A university Ayurveda textbook contains a recipe for a medicine that can supposedly ensure that a woman produces a male baby. Photo: iStock

Want a baby boy? Collect two north- or east-facing branches of a banyan tree that has been grown in a stable, take precisely two grains of urad dal mustard seeds, grind all the ingredients with curd and consume the mixture. According to a report in the Mumbai Mirror, this idea came from a third-year Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery (BAMS) textbook.

The text was reportedly copied from Charaka Samhita, a pre-2nd-century Ayurveda compilation, which is included in the current BAMS syllabus. According to the textbook, the process of creating a male foetus is called pusanvan and any woman who wants a boy should be “blessed with the pusanvan ritual” as soon as she gets pregnant.

The textbook lists various techniques to ensure the birth of a boy. The BAMS syllabus in the state is supervised by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences in Nashik.

Objections to the textbook’s contents were recently raised by Ganesh Borhade, a member of the district supervisory board of the PreConception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.

Borhade pointed out that parts of the textbook had no scientific backing whatsoever, according to reports.

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