Ayurveda gives due importance for ante-natal (pre pregnancy care) as well as post-natal (post pregnancy care) in order to ensure the health and well being of the mother and the child. According to Charak, the great Indian physician if a pregnant woman is given care and affection as per advice of the physician, she will give birth to a child free from disease, physically strong, mentally sound and well nourished baby.
Ayurvedic texts have described nine diseases, which are commonly encountered during pregnancy. These diseases are called garbhopadravas and are peculiar to pregnancy. These include
- Retention of urine.
- Dryness of mouth.
Best Ayurvedic Diet During Pregnancy
- During pregnancy there is a tendency to put on undue weight. At this time, dieting is not suitable advice. Use of honey is best, as it helps one to lose weight. Harita appreciates the use of honey with Yogurt in 6th months.
- Honey with milk is also advised to pregnant women.
- Milk is an ideal source of calcium since it contains both lactose, butter fat and moderate amount of protein and has got the anabolic property, so it gives strength to a woman, beside this, it acts as laxative and alone is sufficient to cope with the constipative tendency of the mother to be.
- Use of ghee (clarified butter) is also advised during pregnancy. It promotes digestion which is in accordance with research which has shown that full fat Soya flour is digested with less gas than the defatted preparations.
- Use of Gokshuru (Tribulus terrestris) is also beneficial.
- Use of Mamsa Rasa (meat soup) is also advised during pregnancy. It is sufficient to maintain the serum protein level in body from 6th month onwards.
Precautions During Pregnancy
- Ayurveda advises to restrict intake of highly stimulating foods like sugars, caffeine or highly spiced foods.
- As per Ayurvedic diet protocols, foods lacking life force energy (fried, fermented or canned) should be avoided during pregnancy.
- As per Ayurvedic philosophy, sleep is the second pillar of health. Adequate sleep during pregnancy is of prime significance.
- A mild tea prepared from ginger is excellent remedy for morning sickness or nausea.
- Restricted salt intake in order to keep blood pressure under control.
Ayurvedic Research Studies
- Dadimadi ghrita for anaemia: In an open labelled randomized uncontrolled clinical trial, efficacy of dadimadi ghrita for treating garbhini pandu (anaemia in pregnancy) was studied in 35 patients in pregnancy. Dadimadi ghrita with dosage of10 ml was administered orally, at morning empty stomach with a cup of warm water for 30 days. 16 patients have up to 51-75 % relief followed by 8 patients up to 76-100 % and then 11 subjects up to 26-50 %.
- Ginger and Hyper emesis gravidarum
Thirty women participated in a double-blind randomised crossover trial of the efficacy of the powdered root of ginger (Zingiber officinale), and placebo in hyperemesis gravidarum. Each woman swallowed capsules containing either 250-mg ginger or lactose, four times a day during the first 4 days of the treatment period. Subjectively assessed, 19 women (70.4%) stated preference to the period in which ginger, as was later disclosed, had been given (P = 0.003). More objectively assessed by relief scores a significantly greater relief of the symptoms was found after ginger treatment compared to placebo (P = 0.035). No side effects were observed. Powdered root of ginger in daily doses of 1 g during 4 days was better than placebo in diminishing or eliminating the symptoms of hyperemesis gravidarum.
- Garbhpal Ras in pregnancy induced nausea & vomiting: Fifty five women were supplemented with 120 mg bid ‘Garbhpal Ras' along with folic acid, while 39 pregnant women of control group supplemented with folic acid only. Result was assessed through subjective parameters (based on patient's statement), haematological and biochemical blood parameters. Results were found encouraging ‘Garbhpal Ras' treated group.
- Laja and Chaturjatak choorna in Garbhaj Vaman: A clinical study published in Antiseptic reported efficacy of Laja and Chaturjatak churna in the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum.
- Pandughnivati and Dhatrilauhavati in the management Iron Deficiency Anemia: 22 patients were randomly divided into two groups; Group A (n-12) Pandughnivati two tablets of 500 mg tds and Group B (n-10) Dhatrilauhavati one tablet of 500 mg thrice a day. Dhatrilauhavati was selected for the present study due to its hemanitic properties. In the present study, Pandughnivati (developed by AYUSH department) was administered for patients of group A. The results revealed that the overall clinical improvement was better in patients of Group B when compared to Group A.
Arankalle PS. Effect of Dadimadi Ghrita in Garbhini Pandu (Anaemia in Pregnancy). Journal of Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine 2014; 2:1-9.
Deepa M, Sinha M, Vikas K. Effect of Garbhapal Ras on Pregnancy induced Nausea & Vomiting. International Journal of Ayurvedic Medicine 2012, 3:170-176.
Fischer-Rasmussen W, Kjaer SK, Dahl C, Asping U. Ginger treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum. Fischer-Rasmussen W, Kjaer SK, Dahl C, Asping U. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1991 Jan 4; 38(1): 19-24.
Jewell D. and Young G. Interventions for nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy. Cochrane database syst Rev. (4): CD000145, 2003.
- Dwivedi. Ayurvedic concept of food in pregnancy. Anc Sci Life. 1995; 14: 245–247.
Mishra D. and Neelam. Effect of Laja and Chaturjatak choorna in Garbhaj Vaman. The Antiseptic 2007; 104; 428-430.
Rupapara AV, Donga SB, Dei L. A comparative study on the effect of Pandughnivati and Dhatrilauhavati in the management of Garbhinipandu (Iron Deficiency Anemia). AYU 2013;34:276-80.
Satyapalabhigacharya, editor, Kashyapasamhita of VriddhaJivaka, khilasthana, chapter 9, verse no. 46-48, 8th edition, Varanasi: Chaukhambasanskritsansthan, 2002, p. 289.
Steggerda F, Richards E, Rackis J. Effects of various Soybean products of flatulence in the adult man. Proc Soc Exp Boi Med 1966; 121:1235–1239.
Tripathi B, editor, Charaka samhita of Charaka, vol ii, chikitsasthana, chapter 16, verse no. 4, re-edition, Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharati prakashan, 2007, p. 591 6.