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Ayurveda for women’s health – Holistic Well-being

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Women have a unique system of reproduction to facilitate child bearing. Based upon a woman’s physiology, we can classify her lifespan into three phases:

  • Menarche: Onset of menstruation
  • Reproductive: Onset of ovulation
  • Menopause: cessation of menstruation

Each of these phases has physiological characeteristics based on the hormonal changes in that particular phase.

The term ‘hormonal changes’ is often used in context with ‘female problems’. Hormones are secretions from ductless glands that are present in the bloodstream and work where receptors are available. Normally hormonal changes occur during the menstrual cycle,but if there is any problem in secretion or reception, gynecological problems like PMS, PCOS,or fibroids infertility can occur.

These days, an effective combination of artificial hormones is used to treat hormonal imbalance. However , the long-term use of such medication can have side effects such as stomach ulcers, weight gain, etc. Ayurveda offers a wide range of herbal medicines and therapies to correct hormonal imbalance. Let us look at the couple of common problems here.

Pre-Mentstrual Syndrome ( PMS):

PMS is a condition characterized by affective, behavioural and somatic symptoms; 2-4 days prior to menstruation. These are resolved with the onset of menstruation. PMS affects 10% to 30 % of menstruating women.

Symptoms

  • Psychological
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Nervous tension
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Lower coping ability
  • Aggression

Physical

  • Fluid retention
  • Bloating around the abdomen
  • Breast swelling and tenderness
  • Lower libido
  • Headache

Diagnostic Procedures

  • Medical history
  • Blood tests to measure hormone levels
  • Pelvic ultrasound (Sonography)

Management

PMS can be managed with lifestyle correction, exercise, diet, ayurvedic medication and Panchakarma.

Life-style changes

  • Exercise regularly – minimum thrice a week
  • Practice yoga asanas such as Vajrasana, Pavanmuktasana and Bhujangasana. These postures reduce lower abdominal pain and bloating. Do breathing exercises such as Anulom-vilom, Bhramari and Omkar chanting.
  • Ensure sound sleep of at least 6-8 hours
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Reduce caffeine

Diet

  1. Eat healthy , warm and fresh foods
  2. Eat 5-6 small meals
  3. Have fresh fruits like plums, dark grapes, apples, pomegranates.
  4. Eat more leafy vegetables
  5. Regularly use ginger in food preparations
  6. Avoid high fat and sugar
  7.  Take supplements like calcium ,magnesium, vitamin E, B6, B12

Ayurvedic Treatment

  • General Home Remedies:
  • Two caster oil capsules with warm water at bed time : 3 days prior to menstruation
  • One cup of wheat flour porridge : add ¼  teaspoon of dry ginger and ¼ tsp of piparmul powder
  • One tsp of  Shtavari and one tsp Ashwagandha powder with milk once a day.
  • Juice of bottle gourd ( 5inch) , beetrrot(small & steamed), tomato1, ginger ½ inch

Medicines as prescribed by ayurveda consultant

Panchakarma :

  • Full body massage with vatashamak oils e.g. Narayan oil
  • Full body herbal steam
  • Shirodhara
  • Nasyam
  • Basti ( medicated ayurvedic Enema)

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome:

Polycystic ovary syndrome ( PCOS) is a common problem faced by women in their reproductive age. It is estimated that between 22% and 33% of woman have polycystic ovaries. PCOS occurs when a woman’s ovaries develop more follicles than normal every month. Usually about five follicles start to mature during each menstrual cycle and at least one egg-containing follicle releases a mature egg at ovulation. However, a polycystic ovary starts maturing at least twice as many follicles that normal, most of which enlarge and ripen but do not release an egg.

The real cause for PCOS  is unknown but it’s been proven that resistance to insulin hormone can lead to hormonal imbalance; this makes ovulation rare or irregular. The menstrual cycle may become irregular, and the follicle never reaches maturity.

PCOS may be hereditary as well. Studies show that women with a family history of polycystic ovaries are 50% more likely to develop the condition.

Symptoms

  • Irregular or non-existing periods
  • Very light or very heavy bleeding during period
  • Mild to moderate abdominal discomfort
  • Excessive hair growth on face, chest and lower abdomen
  • Acne
  • Excessive skin growth on nech or in armpit, also called skin tags
  • Weight gain
  • Infertility

PCOS may also increase the risk of :

  • High blood pressure
  • High level of blood cholesterol
  • Problems related to liver and heart
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea

Diagnostic Procedures:

  • Medical history
  • Blood tests to measure hormone levels
  • Pelvic ultrasound ( Sonography)

Management

Life-style changes:

  • Atleast 45 minute brisk walk on five days a week
  • Practice yoga asanas such as Pavan-muktasan, Bhujangasan, Sarvangasan, Matsyasan, Dhanurasan
  • Ensure sound sleep of at least 8 hours at night
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Reduce caffeine

Diet

  • Ensure a sugar ( white) restricted diet
  • Eat fibrous food like broken –wheat and oats
  • Do not keep long intervals between meals
  • Eat fresh fruits like papaya, oranges, sweet lime etc
  • Eat more leafy vegetables

Ayurvedic Treatment

  • General Home Remedies:
  • Two tablespoon Dashamoola kadha with warm water for 7 days prior to menstruation
  • One tsp black sesame seeds can be taken on an empty stomach in the morning
  • Juice of bottle gourd (6inch), basil leaves 7-8, and pinch of black pepper

Medicines as prescribed by an ayurvedic consultant

Panchakarma :

  • Full body udvartan
  • Full body herbal steam
  • Shirodhara
  • Vaman ( emesis)
  • Nasyam
  • Basti ( medicated enema)
  • Uttarbasti

For a free consultation with Dr. Sunita Chaudhari, click here. Consultation is absolutely FREE.

Sunita Chaudhari

Dr. Sunita Chaudhari (BAMS, M.Phil) is a renowned Ayurveda practitioner, a qualified Yoga Instructor from the renowned Kaivalyadham University in India and has been teaching Ayurveda and yoga for more than 20 years. She specializes in women and infant health, skin care and natural beauty treatments. She is an expert in traditional Ayurvedic health care practices, especially Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification) and Garbhasanskara (Ante-Natal Care and Post Natal Care though Ayurveda).

Sunita Chaudhari

Dr. Sunita Chaudhari (BAMS, M.Phil) is a renowned Ayurveda practitioner, a qualified Yoga Instructor from the renowned Kaivalyadham University in India and has been teaching Ayurveda and yoga for more than 20 years. She specializes in women and infant health, skin care and natural beauty treatments. She is an expert in traditional Ayurvedic health care practices, especially Panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification) and Garbhasanskara (Ante-Natal Care and Post Natal Care though Ayurveda).

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