Infantile diarrhoea happens when a child consumes infected milk. The milk adversely affects the alimentary canal.
The adjective ‘alimentary’ refers to providing food or nourishment. Its root is the Latin word ‘alo’ which means ‘nourish’. Hence the alimentary canal (noun) is the passage along which food passes during digestion.
A breast-fed baby may also get affected if he/she drinks milk from the mother who may be suffering from indigestion.
Infantile diarrhoea is a common ailment of the babies during their teething stages.
The Ayurvedic Explanation
Infantile diarrhoea happens due to the vitiation (pollution/infection) of the breast milk of the mother or the wet nurse. Such infections happen due to the three elements (Doshas) — Vayu, Pitta and Kapha. These Doshas cause indigestion in the lactating mother. And, the baby having milk from a mother suffering from this condition will experience diarrhoea.
Moreover, consumption of such infected milk can cause many other ailments in the child.
Hence, it is of primary importance that the mother’s indigestive state is cured at the earliest. Only after the mother is cured of this tummy ailment should she be allowed to breast fed.
Parigarbhika is that condition when a child consumes milk of the lactating mother. Usually, a pregnant woman cannot feed the baby as the lactation process stops automatically. However, there are instances of the mother feeding her baby getting pregnant again. And, in some such instances, the lactation continues. If the first baby drinks milk from the mother, the condition – Parigarbhika – occurs.
One of the prominent symptoms of Parigarbhika in the child is diarrhoea.
Once such a state happens, the child should immediately be switched to some other baby foods.
Besides diarrhoea, the affected child may experience a gripping pain in the tummy. The person may even have the vomiting tendency. The stool may be foul smelling and liquid. Its colour can turn green or yellow.
The child should not consume any milk containing a high percentage of fat. Buffalo’s milk contains a high level of fats.
The best alternative to mother’s milk is cow’s milk diluted with water. But, if the baby fails to digest cow’s milk then he/she should be given goat’s milk.
While boiling the milk, add 125 gram of the rhizome of Musta to the milk.
Other Important Points
- Don’t take the child suffering from infantile diarrhoea on long journeys – be it by a car or a train.
- Ensure that the child gets sound sleep.
- Don’t wake up the child prematurely or before the sleep duration is completed.
- Disturbances in sleep may lead to vomiting.
- Above all, the diarrhoea conditions may aggravate.
- Above all, don’t allow anyone to tease or disturb the child. The baby needs total bed rest.
If the patient suffers from many loose motions, then give the child Jatiphala. Actually, the medication is the powdery form of the Jatiphala seed.
The dose: 65 gram of this powder four times daily. The medication needs to be seasoned with honey. If the condition does not improve with this dose, then increase it to 70 grams and give it to the child five times daily.
Other Medication: Musta Rhizome
Ayurveda prescribes Musta for patients suffering from this condition. This medicine is prepared from the rhizome (root) of the Musta plant. It is a small herb available in hedge rows and grassy fields. The rhizome used for the preparation of this medicine looks like a small tuber.
The medication also works as carminative as well.
Preparation Mode: First, clean the rhizome thoroughly. It is cleaned by rubbing it against a piece of clean stone. Then, prepare a paste from the cleaned root. It can also be dried and then grinded into the powdery form.
The dose: 65 gram of the paste or 125 gram of the paste mixed with honey four times daily.
Avoid Gripe Water
The market is flooded with gripe waters. They contain artificial carminatives. Used for a prolonged period, gripe waters can be rather harmful for the children. Hence, tender the children the aforementioned naturally prepared Musta paste or powder in the prescribed amount. It does not have any side-effects.