The human race is nurtured in the lap of the mother. An attention towards caring for the one (i.e. mother) who has cared for the universe for centuries is a gesture of gratitude.
The following are the areas where Ayurveda can benefit female reproductive healthcare.
Pre-puberty period- Prevention of undernourishment by Ayurveda food practices (e.g., usage of Black gram, Groundnut, Ashwagandha, vegetables, and greens. (Shigru, Chakramuni). Administration of Herbs in the form of Rasayanas that support the normal physiological changes during puberty- Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Amalaki, bramhi etc).
Menstrual variations- Amenorrhea Usage of herbal emmenagogues, viz. Kumari, Gingly, nutritional supplementation of minerals nutrients by greens, herbo-mineral preparations to combat malnourishment as the cause of this condition.
Dysmenorrhea: when unabated, the normal course of medical care could be managed through Ayurvedic pancha karma maneuvers.
Menorrhagia- Prevention of anemia, and rectifying the found excess flow through – formulations comprising of Shatavari, Lodhra, Ashoka, Japa, Varuna, Bilva etc.
Altered cycles- Aiming at regulation, poly-herbal treatments (e.g. Ashoka, Kumari, Triphala, Panchakola etc. combined with Pancha karma (Virechana, Basti)
Implementation of practices for progeny, as per scheduled Ayurvedic methods will benefit safe and smooth parenthood.
The aspect of immediate goals will encompass the components of Antenatal care.
Continuity of pregnancy and aiding normal fetal growth through-
Monthly dietetic regimen
Plain milk as much as one can consume at intervals
Kseerapaka prepared with madhura oushadha.
Milk with Honey and Gritha (ghee/clarified butter)
Milk with Navaneetha (Butter)
Milk with gritha Payasa.
Sixth and seventh month
Gokshura ksheera paka
Milk and ghritha.
Dos and don’ts during pregnancy: VIHARA
1. Exercise; the amount of exercise a pregnant woman can perform can be understood based on occurrence of fatigue.
2. During pregnancy it is not advisable to commence the jogging type of exercises for the first time.
3. Riding on the horseback, riding on two wheelers, long journey by car, on undulated roads, are best avoided.
4. Stand up jobs, working to exhaustion, can be harmful.
5. Exercise with relaxation is more beneficial
6. Sexual intercourse; is to be avoided during the first and third trimesters especially in high-risk cases. Coital techniques can be modified to satisfy the circumstances. With reduction in number of acts.
7. Adequate rest is very essential with feet up position.
8. Clothing; loose fitting and natural-fabric clothes are to be preferred; synthetic materials, tight fitting dresses are ill advised.
9. During early pregnancy itself, a shift to flat-heeled shoes is advisable.
[Consult doctor before starting any exercise program]
VICHARA; Psychological and emotional activities;
1. A pregnant woman needs to be provided with a pleasing environment.
2. Every individual who meets the pregnant woman needs to show concern, affection, and provide moral support.
3. Any type of mental stress is best avoided.
4. Positive thinking is the best approach.
5. A great deal of psychological comfort is to be provided at all spheres of family and society for an uneventful (safe) pregnancy.
6. Acceptability of the mother for any modality of management is top priority.
7. Use of rasayanas viz. Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Amalaki, Shatavari, Kushmanda, Gritha etc. is beneficial for health and immune strength.
8. Hygiene and fitness during pregnancy are important to maintain health and positive mental attitude.
9. Routine examinations and monitoring are required.
Diseases during pregnancy:
· Prevention of Hyper-emesis gravidarum.
· Nutritional disorders.
· Management of pre-eclampcia.
· Alteration in weight gains.
· Anemia etc. are managed with specific therapeutic modulations (viz. Dhanyaka hima, Kushmanda, Ashwagandha, Pala ghritha, Jatamamshi, Tantupashana. Rajatha bhasma, praval bhasma, Mandoor bhasma, etc.)
Periodic specialized therapies in pancha karma (ex. Mathra basti, Pichu dharana, abhyangaetc.) during the third trimester enhances neuromuscular strength to aid normal delivery.
Diet and herbs containing galactogogues and body restoratives (e.g. Jeevanthi, Shatavari, Lashuna, ksheera, Kulatta - Abhyanga with Ksheerabala taila). Use of Dashamoolarista, Devadarvyadi quath, Soubhagyashunti, pratapalankeshwara, Shatavari, Medicated ghritha, Ashwagandha, Amalaki etc. and suitable Pancha karma are beneficial.
Care of the newborn:
Abhyanga and Matra basti to enhance weight gain; these are more important for premature babies. Bala rasayana administration and the special pediatric rejuvenators (Vacha, Haritaki, Amalaki, Jatiphala) support normal growth and development and improve immunity.
Weaning foods: Yavagu, Krishara, Vilepi, Kritayoosha.
Management of Pediatric ailments:
¨ Gastric disorders - Vomiting, flatulence, constipation, and diarrhea are helped through safe, non-habit forming remedies (e.g. Chaturbhadra churna, Jatiphala, Triphala, Nagara, Kumari.)
¨ Respiratory infections: Management - Talisadi, Sitophala, Yasti, and Gorochana.
¨ Growth and developmental abnormalities:
¨ Nutritional- Marasmus, Kwashiorkar, - Nutrition supplemented with Rasayanas.
¨ Developmental- Mental retardation, cerebral palsy; are managed with condition-specific pancha karma therapies.
Thus, Ayurveda can provide life cycle approach in women’s health as well can care the children for their common ailments and rehabilitation in mental retardedation, and other diseases.
Identification of raw areas for introducing Ayurvedic modes separately or/and by coordinating with the existing programs.
Lastly, the mission of Ayurveda is that a physician is not just the rescuer of his patient’s illness, but also a caretaker of his total well being needs no special emphasis.