Ayurveda Pediatrics

When it comes to the health of their children, today’s parents often feel overwhelmed. The moment a child is born, modern medicine begins to intervene. The timetable of childhood immunizations kicks into gear, with many shots and vaccines recommended during the early months of a child’s life. Wanting to provide the best care for their children, many parents surrender to the advice of their doctors without question.

Evidence is mounting that some vaccines, particularly the MMR vaccine given for measles, mumps and rubella, may be something of a Trojan horse; apparently beneficial, but nevertheless carrying negative elements. While the rate of infection with measles in children in North America has declined significantly, the rates of autism and childhood asthma are exploding. Developments such as these indicate that while modern medicine offers solutions, it inherently neglects the integrated, whole-body approach that natural, herb-based medical traditions have offered for centuries.

In particular, modern approaches almost never deal with the effects of diet in children’s health. Children in the United States and Canada are assaulted daily by environmental and dietary toxins. The diet of the typical American child provides extremely poor nutrition, and assaults the body with toxins from pesticides, chemical fertilizers and food additives. Food allergies in children are quite common, and most parents are unaware of how to alter their child’s diet to improve overall health and prevent serious disease.

In Ayurveda, digestion is seen as central to health. Ayurveda classifies individuals according to body type, and dietary guidelines are used to insure that each person experiences good digestion and thorough elimination. Supplementation with herbs, vitamins and minerals is customized to work with each digestive type. When the Ayurvedic model is applied to growing children, allergies are brought under control, healthy weight is maintained, and optimal growth and development occur. By contrast, under the modern medical approach, dietary changes are almost never used, and when a child becomes sick, the illness is treated by drugs and other interventions which only increase the body’s imbalances.

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