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Monday, November 4, 2013

Parenting Fundas: Traditional Knowledge Natural Growth

Child is the father of man. And this child will determine the direction that mankind takes in the years to come. Hence it is very important that children should be given the right kind of nourishment.

Ayurveda or the accumulated 'life-knowledge' has been doing it right since ages. Maybe even before Charaka set about to document it. Our grandparents have relied on it to bring up our parents and in turn most of them (hopefully) have done the same. But it was the invasion of the West (sometime in the late 70's) that weaned away people from this traditional source of knowledge. The warmth of a mother's breast got replaced by a cold bottle. The customary massage and haldi-ubtan routine that was administered to babies was deemed uncool. Sweet smelling baby oils & shampoos became the rage of the day. Pictures of plump babies smiling enticingly on the cartons/tins of baby food seduced the eager parents who would willing give a hand and a leg to ensure that the apple of their eye turns out the same way. Instead of turning to home remedies, parents started turning to medication whenever their little had cold/tummy ache/fever.

While an ill child is every parents' nightmare we need to exercise caution while giving medication to children. The Allopathy system of medicines that most of us rely on only ensures that our little one is back on his/her feet at the earliest but it does not do any good for his/her immune system. Ayurveda or Homeopathy ensures that the root cause of the illness is identified and treated. While it may take a longer time, this not only prevents recurrence of the illness but also builds up a child's natural immunity.

I remember my mom giving with a concoction of  basil juice and honey to soothe my sore throat and it worked like magic. Similarly she used to give me 'Trikatu' or 'Triphala' powders depending on the time of the year and my health in general. The insistence of Ayurveda to balance all the three 'dosas', namely, 'vata', 'pita' & 'kaptha' to gain sound health holds true even today.

Being a mother to a 20 month old son, I have always relied on the knowledge handed down by elders.Soon after my son was born( normal delivery without epidural...I think I can give myself a pat on the back ) I started with the traditional oil massage with Gingelly oil that was further fortified with herbs. Elders say that this massage release the tension in the limbs of the newborn who had been living in cramped quarters (i.e., Mother's womb ) for nine months. I immediately saw its benefits as it helped my baby to sleep better. In due course of time it also helps strengthen their tender bodies and build immunity.

As is the normal practice in Orissa, I switched over to mustard oil (boiled with garlic & nigella seeds) during the cold winter months. This ensured that my little one did not catch cold as frequently as some of my neighbor's kids. While I had opted for exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, I made sure that the first solid food that enters my little one's mouth had no preservatives or artificial agents in it. A home made mix of roasted and powdered channa dal, wheat, ragi and beaten rice became his staple. Mashed bananas or some light khichidi was next on the menu. Slowly, one at a time, I introduced boiled & mashed vegetables in his meals. This ensured that he got accustomed to variations in taste and started enjoying his meals. I am sure most babies would prefer this to the bland packaged baby foods.

As we already know packaged foods have their own pitfalls. The synthetic substances present in them lead to hormonal imbalance especially in kids. This results in disorders like onset of early puberty, attention deficiency, childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes to name a few. While the fast paced lifestyle leaves us with few choices, we must stick to wholesome and unprocessed foods whenever possible.

Most of our elders would frown at what we eat these days. They were used to eating fresh food with all its nutrition intact. No refrigerators or microwaves for them. Slow cooked food made on charcoal/wooden stoves that did not heat up to very high temperatures was not only appealing to eat but also high on nutrients.

But the tide is once again turning in favor of traditional knowledge. Most of us new-age mommies are armed with a load of information freely available thanks to internet. We are fully aware of the risks associated with this consumerist lifestyle and are gladly turning to more traditional ways of child rearing.

Hence the importance of Ayurveda with its holistic view/treatment of the human body. It not only helps us in developing a better understanding of the human body but also makes us refrain from the abuse that we are putting ourselves through.

This post is written for Dabur Lal Tail. Contest open on Indiblogger till 10th November.


1 comment:

  1. Great post, I want to build my brand, however, I don’t how to build and when can I start to build. And what is my resource given?




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