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 spine with these boiled leaves helped to preserve the mother's health. The "Tambun Hodda" or the "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 times strain even when passing mucus. The stools are usually strong smelling and they also appear green in colour.
Home Remedies for Indigestion In Children
At the start when the infant's stool are loose the following can be administered:
(1) Karapincha stems, Venivelgata, Asamodagam, Walangasal. Take (1 1/4 oz. of each) and boil with four teacupfuls of water. Boil it down to half a cup. Strain and give thrice a day. Dosage: two Table spoonfuls.
(2) Take Cloves, Asamodagam, dry ginger and Walangasal (1/4 oz. of each) and roast and powder. Dosage: 1 teaspoonful in 1 1/4 cup boiled water. Strain and give one teaspoon with 1-4 teaspoon bee's honey.
(3) About 1/2 oz. of Asamodagam slightly roasted and poured like coffee could be given. The dosage is I teaspoonful with 1/4 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 1/2 a cup. The dosage to be given is three tablespoonfuls at a time, twice a day.
(3) If the diarrhoea is not very strong, Gotukola and Kalanduruala in equal quantities of two ozs. Should be pounded together and the juice (two tablespoonsful) with one teaspoonful 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 of bee's honey and one teaspoohful 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 aJtogether and parboiled rice roasted (Badihal) prepared in canjee form (very thin water), could be given as a feed. Sometimes arrowroot powder in canjee form 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 diarrhoea 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.