Pregnancy is the most beautiful period in a woman’s life. Once you’re pregnant, you are full of joy, hope and anxiety. Though it is a beautiful period, you might experience some annoying problems like morning sickness, heart burn and indigestion, cramps, Food aversion, skin rashes and itching and stretch marks.
Here I am discussing some common pregnancy issues and herbal remedies for the same.
Ayurveda originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and remains one of the country’s traditional health care systems. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices.1
- Morning Sickness
This is most common in early stages of pregnancy (first trimester) and may rarely extend up to second trimester of pregnancy. Due to the tendency of nausea will be present throughout the day, symptoms are more prevalent during morning hours.
Even the look and smell of certain food materials can induce vomiting sensation in pregnant women. If the vomiting sensation is continued for long, the condition is termed as hyperemesis gravidarum and require medical attention.
Herbal and home remedies for morning sickness –
- Cardamom – It is sweet and pungent in taste and hot in potency. It is Tridoshic (balances all the three doshas) and is an excellent digestive remedy.
How to take cardamom for morning sickness? Prepare a lemonade and add a pinch of cardamom and a teaspoon of honey. This is an excellent remedy for morning sickness.
- Curry leaves – Curry leaves are called as Kaidarya in Ayurveda and is anti-diabetic, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. It is taste enhancing, carminative and digestive.
Fresh juice of curry leaves, with lime juice and sugar, is an effective medicine in the treatment of morning sickness, nausea and vomiting due to indigestion and excessive use of fats. One or two teaspoons of juice of these leaves mixed with a teaspoon of lime juice may be taken in these conditions. The curry leaves, ground to a fine paste and mixed with buttermilk, can also be taken on an empty stomach with beneficial results in case of stomach upsets.
The most common difficulty in pregnancy is aches and pains. Causes of pain might be many.In 2nd Trimester the most common pain will be low back pain and pelvic discomfort. It is just a sign that your body is preparing for pregnancy. Calcium deficiency may also cause on and off pain in different part of body. Since it is required to sleep in one side (Preferably left side) during pregnancy, thigh and calf pain is expected at nights.
Many of the women can’t escape from leg cramps during pregnancy, commonly called as charley horses.
- Include dairy products and a calcium supplement in your diet.
- Eat potassium-rich bananas and dried apricots.
- Dehydration worsens swelling and pain, so have plenty of fluids.
- Try stretching the legs and rotating the ankle whenever you remember to do so.
- Regular Abhyanga helps relax the muscles and keeps leg cramps at bay.
- Just before going to bed, apply a few drops of massage oil and gently massage the calf muscle area for 2–3 minutes.
If you find yourself in the middle of the night with leg cramps, try to ease the pain with a hot water pack or flex your foot to stretch the calf. In addition to these dietary changes, take a 15 – 20-minute walk or do gentle yoga daily.
- Heart burn and Indigestion – Heart burn and indigestion is another common pregnancy problem. Heartburn is a burning pain in the throat or chest, behind the breastbone, caused by stomach acid coming up the esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach) and irritating the lining.2
If the symptoms are mild, some life style changes alone help to ease the symptoms.
- Eat smaller meals and eat often.
- Limit coffee to 2 or avoid if possible.
- Don’t lie down immediately after food. Maintain a gap of at least 1 hour between bedtime and dinner.
- Avoid smoking
- Pomegranate juice about 10 ml twice a day is a good ayurvedic treatment for heartburn. Pomegranate juice and pomegranate chutney also help balance the acid in the stomach. It tastes sour, but it is both astringent and bitter, which help balance Pitta.
- Ginger Tea – Grate ½ – 1 tsp. ginger into 8 ounces of hot water for tea. Steep for 10 minutes. Remember to use in moderation.
- Drink coconut water. Coconut water is high in electrolytes and alkaline minerals like potassium. Because of this, it promotes pH balance and, therefore, acts as a great natural acid neutralizer.
- Add fennel seeds in your diet.
- Food Aversion – Food aversions, like cravings, are possibly caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy. The hormone that triggered your positive pregnancy test, human chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG), doubles every few days during your first trimester.
Home remedies for food aversion –
- A piece of ginger, combined with a pinch of lime juice and rock salt taken after food, stimulates taste buds, and aids digestion. It is always better to consume it raw.
- Trikatu is a classic Ayurvedic herbal blend of equal parts of pippali, ginger, and black pepper. It aids gastric support. You can have it in powdered form with water or you can take it with a tablespoon of honey too.
- Spiced butter milk half an hour before meals.
- Skin rashes, itching and stretch mark –
Some woman experiences constant itching and rashes during pregnancy. Stretch marks are also common concern during pregnancy period. Stretch marks appear when skin is pulled and stretched to its maximum capacity. This causes the collagen to break down and the middle layer of the skin to tear. These ruptures, in hues of purple and red, are visible from the thin outer layer of the skin as stretch marks.
- You can prevent and cure skin rashes, itching and stretch marks to a great extent by regular oil massage. Also, moisturize your skin daily with cocoa butter.
Try our all natural Rose Cocoa butter to moisturize and protect the rash prone skin naturally.
- Neem water can be used for bathing or paste of neem can applied externally to prevent itching and rashes.
- Applying sandal wood paste is cooling and soothing to skin. Sandalwood cools the skin and strengthens its elasticity. The use of sandalwood even before stretch marks can occur is useful in the complete prevention of stretch marks. Try our Kyvta Aloe-sandal wood tonic , the all-natural organic ingredients can protect and nourish your skin.
- In addition to the above-mentioned skin care practices, practice yoga and stretching exercises. Indulge in Nutritious diet which can help to ease the pregnancy problems.
Stay tuned for more topics on pregnancy care in Ayurveda.
Check out How to eat healthy during pregnancy?
- NIH…Turning Discovery into Health – Ayurveda medicine in depth
Article prepared by – Dr Arya Krishna, BAMS