The inherent nurturing, caring, and giving nature of a woman leaves her with limited time to take care of herself. It is crucial for her to take time out every day for relaxation and rejuvenation. When women are unable to do so, the challenges of the fast-paced world expose them to an increased risk of health problems associated with stress, and anxiety that affect their menstruation cycles, metabolism, fertility, hormones, and general health over time.
Here are some of the most prevalent health concerns impacting women, and how Ayurveda can help manage the risk:
Hormones are the chemicals secreted into our bloodstream through endocrine glands such as the Thyroid, Adrenaline, and Pituitary glands. These hormones work as messengers between the mind and the body and are also responsible for development and growth, metabolism, regulation of menstrual cycles, fertilization of the ovum, ensuring proper growth of the fetus in the womb, etc. In short, hormones affect our mood, energy levels, appetite, metabolism, and reproductive health.
Since hormones play a key role in numerous bodily processes, imbalances can show up in more ways than one. Some of the common signs of hormonal imbalances are poor gut health, nutritional deficiencies, hair loss, increased/decreased thyroid levels, uterine fibroids, bloating, PMS, constipation, low libido, brain fog, etc. The abnormal functioning of these glands is caused by both mental and physical factors like stress, depression, anxiety, sedentary lifestyle, excessive exertion, unhealthy food, and lack of sleep.
The science of life suggests numerous ways to manage/treat these imbalances through proper diet, leading a healthy lifestyle suited to your ‘Prakriti’, and using herbs that help balance these hormones such as
- Eating healthy food at the right time as timely food intake can reduce most of the risks caused by hormonal imbalances.
- Herbs like Shatavari, Ashwagandha, Kapikacchu, etc. to help regulate hormones
- Regular exercising, practicing yoga helps flush out toxins in the form of sweat, improve blood circulation, promote lymphatic drainage, and boost immunity
- Meditation helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression which can lead to an imbalance of hormones.
- Getting 7 hours of quality sleep helps relax the body and mind, reduces stress, and rejuvenates the body and mind.
Menstrual disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), excessive bleeding (dysfunctional uterine bleeding), dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation), irregular cycles, prolonged periods, scanty periods, etc impact the quality of life and can also cause infertility apart from other symptoms. Several causative factors, such as indisciplined lifestyle, unhealthy food habits, sedentary lifestyle, and Doshic imbalance contribute to menstrual disorders
Cow's ghee, often referred to as liquid gold in Ayurveda is also known to help with various gynecological problems. Be it irregular periods, stomach cramps, or even pregnancy, ghee is the best remedy for all. Add a dollop of ghee to foods during the menstrual cycle to prevent cramps, bloating, constipation, etc.
Using herbs like Asoka, Dasamoola, Shatavari, Guggulu, Guduchi, Punarnava, Usheera, Sariva, Gokshura, etc are also recommended for ovulation disorders, premature ovarian failure, blocked fallopian tubes, and PID as they regularize the uterine function and help regulate the blood flow.
In the case of dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation, Ayurveda recommends consuming a diet rich in complex carbohydrates and low in salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Regular exercising, regular practice of yoga and meditation helps relieve lower abdomen pain and relaxes the muscles. Butterfly Ayurveda's Love Your Body infusion also does wonders to soothe menstrual cramps. Ayurveda also focuses on Panchakarma procedures such as Uttara Basti, Yoga Basti, Virechana, and Vamana that rekindle the digestive fire (Agni deepana), eliminate the toxins (Ama Pachana), and purifies the tissues (Shodhana).
Kidney Disorders & Urinary Tract Infections
According to Ayurveda, all urinary tract infections are clubbed under a broad term called 'Mutrakricchra'. These include both kidney disorders and urinary tract infections. Women are usually more susceptible to UTIs as they have a shorter urethra than men so the bacteria only travel a short distance and can easily infect the bladder. As per Ayurveda, UTIs are majorly caused by an imbalance of pitta dosha in the body. Causative agents for pitta imbalance can be eating extremely hot, spicy, and sour food, consuming alcohol, suppressing the urge to urinate also known as 'mutravegdharan', dehydration, overexposure to heat, and environmental factors like toxins/chemical contact. Common signs and symptoms of UTI include pain or burning sensation while urinating, cloudy white/bloody urine, frequent urination, fever, and incomplete urination.
Ayurveda recommends herbs like
- Gokshur - Helps reduce inflammation, and swelling at the urethra and bladder, and acts as a diuretic.
- Punarnava - Helps reduce urea and creatinine levels in the blood, reduces inflammation, has diuretic properties, and also helps in reducing kidney stones.
- Varun - works as a blood purifier, maintains homeostasis, and increases urine flow.
- Guduchi - Works wonders as an immunity booster, helps reduce fever and symptoms like painful urination.
Besides these herbs, Ayurvedic recommendations for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) include lifestyle modifications such as limiting the intake of hot, spicy, and oily food, drinking plenty of water, eating seasonal fruits, and limiting exposure to heat. Practicing yoga asanas like Gomukhasan, Pawanmuktasan, Viparita Karani mudra, and Moolbandh can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and reduce the chances of contracting UTIs.
Ayurveda has a vast repository of medicinal herbs, treatments, and therapies that help balance the hormones, tone the uterus, nourish the body, and improve the quality of life. Taking the Ayurvedic route to manage and treat your health disorders is the most safe and effective way to a healthy life. So, if you’re looking for more ways to stay on top of your health, we encourage you to seek Ayurvedic consultation.