Managing menstrual disorders with Ayurveda

Irregularity in menstruation can be due to various causes, including anaemia, constitutional diseases, tuberculosis, or underdevelopment or congestion of genital organs. Many other factors like endocrinal disorders including hypothyroidism, toxic goiter, Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) and other hormonal disturbances, could be some of the reasons. The best way out is to consult a gynaecologist and find out the root cause of the problem after a thorough check-up.

Ayurveda believes that one of main reasons for menstrual imbalances is bad diet and lifestyle habits, which leads to inefficient digestion. Improperly digested food could lead to formation of toxins in the body, which are then circulated by the blood to the deep tissues and channels causing blockages and stagnation.

Ayurveda recommends various types of treatment for menstrual disorders including herbs, rejuvenation therapies, incorporation of massages, meditation and yoga for permanent cure to the problem.

When talking about food intake, some of the factors that are responsible for this condition are increased intake of salty, sour, hot, pungent, heavy and fermented food, excess intake of non-vegetarian food, alcoholic beverages, eating before the previous meal is digested, psychological conditions such as anger, grief, lust and anxiety all aggravate menstrual problems.

Ayurvedic medicines

Some ayurvedic medicines generally recommended for menstrual disorders are Shudha Tankana (250mg), Rajapravartini Vati (500mg), Kumaryasava (20ml to 25ml after meals), Praval Pishti (75mg four times a day), Ashoka and Lodhra, Pradarantaka Lauha (240mg), Chandraprabha (500mg) etc. The medicines are prescribed depending on the general condition of the patient, and the nature of menstruation, which varies from one patient to another.

Herbal remedies

For scanty period, drink a decotion of Manjistha (Indian madder roots) daily to correct anaemia. It is available in Ayurvedic pharmacies.

Make a decoction out of aerial roots of banyan and consume it with half a glass of cow’s milk at bedtime for atleast three menstrual cycles.

Make hot infusion of neem bark and take a cup in the morning, noon and evening until cured.

A piece of fresh ginger can be ground and boiled in a cup of water and the infusion can be taken thrice a day after meals, sweetening with honey, as this even helps painful periods.

Some effective home remedies:

Take ½ a teaspoon of finely ground cinnamon dissolved in a cup of warm milk every night.
Green unripe papaya can help in correcting a late or delayed period. Just eat half a bowl of papaya pieces or make a simple salad from papaya and have it.

Drinking aloevera juice is a very effective home remedy in correcting irregular periods. You can start by having half a glass of pure juice on an empty stomach in the morning and another half a glass in the evening. But, have it regularly for effective results.
A decoction of cumin and sesame seeds, sweetened with jaggery, helps set off menstruation. To prepare the decoction, add a tablespoon each of cumin and sesame seeds in water and boil till the quantity of water reduces to three-fourths. Then add jaggery to taste.

Indian gooseberry (amla) is an effective remedy. Just chew on some fresh, ripe gooseberries early in the morning. If you do not have fresh ones, you can get amla juice or amla powder from any ayurvedic pharmacy or organic store. However, do not eat anything for at least once hour after that.

Fenugreek (methi) can be had regularly on empty stomach. For this, soak one-and-a-half teaspoon of methi seeds in water the previous night and in the morning drink the water on empty stomach. Do this regularly. Else, have fenugreek tea. The tea is particularly beneficial to those who have been diagnosed with PCOD (Poly cystic ovarian disease), as it helps regularise blood sugar levels.

Tips on diet and lifestyle:

Apart from trying to avoid all the causative factors mentioned above, any kind of psychological and physical stress need to be strictly avoided. Additionally, try to incorporate the following in your life:

Avoid tea, coffee and icy cold drinks, and instead have drinks at room temperature and those with cooling properties, like peppermint tea.

Eat plenty of leafy vegetables, raw vegetables, potatoes (only baked not fried), cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach in uncooked form, pineapples, musk melons and mangoes can be the mainstay.

Avoid refined flour products, milled rice and sugar. Substitute sugar with dates, gur, figs or raisins.

Milk and milk products can be taken in plenty.

Walk regularly, exercise to shape-up the abdomen, hot and cold hip baths can help.

Get that 8 hours of sleep, and do not over-strain yourself mentally or physically.

Yoga poses recommended

Some effective yoga poses that helps to rectify the irregularity in menstruation are Shoulder Stand pose, Half wheel, Kapalabhati Pranayama, Agnisara Kriya, Padahastasana, Trikonasana, Shalabhasana, Cobra pose, butterfly pose and surya namaskara.