Reintroduction of Ayush Pushti biscuits for children sought

Reintroduction of Ayush Pushti biscuits for children sought

99 per cent of children who ate these biscuits gained weight, says study

The Department of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ayush) will send a proposal to the State government seeking reintroduction of its nutritional biscuits ‘Ayush Pushti’ for the benefit of malnourished children in parts of North Karnataka.

In 2013, the department had introduced Ayush Pushti biscuits in anganwadis in Bagalkot district on a pilot basis for a period of three months. As many as 3,000 children aged between two and six were given the cookies daily.

According to senior officials, areas have been identified in North Karnataka and the proposal would be sent to the government before the next budget. However, no estimates have been finalised yet.

Deputy director, Ayurveda, Ayush department, Dr Saraswathi said Ayush Pushti biscuits were made of ayurveda ingredients such as Yeshtimadhu, Ashvagandha and Amalakai combined with cereals and processed into a biscuit form with medicated ghee.

“The process begins with de-worming the children with ‘Krimigna syrup’. Later, children aged between two and four are given two cookies and children between four and six are given four cookies each day for three months,” Dr Saraswathi said. These biscuits will help build better immunity in children, she added.

According to a study, 99 per cent of the children who consumed Ayush Pushti biscuits had gained weight. On an average, children who were given the biscuits gained about two kilos compared with those who had not had the cookies.

Iron supplement
The Department of Ayush will launch a scheme to provide iron supplements to anaemic children along the lines of the weekly programme of the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

Known as ‘Paanduroga’ in Ayurvedic terms, anaemia could be cured even with ayurveda intervention, according to officials in the Ayush department.

“The first stage would involve ‘Krimigna’ or de-worming. After that, tablets would be given two times a day to children to address iron deficiency. Our plan is to reach out to children who are not included in the iron-folic acid supplementation programme. We are having discussions to ensure that there is no overlap in beneficiaries,” said a senior officer in the department.