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Table of Contents
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 90-92

Preconception care in Ayurveda


1 Department of PG studies in Swasthavritta, SDMT Ayurveda Medical College, Terdal, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Rachana Sharir, Shri. G.A. Mahavidyalaya, Dhanvantari Mandir, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication21-Nov-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Syamlal Sivaramakrishnapillai
Department of Rachana Sharir, Shri. G.A. Mahavidyalaya, Dhanvantari Mandir, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JISM.JISM_5_19

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  Abstract 

Reproduction is one of the basic requirements of any species to continue its existence on the universe. Human reproduction includes stage-wise procedures leading to formation of a new individual. Any simple deviation in this finely calculated series of events can lead to the drastic pathological conditions. Ayurveda, the extract of the entire Vedas, dreams about add (good progeny). Human birth process with pre- and post-event knowledge is explained by (Branch which deals with Obstetrics), which is an integrated part of (Branch which deals with Pediatrics). The preconceptional care in Ayurveda was described centuries back to get a disease-free and good progeny by following the regimen and rituals. Recent research shows that each seminal ejaculation in intercourse depletes the body energy of male counterpart, hence to maintain the quality and energy of sperm, (following of celibacy) for one month before (Conception) was planned. The aim of Aharaniyama before conception was to elevate the qualities of sperm and ovum. Garbhadhana and Puthreshti speak about the preparation of mind-set of would-be parents and to evoke a zeal to have a good progeny. Preconception care is an extension of prenatal care to provide optimal health to mother and baby. Thus, this study helps to explore Ayurveda measures to get a Shreyasipraja.

Keywords: Garbhadhana, Prasuti, preconceptional care


How to cite this article:
Sindhu RP, Sivaramakrishnapillai S. Preconception care in Ayurveda. J Indian Sys Medicine 2019;7:90-2

How to cite this URL:
Sindhu RP, Sivaramakrishnapillai S. Preconception care in Ayurveda. J Indian Sys Medicine [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Jan 26];7:90-2. Available from: http://www.joinsysmed.com/text.asp?2019/7/2/90/271417




  Introduction Top


Preconception care can be defined as the provision of biomedical, behavioral, and social health interventions to women and couples before conception.[1] It aims to improve maternal, paternal, and child health, in both the short and long term.[2] Appropriate and comprehensive preconception care can be achieved by providing lifestyle advice to optimize the health of the mother; providing advice to optimize chronic maternal health problems; identifying couples who are at risk of having a baby with a genetic or chromosomal malformation; and empowering the couple by providing them with sufficient knowledge to make informed decisions. Preconception care is the care or advice given to couple planning a pregnancy well before the actual conception. When a couple is seen and counseled about pregnancy, well before the actual conception, its outcome is fantastic. Data reveal that 3%–5% of all births result in congenital malformation, 20%–30% of all neonatal deaths are due to genetic disorder, 30%–50% of postnatal deaths are due to genetic disorder, 18.5% are with congenital malformation, and 50% of mental retardation cases are of genetic basis.

Ayurveda takes care of all aspects of human being. It is a holistic way of life. So to beget a Shreyasipraja, couple planning for parenthood can adopt the Ayurveda principles. Ayurveda preconception care prepares the couples physically and mentally. The divine blessing of motherhood can be made more blissful with Ayurveda. The main aim of Ayurveda is to maintain the health of the healthy person and cure the disease of the diseased. According to Shrimad Bhagavat Geeta, reproduction is one of the primary characters of the living organism. Preconception care is one such preventive measure to get Shreyasipraja, it helps in early identification of high-risk factors and prevents the adverse effect of that.[3]


  Aims Top


The aim of this study was to collect the literary resource regarding preconception care in Ayurveda treatise and its utility in present era’s obstetric care.


  Materials and Methods Top


Literary study of preconception care concepts was carried out through Ayurveda classic texts, mainly Caraka SamhitaShareera sthan and Susruta SamhitaShareera sthan for a healthy progeny. They were analyzed and comprehended.

Rajaswalacharya (Mode of Living during Menstruation)

During the first three days of menses, women should remain isolated. On the fourth day of menstruation, wear white or new clothes and ornaments and then with the enchanting of religious hymns, should see her husband first clad in white garments. Havishya (meal prepared of ghee, Shali rice, and milk) and Yawaka (meal prepared of barley and milk) are indicated. Tikshna (penetrating), Katu (pungent), Lavana (salt) substances and Nasya (nasal medications), Swedana (fomentation), and Vamana (emesis) are contraindicated during this time.

Vivahayogya Ayu (Criteria for Marriage)

Acharya Sushruta mentioned that the marriageable age for man and woman is 25 and 12 years, respectively, whereas Acharya Vagbhata said 21 and 12 years, respectively. Acharya also mention the qualities of a girl for marriage, that is, she should not belong to the same Gotra or Atulyagotra (same family), not having any contagious diseases, beautiful, modest, having complete body parts, delicate, and so on.[4] Recent updates also say the consanguineous marriages carry recessive traits.

Garbhadana Yogya Ayu (Appropriate Age for Conception)

Age factor plays a significant role in achieving a good progeny because biologically a person (wife or husband) is capable of producing a healthy child, only after attaining sexual maturity. Acharya Charaka opines that the male becomes sexually mature at the age of 16 years, whereas Acharya Sushruta said that males at the age of 25 years and females at the age of 16 years are completely mature, hence they should attempt for achieving conception. As both the partners are full of valor and vigor at this age, the born child also possesses these qualities.

Garbhasambhavasamagri (Factors Responsible for Conception)

Various factors play a role in achieving proper conception. Ayurveda mentions the significance of four factors required for conception, which are as follows:

  1. Ritu (time of ovulation, when the chances of conception are maximum)


  2. Kshetra (the reproductive tract where fertilization and implantation occurs)


  3. Ambu (nourishment including all the hormones)


  4. Beeja (healthy sperm and ovum)



  Observations Top


Precautionary Care during Preconception as per Ayurveda.[5]

  • The couple should first undergo Shodhana (purification) therapy, starting with Purvakarma (preparatory measures), Snehana (oleation), Swedana, then Vamana, Virechana (purgation), Asthapana (decoction enema), and Anuvasana basti (oil enema).


  • Both the partners should observe Brahmacharya for one month before attempting coitus.


  • The male should consume Shali rice with Ghrita (ghee) and milk. Taila and masha should be consumed by the female.


The reason of such dietetic regimen in light of science may be as follows:

  1. Male aspect:
    • a. Ghrita: It has Vata-Pitta Shamaka qualities and is Sitavirya (cold potency). It is beneficial for Rasa, Shukra, and Ojas. It also has the quality of Rasayana. All these aid in the proper functioning of Shukra and hence help to attain conception.


    • b. Shali: It alleviates Pitta Dosha. It is Madhura Rasa, Snigdha, Balya, Vrishya, Brimhana, and so on, which promotes the qualities of Shukra.


  2. Female aspect:
    • a. Masha: It is Vatahara, Snigdha, Ushna Virya, and Madhura Rasa. It has the qualities of Balya and Pumsatwa. Moreover, it is chemically constituted of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin B, magnesium, calcium, iron, and folic acid, which are very essential for conception and pregnancy. Calcium and magnesium play a good role in regulating estrogen level. The presence of folic acid in it helps in preventing neural tube defects. All these qualities help to promote the qualities of Artava.


    • b. Taila: It is effective in Vataja disorders and does not increase Kapha. It promotes strength (Balya) and helps in Yoni Vishodhana (cleanses the Yoni Marga). Tila Taila has a property of Garbhashaya Vishodhanam. Hence, these qualities help the female reproductive organs to function properly, leading to fertilization. Normalcy of psychology or happiness of mind of the couple is one of the most important factors for conception. Stress, anger, and despair can disturb the phenomenon, leading to diminution of sexual vigor. The position of the couple during coitus also has a good role to play in attaining conception. The woman should lie in supine position, so that all the Doshas remain in their normal locations and it also aids improper perception of the Beeja.[6],[7]



  Discussion Top


Recent updates on Panchakarma therapies show significant evidence in the disorders as well as for the prophylactic purpose. Selection of the partners and age for marriage holds good even today, late marriages and late pregnancies are the major contributory causes for the congenital anomalies. During early embryo stage, vital organs will be produced and any insult during this time may end up in the anomalies, that is, again burden to the nation as well as for the parents too.[8]

Black gram included in the Preconceptional diet is a rich source of folic acid, proteins, and fibers. Thus it helps to prevent neural tube defects. As it is a potent antioxidant, it helps to reduce oxidative stress. Rice contains more of carbohydrates and rice bran contains vitamin B complex, which is easily digestible. Milk provides calcium. Ghee has properties of imparting strength, improving tonicity, and nourishing the body.[9]

Modern lifestyle leading to increase in stress is a major cause for infertility.[10] Along with the lifestyle habits such as alcohol consumption and the environmental toxicity affecting the sperm’s count, quality, and motility, it also depletes the zinc level in the body, whereas in females, it affects the ovulation and menstruation, leading to the hypothalamic pituitary ovarian dysfunction.

The consumption of Masha, Tila Taila, milk, and ghee by couples will help in the production of efficient sperm and ovum, which will result in good progeny. All the methods used in Ayurveda preconception care are affordable and the drugs are also easily available.

Ayurveda Panchakarma therapy provides physical and mental fitness. It acts at the hormonal level and keep hormones at normalcy. Hence, the hormonal defects of infertility can be rectified by Panchakarma procedures. These would also help in the removal of the accumulated toxins.

Diet explained will provide essential micro- and macronutrients to the would-be mother and future child.

Along with the classically told methods, few additions such as folic acid, iron, and calcium supplementation and taking care of body mass index, avoiding habits such as alcohol and tobacco, and avoiding use of narcotics would yield much more better and desired results.


  Conclusion Top


Individuals with a good mind and healthy body can build up a strong community. When the best quality of sperm and ovum meet, a healthy progeny is born. The baby will grow up with a sound mind and healthy body. When each couple adopt a preconceptional care, the future generations will be wise and intelligent. Ayurveda Preconception measures help to achieve the goal of preparing couples for a new life and to contribute toward a healthy society. Ayurvedic remedy for getting healthy progeny emphasizes again the preventive aspect of Ayurveda.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization Meeting, Geneva, Switzerland, 6–7 February 2012. Preconception care to reduce maternal and childhood mortality and morbidity. Preconception care presentation slides. Available from: http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/documents/concensus_preconception_care/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Jan. 16].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization Meeting. To develop a global consensus on preconception care to reduce maternal and childhood mortality and morbidity. Available from: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/78067/1/9789241505000_eng.pdf [Last accessed on 2017 Jan. 6].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shukla AV, Tripathi R. Charak Samhita. Delhi, India: Chaukhambha Sanskrita Pratishtan; 2007. p. 774.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shastri KA. Shareera sthan 2/26. In: Sushruta Samhita Hindi Translation. Vol. I. Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; 2011. p. 17.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Usha VNK. Preconception Care in Ayurveda. Delhi, India: Chaukhambha Sanskrita; 2007. p. 5-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Sharma PV. Susruta Samhita with English Translation of Text and Dalhan Commentary. 1st ed. Vol. 2. Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Visvabharati Orientalia Publishers ; 2005. p. 237.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Usha VNK. Streeroga Vignana (A Textbook of Gynaecology). Delhi, India: Chaukhambha Sanskrita; 2010. p. 460.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Risk F, Salamah P, Hamade A. Congenital anomalies: Prevalence and risk factors. Universal J Public Health 2014;2:58-63.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Tripathi B, editor. Charaka Samhita of Agnivesh. Varanasi; India: Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan; 2014. p. 504.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Dutta DC. Text book of Obstetrics. 6th ed. Kolkata, India: New Central Book; 2004. p. 103-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
    




 

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  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Aims
Materials and Me...
Observations
Discussion
Conclusion
References

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