Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda, has given utmost importance to the care of Garbhini and Soothika (Postparum woman) and Navajata (newborn). All classical Ayurvedic texts have univocal opinion as far as the care of Garbhini and Soothika are concerned. These principles have been adapted to our lifestyle with slight regional variations throughout the Indian Subcontinent.
PRASOOTHI TANTRA AND BALAVIDYA
It is the branch of Ayurveda that deals with Gyenecology and Pediatrics. The Ayurvedic protocol for Garbhini starts even before conception as good parental seeds lead to good progeny. The elected parents are advised to undergo detoxifying methodology (panchakarma) and the husband is given medicines and foods which will improve his libido and vigor. Food and regiment that will improve anabolism or kapha factor. Female is given fat and protein rich food which includes sesame oil and black gram. In general females are advised to eat food and drugs that stabilizes the functions of pitta (Read factors that corrects hormonal functions). The concept of newlyweds visiting relatives and they are given a grand feast by the hosts are part and parcel of preparing the prospective mother and father.
“Sudhe sukla arthave satwaswa karma klesha chodita:
Garbha sambadyate yukti vasaad agni iva aranow”
(Astanga Hrudayam, Sarira Stanam Ch 1, Ver 1)
Promted by the merits of its karma in previous births the ‘atman’ enters the womb at the time of conception.
During pregnancy period,the hallmark of Ayurveda, Panchakarma treatments, barring very few exception, are generally contra-indicated during pregnancy as these detoxifying methods utilizes the excretory pathways which might trigger an abortion or premature delivery.
Only panchakarma treatment recommended for garbhini is vasti (medicated enema) which can be administered after the 8th month. Even an unlikely event of premature birth is not serious hazard as the fetus would have become viable by that time.
Drugs beneficial for Garbhini-yoga ratnakara gives a list of dravyas that can be used by garbhini, these are-Sali, Sastika Rice: –Due to its Madhura Snigdha Seeta properties it helps in nourishment of fetus, samana of vata and helps in body metabolism
Ø Mudga and Wheat: Acts due to its Madhura, Seeta, Sandhana and Jeevana Properties.
Ø Flour of parched rice – Acts as samana in thirst, vomiting, and diarrhoea and also as appetiser
Ø Navaneetha, Gritha and milk- Provides nourishment and stability to the fetus and in milk production.
Ø Gooseberry: Mild laxative & provides immunity
Ø Draksha: Vrishya, Vata samana, Madhura, Snigdha guna
Anointing with cooling agents like Musk, Sandal and camphor.
There are restrictions in the use some alcohol-containing medicines like Vasaristam.
Pregnant women are given special status and utmost care is given to them both for physical and psychologically. Ayurveda says a pregnant woman possesses two hearts as her desires are reflections of baby’s desires as well. The desires of a woman have to be fulfilled without compromising the special modalities of pregnancy.
It is high time we amalgamate our ancient knowhow in Prasoothi Tantra (Ayurvedic Gynecology), modern medical practices and yogic practice making the gestation and lactating period a time to celebrate.