At the turn of the first millennium, Bukhara-born philosopher Avicenna recommended using liquid extracts from caper buds to soothe the effects of hemorrhoids and toothaches. The bush itself, he said, could be exploited to treat asthma or even purge the body of parasitic worms.
A thousand years later, Uzbekistan’s president has suggested the plant could help address yet another chronic condition — the farming sector’s addiction to cotton.
“Instead of [cotton], we should grow fruit and vegetables, melons and marrows, which are more profitable. People should be properly remunerated for their work,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said during a visit to the Namangan region in the Ferghana Valley earlier this month.
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