09:22 (GMT+2), Thu, 15 September 2011
Ayurveda is a healing science that originated in ancient India. According to Ayurvedic principles, there are three types of doshas (personalities) that make up a person, namely: vata, pitta and kapha. An imbalance in any of these can cause illnesses related to that specific dosha. Dr Manjula from the Kerala Ayurvedic Centre in Durban explains, "Vata is the dosha that is affected by birth, so postnatal depression would be caused by an imbalance in vata."
The treatment focuses on rebalancing the dosha and this is achieved by a combination of the following:
- Indian Herbs: these vary according to the severity of the patient's condition.
- Shirodhara: this is a procedure that involves pouring medicated oil on the forehead, which releases tension and anxiety.
- Abhyanga: this is a full body massage with warm herbal oils.
Treatment is usually for seven consecutive days, or sometimes longer. She advises her patients to do yoga and eat less spicy foods. "It's essential that women eat nourishing foods and keep away from takeaways, especially fried foods, white bread and cakes. They should also meditate before and after they give birth."
By Mariam Akabor
Herbal Medicine and Dietary Supplementsbirth, baby, essential oils, aromatherapy, postnatal depression, homeopathy