Kerala Ayurveda Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu
Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu: Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesic, Nervine Tonic, Anti-rheumatic.
Reference Text: (Ashtangahridayam)
PRESENTATION: 200ML, 450ML
Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu is an Ayurvedic oil for stretch marks and an Ayurvedic medicine for backache for expecting and new mothers.
It is often recommended as a pregnancy massage oil because it provides relief from pain and fatigue while also boosting the overall energy and immunity of the expecting mother.
Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu is said to help strengthen the muscles and make them strong enough to hold the foetus, which later helps in facilitating childbirth. When used as an oil massage during pregnancy, the sesame oil content keeps skin dehydrated and keeps flakiness at bay, improving skin elasticity and preventing stretch marks.
Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu pacifies Vata Dosha and is also found to be useful in the treatment of paralysis, hemiplegia, quadriplegia and physical weakness. Its massage helps provide strength to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and skin. Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu uses also include pain relief, and it is one of the prescriptions for relieving stiffness, and inflammation of the joints.
In addition, Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu uses are that it:
- Helps provide relief from stress and anxiety
- Is one of the prescriptions for hormone regulation
- Helps prevent stretch marks and discolouration
- Helps restore strength of the body
- Helps in the treatment of paralysis
- Is said to be helpful in the treatment of hemiplegia
- Helps in the treatment of osteoarthritis
- Allows for the healthy functioning of muscles and joints
The medicinal Properties of Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu include:
- Anti-rheumatic or Anti-arthritic
The main ingredients of Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu are:
- Sesame Oil: Right from improving the hair and skin health to helping in proper development and growth of bones, sesame oil is said to have many medicinal benefits.
- Castor Oil: Castor oil is derived from castor seeds which contain very high concentrations of a special fatty acid called ricinoleic acid, thought to underlie its healing properties which makes it very effective during and post pregnancy.
- Apart from these two very common and highly reliable oils, Dhanwantaram Kuzhambu also contains Cow’s Ghee (clarified butter), cow’s milk and Sida Cordifolia.
- Elaichi, Dalchini, Tez Patta, Amla, Ashwagandha and Shatavari are a few of the herbs and spices that are also added to make Dhanwantharam Kuzhambu.
Pregnancy, as well as childbirth, are physically and emotionally demanding for the mother. Often times, once the seventh month of pregnancy begins, the expecting mother may start experiencing itchiness and dryness which is common as the body grows. The dryness is further exacerbated during winters. Sometimes, these symptoms are accompanied by a general feeling of malaise and tiredness and some women also start feeling stressed or begin to experience mild to severe mood swings around this time.
It is also very common for expecting mother to experience backache or back pain during this period and sometimes post-delivery too. During pregnancy, the ligaments in the body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare for labour and this can put a strain on the lower back and pelvic joints leading to back pain.
Causes of Back Pain in Pregnant Women
Back pain during pregnancy and after delivery typically happens at the part of the body where the pelvis meets the spine, at the sacroiliac joint and there are many possible reasons why it happens.
Some of the more likely causes include:
- Hormone changes: During the pregnancy period, the body releases a hormone called relaxin that allows ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth process. The same hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain.
- Weight gain: Typically women gain between 25 and 35 pounds during a healthy pregnancy and given that the spine has to support that weight, it often leads to lower back pain.
- Posture changes: Generally, an expecting mothers’ center of gravity shifts due to the pregnancy causing the body to adjust the posture and movement which may result in back pain or strain.
- Stress: It is known that emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back, which may be felt as back pain or back spasms.
An Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurveda is a traditional medicine system with its roots in India and it addresses the whole person, ie. the mind, body and spirit. At over 5,000 years old, Ayurveda is perhaps the oldest system of health and healing that is still widely practised today. It places greater emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one’s life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind, and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance.
Ayurveda and Pregnancy
Ayurveda embraces a very holistic view of pregnancy and childbirth and in the Ayurvedic management of pregnancy, each woman is made aware about the signs of vitiated Vata. All through the pregnancy, Ayurveda lays emphasis on Vata Anulomana, ie. ensuring that the flow of Vata is unobstructed and in the right direction. This downward flow of energy must not be too weak and it must not be too strong as well. This is the key to maintaining a healthy pregnancy and delivering the child at the time of labour.
According to the Ayurvedic school of thought, mother and child care involves Masanumasika Paricharya (herbs and food for each month of pregnancy), cleansing therapies, and advise on actions. Masanumasika Paricharya branch of Ayurveda details specific care routines for each month and stage of pregnancy in which the single most important routine recommended in Garbhini Paricharya is Abhyanga - an Ayurvedic practice of self-massage.
It is also considered that as part of the preventive regimen, there are certain rules that are termed as ‘Garbho-paghatakar Bhava’ or factors harming the fetus. They are things a pregnant woman must avoid to ensure there is no disturbance in the Vata Dosha. These include excess exercise, heavy lifting, excess travelling, sitting on hard surfaces for long periods of time, suppressing natural urges like urination, fasting or not getting enough nourishment, sleeping on the stomach and consuming too much meat.