Ayurvedic Treatment Plan for Menopause


Ayurveda helps to balance the systems of the body such as metabolism, bodily substances and movement. During menopause the production of estrogen in the body is reduced. Ayurveda can help to provide the right amount of estrogen to balance the bodily systems. Combining Ayurveda, herbs, yoga, and meditation can help relax the mind while balancing the body systems.

As menopause takes place over years, menopause is often divided into two phases: Perimenopause (start experiencing menopausal signs and symptoms, despite the fact that you still menstruate; may last four to five years) and Postmenopause (once 12 months have passed since your last period; your ovaries produce much less estrogen and no progesterone, and they do not release eggs).


The signs and symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, decreased fertility, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, increased abdominal fat, thinning hair, loss of breast fullness, amongst others. Though menopause isn't an illness, you shouldn't hesitate to get treatment or lifestyle adjustments if you are having severe symptoms. Hypothyroidism and mood disorders have to be ruled out in the differential diagnosis. Monitor blood pressure, lipid profile and renal functions.


Vata Pitta balancing is the Ayurveda guideline for the menopausal period. Herbs of candy tastes are commonly used; there are a couple of medicines that work very powerful.

During menopause, we're low on ojas, and so we have a lessened ability to maintain balance, even in the exact same environment and with the same stressors. Couple that with the erratic nature of vata, unchecked, and our body changes into a sympathetic overdrive. Our nervous system is a delicate balance of the sympathetic nervous system, a stress-oriented system which exists for self-preservation, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which works to unwind and renew. These two branches operate as opposing, yet complementary, systems. Due to low ojas, menopause becomes a condition of high sympathetic nervous system--cortisol levels increase, blood pressure increases, heart rate increases. This state of stress drives high pitta through the body, ready to attack any danger. The menstrual cycle can be considered a curative rakta moksha.  In the ideal, healthy condition of the menopausal woman, we shift away from pitta predominance, mentally and physically, to vata predominance. Normally, the female body would transition just fine. But with persistent pitta activities and continuous activation of the sharp and hot sympathetic system, pitta stays trapped within the body. 

In the end, we are left with the following procedure:

Elevated, ungrounded vata disperses throughout the body, carrying your heart digestive fire, agni, away from its home in the stomach and intestines. This leads to difficulty with digestion and general nutrition.

The warmth traveling in the circulatory system gives rise to hot flashes, insomnia, and cardiovascular disease.

High vata also flows down, drying out the vagina.

High vata in the colon and other deeper tissues, eventually creates conditions like osteoporosis.

Superfine tejas, also decreased, leads to problems with memory and concentration and a higher predisposition to cancers.


Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Menopause:

There are several herbal, dietary, and yoga based remedies you can try as you manage the different menopause symptoms:

a) Saffron is use in menopause, depression, Alzheimer's diseases, and includes vitamin A, calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12.

Saffron acts as antioxidants which help protect the body from oxidant-induced stress. Additionally it is abundant in several vital vitamins, including vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin-C. Saffron stigmas have been used as a flavouring base and colouring foundation in both food and beverages 

b) Black cohosh is used today mainly as a dietary supplement marketed to girls as remedies for the symptoms of premenstrual tension also in age-related disorders like osteoporosis. It has analgesic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties.

c) Dietary levels of red clover are safe to use as well. The flowers have antispasmodic, estrogenic, and expectorant properties. Chinese medicine has used red clover in teas as an expectorant. Russians recommend the herb for bronchial asthma. Traditionally, the herb was used in treating prostate cancer. Reduce hot, sour and salty tastes. Use of Ksheerabala nasal drops or as nasyam and using milk for Sirodhara are effective in hard cases.

d) Try to pinpoint what triggers your hot flashes. For many women, triggers may include hot drinks, spicy foods, hot weather.

e) Relaxation techniques with 30 minutes of yoga postures, deep breathing  exercises, and meditation are effective in menopausal symptoms Shavasana and Sudarshan Kirya, are also effective in mild-to-severe mood disorders

f)  Eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Include calcium, Vitamin D and/or Vitamin E supplements as per your doctor's advice. Dietary supplements, such as licorice, evening primrose oil and wild yam can also help.

g)  Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity

h) Schedule regular checkups (mammograms, Pap tests, lipid level)

i) Phytoestrogens occur naturally in certain foods such as soybeans, chickpeas and other legumes, asparagus, flaxseed, whole grains and some fruits and vegetables. Include these in your diet.

j) Include coconut water, raisins, ghee and asparagus in your daily diet.



References:
1. Qureshi NA, Al-Bedah AM. Mood disorders and complementary and alternative medicine: a literature review. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013;9:639–658. doi:10.2147/NDT.S43419
2. Geller SE, Studee L. Botanical and dietary supplements for menopausal symptoms: what works, what does not. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2005;14(7):634–649. doi:10.1089/jwh.2005.14.634
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