'Kaumarbhratya', one of the eight branches of Ayurveda, is especially dedicated to the good health of children. Since ages, Ayurvedic preparations have been used in order to build a healthy body and sharp intellect, right from infancy to adulthood. With special emphasis on baby care, Ayurveda emphasizes on the use of certain tonics and medications that can develop immunity power, intelligence in the children and shield them from various kinds of diseases. A large number of people are now resorting to herbal Ayurvedic medicines and tonics, in order to protect their children from diseases. In the following lines, we have provided information on Ayurvedic childcare.
Instead of using vaccinations, Kashyap Samhita describes the natural ways to build up the power of immunity in children. The best way to develop immunity and maintain vitality in children is oil massage. Referred to as 'snehana', oil massage is one of the best ways to take care of the overall health of the infant. Massage with bala taila, oil specially formulated for children, is the first therapy that newborns should receive after birth. Apart from increasing immunity, snehana increases the mental capacity of the child.
Since children's skin is more permeable than adult's skin, it is suggested to make use of herbs with the massage oil. Apart from oil massage, medicated bath is quintessential to maintain overall health of the newborn. Moreover, basic hygiene is necessary to shield the child from diseases and infections. Therefore, the mouth of the children, especially after breastfeeding, should be cleaned. Clean clothes, bedding and proper handling of the baby are also part of Ayurvedic childcare.
Apart from physical care, it is very important to take care of the psychological aspects pertaining to children. The duty of the parents is to protect their children from emotional traumas, as they grow older. This would ensure development of a confident and wise adult. All the fears and insecurities of the children should be banished, and the best way to serve the purpose is to spend quality time with the little ones. The natural fears of the kids - fear of dark and loneliness - should be addressed. One should avoid frightening the child and should maintain a pleasant atmosphere at home.
The Ayurvedic Approach
While physical and psychological care is quintessential, certain Ayurvedic tonics and vaccinations would add to the good health of the children. In Ayurvedic texts, particularly in Samhitas, the descriptions of tonics and various types of medications are given in a detailed manner. Although the tonics do not form the main requisite for the health of the growing children, they can be taken as supplements. Moreover, such tonics enhance the intelligence and concentration power of children.
Certain tonics and rasayans, like Chyavanprasha, are commonly prescribed by Ayurvedic practitioners. Gold (Svarna) bhasma can act as a good medicine for children, when it is mixed with a paste of brahmi (Centella asiatica) and sankhapuspi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and given with ghee and honey. It adds to the power of immunity of the children, when consumed on a regular basis, as prescribed by the Ayurvedic doctor.