Welcome to Part 3 in our pregnancy series! If you haven't already, read Part 1 and Part 2 for how to help your pregnant clients set up a healthy diet and lifestyle plan. The rest of this article provides in-depth information into 5 herbal remedies that are used often in Ayurveda to support a healthy pregnancy and easy birth.
Part 3: Determine proper and safe herbal remedies to be used.
Following a sattvic diet and lifestyle is an essential part of Garbhini Paricharya (caring for pregnant women) and is important for a healthy, easy pregnancy, but Ayurvedic herbs are the nutritional catalyst that brings all of the pieces together quicker and deeper.
However, very warming or very cooling herbs and spicy and bitter herbs should be avoided or prescribed very carefully during pregnancy so as not to put the mother and fetus at risk. The following remedies are suggested for women trying to conceive, during pregnancy and postpartum, and should be used only under strict medical supervision.
Bhadradi Kwatham Tablets, also known as Garbharaksha Tablets, balance both Pitta and Vata Dosha. 1 - 2 capsules twice a day before eating can help to relieve respiratory problems, gastritis and constipation in an expectant mother. These tablets are typically used about two to three months. Bhadradi Kwatham can be prescribed in conjunction with Mahadhanwantaram Gulika for extra support for your pregnant clients.
Mahadhanwantaram Gulika (also known as just Dhanwantaram Gulika) balances all three of the Doshas, especially Vata Dosha. If the mother is experiencing acid peptic disease and gastritis discomfort then this remedy is a good choice and is also used to support the overall health of both mother and fetus. It is considered a vatanulomaka, meaning it balances the downward moving motion of Apana Vata and thus increasing the nutrients going into the fetus (Aiswarya, 2015). It is typically used for around three months. Prescribe one to two tablets to be taken after breakfast.
Gynakot Tablets are often used when a woman is trying to conceive. The ingredients enhance fertility, regulate hormones, prepare the uterus for a healthy pregnancy and stabilize irregular menstrual cycles by balancing Vata and Pitta Dosha. Gynakot Tablets support the systemic health and optimum functioning of the female reproductive system. In our formula, Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), is the main ingredient. Punarnava has been used in Ayurveda since its conception – the name itself means “rejuvenation”. It is a powerful plant that also has calming, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (Rajpoot & Mishra, 2011). One to two Gynakot tablets are taken twice a day and they can be used for a long period of time. They are typically prescribed with Sukumara Ghritam and Chandraprabha Vati Tablets to increase a woman’s fertility.
Sukhaprasavada Ghritam (herbal ghee) supports the healing of a variety of complications during pregnancy. It is given to a pregnant mother for an assurance of an easy and healthy delivery. It balances Vata and Pitta Dosha and is given during the 7th and 8th month of pregnancy to make sure that labor is not delayed or unbearably painful. The typical dosage is 2-10 grams twice a day and it can be used for a long period of time.
Phalasarpis Ghritam is another herbal ghee that supports the health of pregnant mothers and young children as well as reverses female infertility. This powerful remedy balances all three of the Doshas, enhances male fertility and helps women to recovery from miscarriages and abortions. A 2015 study of 45 women unable to conceive after a year of trying took 20 ml of Phalasarpis Ghrita twice a day and saw improvements in menstrual cycle regularity and fertility (Shalini, Biala, and Ranjana Tiwari). Typical dosage is 2-10 grams twice a day. Phalasarpis is used along with Ashwagandha Arishtam to help reverse male infertility and Shatavari Gulam is administered with Phalasarpis to reverse female infertility.
Other herbs that help to build reproductive tissue are Ashwagandha, Bala, Shatavari, White Musali, Kapikacchu and Chyavanprash. Pitta women do well taking Shatavari (especially for increasing breast milk) and predominately Kapha women react well when using spices like cardamom, fennel and basil.
Be very careful about the herbs that mom takes. Be completely sure they are safe for a pregnant woman. As you know being a practitioner, herbs can be very powerful. Recommend to your clients that they consult with their doctors, midwives or other trained herbalists before taking anything. The wrong herbs can cause miscarriages, uterine contractions, and premature birth. Herb lists will differ depending on if it’s a fragile pregnancy and what trimester the mother is in. Also even if the Ayurvedic herbs are not the cause of a miscarriage, a conventional doctor could blame them and a person could be turned away from Ayurveda. Some Ayurvedic doctors only prescribe herbs to expecting women for two weeks at a time and in smaller doses.
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health. Thank you!
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Contributing Editor: Dr. JV Hebbar
Aiswarya, I. V. "A Protocol Based Approach in the Management of Amavata–A Case Report." Journal of Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine (JAHM) 3.5 (2015): 106-113.
Rajpoot, Kuldeep, and R. N. Mishra. "Boerhaavia Diffusa Roots (Punarnava mool)–Review as rasayan (rejuvenator/antiaging)." International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Research 2.4 (2011): 1451-1460.
Shalini, Biala, and Ranjana Tiwari. "EFFICACY OF PHALA-GHRITA ON FEMALE INFERTILITY." AYUSHDHARA 2.2 (2015).
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