Pregnancy is a delicate time and we must be careful not only about the things we eat, but also the medicines we take. If you are expecting and considering taking herbal medicine during pregnancy, you may have come across Ayurveda. Is ayurvedic medicine safe during pregnancy? Let’s find out.
Ayurveda and ayurvedic medicine
Ayurveda is an ancient healing system that is more than 5,000 years old. It is a term from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language. It translates to “the science of life,” or “the knowledge of life.”
Ayurvedic Medicine is based on ancient writings and takes on a natural and holistic approach to achieving physical and mental health. It relies on natural remedies to cure ailments, instead of on synthetic drugs.
This ancient Indian system of healing is practiced by millions of people all over the world. It uses traditional medicines made from minerals, animal sources, and herbs. Ayurveda combines medicine with meditation and yoga to achieve balance in the body.
The most commonly used herbs by Ayurvedic practitioners are ginger, cardamom, turmeric, black pepper, and cinnamon.
Ayurvedic philosophy believes that the elements in our body–fire, water, earth, air, and ether–should be in harmony with our outside environment so we can achieve perfect health. When there is an imbalance, we become unhealthy and susceptible to diseases.
These elements are in our bodies as doshas or body intelligence. The three doshas are:
- Kapha – formed by body and water
- Vata – formed by air and earth
- Pitta – formed by fire and water
Ayurveda believes that during pregnancy, the vata dosha requires more attention. This is because elevated levels of vata energy in the mother’s body are being directed to the baby.
If the mother’s doshas are balanced, there will be enough for her and the baby. But if there is an imbalance, it can affect the nervous system. She may have depression and other symptoms, especially during the first trimester.
Is ayurvedic medicine safe for pregnant women?
Before taking ayurvedic medicine, it is best to consult with your OB-gyne first and inform them of your concerns. You should also proceed with caution and consult with a certified Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner before trying any ayurvedic medicine or remedies. This is to ensure your and your baby’s safety.
Some Ayurvedic preparations contain minerals, metals, or gems. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that the presence of metals in certain Ayurvedic products can be potentially harmful. In 2012, six pregnant women in New York City who used Ayurvedic medications were found to have lead poisoning.
Ayurvedic medicine: What is safe and when to take them
After getting the go signal from your OB-gyne and consulting with an Ayurvedic doctor, you may try herbal medicine during pregnancy. You can also look into these practices encouraged in Ayurveda during pregnancy in the first trimester.
- In the first and second months, drink milk along with sweet coconut water and fruit juices.
- In the third month, start drinking a cup of milk with a teaspoon of ghee twice a day. This is said to help boost the baby’s vitality and immunity. This ayurvedic medicine is also for the complexion and fair baby during pregnancy.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter, which is beneficial to a pregnant women according to Ayurveda. | Image from Shutterstock
If you have nausea, morning sickness, or lack of appetite, try these:
- Roast cardamom seeds, turn them into powder and eat in small pinches several times a day
- Sip tea made of fennel seeds or ¼ teaspoon ginger powder with hot water.
If you have constipation, here are the best ayurvedic herbal medicine during pregnancy you can try:
- Drink a tablet of gandhak vati dissolved in hot water after meals. This aids in digestive problems provides stomach pain relief and helps eliminate excess gas. Furthermore, it helps in releasing digestive juices through the small intestine, pancreas, and liver.
- Drink one teaspoon of psyllium husk or Sat Isabgol with a glass of warm milk. An effective cure for constipation, this remedy is available over-the-counter.
- Take six to 12 grams of Trivrut Lehya with hot water before sleeping at night. This laxative is considered harmless, has a jam-like consistency, and is used to relieve constipation. Do not take it for more than a few weeks as it can be habit-forming.
Prenatal Pregnancy Information: Gamit ng Traditional Chinese Medicine
Weight gain during pregnancy: How quickly will you gain weight during pregnancy
What hair removal method is safe during pregnancy?
Ayurvedic practices during pregnancy
Aside from taking herbal medicine during pregnancy, you can also follow these Ayurvedic practices while waiting for the arrival of your little one.
Ayurveda encourages a sattvic diet during pregnancy. Sattvic means “fresh” or “pure” in Sanskrit. This diet includes:
- Whole, fresh, and non-processed foods including plant-based produce
- Organic vegetables and sprouted grains
- Healthy fats and oils like coconut, ghee, and olive. These are important for the development of the baby’s brain and vital organs.
- Fresh fruits like coconut, mango, pears, and peach
- Dried fruits and nuts like almonds, figs, and dates
- Moderate amounts of meat, fish, and beans
A sattvic diet full of organic vegetables is encouraged in Ayurveda during pregnancy. | Image from Shutterstock
You may also try ayurvedic massage with herbalized oils. It helps nourish your skin, as well as brings you a sense of calm. During your eighth and ninth months, you can give extra attention to your nipples to prepare for breastfeeding.
An ayurvedic therapeutic massage called abyanga from your sixth month onwards is believed to help in achieving easy labour. You may follow this with a lukewarm bath.
You are also encouraged to enjoy intercourse with your partner. Although keep it in moderation, especially during the early and late stages of pregnancy. This is because a lot of sex can also affect your vata dosha.
In Ayurveda, yoga helps in achieving balance and perfect health. | Image from Shutterstock
Choose easy activities like walking daily to help keep you moving. A prenatal yoga class may also be beneficial.
Meanwhile, meditation and massages can help you keep calm and avoid feeling stressed, which is essential while pregnant.
Furthermore, here are some things you should avoid:
- Stress at home and in the workplace
- Violent TV shows or music that can affect your emotions intensely
- Lifting heavy things, vigorous exercises like running and weightlifting
- Sitting for a long time
- Traveling for long periods, whether in a car or in an airplane
- Overeating, fasting, and staying up late
In conclusion, adopting ayurvedic practices, as long as you have clearance from your OB-gynecologist and an Ayurvedic doctor, will help you in achieving a healthy pregnancy. It will also help you prepare for your delivery and welcome your baby.
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. theAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.