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Ayurvedic Treatment For Menstrual Cycle Pain & Cramps

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Table of Contents

What is a menstrual cycle?

The menstrual cycle is the monthly series of changes a woman’s body goes through in preparation for the possibility of pregnancy. Monthly, one of the ovaries releases an egg – a process called ovulation. At precisely the exact same time, hormonal changes prepare the uterus for pregnancy. If ovulation takes place and the egg isn’t fertilized, the lining of the uterus sheds through the vagina. This is a menstrual period.

Women may experience menstrual cycles that fall out the standard as described previously. Menstrual problems include missing a time period, change in the length of the cycle, changes in the flow, colour, or effects of menstrual blood, and extreme pain or other menstrual disorders. Women may also experience psychological distress or wide mood swings during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. There is evidence that a significant proportion of premenopausal women suffer emotional distress or impairment in job functioning in the week before their menstrual period.

See: Ayurvedic Treatment For Agoraphobia

How does Ayurveda view Menstruation?

Ayurveda concepts on Menstrual
cycle

The menstrual blood which flows out a woman’s body every month is
called as ‘Raja’ or ‘Artava’ as per Ayurveda. Menstrual blood or Rajas is
considered as an Upadhathu or sub tissue of Rasa Dhathu (Plasma) according to
Ayurveda concepts. From Rasa or Plasma, blood tissue or Rakta dhathu is formed
which has menstrual blood as the byproduct in women. This menstrual blood
reaches the uterus and is discharged for a period of three days.

The discharged menstrual blood or Artava has the following
features –

  • – Predominant of Pitta
  • – It possesses qualities and features of blood
  • – It helps in the formation of fetus
  • – Normal
    quantity expelled is around 4 ounces

We all are familiar with the terms Menarche and Menopause. The
first appearance of Menstrual cycle in a girl is termed as Menarche and the
cessation of menstruation in old age is termed as Menopause. Ayurveda opines
the age of Menarche as 12 years and the age of menopause as 50
years.

Ayurveda has explained in detail about women’s health. There are
proper solutions described for each of the different health issues that a woman
faces in her stages of life.

What menstraul disorders does Ayurveda treat?

Menstrual disorders and their Ayurvedic approach

The menstrual disorders described in ancient Ayurveda classics are
the following.

  1. – Scanty menstruation
  2. – Heavy bleeding
  3. – Irregular menstrual cycle
  4. – Painful menstruation
  5. – Premenstrual symptoms like back pain, nausea etc.
  6. – Stress,
    anxiety and mood swings

See: Ayurvedic Herbs For Allergies Remedies

Research in Ayurveda for Menstrual Disorders

Research studies showing the efficacy of
Ayurveda in Menstrual disorders

  1. 1. Scanty menstruation/ Oligo Menorrhea – The
    administration of shathapushpa choorna for three months in a
    dose of 5 g twice daily along with cow’s ghee has been showing encouraging
    results in women aged between 15 and 35 years in Oligo menorrhea or Artava
    Kshaya. [1]
  2. 2. Hypomenorrhea, Oligomenorrhea and dysmenorrhea has been
    shown to realize outcomes improvement by the administration of Vasti. Dashamoola tila
    thaila Vasti has shown improvement effects on Hypomenorrhea. [2]
  3. 3. Longer duration of menstrual bleeding and irregular
    menstruation is often associated with depression and stress disorders. [3] Ayurveda therapies can
    effectively manage stress and depression.
  4. 4. The
    effects of Yogasanas in effectively managing painful menstruation has also
    been studied. 50 participants in case group attended Yoga class for 45
    minutes for a period of 3 months. Visual Analog Scale or VAS scale was
    used to assess the pain after 3 months in the case group and control group
    which didn’t do Yoga. The effect of Yoga and other relaxation techniques
    showed improved pain relief during menstruation in the case group. [4]

5. Herbal combinations generally used for
managing irregular and painful menstruation

A patient appeared with complaints of occasional pain in abdomen
(bilateral iliac) and intermittent per vagina bleeding for last three months.
She also complained about scanty menstruation and lower back ache. She was
diagnosed with sub serosal uterine fibroid with right para ovarian cyst. She
had undergone surgery for the same and on follow up USG another intramural
fibroid was seen.

Later she had taken Ayurveda therapies like shodhana to be more
specific Virechana and internal administration of drugs like Kanchanara
guggulu, Pushyanuga Choorna and chandraprabha vati for a period of 2 months. On
second follow up USG was done and found no hypo echoic lesions in uterus. Also,
her periods had become regular and pain in the lower abdomen reduced. [5]

See: Ayurvedic Treatment For Anal Fissure

Ayurvedic treatment for menopause

As we have discussed the ayurvedic management of menstrual disorders
let us discuss about Ayurvedic approach to menopause.

There is a period called perimenopausal period which occurs around
age 40 years in women. In Ayurveda it is called as Rajonivarthi kala.

Generally, the following symptoms are shown during this period.

  • – Scanty/prolonged period of menstruation
  • – Mood elevations
  • – Excessive sweating
  • – Loss of sleep/Insomnia
  • – Hot flashes
  • – Anorexia or decreased appetite
  • – Lower sex drive
  • – Vaginal
    dryness

Let us look at the Ayurveda management of each of these issues
faced.

<span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman”;color:black;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”=”” style=”font-family:”>Excessive
bleeding/Irregular bleeding

<span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman”;color:black;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”=”” style=”font-family:”>Stress/ sleep
disturbances

<span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman”;color:black;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”=”” style=”font-family:”>Vaginal Dryness<span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman””=”” style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:”>

<span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman”;color:black;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold”=”” style=”font-family:”>Hot flashes <span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman””=”” style=”font-size:12.0pt;font-family:”>

  • Pushyanuga choorna – As I
    have already discussed this herbal combination is highly effective in
    irregular/heavy bleeding.
  • Ashokarishta
  • Patrangasava


<span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman”;color:black”=”” style=”font-family:”>Ashwagandharishta -For managing fatigue,
stress and mood disorders

  • Chandraprabha vati – In
    Ayurveda this potent medicine is used for urinary tract infection,
    painful urination, vaginal dryness and even urinary calculi.
  • Gokshuradi Guggulu – Mainly
    used for female gynecological disorders
  • Trinapancha
    moola kwatha – In painful and burning micturition and vaginal and
    urethral dryness

<span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman”;color:black”=”” style=”font-family:”>Hot flashes can be effectively managed by a
Pitta balancing diet and regimen.

  • Kumuda rasa
  • Pravala
    pishti etc. are rasa medicine which can act as a source of calcium and
    successfully manage hot flushes.

 

See: Ayurveda Herbs For Anxiety Remedies

Ashwagandha herb for women’s health

Ashwagandha is used in Ayurveda frequently for managing
women’s health disorders based on the Practitioner’s advice.

  • a. For
    Uterine fibroids

Withnia Somifera or Ashwagandha is used as a Rasayana in Ayurveda.
Many scientific studies and case studies were carried out and its adaptogenic /
anti-stress activities were studied in detail. In many cases of uterine
fibroids, dermatosarcoma, called as Arbuda in Ayurveda long term treatment with
WS controlled the condition. 6

  • b. For
    stress

Ashwagandha has recently gained recognition as a treatment for
anxiety and stress in the United States. It is used as an alternative to
benzodiazepines and other prescription medications. It is categorized as an
anti-inflammatory, anti-stress supplement medication. This potent herb is also
classified as an adaptogen, which indicates its ability to regulate and manage
physiologic processes and thereby stabilize the body’s response to stress. <span “times=”” arial”,”sans-serif”;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” new=”” roman”;color:black”=”” style=”font-size:6.5pt;font-family:”>7

  • c. Improving
    sexual function in women

Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce and control cortisol levels
in persons under chronic stress and anxiety, restore normal adrenal function,
and normalize and regulate the sympathetic nervous system. It’s root extracts
treats sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety in
Males. In women, it ameliorates diminished sexual desire in women and in all
forms of sexual dysfunction. 8

See: Ayurvedic Herbs For Arthritis Remedies

Pitta pacifying diet and regimen for hot flashes

A balanced Pitta will always reduce the hot flashes and night
sweating associated with Menopause. Keep the following things in mind to
balance Pitta during menopausal period.

  • – Remember to relax physically, mentally and emotionally.
    Practice Yoga and pranayama or engage yourselves in your favorite
    sports.
  • – Never skip meals, especially Lunch. Include sweet juicy
    fruits, cooling spices like coriander, fennel and mint.
  • – Avoid sour, salty and spicy foods.
  • – Drink lots of room temperature water.
  • – Regularly practice abhyanga with a pitta pacifying oil
    and use room temperature water for bathing.
  • – Use herbs like triphala, ashwagandha, usheera etc. as
    per the instructions of your practitioner
  • – Undergo
    a shodhana therapy or Virechana once in 6 months to keep the pitta in
    check.

Summary

Ayurveda has a holistic view of women’s health issues at different stages of life, and has solutions for each phase for good health. All the herbs and treatment procedures explained here are based on
research studies. Still, before undergoing any Ayurveda herbs or procedure make
sure you consult your holistic practitioner.