The natural ingredients of the ayurvedic herbs are much better and free of side effects than the factory made chemical stuffed products. Simple ayurvedic home remedies can be very effective in relieving symptoms, and preventing further development of a disorder. However, once a disease has fully manifested and reached the final stage of development, specific treatments are required.
Home remedies may also support treatments prescribed by a physician. In some cases, even a proper diet can be a home remedy as it reduces the severity of symptoms experienced and avoids unintended aggravation of the condition. Anything that is easily available in or around your home, and has a medicinal use, may be used as a home remedy. When used for medical purposes, herbs, vegetables, fruits, spices, grains and oils are understood to be home remedies.
Antenatal Diet: The diet has been accorded a very important place in all the Ayurvedic texts and especially the diet of pregnant women has been given special importance because it has a direct bearing on the health and development of the fetus. Improper or unbalanced diet is responsible for various congenital abnormalities. The balanced diet is one that balances the three doshas and nourishes the seven dhatus of the mother. The proper development of the fetus requires a well-balanced diet that includes vitamins, minerals, proteins and substantial calories for its all-round development.
An imbalanced diet can cause the following abnormalities in the fetus-
- Abnormalities due to vata-vitiating diet: Deafness, idiocy, hoarse or nasal voice and multiple or missing organs.
- Abnormalities due to pitta-vitiating diet: Baldness, absence of facial hair, paleness of skin and nails.
- Abnormalities due to kapha-vitiating diet: Leprosy and anemia. Bija dosha abnormality also falls in this category.
Generally the expectant mother should consume protein rich diet and her food should contain all the six rasas- sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. But the sweet taste should be dominant in her diet. It is suggested that the pregnant women should consume shit vriya food articles, which do not produce acid and burning sensation during or after the digestion. The drinking water should be boiled in the gold or the silver utensils until such time the water reduces to half of its original quantity. It should be cooled down and used for drinking.
The food also has a bearing on the mental well being of the mother and the child. Ayurveda says that the expectant mother should consume sattavic food items like fresh vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, salads, lentils, yogurt, milk, fresh butter, wheat, rye, barley, hazelnuts, almonds, rice and honey. A Sattaivc food helps to increase the strength, vigor and vitality and to improve the mental functions and the spirituality of the fetus as well as the mother. Rajasic foods like sugar, sweets, meat, cheese, fish, fried foods, eggs, potatoes and other root vegetables are stimulating by nature, difficult to digest and produce ama or toxins in the body. Excessive consumption of such foods during pregnancy makes the fetus aggressive, irritable and angry in nature. Therefore the rajasic foods should either be avoided or consumed in moderate quantities. The tamasic foods like alcohol, tobacco, sweet, fizzy drinks, and junk and snack foods such as popcorn, crisps, salty, nibbles, chocolate, ice creams, and foods containing preservatives and other chemicals damage health, cause physical imbalance and impair mental functions. They can lead to personality disorders such as hyperactivity and mental disorders in the fetus and should be avoided totally.
Ayurveda texts contain specific diet recommendations for the different stages of pregnancy. In the first trimester most women experience nausea and vomiting during this period. In this period the pregnant women should consume a sweet, light and liquid diet. Such diet prevents dehydration due to vomiting and provides nourishment. Some suggestions are, rice cooked with milk, milk with honey, khichari, fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables. In the first trimester medicines from the madhura group are advised because of their anabolic properties. Licorice should be used with butter and honey. In the second month milk with sweet herbs like kakoli should be taken.
From the fourth month onwards the pregnant women should consume protein rich diet and palatable food like, spinach, cabbage, sprouts, white butter (extracted from milk), boiled rice with curd, broccoli, cheese, eggs, butter, all kind of nuts, banana, peaches, apricots, carrot, soybean, cabbage, and lettuce. In this period powders of satavari and madhuyasti should be consumed with milk. In the last month ghee should be consumed in excessive quantity. Additionally herbs like ashwagandha, bala mool, gokshuruadi churna, saptamrit loh and dhatri loh should be consumed from the sixth month until the last month. In the eighth and the ninth month vasti (enema) therapy should be done to prepare the mother for the delivery.
Life Style And Thoughts
The mental state of the mother and her thoughts has a significant bearing on the psychological traits of the fetus. The mental state of the mother during the pregnancy is to a great extent responsible in shaping the child’s personality. She should remain happy, positive and cheerful during the gestation period and avoid negative thoughts like anger, anxiety, stress and envy. The expectant mother should follow a healthy routine with a mixture of religious activities and meditation. She should do light exercises and undertake, as much household chores as she could do without causing physical and mental fatigue, however care should be taken to avoid shocks and traumas. The pregnant mother should regularly follow an exercise and yoga regime. The exercise and yoga are important because they prepare the abdomen, sacral area and the spine for delivery. Sex during the last phase of gestation is proscribed because it not only breeds shamelessness in the child but can also cause abortion.