Comprehension Directions: Read the passage and answer the questions.

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

The therapeutic value and healing powers of plants were demonstrated to me when I was a boy of about ten. I had developed acute persistent abdominal pain that did not respond readily to hospital medication. My mother had taken me to the city’s central hospital on several occasions, where different drugs were tried on me. In total desperation, she took me to Egya Mensa, a well-known herbalist in my hometown in the western province of Ghana. This man was no stranger to the medical doctors at the hospital. He had earned the reputation of offering excellent help when they were confronted with difficult cases where Western medicine had failed to cure.

After a brief interview, he left us waiting in his consulting room while he went out to the field. He returned with several leaves and the bark of a tree. One of his attendants quickly prepared a decoction and handed me a glass of this preparation. It was extremely bitter but within an hour or so, I began to feel relieved. The rest of the decoction was put in two large bottles so that I could take doses periodically. Within three days, the frequent abdominal pains stopped and I recall gaining a good appetite. I have appreciated the healing powers of medicinal plants ever since.

My experience may sound unusual to those who come from urban areas of the developed world, but for those in less affluent nations, such experiences are common. Studies by WHO indicate that for 75 to 90per cent of the rural population of the world, the herbalist is the only person who handles their medical problems. In African culture, traditional medical practitioners are always considered to be influential spiritual leaders as well, using magic and religion along with medicines. Illness is handled with the individual’s hidden spiritual powers and with application of plants containing healing properties.

The decoction given to the narrator was:

  1. bitter but effective
  2. made from fresh fruits
  3. made from roots and herbs
  4. tasty but useless

The decoction given to the narrator was bitter but effective. The second paragraph’s fourth sentence reads, It was really bitter, but after about an hour, I started to feel relieved. The storyteller was offered a decoction, and we can infer from the above clause that it was bitter but effective.

The considerations for reading comprehension questions are listed below.

  • Determine why you are reading. Try to read the passage and the question in that order so that you may concentrate just on what needs to be read in the passage.
  • Consider what may come next. Keep an eye out for specific details in the passage.
  • To uncover specific information, such as figures or names, or to acquire a general understanding of the passage’s content, skim through it quickly.


The narrator was given a bitter yet potent potion.

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