Indigestion is another common ailment in our country. It is commonest in children. According to Ayurveda indigestion in children is divided into two categories. Indigestion in infants, children not weaned ,and indigestion in children who are weaned. The medicine and method of treatment also differs. Infants who are bottle fed suffer from indigestion more often than those who are breast fed.
The ancient post natal care helped the mother’s health and produced enough milk for the baby. The bath given with five kinds of herbal leaves, the fermentation of the breasts and the spin with these boiled leaves helped to preserve the mother’s health. The “Thambun Hodda” or “Kayam Hodda” helped the mother region a healthy womb. The lactating mothers were careful in the selection of food they ate so that no stomach disorders occurred. If the mother has irregular bowel movements, the baby generally contracts it. So when treating such babies we already consider the mother’s health too.
The symptoms of indigestion in infants are often that the stools are of a mixture of water and loose stools. At times they pass mucus. Sometimes even a trace of blood. Infants at time strain even when passing mucus. The stool are usually strong smelling and they also appear green in colour.
(1) Karapincha stem(murraya koenigii), Venivalgata(coscinium fenestratum), Asamodagam(Trachyspermum involucratum), Walangasal( Embelia ribes). Take(1/4 oz. of each) and boild with four teacupfuls of water. Boil it down to half a cup . Strain and give thris a day. Dosage: two table spoon ful.
(2) Take cloves, Asamodagam , dry ginger, and Walangasal (1/4 oz.of each) roast and powder. Dosage: one teaspoonful in 11/4 cup boild water.
(3) About ½ oz. of Asamodagam slightly rosted and poured like coffe could be given. The dosage is 1 teaspoonful with ¼ teaspoon of bee’ s honey.
The second stage of children ‘s diarrhoea is when children are about one year old.
(1) Take Garlic, Sadhikka, Iriweriya, Asamodagam, Gotukola and raw ginger in equal quantities of 1 oz. Pound them together and steam them. Squeeze the juice and administer three tablespoonfuls at a time, twice a day.
(2) Gotukola stems, Walangasal , dry Ginger, Garlic, Kalanduruala, Elabatumul in equal quantities of 1 oz. should be boiled and simmered in six cups of water bringing it down to ½ a cup. The dosage to be given is three tablespoonfuls at a time, twice a day.
(3) If the diarrhoea is not strong, Gotukola and Kalanduruala in equal quantities of two oz. should be pounded together and the juice (two table spoonsful) with one tablespoonful of bee’s honey should be given twice a day. This is very effective.
If the child vomits give him or her one teaspoonful of lime juice, one teaspoonful ginger juice. Mix all together and administer twice a day.
The food is as important as these medicines. The infant’s milk if it is not breast fed must be diluted or stopped altogether and parboiled rice roasted (Badihal) prepared in canjee from (very thin water), could be give as a feed. Sometimes arrowroot powder in canjee from could be given.
If the infant is breast fed there is no problem. The mother must be careful to avoid indigestion. Children who are weaned must stop solids until the diarrheoa is reduced. Instead, a light diet of rusks with beef bone soup, strong tea, rice canjee water could be given.
These are very effective medicines in native treatment for this kind of condition. These medicines or decoctions have been administered for many years and have been passed down from father to son for several generations.