Swarna Prashana: Ayurvedic “Vaccination”?
SWARNA PRASHANA DATES :
( 2020 )
Swarna Prashana (also known as Swarna Bindu Prashana or Suvarnaprashana) is an Ayurvedic procedure involving the oral administration of Swarna Bhasma (gold ash) mixed with honey and ghee (often fortified with Brahmi, Shankupushpi, Vacha, etc.) to children, intended to potentiate the immunity and psychological and physical development for children from birth up to the age of sixteen years.
First referred to in the Kashyapa Samhita (c. 650 BCE), it has since ancient times been practiced as a means of promoting an optimal level of health, intellectual and physical development, psychological balance and enhanced immunity in young children. Swarna Prashana is considered to be one of sixteen Samskaras (life-event related sacraments, e.g., naming the child, first cutting of the hair, first solid food, ear-piercing etc.) mentioned in a variety of ancient texts. According to Acharya Kashyapa (Ka. Su. 18/4-5), the benefits of Swarna Prashana is utilized thus:
"Suwarna prashanam hyetamedagni balavardhanam ayushyam Mangalam punyam vrushyam varnyam grahapaham."
“By (the use of) Swarna Prashana the child develops medha (mental ability), agni (digestive power), bala, aayu vardhana; it (Swarna Prashana) is also mangalakara, punya, vrushya, varnya, ghuha baadha nashaka. If Swarna Prashana is done for one month then child will be parama medhavi, remains unaffected by vyadhi. If done for six months then child will be shruta dhara (he will remember what he hears)”
It is said thus to imbue its consumer with a host of benefits, including enhanced medha (intellect), agni (digestive/metabolic power), bala (strength), ayush (longevity), mangalam (auspicious circumstances), punyam (virtue), vrushyam (virility/fertility), varnya (clarity of complexion) and grahapaham (elimination of the effects of malefic planets).
The purpose of Swarna Prashana bears some resemblance to the modern concept of vaccination to prevent diseases by building immunity against invasive pathogenic microorganisms; however, Swarna Prashana has no targeted activity against specific microorganisms as do vaccines, but is said to act by improving the child’s overall immune response. Generally, speaking, Swarna Prashana is effective for precluding upper respiratory tract infections and preventing common cold as well as influenza. Its immunomodulatory impact is believed to have no limitation to bacterial or viral infections.
Swarna Prashana is said to be not only beneficial for normally-developing children, but to possess enhanced benefits for children with special needs such as autism, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, hyperactivity disorders, and development delays.
WHAT IS SWARNAPRASHANA?
Swarnaprashana translates to ‘intake of Swarna/Gold bhasma’. It is one of the ‘Shodasha Samskaras’ (the 16 rites of passage of a human being from conception to cremation, signifying milestones in an individual's journey of life). It is a natural, time tested method to improve overall health of children practiced for more than 1000s of years.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GIVE SWARNAPRASHANA FOR MY CHILD?
While emphasizing the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD), UNICEF reinforces that “Early childhood is not only the time when the brain develops rapidly, but a critical window of opportunity for establishing children’s immunity and therefore, the foundation of good health and optimal productivity in the future”. So, investing in improving immunity and developing intelligence in the early years is imperative for the well being of the child. There is ample evidence that a child's intelligence is not fully given at birth, but continues to evolve and change at least through the early elementary school years. Early childhood development is the key to a full and productive life for a child.
Research has shown that half of the person’s intelligence potential is developed by age four and early childhood interventions can have a lasting effect on intellectual capacity, personality and social behavior. As with all other organs and systems in the body, a newborn is not born with a fully developed immune system at birth. Rather, their immunity - a protective function consisting of cells, proteins, and organs - grows and strengthens with time, striving with each new day to keep them safe from the multitude of pathogens that they encounter in their environments.
A child’s immune system will start to develop on its own at about 2-3 months of age. At this point the antibodies that mother has conferred start to decline. A baby’s immune system begins to grow and develop when it comes into contact with bacteria, viruses and fungi and can wage an attack against them. By 1 year of age a baby will have developed its immune system significantly, although not entirely. Some experts suggest an immune system is not fully developed until a child is approximately 12-14 years of age, when they finally reach adult levels of antibody formation.
A growing number of childhood diseases such as allergic disorders such as allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, asthma and others have been linked to environmental exposures during prenatal and early postnatal development. Because the immune response plays a critical role in each of these diseases, it is important to consider measures to support the children's developing immune system in the early years of their development.
Swarnaprashana is a great gift to parents, in their effort towards improving their childrens’ intelligence and immunity.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SWARNAPRASHANA MENTIONED IN THE CLASSICS?
सुवर्णप्राशनं हि एतत् मेधाग्नि बल वर्धनम् । आयुष्यं मंगलं पुण्यं वृष्यं ग्रहापहम् ॥
मासात् परम मेधावी व्याधिभिर्न च दृश्यते । षड्भि मासै: श्रुतधर सुवर्ण प्राशनात् भवेत् ॥
(काश्यप संहिता, सूत्रस्थानम् 18/4-5)
suvarṇaprāśanaṃ hi etat medhāgni bala vardhanam |
āyuṣyaṃ maṃgalaṃ puṇyaṃ vṛṣyaṃ grahāpaham ||
māsāt parama medhāvī vyādhibhirna ca dṛśyate |
ṣaḍbhi māsai: śrutadhara suvarṇa prāśanāt bhavet ||
(kāśyapa saṃhitā, sūtrasthānam 18/4-5)
The benefits of administering small quantities of Swarna bhasma are:
• Medha Vardhana – improvement in intelligence
• Agni Vardhana – improvement in digestion
• Bala Vardhana – improvement in strength and immunity
• Ayushya Vardhana – Improvement in life expectancy
• Mangala, Punya – Auspicious
• Vrushya – Aphrodisiac
• Grahapaha – protects from bad effects from planets
• By administering Swarna for a month’s time after birth,
child becomes super-intelligent
• By administering for up to six months, person becomes Shruta Dhara –
can remember whatever the child hears
WHAT IS THE AGE RECOMMENDED FOR SWARNAPRASHANA?
The classics recommend Swarnaprashana from
the time of birth to 16 years (0-16 years).
As seen in the verse above, it is beneficial to give it every day
for at least 6 months,from the time of birth.
We offer two types of Swarnaprashana.
1. Pushya Nakshatra Swarnaprashana: Given only on the Pushya Nakshatra days, which is once in 28 days approximately
2. Anudina Swarnaprashana: It is a daily dose of immunity for your child.
WHY SWARNAPRASHANA HAS TO BE GIVEN ON PUSHYA NAKSHATRA DAY?
There is a specific mention of Swarnaprashana to be given on Pushya Nakshatra day. But, Pushya Nakshatra is given a lot of significance in Ayurvedic classics for various important purposes like collection of herbs and preparation of medicines. So, Pushya nakshatra day (which arrives approximately once in 28 days) is considered a good day to administer Swarnaprashana.
IS THERE ANY SPECIFIC WAY MENTIONED IN AYURVEDA FOR SWARNAPRASHANA?
Though the classics enumerate the benefits of intake of Swarna Bhasma (Swarnaprashana), the form of administering it, has not been specified. To impart the benefit of Swarnaprashana, Ayurvedic professionals started giving the Swarna bhasma, mixed with Brahmi Ghritha (Ghee medicated with ghee) and honey in the form of drops. Today it is popularly known as an Ayurvedic immunization program promoted by many Ayurvedic professionals.
HOW ARE SWARNAPRASHANA DROPS MADE BY AYURVEDIC COMPANIES AND WHY THE SWARNAPRASHANA MADE IN DROP FORM AT OUR CLINIC IS MORE BENEFICIAL?
Ayurvedic doctors/companies are mixing the Swarna bhasma with Brahmi Ghritha (as it a good brain tonic) and honey and administering it as drops from a dropper.
Though it makes sense to add a brain tonic, it poses some practical problems
• The gold bhasma particles tend to be heavy and settle at the bottom.
• The contents of the dropper have to be shaken thoroughly every time to ensure proper dosage. Even then, there is no exact way to measure how much gold bhasma is being given to each child.
• The Brahmi ghritha tends to solidify in winter and has to be melted before giving the drops, which again makes it very difficult to measure the dosage of Gold Bhasma.
• The medicated ghee preparations mostly have an expiry period of not more than 6 months , whereas the gold bhasma has no expiry period.
• Anything mixed with honey has to be thoroughly mixed and consumed immediately. Otherwise, due to the density of honey, the gold bhasma particles tend to settle at the bottom. Once settled, it is difficult to mix it evenly.
• Since Swarnaprashana is effective only when given regularly, it becomes important for the parents to take their children to the clinics on the Pushya Nakshatra day. This may sometimes prove difficult, due to school timings and busy schedule of parents and may end in discontinuation/irregularity of Swarnaprashana.
WHY IS THE SWARNAPRASHANA MADE AT OUR CLINIC THE BEST WAY TO GIVE SWARNAPRASHANA TO CHILDREN?
The best way to make Swarnaprashana is in dry/powder/drop form, therefore ensuring exact dosage of the Gold bhasma and other herbs. The drop can then be mixed with honey, just before administering to the child. We, at Shree Vishwa Vande Ayurveda Panchakarma & Infertility Clinic Ayurvedic Center, have been making Swarnaprashana in Dropr form..
Thousands of parents, in India and overseas have found it beneficial for their children and also convenient because they can carry it with them easily.
WHAT DOES SWARNAPRASHANA GIVEN AT OUR AYURVEDA CENTER CONTAIN?
At our ayurveda clinic we do not buy the Swarnaprashana from any bulk supplier, but make it ourselves under the personal guidance of Dr.Bhanumati kallapur.
Our Swarnaprashana drop contains Swarna Bhasma (Gold Bhasma), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Trikatu (Pippali, Pepper & Ginger), Aragwadha (Cassia fistula), Shankhapushpi(Convolvulus pluricaulis), Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Amalaki (Emblica officinalis).
It is important to remember that Swarna bhasma is processed in various ways to ensure efficacy and safety. Vishwavande Swarnaprashana uses ‘Rasamaartiha Swarna bhasma’ which is the best processed Gold bhasma and known for its efficacy (has more than 94% of Gold) and unmatched safety. The Gold bhasma and other herbs are measured precisely and processed to form Vishwavande Swarnaprashana drops which is easily absorb able and highly potent.
HOW TO GIVE OUR SWARNAPRASHANA TO CHILDREN?
At the Clinic:
On every Pushya Nakshatra day,
we administer the Swarnaprashana at our clinic.
Parents can collect sachets of Swarnaprashana powder from our clinic
beforehand and administer it to their children at the comfort of their
house on the Pushya Nakshatra date
All you have to do is to open a Drop pack from the kit, on the date of
Pushya Nakshatra day, mix with half a tsp of honey and get the child
to lick it.
Swarnaprashana Drops, can avail our shipping facility. We will be happy
to ship the sachets along with Pushya Nakshatra dates inside or outside
Please write to us at email@example.com or call +91 7378795500 / +91-836 2355511
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO ADMINISTER SWARNAPRASHANA TO CHILDREN?
It is ideal to administer early in the morning on empty stomach. But, since the ingredients are processed to make it highly absorbable and bio available, it can be given in the later part of the day too.
WHAT IS THE EXPIRY DATE FOR PUSHYA NAKSHATRA SWARNAPRSHANA?
To ensure quality, at Shree Vishwa Vande Ayurveda Panchakarma & Infertility Clinic, Swarnaprashana is freshly made as and when order comes. This helps us to avoid efficacy and safety issues, which is common when made in large batches and stored for a long time.
DOES SWARNAPRASHANA HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
No side effects have been reported
What is the Composition ?
The ingredients of Swarna Prashana vary somewhat from one formulator to another but invariably include Siddha Ghritha (ghee fortified with medhya drugs, e.g., Brahmi, inter alia), Swarna Bhasma (gold bhasma) and Madhu (honey).
Swarna (metallic gold) is traditionally regarded one of the best medhya dravya (nootropic) drugs when prepared for medicinal use. Kashyapa held that the use of Swarna is said to promote lehana karma (substance-building action). The purpose and object of lehana karma being the prevention of disease by establishing immunity and promoting physical and psychic strength and resiliency. Swarna (metallic gold) cannot be administered directly into body as a medicine and for this reason the metal is processed into the form of a bhasma (superfine ash).
Traditionally, swarna is believed to be a medha vardhaka (memory-enhancing drug) which when administered in low doses is thought to potentiate the memory along with immunity and physiological resiliency.
Research utilizing mice and Wistar rats conducted on swarna bhasma showed the use of the substance in dose of 12.5 to 50 mg/kg body on mice weight had a stimulatory effect on peritoneal macrophages that may be helpful against infectious agents. It was believed that macrophages were stimulation due to presentation of the metal to cells in fine emulsified forms (nanoparticles). It has been established that Swarna Bhasma exerts a hepatorestorative effect and had no measurable toxic effect on the liver or the kidney when used in therapeutic dose.
The main rationale for including madhu (honey) in Swarna Prashan is that it is believed when madhu is administered in low doses in early childhood the child gradually develops resistance to the allergens, microorganisms and xenobiotics present in the honey, gradually developing physiological resiliency. Ayurveda teaches that madhu has some of properties of the flowers from whence it was gathered and processed, thus nourishing the mind, nervous system, sensory acuity, and the immune response as well as promoting the elaboration of ojas. It promotes healing generally, and is used externally for the treatment of burns, wounds, ulcerations and infections. It also - importantly - acts as a medium for the enhanced absorption of drugs and has been used extensively as an anupana.
Siddha Ghrita (Ghee)
Ghee has the unique property of acquiring the gunas of dravyas which are added to it. In the case of Swarna Prashana, Medhyaushadhis like mandukaparni, brahmi, guducchi, yashtimadhu, and vacha (inter alia) are added to ghee. This siddha ghrta (medicated ghee) is useful in that it potentiates the action of the drug with which it is admixed, and as an Anupana, Ghee has a strong trophism for majja dhatu (the nervous system).
Swarna Prashana is traditionally administered from birth until the age of 16 years, on an empty stomach (feeding should be delayed for at least 30 minutes after administration) preferably in the early morning, before sunrise. It is said to be most effective when administered on the day of
It is usually administered daily for one month (extensible to 6 months) or alternately once monthly on Pushya nakshatra until age 16. Tradition holds that the parents should face north with their child facing east being given the medicine.
The exact dosage is not described in the Kashyapa Samhita. Hence, the dosage of Swarna Bhasma to be administered (either separately or as a constituent of Swarna Prashana) is often calculated for infants and children on the basis of its adult dosage. Different classical texts suggest different dosages of Swarna Bhasma, which vary from 15 mg to 125 mg, but currently the most accepted dosage of Swarna Bhasma in Ayurvedic practice is 15 to 30 mg twice daily. Therefore, the amount of Swarna Bhasma in Swarna Prashana can be calculated on this dosage. According to some authorities, the Swarna Bhasma dosage for infants and children should comprise 1 to 15 mg of Swarna Bhasma in a single dosage of Swarna Prashana.
Children suffering from fever, diarrhea, dysentery or digestive disorders should not be administered Swarna Prashana.
Daily dose of immunity for your child
‘Anudina’ means ‘everyday’ and Swarnaprashana means ‘intake of Suvarna/Gold bhasma’
HOW IS ANUDINA SWARNAPRASHANA DIFFERENT FROM PUSHYA NAKSHATRA SWARNAPRASHANA?
Kashayapa Samhita clearly declares that for complete and maximum benefit, Swarnaprashana should be given every day to children. Though Pushya Nakshatra Swarnaprashana (which is given only once in 28 days) is useful, the benefits of Anudina Swarnaprashana are multifold.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ANUDINA SWARNAPRASHANA?
Anudina Swarnaprashana is formulated according to the guidelines in the Ayurvedic classics. Each batch is personally supervised by the doctor and packed by his team.
• Excellent immunity booster for all children from 0-16 years of age
• Improves immunity and prevents recurrent cold, cough and fever
• Improves intelligence, memory, and oratory skills
• Enhances focus, attention span, and retention and recall capacity of the mind
• Improves complexion and imparts healthy glow
• Improves appetite and digestion in children with poor eating habits
• Very useful in prevention of bacterial and viral infections
• Very useful to improve memory, focus, attention span, in children with learning difficulties, delayed milestones, temper tantrums, agitation, ADHD, Dyslexia and Autism
WHAT ARE THE CONTENTS OF ANUDINA SWARNAPRASHANA?
The contents (Swarna Bhasma and herbs) of both types of Swarnaprashana are same. But, in Anudina Swarnprashana, the quantity of the Swarna bhasma and the herbs are judiciously mixed to suit daily consumption.
Anudina Swarnaprashana drop contains Swarna Bhasma (Gold Bhasma), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Trikatu (Pippali, Pepper & Ginger), Aragwadha (Cassia fistula), Shankhapushpi(Convolvulus pluricaulis), Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Tulasi (Ocimum sanctum), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Amalaki (Emblica officinalis).
It is important to remember that Swarna bhasma is processed in various ways to ensure efficacy and safety. Anudina Swarnaprashana uses ‘Rasamaaritha Swarna bhasma’ which is the best processed Gold bhasma and known for its efficacy (has more than 94% of Gold) and unmatched safety. The Gold bhasma and other herbs are measured precisely and processed to form Anudina Swarnaprashana powder which is easily absorbable and highly potent.
We have adopted the dosages mentioned in the classics for the Swarna Bhasma
HOW TO GIVE ANUDINA SWARNAPRASHANA TO CHILDREN?
It is ideal to administer early in the morning on empty stomach. But, since the ingredients are processed to make it highly absorbable and bio available, it can be given in the later part of the day too.
Directions of use: Use the measuring scoop provided to measure the dosage. Choose the age appropriate- right dosage according to the table below.
• Can be given even when the child is taking any other medicine. No adverse drug reaction is noted.
• Can be started at any age
• Though, giving regularly is beneficial, it does not cause any problems if some doses are missed or discontinued.
THERE ARE SOME SAFETY ISSUES RAISED ABOUT THE USE OF METALS IN AYURVEDIC MEDICINE. IS IT SAFE TO GIVE GOLD BHASMA TO MY CHILD?
First, let us understand what a bhasma is :
A Bhasma means an ash obtained through incineration (a process where in the thermal treatment reduces the material in to ash); the starter material undergoes an elaborate process of purification and this process is followed by the reaction phase, which involves incorporation of some other minerals and/or herbal extract to ensure further safety. So, intake of Gold Bhasma is not the same as intake of Gold as metal.
The National Center for Biotechnology information has conducted detailed studies on Gold Bhasma and has vouched for the safety of Gold Bhasma. It further compares the actions of the bhasma to that of nano particles and are highly compatible to the blood in systemic circulation. The results of this study reinforce the application of Swarna bhasma as a therapeutic agent in clinical medicine from the safety point of view.
More links on safety of bhasma