PEDIATRIC AYURVEDA (KOMAR BHRITYA)
Definition: - It is that part Ayurveda, which deals with child rearing, childhood illness and their treatment.
Komar Bhritya = Komar +Bhritya.
Komar (Kumar) is a title by which a child is addressed. Bhritya denotes the parent, child care taker or guide.
Komar Bhritya involves care child rearing and treating disease right from the time of conception up-to the age of maturity (up to 16 years). It also involves maintaining and protecting good health of the child. It is a scientific method of dealing with childhood disease symptoms, their diagnosis and treatment.
The following aspects of prevention and care are taken care of in Pediatric Ayurveda: -
1. Infertility: its causes and its treatment.
2. Proper development of fetus in the uterus.
3. Care of maternal illness which may affect the fetus.
4. Care of difficulties and problems during labor.
"Aapram satvaye Komarbhritya Garbhamarmani Prajnane Ch Viyatet|"
If considered along the lines of modern medical science, Pediatric Ayurveda can be divided into 3 parts.
1. Gynecology (Stree Roga Vigyan ).
2. Obstetrics and Fetal medicine (Prasuti Vigyan).
3. Pediatrics (Balchikitsa Vigyan)
Today's era is the era of specialization. As a result, newer research and developments are occurring faster leading to subs-specialization and super-specialization. A doctor specialized in one category is not able to attain complete knowledge of other specialties. As a result, one patient may have to go to several consultants in order to treat his disease. But one should not forget that a human being is a psychophysical organism (Manodehik Tantra ) and his functioning is interdependent on various organs simultaneously. Ayurveda not only treats the disease symptoms but also takes care of the diseased personality and the person in totality.
Thus, this division of Ayurvedic branches have been done keeping the above in mind.
The subjects covered in Pediatric ayurveda are thus overlapping with each other because all these subjects are somehow related to child health. Right from conception, fetal growth and development (monthly), birth, neonatal development, infancy, toddler, pre-schooler, school-going child, adolescent - they are all related to child growth and development. Any subject related directly and indirectly to child health is included in Pediatric Ayurveda.
Importance of Pediatric Ayurveda: -
Pediatric Ayurveda lays the foundation of good life. It gives importance to the physical, mental and psychological growth of a child. If child rearing, childcare and treatment are carried out according to the rules of Pediatric Ayurveda, then definitely the child will turn into happy and healthy adult.
At every stage of development of the child, there are special problems faced for e.g. during teething (Dhantodbhav), it is natural for a child to have loose motions and fever. At every age of the child, the pattern of the disease changes for which the treatment also has to change accordingly for e.g. secondary sex characteristics appear during the adolescent age at which the abnormal pubertal developments may also occur. Children in general, are more prone to infectious disease as compared to the adult. Children are also more prone to accidents for e.g. Foreign body aspirations.
Childhood diagnosis is different and difficult as compared to that in the adult. Children are scared to go to the doctor and are unable to communicate about their symptoms. They are not easily ready for a physical examination and have to be coaxed to do that. Thus, a physician has to be alert and careful while dealing with children.
Childhood treatment is also different as compared to the adult. The method of 5 elemental actions (panchkarma) used in adults is not recommended in children and if used, has to be used with utmost caution. Children do not tolerate bad tasting (Vish mishrit, Tukshana, Katu, Tikt, Kasaya) medicine. They prefer sweet and tasty medicine. Thus treatment in children has its own importance.
Literature related to Pediatric ayurveda:-
In the ancient ages, Pediatric Ayurveda was at its peak. At that time all the sub groups of Ayurveda had their specific textbooks available, later with further research more and more scriptures were added. But due to the erosion of time, foreign attacks on India and religious conversion; this science soon lost its importance and the medicine and its scriptures gradually started disappearing. Whatever scripts were hidden here & there and the original as well as translated versions taken away by the foreigners are the only ones that have survived time.
Today, the bible available on Pediatric Ayurveda (Komar Bhritya) is Kaashyap sahita/Vridhajeevak tantra (Author - Vridhajeevak). There were also renowned teachers of Pediatric Ayurveda even before and after the era of Kaashyap. Other important text books of Pediatric Ayurveda are:-
European book "Bibliotheque National Paris" has described the work of Ravana -"Baalkumar Tantra, Kumar Tantra and Dasgrive Baal Tantra". In seventh century AD, even Chinese literature described the above books. Even newer textbooks like "Bhaisachya ratnavali" and "Yogratnar" have also described Pediatric Ayurveda.
Now -a-days, books are available which describe either/and both modern as well as olden Pediatric Ayurveda. Among these, the following books are available :-
In 1962, a monthly magazine on childhood diseases "Shishu Rogank" was started. And in 1967, "Baal Rogank" was published. In 1975, Sudhanidi published "Shishu Rogank Chikitsa." In addition, several editions of Komar Bhritya are available in different Indian languages.
DIVISION OF PEDIATRICS INTO DIFFERENT STAGES ACCORDING TO THE AGE OF CHILD
In Pediatric Ayurveda , ages from 1-16 years are considered as part of childhood. They are divided into 3 parts:-
(Note: Kaashyap Sahita has divided the active life of man into 6 stages of which 3 stages are part of the pediatric age.
Chirab:- The stage during which the infant is dependent on mothers milk is called Chirab. This stage is from birth to approximately 1 year of age.
Chiranath:- The stage in which the child eats other food apart from the mothers milk is called Chiranath. This is usually 2 - 3 years of age.
Annad:-The stage in which the child is no longer dependent on mothers milk and can eat normal adult diet is called Annad. This stage is from 4 year to 16 years of age.
These stages do not have a clear cut demarcation line and they overlap with each other. But this classification has its own importance. Each stage denotes a special developmental aspect of the childs growth. This classification is useful to determine the cause of disease and also the right treatment in right quantity.
Now -a-days, according to social factors, Ayurvedic pediatrics is divided into 4 parts:-
Other routinely followed classification is :-
"Jaat asya:" "Jaat matashrya"
Last updated on 24-01-2001