Ayurveda, the ancient Indian herbal system of medicine has several herbs that are particularly beneficial for women. Ayurveda helps women in finding their body rhythm, which is closely linked to nature. Due to this, women generally respond better to ayurvedic treatments. These herbs and medicinal plants, apart from improving health of women, treat specific health conditions, and are prescribed either individually or in combination by physicians.
Also known as gooseberry, Amalaki is used extensively to treat several health conditions in both men and women like dyspepsia, gastritis, hyperacidity, hepatitis, constipation, colitis, haemorrhoids, cough, fever, asthma, skin diseases, gout, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, palpitations, vertigo etc.
However, it is considered women-friendly, as it treats several health issues in women like menorrhagia, anaemia, osteoporosis, premature greying, alopecia, asthenia, leucorrhoea, and is post-partum restorative.
A fresh juice of amalaki with amalaki churna can also be taken with ghee and honey as an aphrodisiac too.
Ashoka is considered to be beneficial for women, as it stimulates the utereus making contractions frequent and prolonged without producing tonic contractions. It has been helpful in uterine hemorrhagic conditions like ‘menorrhagi’a and ‘metrorrahagia’. ‘Ashokarista’ is an extract of this herb, and when taken together with other herbs in the market, it is useful in conditions like dysmenorrhea, bleeding due to dysfunction of uterus, etc. Decoction of the bark of Ashoka mixed with cold milk may be an excellent remedy for irregular menstrual cycles and other bleeding disorders. It should however, be taken under the guidance of ayurvedic physician.
Shatavari comprises triterpene saponnins shatavarin I-IV that are phytoestrogen compounds. They help in balancing the female hormone levels. The oestrogen hormone is of plant origin and has strong stabilizing and rejuvenating effect on both mind and body. Given this unique property, it helps in treating Pre-Menstrual Symptoms (PMS), dysmenorrhea, infertility, irregular menstrual cycle, menopause and lactation. Shatavari is particularly beneficial for menopausal women with low oestrogen levels, as it has phytoestrogens.
The granules prepared with purified root powder of Shatavari, when taken with warm milk, improves lactation. When Shatavari powder is taken with gokshura and amalaki, they reduce oedema during pregnancy.
Licorice root extract is a popular herb that helps increase cortisol and oestrogen, while also decreasing testosterone. The presence of excessive testosterone levels, leads to a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome, which leads to infertility, weight gain and acne. Licorice works well in decreasing testosterone levels in women by 50%. Licorice is sometimes prescribed in combination with other herbs. When taken in large doses, licorice may lead to increased blood pressure, and hence women with high blood pressure, should consult physician and get the dosage altered accordingly.
Ashwagandha or the Indian ginseng is the most ancient herb being used in the history of Ayurvedic tradition. It is well-known for its anti-aging properties, treats cognitive disorders, Parkinson’s disease, improves white blood cell count during chemotherapy, and the list of health benefits of Ashwagandha goes endless.
But, when it comes to the herb being beneficial for women, Ashwagandha is a promising herb that supports thyroid functioning. Majority of women, irrespective of any age groups are being diagnosed with thyroid problems today, and its associated symptoms like fatigue, fluid retention and weight gain.
Ashwagandha works by supporting functioning of thyroid hormone. In-fact, the herb being a strong antioxidant, protects thyroid tissue by itself and helps in its optimal functioning. Ashwagandha is also an immune modulator, and reduces autoimmune inflammation, the most common cause of under-active thyroid.
Ashwagandha can be taken as fluid extract or in the form of tablet.