Sushruta and Vagvata have given us hints that immunology was prevalent in the ancient day and age. These Ayurveda experts explained about the use of Swarna (gold) in Jatakarma (the process of initial stabilization of the baby immediately after birth) which is called as Swarna prasana (the feeding of gold to the baby). Jatakarma helps the baby to easily tackle the new exposure to the environment of the outside world after it comes out of mothers’ womb. Kashyapa described Swarna prasana as lickables. The lickables is one of a unique concept in the ancient ayurvedic textbooks. Lickables are tasty, easy to administer to kids and can be used as medicine or nutritional supplements.
Immunization is a broader term reserved for processes that stimulate the body’s immune response. It can either be food substances, lifestyle modification, body activities, yoga, pranayama, post infection state, vaccines, etc. Whereas vaccination is a method of administrating live, attenuated or killed pathogens in the body to stimulate the immune system which is sensitized for a specific disease. Thus, Vaccines is one of the ways to enhance immunity on a specifically targeted disease. However, Ayurveda places emphasis on overall improvement of body immunity.
Keeping the face towards the east, gold should be rubbed against a washed stone with little quantity of water. Then it should be churned and mixed well with ghee and honey the given for licking. This helps in improving intellect, promoting digestion and metabolism, promoting immunity and physical strength, promoting longevity, improves fertility, improves complexion, and protects against microorganisms. It is auspicious and virtuous. If fed for a month the child will not be attacked by any diseases, and if fed for six months the child will be able to retain whatever he hears.
These days Swarna prasana methodology has changed to make it more accessible and acceptable to the general public. The ingredients, dosage forms, etc. has been tactfully set as per community needs of today. Swarna prasana, now known as Swarna Bindu Prasana, is fed to the baby in droplet form. The ghee fortified with Indian ginseng, Licorice, Winter cherry, Sweet flag, etc. is mixed well with honey and calculated amount of incinerated nanoparticles of gold. The dosage of gold is calculated using the intended purpose of administration. The herbs used in ghee shows a wide range of immune-modulatory, anti-inflammatory action, and anti-oxidant properties.
Points to be taken care of:
1) Select an auspicious day for collection of herbs and preparation of medicines
2) Medicine should be prepared in widely aseptic condition
3) Auspicious mantras, hymns should be chanted during the preparation of swarna prasana
4) Rightly prepared ghee will not be affected by molds, fungus and can be stored for a certain period of time.
5) The administration of the swarna prashana drops should be done according to weight and age
6) Non-vegetarian food should be avoided for the day and no food should be consumed one hour post swarna prasana
7) Children with an acute illness like acute fever, diarrhea should not be administered
8) Can be given after birth till the age of sixteen years
Swarna prasana provides average resistance to all common infections. It provides non-specific immunity. The modern vaccinations act at the level of pathogens whereby Swarna prasana helps in building overall immunity against a number of pathogens in a non-specific way. A large number of studies should be carried out to re-establish this forgotten tradition of Ayurveda.