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Heart Problems And Ayurvedic Treatment

Heart Problems And Ayurvedic Treatment

The term Hridaya used in Ayurveda to denote an organ can be compard to the Heart. As any other systemic diseases Hridroga or the diseases related to the heart are manifested when –

The heart is structurally and functionally disturbed by the vitiated tri-doshas i.e vata pitta and kapha(either individually or in combination). The tri-doshas are the intrinsic factors causing the diseases.
Disturbance of the manasika doshas – Raja and Tama(humoral factors controlling the mind)
The incompatible food(aahara) and activities/lifestyle(vihara) leading to the disturbance of the tridoshas and also weakening of the dhatu’s(tissue’s)
Thus the mainstays of treatment of Hridroga are:

To eliminate the morbid doshas through shodana or panchakarma measures
Cleansing and keeping intact the srotas(channels of transportation of nutrients)
Establishing the normalcy of the agni(metabolism)
Strengthening the dhatus
Taking control over the raja and tama doshas of mind
Providing proper diet
Correction of life style
Appropriate medication
But before all these measures we should not forget that: “Sankshepata kriya yogo nidana parivarjanam” i.e ‘The best form of treatment is avoidance of causative factors’

Shodana: Hridroga is of 5 types depending on the predominant dosha involved. They are Vataja, Pittaja, Kaphaja, Sannipataja and Krimija. Each condition should be dealt with taking into consideration the doshas involved in excess.
In Vataja Hridroga: After snehana(oleation using medicated ghee or oil) – Vamana(emesis) is administered using Dashamoola Kwatha mixed with sneha(oil, ghee, muscle fat, and marrow) and Saindhava lavana(rock salt) is administered.
In Pittaja Hridroga: After snehapana(madhura gana sidda) – Vamana should be administered with kashaya prepared using Sriparni(Gambhari) and Madhuka admixed with honey, sugar and jaggery. Later Virechana(purgation) should be administered to eliminate the morbid pitta.
In Kaphaja Hridroga: Vamana should be administered with kashaya prepared from vacha and nimba
In Krimija Hridroga: The patient should be fed with food(rice) and flesh mixed with plenty of oil/ghee along with curds and tila choorna for 3 days. When the patient gets saturated – Virechana should be administered.
2. Sroto-Shodana: Cleansing and keeping intact the srotas(channels of transportation of nutrients) – is achieved effectively when the mobid doshas are removed from the body through proper Shodana as said above.

3. Establishing the normalcy of Agni: Each of the dhatu is nourished by the aahara rasa(active by product of the digested food) coming to them through the channels of transportation i.e Srotas. Ahara rasa is formed by the action of Jataragni or the metabolic fire located in the belly (which is responsible for the preliminary digestion) over the food and its active principles required for the body are absorbed into the system by the intestines. This aahara rasa later is carried on to the heart and is pumped to each and every cell.

Each dhatu has a srotas and an agni after its name. When the aahara rasa reaches the dhatu through its srotas, it is transformed into the active components (which inturn nourishes the concerned dhatu) by the action of the fire located in that particular dhatu known as Dhatwagni. Eg: The aahara rasa reaching the rasa dhatu is taken and converted into rasa dhatu by the rasa dhatwagni. This phenomenon can be co-related with tissue metabolism.

The health of the dhatus or tissues depend on the proper functioning of the dhatwagnis and the jataragni. Thus to strengthen the dhatus all these metabolic fires should be strengthened by the medicines and diet regulating the agni. Samsarjana karma after shodana: Planned dietetic regimen to be administered after shodana. It starts from the administration of diet initially in the form of liquids and gradually implementing the semisolids and solid food in that order, because after shodana the agni would have diminished. When the agni comes to normal within 5 to 7 days normal food should or regular diet can be started.

4. Strengthening of Dhatus: stronger tissues can protect themselves and can resist the invasion of the morbid doshas, thus avoiding the initiation of the disease process. Once the morbid doshas have been eliminated by shodana, the disease process starts regressing. But to avoid recurrence the dhatus should be strengthened during the convalescence period. Proper nourishment of all the dhatus is intended with special emphasis to the dhatus forming the hridaya and directly related to it. Those dhatus are:

a)Rasa Dhatu: Lymph and the other nutrients which reach the heart and are again transported to all the cells and tissues for nourishment. Rasa dhatu also nourishes the heart.

b) Rakta Dhatu: The blood which carries the nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body, mean while nourishing the heart too.

c) Mamsa Dhatu: The flesh forming the heart which allows its contraction and relaxation throughout the life. The mechanism is required to go on uninterruptedly for us to live healthy.

d) Meda Dhatu: The adipose tissue or fat which cussions the heart and lubricates it for its easy functioning.

The medicines strengthening the dhatus i.e Hridya Rasayana’s:

*Arjuna Gritha or Ksheerapaka

*Vardhamana Pippali

*Ashwagandha Rasayanam

*Dashamoola Hareetaki Rasayanam



*Shatavari Gritham/Gulam

5. Taking control over raja and tama gunas of the mind: Keeping away from the stress is an important aspect which needs to be concentrated in the treatment of cardiac ailments and this concept of taking the mind and senses under control doesn’t seem to be a new concept to Ayurveda. In fact we can tell that Ayurveda was the first science to explain the body mind relation in any systemic disorder.Eg In the treatment of Pittaja Hridroga the author indicates the application of lepa or anointments made of Chandana etc drugs having a cool nature and are pleasant to the mind. Similarly sheeta parishechana or sprinkling of liquids having cold nature is explained.

The other measure which should be followed are: Keeping away from tensions and anger, keeping the mood happy and joyous, regular practice of yoga and meditation, weekend outing with family and friends, getting involved in group activities etc will keep the harmful doshas of mind i.e raja and tama under control.

6. Proper Diet: Foods rich in madhura(sweet)rasa and amla rasa(sour), hot and fresh, admixed with small quantities of oil or ghee, fruit juices, green vegetables and leaves, etc in vataja hridroga. Foods rich in madhura, tikta(bitter) and kashaya(astringent) rasa, cold or warm food, should be given and spicy, oily foods shall be avoided in pittaja hridroga. In kaphaja hridroga foods which are hot and freshly prepared and those which are wholesome to the heart are given. In short any food which is likable for the heart and mind and is not antagonist to the heart shall be the wholesome diet in the management of hridroga. Liquid foods which shall be easily digested shall be preferred. Plenty of water, whole grain cereals and fruits are desired.

7. Correction of life style: Includes a proper approach towards life with an accurate planning of day to day schedules of food and activities. This format includes:

*Regular exercise: Ayurveda advices daily exercise as a preventive measure for all the systemic exercises. It regulates the metabolism and regulates the fat metabolism and mobilizes excessive fat depots, which is essential to avoid heart problems.

*Giving time and space for every activity and avoiding doing in a hurry.

*Dinacharya: Properly following the daily schedules as advocated by A

yurveda in the concept of dinacharya(do’s and donts in a daily schedule from morning to night)

*Rutucharya: Following properly the basics of living as per the rutus or the climatic variations. The hindu calendar shows 6 seasons in a year. We have to learn to adapt ourselves for different seasons so as to keep away from the ill effects caused from them leading to the manifestation of many a diseases.

*Vegan na dhaarayet: There are 13 natural urges initiated by the body in a natural course. These are the urge or reflex for flatus/belching(gas moving in an upward or downward direction), stools, urine, sneeze, thirst, hunger, sleep, cough, exertional breathlessness, yawning, tears, vomiting reflex and the sexual drive or the urge to ejaculate sexual fluids. In a natural process when the above said are initiated by the body we should not withhold them forcibly. Otherwise they will produce untoward health problems. Especially withholding the urges for sleep, exertional breathlessness, tears and sexual drive on a long term may have adverse effect on the heart.

*Following Sadvritta(Path of righteousness)

*Following Achara Rasayana: Deeds which rejuvenate us without even taking the rejuvenators.

8. Appropriate Medication: The below said medicaments are highly effective in combating the heart problems and also in their prevention –

*Partharishtam(Arjunarishtam), Punarnavarishtam, Draksharishtam, Arjuna Ksheerapaka

*Hridyam Kashayam

*Chandraprabha vati

*Chyavanaprasha Rasayanam

*Brahma Rasayanam

*Rasonadi kashayam

*Nayopayam kashayam etc.

All the above articles / blog posts are not the original contribution from author, please consider a opinion of qualified doctor, if you considering this. If you need a advice please contact Dr. Anil Joy email:

Thank You,

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AYURVEDIC MEDICINES FOR AMLAPITTA / gastic Ulcer – peptic ulcer

AYURVEDIC MEDICINES FOR AMLAPITTA / gastic Ulcer – peptic ulcer


All the above articles / blog posts are not the original contribution from author, please consider a opinion of qualified doctor, if you considering this. If you need a advice please contact Dr. Anil Joy email:

Thank You,

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Arthritis and Ayurvedic Treatment

Arthritis and Ayurvedic Treatment

Arthritis and Ayurveda: Arthritis is not a new concept for Ayurvedic science. Rather we can tell that Ayurveda is the first medical science to explain arthritis and other joint related problems. We can find references of various type of arthritis which simulate with those explained in the modern texts. Arthritis in Ayurveda is a disease involving the vitiated vata dosha in one or the other form, though the other doshas-pitta and kapha are also invariably involved being disturbed in varying proportions. The main dhatus afflicted are rasa-rakta(blood), mamsa(muscles, tendons, ligaments) and ashti(bone and joints). When these tissues are afflicted by one or more of the above said doshas with predominance of vata arthritis get manifested. Disturbed metabolism(agni dushti), circulating endo-toxins(ama), improper food and activities(mithya ahara and vihara) etc are also the chief causes. This indicates that most of the arthritis according to Ayurveda have a systemic origin).

Types of Arthritis as per Ayurveda: Many conditions resembling various types of the modern day arthritis is available in the Ayurveda viz:

*Amavata: Where ama is involved along with vata to produce a picture resembling an inflammatory arthritis with special mention of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

*Sandhigata vata: Where the vitiated vata enters the joints and occupies them causing swelling, pain etc. This condition indicates the explanation similar to degenerative arthritis w.s.r.t Osteo-Arthritis.

Vata-Rakta: Where the vitiated vata along with the vitiated rakta produce painful conditions of the joints mimicking the picture of crystal arthritis w.s.r.t Gouty-Arthritis.

There are many other conditions explained but the above said are important ones. The notable feature is the mention of the word vata in common in all the conditions.

Treatment of Arthritis in Ayurveda:

The treatment of arthritis can be initiated only after understanding the ailment in detail(nidana panchaka) and after a thorough examination of the patient through Dashavida pariksah(10 fold examination of the patient), Trividha(3 fold examination) and Ashta Stana Pariksha(examination of 8 essential parameters). In general the below said treatment can be implemented as per the type of the arthritis being dealt:

*Langhana(fasting and other forms of treatment which bring lightness in the body), Deepana(enhancing the digestive fire or improving the metabolism),Pachana(digesting the endotoxins and separating them from the association with morbid doshas) etc when ama is associated with the doshas in the pathogenesis of the arthritis. Eg in Amavata

*Shodana(purificatory measures including panchakarma): In the form of :

1.Virechana(purgation) – in all types of arthritis

2.Vasti(medicated enemas) – Kashaya vastis(decoction enemas) and teekshna vastis(strong enemas-evacuatory) in amavata, Ksheera vastis(medicated enemas prepared in milk base) in vatarakta, Anuvasana and matra vastis(oil or ghee enemas) in sandhigata vata etc

3.Rakta mokshana(blood letting) – In vatarakta

4. Snehapana – Intake of medicated oils and ghee – in amavata/sandhigatavata/vatarakta

*Sthanika Chikitsa(Local treatment):

1. Janu vasti(oil pooling around the knee joints in a chamber constructed around the joint using flour so as to accomodate oil) – in sandhigata vata

2.Patra pinda sweda(sudation to the painful joint using medicated leaves tied in a cloth in the form of a bolus) – in sandhigatavata

3. Shastika shali pinda sweda(sudation to the painful joint using processed rice tied in a cloth in the form of bolus) – in sandhigata vata

4. Lepa and Upanaha( annointments and poultices) – in all types of arthritis

5. Abhyangam and swedana(massage and fomentation) – in sandhigatavata

6. Vaaluka sweda(sudation to the painful joint using heated sand tied in a cloth in the form of a bolus) – in amavata

7. Parisheka(sprinkling or spraying medicated fluids) – in vatarakta

8. Sandhi pichu(keeping a cotton pad dipped in medicated oil in contact with afflicted joint and wrapping it with a bandage to keep it in position) – in sandhigata vata

*Shamana Chikitsa: (Palliable treatment in the form of oral medication) – Some of the important medicines useful in various types of arthritis are mentioned below:

Oils for application: Balaguluchyadi tailam, BalaAshwagandadi tailam/kuzhambu, Chandanadi tailam, Dhanwantaram khuzhambu, Karpasasthyadi tailam, Karpooradi coconut oil, Kottamchukkadi tailam, Ksheerabala tailam, Madhuyashtyadi tailam, Mahamasha tailam, Murivenna, Narayana tailam, Pinda tailam, Sahacharadi tailam, Vatamardanam kuzhambu, Vatashini tailam

Oils and ghee for internal consumption: Bala tailam, Dhanwantaram tailam(3 & 101), Gandha tailam, Ksheerabala tailam(3 & 101), Sahacharadi tailam, Gulgulu tiktakam ghritam, Varanadi ghritam etc

Kashayam’s: Amrutottaram Kashayam,Balaguluchyadi Kashayam,Dhanwantaram Kashayam, Gulgulutiktakam Kashayam/Tablets, Kokilaksham Kashayam,Maharasnadi Kashayam/Tablets,Rasnadi Kashayam(small and big),

Tablets: Amruta Gulgulu/Amruta Gulgulu(DS), Dhanwantaram/Mahadhanwantaram Gulika, Kaishora Gulgulu/Kaishora Gulgulu(DS), Shaddarana gulika/Shaddarana gulika(DS), Yogaraja Gulgulu/Yogaraja Gulgulu(DS) etc

Patent medicines from the house of Arya Vaidya Nilayam(AVN):

*Amavatari Kashayam: Contains important ingredients like Amruta, Kokilaksha, Punarnava and Dashamoola. Indicated in – Rheumatoid Arthritis, Auto-immune Collagen diseases, Ankylosing Spondylosis, Gout, Dermato-Myositis, Osteo-Arthritis.

All the above articles / blog posts are not the original contribution from author, please consider a opinion of qualified doctor, if you considering this. If you need a advice please contact Dr. Anil Joy email:

Thank You,

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Chikungunya and Ayurvedic Treatment

Chikungunya and Ayurvedic Treatment

What is Chikungunya fever?

Chikungunya is a form of viral fever spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a breed largely active during the day that lasts for 5-7 days. The virus is hardly life threatening, but frequently causes intense joint pain that persists for a long period of time.

Chikunguniya symptoms:

Common symptoms of the illness such as fever upto 102.2 °F, petechial rashes, spots on the trunk and limbs and arthritis affecting multiple joints are very common. Other nonspecific symptoms like headache, conjunctivitis, remote photophobia and insomnia etc may occur soon after the incubation period. While most symptoms usually last for 5 – 7 days, the fever rapidly subsides in two days.

Chikungunya history In India

Chikunguniya has emerged as a serious health threat in India. States such as Andhra Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Delhi were the most affected parts of the country. Karnataka and Maharashtra recorded a staggering 752,245 and 258,998 numbers of cases, making these largest affected states in India. (Who: 2006)

Preventive Measures

There is no real vaccine for the virus, but the best method to prevent the virus is to avoid mosquito bites. It is absolutely necessary to take preventive measures to avoid or eliminate mosquito breeding friendly spot’s such as rain-filled containers, water storage units, open food containers, saucers under potted plants, drinking bowls for domestic animals and discarded tyres in the vicinity of the workplace and residential areas. (WHO: 2006).

Management of Chikun gunya – In Ayurveda:

Line Of Treatment is Like Amavata (Pachana,Deepana,Rookshana,Mridu ShodhanaBrihmana.)
In the acute phase of illness, the prime intent should be to control fever. Medicines such as Amrithothara kashaya, Shaddharana choorna, Sudarshana vati,Vettumaran gulika,Nimbamrithadi Eranda,Avipatti Choorna and Amritharishta have reflected effectiveness in combatting fever.

In the post fever phase, Chikungunya leads to arthralgia/arthritis that causes swelling & pain that could persist for a period of six months to a year. Therefore it becomes vital to control post-fever arthritis in the very early stage of symptoms. Ayurveda medications & therapies are found to be extremely effective in treating this condition.


Classical medicines such as Rasnaerandadi kashaya, Punarnavadi kashaya, Chandraprabha gulika and Punarnavasava, Kaishora guggulu,Raasnagugul ,Balaguloochyadi Kashaya have been found quite effective in managing post-fever pain & swelling.
Therapies combined with ingestible medication can give faster & effective result in treating the symptoms of Chikungunya.
The following therapies are used to treat the symptoms of Chikungunya.
1. Choorna Sweda
2. Valukasweda
3. Dhanyamla Dhara
4. Dasamoolam KashayaDhara
5. Lepana With Jadamayadi Choorna,Grihadhoomadi Choorna,Ellunishadi Choorna…

All the above articles / blog posts are not the original contribution from author, please consider a opinion of qualified doctor, if you considering this. If you need a advice please contact Dr. Anil Joy email:

Thank You,

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Ayurvedic Pregnancy Care and Motherhood

Ayurvedic Pregnancy Care and Motherhood
Ayurveda places an enormous emphasis on the importance of caring for the mother before during and after pregnancy. “It is the woman who procreates children and propagates the human species. Dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth), lakshmi (auspiciousness), and loka (the entire universe) are represented in every woman.” (CS, Cs 2/3) Ayurveda regards the woman and her ability to produce and care for children as the basis of family life which, in turn, is the very foundation of society. Therefore, only if the women of a society are safe, protected, and content can these qualities manifest in that society.
Ayurveda prescribes specific nutritional measures for the growth and protection of the woman to keep her vital and pure. In one of its most famous teaching analogies, Ayurveda compares human conception to the germination and sprouting of a seed and its transformation into a sapling. When the male and female seeds unite and the soul enters the union, an embryo (garbha) is created. Ayurved gives great importance to the quality of the seed (ovum). In addition to the female seed, the mother also provides the ’ideal terrain’ (i.e. the uterus) into which the seed is to be planted. Guidelines for correct sexual intercourse are also generally outlined. Young women less than sixteen years of age and boys under twenty should not bear children. Nature does not support pregnancy nor family life begun during the brahmacharya period (student years, ages birth to 20).The general rules of pre-natal care are also given and are perhaps the most provocative of all. The husband, parents, siblings, and other family members are advised to oversee the pregnant woman’s diet and encourage activities that are healthy and enjoyable to her and beneficial for the child developing in her body. Similar to its strategy to promote longevity, the Ayurvedic approach towards motherhood, that is pregnancy and childbirth, is indeed a holistic one. Ayurvedic recommendations touch upon the diet, behavior, activities, and even the spiritual actions of not only the mother but the entire family into which the child will be born.
The wisdom regarding the general management of pregnancy is found in both the Charaka and Sushruta Samhitas under the subject of “Garbhini Vyakarana”. There are separate chapters for general management, specific management, diseases in pregnancy and their treatment and many other practical pieces of advice . Guidelines regarding diet, activities, behavior and mental activity (ahar, vihar, achar and vichar, respectively) are also detailed. The physician is cautioned to be very vigilant during the management of pregnancy. “If a cup filled with oil right up to the brim is to be carried without spilling even a single drop, every step has to betaken with care”. (CS Cs 8/22) Ayurveda advises the same degree of care and attention in the management of a pregnant woman. The goal is the protection and nourishment of both the growing fetus and the mother.
The concept that improper decisions and lifestyle are responsible for the genesis of disease is a well-known Ayurvedic idea. Crowded urban living in particular has been cited in the Charaka Samhita as causing disease and shortening lifespan. (CS Cs1/1) From the moment the pregnancy is confirmed, the woman is counseled to follow certain guidelines of living. The Ayurvedic physician gently offers supervision from the very beginning, even before the actual conception of the child, so that the pregnancy can terminate in a normal delivery after a normal period of gestation. Especially when she approaches full term, critical care is necessary as “one foot is considered to be in this world and the other in the world of Yama” (the god of death). Complete and healthy delivery includes delivery of the placenta. If the delivery is not complete and normal, the woman is likely to be affected by one or the other of a list of 64 maladies, which are described in detail in Garbhini Vyakarana.
For a couple to produce healthy offspring, both the partners should be careful about their diet, activities, behavior and emotional status before as well as after conception. One has to keep this in mind throughout the pregnancy.
General Rules from Inception of Pregnancy to Delivery
The mother-to-be should:
Try to maintain a cheerful mood
Be clean, neat and well dressed
Dress in simple clothes and ornaments
Engage in peaceful and benedictory activities
Sleep under a roof in a clean environment (not infested with insects such as mosquito’s etc.)
Not touch or contact maimed or deformed persons
Avoid long walks
Not indulge in anger, fright, or other agitating emotions
Refrain from the use of cosmetics and constant cleaning of the body
The food she eats should be delicious to her. Much of the diet should be in a liquid or semi-liquid form, moist, nourishing, enriched with all the six rasas (tastes) and supplemented with deepana (agni promoting) plant medicines and spices which are known to increase appetite and digestive power. Ayurveda specifically mentions the following foods as healthy during all trimesters of pregnancy: rice, milk, wheat (godhuma), amalaki fruit, raisins, grapes, mango (amra) butter, ghee, and small quantities of raw sugar (sarkara).
She should also avoid:
· Excessive sex particularly during early and late pregnancy
· Overeating or fasting
· Speaking in a loud voice
· Sleeping during the day time and staying up late at night
· Tight clothes and tight belts
· Words or sights which give rise to feelings of sorrow, anger, fear or pain
· Traveling in a vehicle on rough roads
· Squatting for a long time or sitting in an uncomfortable position or on a hard surface
· Lifting heavy things or remaining in a bending position for a long time
· Oleation massage etc. unless positively indicated
· Beholding natural urges unless in an emergency
· Dry, stale, fermented, heavy, hot or strong food, alcohol and meat (fish is allowed)
· Visiting abandoned and remote places
· Leaning into a deep well
Specific Effects of Poor Habits and Behaviors
Traveling on horseback
Premature Birth
Looking into wells or ditches
Premature Birth
Hearing excessive noise
Premature Birth
Remaining to often on one´s back
Umbilical cord twisted
Sleeping outdoors or going out at night
Indulging in quarrels and fights
Always grieving
Timid and under-developed child
Garbhini Paricharya
The development of the fetus in the uterus is discussed in the Charaka Samhita in the section called Garbhava Kranti, and special regimens are prescribed for each month in the subsection Garbhini Paricharya. The basic wisdom to be understood is to take greater care during the first three months of pregnancy and during the eighth and ninth months.
During the first trimester, stress is laid on stabilizing the pregnancy and nurturing the uterine bed through rasa and rakta dhatus. The embryo gets nourishment directly by percolation (upsnehan). Hence more jaleeya (liquid) substances such as juicy fruits, coconut water, milk, and so on are advocated.
In the first month, sipping cold milk along with meals and eating only in the morning and evening (i.e breakfast and dinner). Tandulodaka (lit.water from rice washing; e.g. modern equivalent: rice milk) During the second month, the intake of warm milk decoctions medicated with sweet herbs like Vidari, Sarkara (Cane juice), Shatavari, Yasthimadhu, Brahmi, all of which are jivaneeya (life-supporting) and garbhasthapak (helping maintain implantation). Honey and ghee are also recommended. During the third month Ayurveda recommends warm milk with added honey and ghee. Also, the ground rind of amalaki fruits with coldwater.
During the fourth month, the head, torso and extremities start to become differentiated, the motor and sensory nervous tissues start to develop, the heart takes its place, and the fetus makes known its needs and desires via the mother’s physiology. This is the period when the woman craves for certain foods and tastes. Normally, the needs of both the fetus and the mother are the same. Therefore, Ayurveda recommends that the mother´s cravings be fulfilled as far as possible, as long as they are not absolutely unreasonable (i.e. a diabetic mother craving excessive ice creamæ a hypertensive mother craving excessive salt, etc.). Shankhpushpi, gulkand, and brahmi help in calming the nerves and are also good prajasthapans (maintainers of pregnancy).
From the fifth to the seventh months, plant preparations which give strength to the uterine muscles and nourishment to the embryo, are advised. Ashwagandha and Guduchi are particularly good in this regard. They help to ensure optimal condition of the placenta and uterine tissues as well as of the umbilical cord. The diet should be one of rice, milk, butter and gee. Fruits which are orange or yellow in color are advocated such as mangoes, apples, carrots, amalaki etc. Leafy vegetables are also advised. During the seventh month, hairs form on the fetus and the abdominal skin begins to become stretched giving rise to itching and striations (kikkisas). This can be treated by taking sips of the infusion of jujube berries or butter medicated with manjistha, the application of the pulp of sandalwood and lotus or of a paste made of neem, turmeric and manjistha, or oil medicated with tulsi leaves or jasmine.
From the eighth month forward, there should be less fat, less salt and less water in the diet. Ayurveda recommends rice kanji cooked in milk with a little ghee. After the completion of the eighth month, herbs which are mild diuretics and urinary antiseptics, such as punarnava, gokshuru and sariva, are advised. Fennel seed powder in small quantities is also recommended for its mild carminative and anti-spasmodic actions.
As soon as the pregnant woman enters the ninth month, she is supposed to move to the Sootikagar (delivery area) which is specially prepared for delivery. The door should be facing to the north or east. After an asthapan basti (simple enema), she should undergo anuvasan basti (retention enema of oil boiled with sweet herbs) which may be repeated. A swab soaked in the same oil is used to anoint the vagina and supporting structures to make the pelvis soft and elastic and enhance the downward-moving functions of apana vayu and delivery of the fetus. The mother´s complexion becomes rosy, her strength returns as she prepares for the final days of pregnancy.
In the middle of the ninth month with a waxing moon in conjunction with an auspicious star, pacificatory oblations to fire, cow, and Brahmins (priests) are performed. Grasses and honey are offered to the cows; barley, fruits, and flowers to the Brahmins. The Brahmins then recite prayers and mantras as the woman enters the delivery area and awaits her delivery.
Sootikagar (Delivery area)
The Sootikagar should be such as to meet seasonal needs. The type of land, the timber used for the building, the architectural layout of the area (the bath room, toilet, kitchen, fire place, delivery room), the type of fire wood used, the water supply and so on are described in detail. (CS Ss 8/33) Materials such as linen, tampons, needles and instruments, essential drugs and furniture are also specified. The house should be fumigated to make it free from insects. Porous bags containing rakshoghna drugs (to kill or repel insects and invisible evils) should be suspended all around – at the entrance and in the corners of the room. These drugs include calamus, asafoetida, garlic, Guggulu, Kathaka and Sarshapa.
The nurse or birth attendant recommended by Ayurveda should have had children herself, should be experienced, friendly, alert, expert, affectionate by nature, and free from anxiety. The attending physician should be an expert.
Treatment Of Diseases During Pregnancy
Any disease occurring in a pregnant woman should be treated with drugs that are mild in action, compatible and safe to the fetus. Panchakarma (detoxifying procedures) should not be advocated, except basti (enema) in the eighth and ninth months of pregnancy.
Ayurved also describes nine diseases, which are caused because of the pregnant status of the woman. These diseases are peculiar to pregnancy and are called garbhopadravas. They are: nausea, anorexia, vomiting, dryness of mouth, fever, edema, anemia, diarrhea and retention of urine. Their specific treatments are also elaborately described.
As far as possible, medication should be avoided during the first three months of pregnancy. Only symptomatic treatment with very mild herbs and a suitable diet should be offered. The physician is advised to take into account the severity of the disease, the resistance power of the mother and the stage of the pregnancy, and choose the middle path so that the disease or the treatments do not result in complications for the mother or the foetus. For example, the use of Dashamularishta in vattic fever, hima (cold infusion) of Yastimadhu, lotus and Sariva in paittic fever and Guduchi kwath in kapha fever to bring down temperature. Similar special treatments are advised for other diseases. Several substances are absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy such as vacha (calamus root), kumari (aloe), or myrrh and substances like garlic and hing are to be used with extreme caution if at all.
Different types of obstructed labor and their management with maneuvers, especially internal rotation, are also described in this section. However, if the physician realizes that the disease is going to endanger the life of the mother and there is no other remedy, the pregnancy should be terminated without delay.
As we can see from this article, the wealth of ancient Ayurvedic wisdom included the holistic principles of safe and healthy motherhood. Its goals were the same as our modern obstetric physicians: proper formation of the embryo, fetal development without anomalies, a comfortable full-term pregnancy, a timely and non-traumatic delivery, and maintenance of the health of the mother. Given the achievements of 21st century technological and medical sciences and a more detailed and sophisticated understanding of the physiological processes, modern medicine has made great strides in promoting healthy pregnancies. Today we can now recognize and treat many pathological conditions in the fetus or the mother. We also recognize the importance of regular antenatal check ups to detect any changes as early as possible and take appropriate medical interventions. Yet, although it lacks the technological sophistication of modern obstetrics, Ayurvedic wisdom can certainly contribute to this field in important and meaningful ways.

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