Thursday, October 02, 2008

Natural, baby

It's been a long time since my last post - babytime has been frustrating, tiring, exhilarating, and joyous. Getting here has been tough but those irresistible toothless smiles are entirely worth it!

I thought I'd share some of the Indian natural remedies I've been treated to by family and friends during pregnancy and after. I'm only one, but I can attest that they have been great for me:

Pregnancy tea - A tea made with toasted black cumin, fennel, and a little bit of thyme. This is used to help with digestion, nausea, and morning sickness. It's flavorful, so for me, a great way to stay hydrated.

Lehiyam - A paste made of various roots and herbal medicines, including long pepper, thyme, cumin, nutmeg, and others. For after the baby is born, to be taken in the mornings. Helps with digestion and milk production. Made with jaggery (raw sugar) cooked in, so it tastes great.

Fenugreek - Seeds soaked in hot water for a few hours until soft, then eaten with a spoon. Proven to improve milk production. Also great for regularizing your digestive system! A little bitter but soft and chewy, and the results can't be beat. You could also buy the Fenuber powder or pills, which will have a similar effect.

Kasturi - A powder for the mother to eat/drink mixed in milk/water. Not sure what it is, but said to stimulate milk production.

Garochan - This little red powder you mix into a little milk or water to give to the baby after birth (we waited for the 10th day). It is said to improve the child's voice. Mine gave us a loud "aah" right after we gave it to him!

Betel leaf and nut - Betel nuts are a notorious stimulant but the leaf with it is supposed to improve digestion. More importantly, it's smeared with lime, which is calcium carbonate, and provides the new mom with calcium. To be taken after meals.

Chana dal flour - Mixed into a paste with warm water in place of soap on the baby's body and hair, it's cleansing and moisturizing, and said to help clear out the baby down.

Sesame oil - A cooling oil, warmed with a few peppercorns, rubbed into skin and hair before washing to moisturize.

Coconut oil - a good moisturizing oil, it's helped get off the cradle cap, soothe dry nostrils, and generally keep baby moisturized in extra-dry weather.

Castor oil - rubbed into baby's belly button or on belly when there's gas trouble, or on sore jaws or any other pains.

In addition, there are the forbidden (papaya, jackfruit, certain rare fruits) foods for before pregnancy, and after (too many lentils, spicy food), and the foods that are encouraged, like eggplant, saffron (said to make skin lighter), and dry ginger (a bit helps with gas trouble).

Traditional medicine has lots of other recommendations, but I didn't do them all.


Isle Dance said...

I'm so glad to see you posting. I hope we're lucky enough to see more of it! But of course, rest up. That is most important. :o)

rani said...

I'm doing well (aside from sleep deprivation of course). Thank you! Will try to keep up a weekly or so post.