Kumaragara, Rakshakarma and Special Care Neonatal Unit: A Critical Review
Keywords:Kumaragara, Sutikagara, Rakshakarma, Protective rites, Dhupana, SCNU
The protective rites of a newborn are an important part of neonatal care according to Ayurvedic principles. Similar to the organization of Special Care Neonatal Unit (SCNU) which is essential for reducing neonatal mortality and improving quality of life of survivors, Ayurveda advises meticulous organization of sutikagriha (the puerparial room) and kumaragara (the infant care room) along with rakshakarma (protective rites) for maintaining strict asepsis and providing a healthy environment to the mother and infant. An understanding of these protective rites and infant care room is mandatory to incorporate the Ayurvedic neonatal care into the modern neonatal care which is attempted in this paper. Relevant Ayurvedic treatises like Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Kasyapa Samhita, Ashtanga Sangraha and Ashtanga Hridaya were studied along with the guidelines by National Neonatology Forum of India for the setting up of a Special Care Neonatal Unit (SCNU). A comparison of the kumaragara and rakshakarma with Special Care Neonatal Units of modern neonatology reveals that highly recommended aseptic measures in the form of rakshas or amulets, dhupana or fumigation, vigil for graharoga or infectious diseases, etc. were followed in Ayurvedic nursing homes even before the advent of modern neonatology and construction and standard of care in a kumaragara is similar to that in an SCNU. There are a lot more principles to be adopted from Ayurveda for guiding future integrative medicine.
How to Cite
The author hereby transfers, assigns, or conveys all copyright ownership to the International Journal of Ayurvedic Medicine (IJAM). By this transfer, the article becomes the property of the IJAM and may not be published elsewhere without written permission from the IJAM.
This transfer of copyright also implies transfer of rights for printed, electronic, microfilm, and facsimile publication. No royalty or other monetary compensation will be received for transferring the copyright of the article to the IJAM.
The IJAM, in turn, grants each author the right to republish the article in any book for which he or she is the author or editor, without paying royalties to the IJAM, subject to the express conditions that (a) the author notify IJAM in advance in writing of this republication and (b) a credit line attributes the original publication to IJAM.