Swarna Bindu Prashana may harm newborns, say doctors

Swarna Bindu Prashana may harm newborns, say doctors

No clarity on benefits of medication yet: Ayurveda doctors

The state government’s proposal for Swarna Bindu Prashana to newborns has drawn criticism from doctors. Doctors fear that administering this ayurvedic concoction containing gold soon after birth could have an adverse effect on children.

Top sources in the Ayush department told DH that they have been directed to send a proposal to the National Health Mission, asking them to allocate funds for the same in this year’s funds. Not only have the allopathy doctors expressed concern, Ayurveda doctors themselves claim there is no clarity on the medication or its benefits yet. An Ayush medical officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said Swarna Bindu Prashana is believed to give the child immunity against a lot of diseases and work as a brain tonic.

“Even as there are references to this in the classical ayurvedic texts, Ayurveda doctors say there is no standard protocol on when it has to be administered. Also, the dosage has not been specified in Ayush texts,” said the officer. Swarna Bindu Prashana is also being planned in several private set-ups. While a few administer it to children soon after birth, others administer it between the age of one year and 16 years.

Dr Asha Benakappa, director, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, insisted that nothing but breast milk be fed to children aged below six months. “Anything that is introduced into the baby’s gut will destroy the microbiomes. No interference should be done in the child’s gut before six months.”

Asha said, “Every 100 ml of breast milk has 50 mg of Colostrum. The child is fed breast milk first as it induces natural diarrhoea helping the child cleanse naturally. Giving anything else to the child will damage the gut.”

A senior doctor from Vani Vilas Hospital said, “We have seen children develop complications after they are fed honey as part of certain customs. The newborn’s system is too delicate and must not be meddled with.”

“It is known to be best effective when administered on the Pushya Nakshatra day of the Hindu calendar every month. Some parents give it to the children till they turn 16,” said the Ayush medical officer.