In a recent interview with Express Pharma, the relevance and importance of Ayurvedic medicines in pregnancy was brought out elegantly by Charak, which we are happy to share with you.
Charak specializes in Ayurvedic formulations that are herbal and/or herbo-mineral, prepared strictly according to the procedures laid down by our forefathers through the ages. Since these are already time-tested in terms of safe and effective use in hundreds of thousands of patients, many of whom would have obviously been pregnant, there is no need to reinvent the wheel by subjecting Ayurvedic preparations to the kind of tests that are mandatory for new chemical entities, discovered and developed along modern chemical / immunological routes.
As for making sure that the drug does not reach the foetus, such a concept is irrelevant in Ayurveda since we are not dealing with a single chemical entity but a synergistic combination of herbal principles that are modified by the body systems as soon as they enter the bio-sphere. In fact, it is quite likely that the foetus stands to gain by these principles as pregnant mothers have been taking Ayurvedic preparations for centuries with good effect.
In fact, long before the concept of vitamin and iron supplementation in pregnancy came about, Ayurvedic preparations were being regularly used by pregnant women with a view to ensuring normal pregnancy and full term normal delivery, a fact that stands testimony to their therapeutic efficacy as well as clinical safety.
Extending this point, antenatal care is elaborated in Ayurveda with great precision and care, under the term Masanumasiki chikitsa. The word masanumasiki means month-to-month treatment. According to Ayurveda, there is different medicinal treatment for each month of pregnancy. Thus there are different groups of medicines i.e. herbs for each month of pregnancy. After conception, oral medication is started according to the month of pregnancy.
It should also be emphasized that medicinal treatment is not the only thing which is stressed upon in Ayurveda, which goes by holistic integrated approaches to healthcare as a whole.
Since Ayurveda adheres strictly to natural therapy, Charak feels that it is impractical to weigh the Ayurvedic preparations in the same balance that is designed for the new chemical entities.