Abhyanga – Ayurveda Massage And Post Natal Care

Postnatal period ushers a whole new world for a woman .This period  is a potpourri of happiness & contentment , on one hand and physical & mental fatigue due to delivery, on the other hand . To overcome these highs and lows , Ayurveda has described ‘Sutika Paricharya’ i.e. Postnatal Regimen . In this regimen , Abhyanga or Ayurveda Massage has a significant role. 

Abhyanga is anointment of body with warm medicated oils . It is derived from Sanskrit  root ‘ang’ meaning movement or motion and prefix ‘abhi’ meaning different , against . Thus Abhyanga means rubbing , which involves motion in different directions. Abhyanga is mainly of two types – Curative and Preventive. During Postnatal period , it has a curative effect .


Following delivery, the major changes which occur in a woman’s body are :  

* Lack of tone of abdominal and perineal muscles.

* Laxity of vagina and uterus which may lead to prolapse if not taken care.

* Intestinal paresis often leading to indigestion and constipation.

* After pains i.e. spasmodic pain in lower abdomen.

* Venous congestion leading to oedema.

* Increased chances of Puerperal Venous Thrombosis.

* Hypersensitive state of Nervous system leading to pain sensation,                    anxiety, depression etc. 

           Ayurveda advocates Bala oil, Dashmool oil, Sesamum oil for Abhyanga during Postnatal period. These oils are best for strength and unction. 

    Abhyanga provides following benefits:

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Post Natal Diet And Ayurveda

Post natal period is like a second birth for a woman . It is the period to replenish the vital elements lost during pregnancy and giving birth to the baby . Ayurveda emphasizes on regulated dietary regimen during this period to gain strength and pre-pregnancy state.

Diet : After delivery, intake of medicated rice gruel , fats with herbs ,                           decoctions for 3 – 7 days and from 7th – 12th day medicated meat                     soup along with light and congenial diet is advised.
postnatal diet
Dietary Regimen:

Panchakola (Pippali, Pippalimula, Chavya, Chitrak, Shunthi) with ghrita (clarified butter) or oil mainly sesamum oil , before meals according to the digestive capacity.

After digestion of Panchakola –

a) Rice gruel with ghee medicated with Panchakola


 Rice gruel made with decoction of drugs of Vidarigandhadi group (when ghee is contraindicated)


c) Rice gruel with milk is given for 3–7 days.

From 7th – 12th day:

a) Meat soup prepared  with Yava (barley), Kola (zizyphus), Kulatha (horse gram) is given with cooked rice.

 Soup of Yava (barley), Kola (zizyphus), Kulatha (horse gram) with light diet.

c) Kushmanda (pumpkin), Mulaka (radish), Ervaruka (cucumber) cooked with ghee is included in diet.

*  Drinking water should be boiled and cooled.

Significance Of Postnatal Diet:

The Postnatal diet balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha. It nourishes the tissues and improves the digestive fire. The benefits of dietary articles are given below:


Pippali, Pippalimula (Long Pepper) : It possesses anti inflammatory                                                                                       and potent immunomodulatory  effect  – specific and non – specific, shows anti bacterial activity. It is useful for the recovery of the relaxed organs soon after delivery. It acts on liver and spleen , increases  haemoglobin and appetite. It has mild laxative action . It enhances blood flow towards GI tract which results in absorption of active medicaments.

Chavya (Java Long Pepper) : It is useful in loss of appetite, colic, piles,                                                                    has mild laxative , diuretic , liver stimulant , blood cleansing and rejuvenative properties.

Chitrak (Leadwort) : 
It is useful in nervine weakness , oedema , liver &                                                   spleen disorder , appetizer , digestive , anthelmintic , febrifuge , causes uterine contractions , cures postpartum disorders.

Panchkola copy

Shunthi (Dry Ginger) : It is known to stimulate digestion . It has anti                                                           tumour , anti inflammatory , anti microbial property and is effective against both gram+ ve and gram– ve bacteria . Useful in nervine weakness , increases flow of urine thus decreased chances  of urinary tract infections.

Kola (Zizyphus) :
 It is a good source of calcium , phosphorus , Vitamin A                                         & C . It has anti oxidant , wound healing and anti inflammatory properties . Helpful in hypertension , fatigue and assists action of other herbs , given in indigestion and is mild laxative . It has a tranquillizing and sleep inducing effect.

Kulatha (Horse gram) : It is an excellent source of iron , molybdenum                                                           and manganese . It has antispasmodic activity and is used in uterine disorders , piles and  anemia.

Yava (Barley) :
 It is a good source of fiber . It contains copper,                                                          phosphorus , zinc  and  Vitamin E.

Mulaka (Radish) : It is an appetizer , diuretic , regulates metabolism ,                                                 stimulates liver.


Ervaruka (Cucumber) :
 It has 94% water content , keeps the body                                                                   hydrated , regulates blood pressure , aids in digestion , acts as a diuretic . It contains magnesium , potassium , silica , vitamin A , B , C and K . Vit K has antioxidant and osteotrophic activity (maintains bone health) .


Kushmand (Pumpkin) : It alleviates thirst , is laxative , acts like a                                                                     tranquilizer and brain tonic , has a vasoconstrictor effect i.e stops bleeding.

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Post Natal Care And Ayurveda

Motherhood is a special and joyous moment in every woman’s life. But this is possible if her health is taken care of during postnatal period. 

The postnatal period or Puerperium is called ‘Sutika kala” and woman is called ‘Sutika’ in Ayurveda. A woman is called ‘Sutika’ only after the placenta is expelled during labour. The duration of ‘Sutikakala’ is usually 1-1/2 month (45 days).

Great emphasis has been laid on post natal care i.e. Sutika Paricharya , as during this period she restores her health and strength. Ayurveda compares the condition of woman after childbirth with that of a pot filled with oil up to brim. If the pot becomes unstable, the oil spills. So, if proper care is not taken during postnatal period , her health deteriorates. 

postnatal care

Importance of Post Natal Care (Sutika Paricharya)

*  To bring the woman’s health status to the pre pregnant state, as due to growth of the baby and the pain & blood loss during delivery, there is weakness & loss of vital elements from the body.

*  To prevent the complaints during Sutika kala such as

       1. UTI
       2. Backache
       3. Loss of appetite
       4. Thirst
       5. Anxiety
       6. Anger
       7. Disturbed sleep
       8. Depression, etc.

Post Natal Care (Sutika Paricharya)

Diet Tips

*  She should be given Ghee (clarified butter) or Til oil (Sesamum) mixed with Panchkola according to her digestive power.

*  After digestion of the above mixture give her rice gruel or milk medicated with panchkola or Vidharigandhadi Gana (i.e mixture of Shatavari,Gokshur,Punarnava,Bala etc.)

*  Along with this give ‘Gudodaka’ or jaggery water for 5-7 days.

*  After 7th  day give her strength giving and easily digestible food e.g. sixty day rice, meat soup of forest dwelling animals, etc.

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Post Natal Disorders And Ayurveda


Nowadays one can commonly hear the complaints of backache, lethargy, appetite disturbance, mood swings, pain in abdomen off and on, specially from newbie mothers. On probing, these could be related to post natal period. These complaints fall under Sutika roga or Puerperal disorders.

Sutika Roga


The disorders afflicting the puerperal woman are called Sutika roga or Puerperal (post natal) disorders.

These are 74 in number and include all the disorders from vaginal injuries during delivery to general and infective disorders and also complications likely to arise due to puerperal diseases.

The body of puerperal woman becomes languid due to overexertion caused by continuous strong labor pains, vitiation of doshas, exhaustion of indriyas (conative and cognitive organs), decrease in sara (essence) of dhatus and blood loss .

If proper care is not taken during delivery and post natal period, slight vitiation of doshas lead to disorders and complications.


The factors responsible for post natal disorders are

* Suppression of natural urges eg urination, defaecation, sneezing etc
Excessive sleeping during daytime
* Going out during night
* Sudden fall from height
* Jealousy, grief, anger, fear
* Incompatible food
* Indigestion

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