Pregnancy should always be a choice & not by chance. If we want to plan pregnancy to get healthy outcome then Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical science has got unique ways for such preparation. Shodhana (purificatory) therapies / Panchakarma is a distinct way of cleansing body to achieve overall purification & make oneself fit for pregnancy.
Ayurveda defines health as a balanced state of Dosha, Dhatu & Mala in the body. Panchakarmas help to bring about such a balance in the body by,
- Expelling out the imbalanced Dosha (toxins) from the body
- Expelling out the accumulated Mala (impurities) from the body &
- Rejuvenating the Dhatus (body tissues) & organs
Through these ways the therapies help to achieve a fresh state of the body & mind.
Ayurveda acharyas emphasize the importance of undergoing Panchakarma before planning conception. It is told mandatory for both male & female partners. As we are aware purity of both sperm & ovum is vital in order to get baby with best features.
अथाप्येतौ स्त्रीपुंसौ स्नेहस्वेदाभ्यामुपपाद्य, वमनविरेचनाभ्यां संशोध्य, क्रमॆण प्रकृतिमापादयेत् ।
संशुद्धौ चास्थापनानुवासनाभ्यामुपाचरॆत् , उपाचरॆच्च मधुरौषधसंस्कृताभ्यां घृतक्षीराभ्य़ां पुरुषं स्त्रियं तु तैलमाषाभ्य़ाम् ॥ (च. शा. 8 / 4)
Acharya Charaka advises every couple to undergo Shodhana (detoxification procedures) before conceiving. Both the partners are to be subjected to these treatments depending upon the need of each procedure.
- Asthapana &
- Anuvasana Basti as per requirement.
Steps of implementation of Shodhana / Panchakarma
Shodhana therapies will be implemented in following steps,
Initially the digestive capacity is increased with certain medications, ex: few single drugs like Shunthi (ginger) / Jeeraka (cumin seeds) etc – or – formulations like Agnitundi vati / Chitrakadi vati etc.
The undigested materials in the body are digested with medications like Musta / Ajamodadi churna etc.
Deepana & Paachana are the preparatory procedures for Panchakarma. These medications can be in the form of tablets, powders or decoctions.
Proper Deepana & Paachana facilitate the digestion of medicated ghee / oils given during snehapana.
Sometimes if Ama (undigested portion) is more in the body, certain external procedures like Abhyanga (oil massage) with Kottumchukkadi taila & Dhara (pouring decoctions on the body) with Dhanyamla or Sweda (Fomentation) with Dashamoola kashaya can also be suggested before starting Snehapana.
Snehana (Oleation) or Snehapana
Lubrication or oleation is done in the body through the intake of medicated ghee / oils. This helps to liquefy the Dosha (toxins) all over the body. It lubricates the Dosha in the body & promotes its movement from all over the body towards abdomen. For internal administration during Snehapana, we prefer Kallyanaka Ghruta / Mahathiktaka Ghruta / Panchagavya Ghruta. For external administration during Abhyanga, we prefer Dhanwantara taila / Mahanarayana taila / Triphala taila.
Sweating is induced through this procedure. This helps in further liquefaction of Dosha (toxins) all over the body & facilitates their movement towards abdomen. Generally we may prefer Dashamoola kashaya / Erandamoola Kashaya for Bashpa sweda / Avagaha sweda / Sarvanga dhara.
Finally when Dosha are ready in the abdomen after the above procedures, they are removed out either by inducing vomiting (Vamana) or purgation (Virechana).
Vamana (Medically induced vomiting)
Vamana is selected when the Kapha Dosha is accumulated more in the body. It is the procedure of choice when the Dosha are in the upper part of the body or they take upward motion during above procedures. To induce vomit, we may prefer Madana yoga which will be supported by Drakshasava / Nimbadi kashaya / Dashamoolarishta … etc.
Virechana (Medically induced purgation)
Virechana is selected when the Pitta Dosha is accumulated more in the body. It is the procedure of choice when the Dosha are in the lower part of the body (between thorax & umbilicus) or they take downward motion during above procedures. To induce purgation, we may prefer Gandharvahastadi taila / Avipattikara churna / Trivrut lehya which will be supported by Draksha kashaya / Triphala kashaya.
Basti (medicated Enema)
If needed accordingly Basti – enema therapy are given which includes – Anuvasana Basti (oil enema) & Asthapana Basti (decoction enema).
Basti is selected when the Vata Dosha is accumulated more in the body. It is the procedure of choice when the Dosha are in the region below umbilicus. It can be both cleansing & nutritive procedure depending upon the medications used in the combination during administration. For Basti purpose, we may prefer Erandamoola kashaya / Sukumara kashaya / Dhanwantara kashaya.
Uttara basti (in females)
This is the specific & unique treatment explained in Ayurveda, done for females. It is the administration of medicines directly to uterus, to treat the local causes of uterus. It also strengthens uterus for proper conception & promotes normal delivery.
Article about role & importance of Uttara Basti in Garbha Samskara will be published soon.
(Author : Dr. Shilpa S. N, Senior consultant, Sriranga Ayurveda Chikitsa Mandira, Healthcare unit of Prakruthi Ayurveda Pratistana ®, Mysore – 23)