Ayurveda has been found to be not only the oldest medical science but also the safest, hence is perfect to be used during pregnancy. There is a whole package of practices that Ayurvedic vaidyars prescribe starting with conception. One of the most used and safest medicines is the Mahadhanwantharan Gulika. This medicine not only takes care of acidity related issues, but also oesophageal reflux as would normally happen when the foetus presses upon the diaphragm. It also takes care of paedal oedema, increased blood pressure or gestational diabetes.
Mahadhanwantavam gulika contains cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), dried ginger (Zingiber officinale), chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), Omam (Apium graveolens), Brihati (Solanum indicum), Kiratatikta (Andrographis paniculata), tail pepper (Cubeba officinalis), Rudraksha (Elaeocarpus ganitrus), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Chandrasoora (Grewia nervosa), Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) and mango ginger (Curcuma amada). All this is mixed with the aqueous extract of Cuminum cyminum. This formulation is from the Kerala ayurvedic tradition and widely used in the state. The drugs have been so chosen that they cause no interferences with the pregnancy and yet bestow innumerable benefits to the pregnant mother. It pacifies the vata dosha and helps to improve appetite and digestion. It helps in circulation and eases breathing and respiration. It is also an ama pachaka or a detoxifier. It is adaptogenic and an alterative. It is antibacterial anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-stress and an anti-tussive.
Most of these drugs have a shita (cool), virya or madhura (sweet) vipaka eg. cardamom, mango ginger camphor, and kiratatikta have shita virya; chebulic myrobalan and sunthi have madhura vipaka while rudraksha, camphor and mango ginger have madhura rasa. The madhura, shita, rasa, virya and vipaka properties help nourish the dhatus and tissues while each of these dravyas have other digestive, carminative and antispasmodic actions. Those dravyas that do not have madhura or shita property have the snighdatwa property or unctuousness. Brihati and Ajamoda are the only two dravyas with the property of ushnavirya, which keeps the digestion unimpaired. So we have this wonderful combination of drugs available as small gulikas, which keep expectant mothers happy and healthy through their pregnancy. Leading Ayurvedic Hospitals in Kerala take extreme care while conception to ensure that expectant mothers are well taken care and nourished.