handle menopause with ayurved
Since menopause is the transition from the Pitta phase of life to the Vata phase, if a woman already has a significant Pitta or Vata imbalance in the years before menopause, things are likely to get worse during menopause, which is a period when hormonal and other natural changes take place in the body.
Another factor leading to menopausal imbalances is the accumulation of digestive impurities (ama) in the physiology. Ama blocks the channels that transport nutrition to the cells and remove waste from the body, and thus contributes to menopausal problems.
A third factor is the misuse or overuse of the mind, body, emotions, or senses. Basically, this happens when a woman strains her mind too much, is under too much ongoing stress or pressure, or is doing work that is too "heavy" for her body, or is under tremendous emotional stress.
Get on with ayurvedic tips
Ayurvedic preparations are made from various materials in Nature: roots, rhizomes, seeds, flowers, stems, leaves, barks, minerals, resins, and even some metals. We are taught in high school science that the Animal and Plant Kingdoms are two separate universes. If a high school student asked the teacher about a possible similarity between a tulip and a human tumor cell, this would be dismissed as ridiculous. However, one of the seminal truths discovered by the Ayurvedic scientists of ancient times is that there are common basic energetic threads which connect the Animal, Plant, and Mineral worlds. Thus a specific quality (guna) or set of qualities can be present in both a tulip (plant) and a tumor cell (animal). This is because both Plants and Animals arise from a more fundamental all-encompassing natural source. Interestingly, we have accrued volumes and volumes of books and periodicals on plant biology and perhaps even more on human biology. But in our pursuit of these highly specialized academic compartments, we have lost all knowledge of how these two biologies interrelate.
Favor foods that are bitter, astringent and sweet, as these are cooling to Pitta dosha. Bitter and astringent foods include most vegetables. Sweet foods include rice, milk and cream, sweet lassi, and wheat products. Sweet, juicy fruits such as pears and plums also pacify Pitta dosha. Cook with Pitta-reducing spices, such as cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, fennel and small amounts of cumin seed.
If you experience Vata-related symptoms of menopause such as memory loss or vaginal dryness, you'll want to work at bringing Vata dosha back into balance. For this, you'll want to eat foods that are cooked, warm, and unctuous (meaning that they have a small amount of good fats such as ghee and olive oil). Eat foods that are sweet, sour and salty, as this balances Vata dosha.
Although some women have very few noticeable symptoms of menopause besides the cessation of her menstrual periods, most women will have some degree of other symptoms. Symptoms may come and go, and more may develop, over the course of the menopausal years. They include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal changes (atrophic vaginitis)
- Difficulty concentrating/memory loss
- Emotional changes (depression, anxiety)
- Sleep disturbances (insomnia)
- Changes in sexual desire (increased or decreased libido)
- Rapid, irregular heartbeat (heart palpitations)
- Generalized itching
- Joint and/or muscle pain
- Urinary changes (urinary frequency)
Herbs that heal
The Graceful Transition line from Maharishi Ayurveda as a whole is designed to prevent and treat the imbalances related to menopause. It provides both general support and targets specific imbalances that women experience before, during and after menopause.
The entire line is targeted especially for women of the West: women who have the Western physiology, live in that environment, or work in that culture. It addresses the dietary needs, lifestyle and stress levels of women who live a fast-paced life. This line, along with the Midlife for Women I and Midlife for Women II formulas, is designed to promote the overall emotional, physical and mental health of women. The products help keep the body free of ama and maintain the balance between soma (lunar energy) and agni (solar energy) — a balance that is vital for health during menopause and beyond.
Herbal supplementation is a healthy and natural way to support healthy hormone levels and maintain physical and mental well being. Shatavari and vidari, two herbs found in Women's Natural Transition, are most beneficial to menopausal women. These herbs contain phytoestrogens which help to regulate the erratic hormone levels during menopause. Brahmi and shankhapushpi are soothing to the nervous system and help calm mental agitation. This special formula will support and help to tonify and normalize the reproductive system and will help to energize and strengthen the body so that a woman can easily enjoy her elder years.
Ashoka (Saraca indica)
Lodhra (Symplocos racemosus)
Musta (Cyperus rotundus)
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Sveta musali (Asparagus adscendens)
Nagbala (Grewia hirsuta)
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
Jiraka (Cuminum cyminum)
Bala (Sida cordifolia)
Vidari (Pueraria tuberosa)
Nilotpala (Nymphoae stellata)
Asparagus adscendens (Sveta musali)