. Simon had reached a settlement of the dispute, under which she would receive €150,000 in recognition of Ötzi's discovery by her and her late husband and the tourist income that it attracts.[53][57]

"Ötzi's curse"

Influenced by the "Curse of the pharaohs" and the media theme of cursed mummies, claims have been made that Ötzi is cursed. The allegation revolves around the deaths of several people connected to the discovery, recovery and subsequent examination of Ötzi. It is alleged that they have died under mysterious circumstances. These persons include co-discoverer Helmut Simon,[58] and Konrad Spindler, the first examiner of the mummy in Austria at a local morgue in 1991.[59] To date, the deaths of seven people, of which four were the result of some violence in the form of accidents, have been attributed to the alleged curse. In reality hundreds of people were involved in the recovery of Ötzi and are still involved in studying the body and the artifacts found with it. The fact that a small percentage of them have died over the years has not been shown to be statistically significant.[60][61]