Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Milk and ashwagandhadhi and malnourishment

Restoring health to children with milk, ashwagandhadhi, loha bhasmam (A summary)

The programme of giving milk and ashwagandhadhi to malnourished children started in Paalaguttapalle (Dalitwada), Chittoor (Dt), A.P.,  in April 2014 under the guidance of Dr. P.L.T. Girija, Sanjeevani Ayurveda and Yoga Centre, Chennai. We have been based in this village since 1996. It is a village of  landless labourers and the food has always been nutritionally deficient, and the children malnourished. This milk based ayurvedic intervention has restored them to health, and maintained their wellness.

A friend in 2014 wished to help with nutrition support for the children, and our ayurvedic doctor Dr. P.L.T. Girija advised  that as the children are all anaemic, and at the same time very undernourished, milk with some ayurvedic tonic medicines (Ashwagandhadhi churnam) and also an iron compound (loha bhasmam) was the best intervention. The doctor assured that in a month results would be visible. And they were, and the results were remarkable. And the good health has been maintained.

We had ourselves  given boiled and sauted channa (chickpea) for years to the children to address their 'protien deficiency', on the advice of an allopathic doctor. It had made no noticable impact. Nor had interventions of increasing their greens intake. Dr. Girija, has been firm that ghee and milk-based medicines  was required for this village because their diet is so poor, and devoid of fats. Simply advising them cheaper tablet based ayurvedic preparations, or other such interventions, would not suffice, she said, because they are nutritionally so depleted. This milk with medicines has been like rain falling on parched lands. 

The children regained health rapidly over a month since this was started, and have stayed well over the past three years. Their frequent illnesses have all but ceased. The parents, as per an earlier survey used to spend 300-500 per child monthly on doctor visits. Now those expenses have ceased.

As per our survey, the cost of the milk and medicines which has built up health and immunity is about the same as the cost of medicines they used to bear earlier to address their recurrent illnesses. So at effectively  no extra expense, good health has been secured.

Seeing the result here, the neighbouring school in Varadappanaidupeta requested the same programme for their children. A friend offered to pay, and we started this there. The parents there were very happy with the substantial improvement in less than a month. It has similarly been started in Jharkhand by another friend in a tribal school. And in the Andanams in another school for tribal children.  And in a hostels in  Tamil Nadu for underprivileged children.  One is a Sarvodaya  school with 250 children in Thirukoiloor, T.N. Everywhere the results have been similarly striking.


Medicine Supply and Cost
Amukkara churnam of IMPCOPS (same as Ashwagandhadhi  churnam) 1/2kg = Rs. 354/-
Loha Bhasmam of IMPCOPS 10g = Rs. 43/-
Packageing and Parcelling ( for 15 kg) = Rs. 1000/-

Budget (Per child per day)
1 glass milk = 7/-
3g Anukkara churnam = 2.14/-
50mg loha bhasmam   = 20 paise (for 6 weeks only)
So cost per child per day = 9.50/- + transport of medicine + fuel + labour etc.

Quantities (25 children)
6 weeks
25 children *42 days *0.003kg = 3.15 kg Amukkara churnam
25*42*50mg = 52.5g Loha bhasmam
After 6 weeks, monthly requirement
25 children *30 days *0.003kg = 2.25 kg Amukkara churnam

(Loha bhasmam again added for 6 weeks, after a 6 month break, on a regular basis.)

Instruction Steps
For 6 weeks a mixture of loha bhasmam and amukkara churnam is added to milk.
After 6 weeks only  amukkara churnam is added for the rest of the year.

The loha bhasmam and amukkara churnam (for the 6 week period) should be mixed very very well. Every day half a spoon of the mixture per child can be added in the milk and given.   

Or for 25 children 75g of the medicine be mixed daily in their milk and served.

Questionnaire (to update initially before start of program, then after 6 weeks, and after 6 months)

Weight (kg)
Ringing in the ears (Y/N)
Loss of appetite/aversion to food (Y/N)
Weakness /tiredness (Y/N)
Giddiness (Y/N)
Fever (Y/N)
Breathlessness on climbing stairs (Y/N)
Feeling of Heaviness (Y/N)
Swelling around the eyes (Y/N)
Changed skin tone / dry skin (Y/N)
Hair fall (Y/N)
Anger (Y/N)
Dislike for cold things (Y/N)
Sleepiness (Y/N)
Cramps in calf muscles (Y/N)
Palpitation (Y/N)
Headache (Y/N)
No desire to speak (Y/N)
Pain in back, legs, thighs, flanks / body ache (Y/N)
Tremor (Y/N)
Fainting / vomiting (Y/N)

If you find the following symptoms, please refer the person to an ayurvedic physician:         
·           Swelling of throat, around eyes, of eyebrows, navel and genitals
·           Worms in stomach
·           Diarrhea      
·           Blood in stools
·           Stools with mucus     


Paalaguttapalle (Dalitwada), Pakala Mandalam, Chittoor Dt., A.P. 517152. 

(A small hamlet of 70 households of landless agricultural labourers in a dry belt in Raayalseema)

There are 35 children between ages of one to fifteen in this hamlet. The children were  all undernourished as their food is usually rice with a hot, sour, spicy watery curry, and there was is no  milk or meat or  ghee in the diet.  They would fall ill frequently and about two visits to a doctor on a month was average. The parents were spending about 300/- per child per month on an average as per a survey we carried out.  

The children were all anaemic and uniformly suffered from

·                   Cramping pains in the leg
·                   Low weight
·                   Tiredness
·                   Lack of appetite
·                   Headaches


From 2014 March, the children started getting milk with some ayurvedic tonic medicines and also an iron compound. (2.5g ashwagandhadhi and 50mg loha bhasmam - the latter for only the initial  6 weeks).  It has been continued to date.


When we saw the children three weeks after they started the milk, the children came running, "See I've grown', "I eat well now', "I have no leg pains", "See I'm fat now", “I have no  headaches”. Most children had put on a half kg or so, and their sense of well being had gone up tremendously. The parents were all happy that the children had none of the  complaints of poor appetite, cramping pains in legs, tiredness and headaches. Munneshwari told me with happiness of her seven year old daughter, ‘Now Sindhu has cheeks ! Earlier I used to spend the nights pressing her paining legs, and now she has no  pains.’ 

As per a three month survey we did before initiating the milk-ashwagandhahi intervention it was observed that the parents were spending about 300/- per child per month on an average When the women went to the weekly santa 3km away on Fridays for vegetables and provisions, they would usually have a kid accompanying them to see the local allopathic doctor for a fever or a cough or a earache or a skin problem. Now one does not see that scene at all !

After a year of milk and ashwagandhadhi, a survey showed that most of the children had not fallen ill even once. Over the year there were only  4 cases of fevers, and 4 cases of cold  among the 35 children.

Also, the cost of the milk and medicines which has built up nourishment health and immunity is about the same as the cost of medicines they used to bear earlier to address their recurrent illnesses.

Varalu says the mothers come to her in curiosity to ask what she adds to the milk to make such a difference in their children's health and appetite. When I went to the neighbouring hamlet, a lady came running down to talk to me. She said she had seen the Dalitwada children become very healthy, and had asked them what was given to them. She said she then took some Ashwagandhadhi churnam from them, and started giving it to her daughter with milk. She said that her daughter who used to refuse food earlier had since had an improved appetite and was better in health in every way. She then wanted to buy more of that. 

Varalu, who was procuring and giving the milk, was then advised to introduce Rajanyadi churnam with honey and Dadimadi ghee, a tonic medicated ghee, to the village children below five years. That is the ayurvedic medicine of choice for all small children. It addresses anaemia, colds, fevers, diarrhoea - and builds up health and resistance. Varalu's firmness and clarity when she speaks of this medicine to other mothers was striking. Her children used to be perpetually ill. She was actually spending Rs 1000/- to Rs. 1500/- on medicines and tonics ever month. She tells the mothers that since she started them on Rajanyadi, three months ago, they have not fallen ill even once. And the stray illness they get, she addresses with just another dose of Rajanyadi. She speaks with the quiet firmness of conviction gained through experiance, and everyone listens.



With such substantial improvements in the health of children Varalu, who initially swore only by allopathy like all young mothers, and had little faith in Ayurveda, veered around completely. She took on learning about other ayurvedic medicines and giving the same. Konepalle Avva had a cough which worsened through all the antibiotic courses she took. She improved over three doses of Varalu’s medicines. What started there has built up over months into her treating colds, coughs, fevers, diarrhoea, excess bleeding, white discharge, anaemia, knee pains, piles, worms, wounds, dizziness, chronic headaches, neck pains etc. The village people sensing the health enhancing benefits of Ayurveda are coming to her as a first step for illnesses. As they benefit, the word spreads, and people from neighbouring villages are also reaching out.
Varalu took on the work of sourcing the milk and boiling and giving to the children. She was given a stipend for that. Only 25 years herself, mother of three, abandoned by her husband, she was happy to earn  through any useful work. As she took on further work with ayurvedic medicines, she earned some more. As we paid a little more than local rate for the milk, the owners were able to procure better nourishment for the cows which also started looking more nourished.


Varadappanaidupeta, Vallivedu Post, Chittoor (Dt), AP 517152

The school teacher fron the Varadappanaidupeta school came one day to request that milk and the 'medicine'  be given to his children also. He said that the children here were so well, and that the 
children in his school from the stone cutter community were very undernourished. A friend offered to fund the expenses, we started the programme on August 2016.

Head Master,
M. P. Primary School,
V. N. Peta,
Pakala mandal

Smt. Aparna

Subject: Improvement of health condition of our school children - reg.

There are 32 boys and girls in Varadappanaidupeta primary school of E. Palaguttapalli panchayat, Pakla mandal, Chittoor district. Their parents do not have much understanding of their health care issues. We are giving milk and Aswaganda churnam to our children from 2/9/2016 with the support of Smt. Aparna. Until August 2016, our children used to complain about stomach pain, lack of hunger, leg cramps, weakness, etc. and suffer from fever, cough and cold frequently. Currently our children do not have these problems. Now they eat and digest food well. School attendance is good. Every body's health is good. We are giving honey, churnam and ghee medicine to children. We are grateful to the donors for this.

(Signature of M. Ganesh)
(Seal of Head Master, M. P. Primary School, V. N. Peta, Pakala mandal)
(Signature of Smt. P. Satyavathi)
(Seal of P. Satyavathi, A.W.W., Anganwadi Code no. 65, Varadappa Naidupeta (V), Pakala Mandal, Pulicherla Project, Chittoor Dist.)




Jan Chetna Manch Patamda, Jharkhand.

A friend started this in a school run by the NGO for tribal children in August 2016. A letter from him.


Hi Aparna,

The results of Ashwagandha have been simply amazing.

There are 14 girls belonging to the 'Sauria Pahariya' and 'Sabar' Tribal communities. They are from the Primitive Tribal Groups (PTG).The ‘Paharias’ and the ‘Sabars’ are considered the most vulnerable amongst the tribal population.

As per Wikipedia, the Sauria Paharias are listed as a primitive tribe and have a population of around 30,000 in Jharkhand, with a possible negligible population in West Bengal. They constitute less than 1 per cent of the tribal population in Jharkhand.  The ‘Times of India’ dated the 13th July 2013 has reported that “The Paharia Tribal Group has now been pushed to the edge and is an ecologically and biologically endangered tribe”.

As per Wikipedia, this reclusive tribe is found primarily in East Singhbhum district in Jharkhand and in Midnapore District of West Bengal. The traditionally forest-dwelling tribe lacks experience in agriculture, and relies on the forests for livelihood.

These children were very vulnerable to frequent viral fevers and cough and cold. Four of them were also highly susceptible to acute and protracted congestion of the chest.

After administering Ashwagandha....

1.  This winter, there has not been a single instance of viral fever.
2. There has not been a single case of cough and cold and/or chest congestion.
3. There is no snot visible. This was a regular problem with 3 children.

4. The children look more healthy.
5. There is glaze on their faces.
6. They seem more active now.


Thanks a lot for this contribution.

Warm Regards, Pradeep Kumar
Jan Chetna Manch Patamda, Jharkhand.




Ashram School in the  Andamans

Dear R.
I hope you are fine with the God’s grace. I am happy to say that the children have improved a lot after taking the medicine kindly donated by you. They had a medical check-up and it was absorbed that their Hemoglobin has improved a great extent. Moreover the children are extremely energetic and they have participated in the annual sports and 27 of them have won prizes which is a record. I believe that they have gained enough energy after taking the medicine. As you know we are absolutely vegetarian this medicine is adding extra diet to their food.

Thank you so much for your kind concern for these girls. May the Lord bless you and all your family members and friends.

Yours in the service of the Lord
Sannyasini Chaitanyanandamayee ( devi )
Pranab Kanya Sangha
Port Blair


Sarvodaya Girls Hostel, Nicholas Road, Chetpet, Chennai

The children have been getting milk and ashwagandhadhi here for over a year. There are 80 girls here benefitting from the programme.  The teachers report that the children have been very well.


Residential Middle School, Tamil Nadu Harijana Sevaga Sangam, 106 N Street,
Thirukoilur, Villipuram (Dt.), 605757

The school has started this for 250 children Dec 2nd 2016, financed by Vaishnavi Trust, Chennai,  and the reports already indicate that the children have ceased to fall ill as they used to. Earlier daily a few children used to be taken to the local hospital with some complaint.  That has ceased. To the extent that the local hospital is asking why the children are not coming any more. 



  1. Please let us have yr contact no or email to know details of bank acctt for anybody wishing to send some seva. tks..