By Dr Renita D’Souza
Women are more prone to wide range of health issues due to changes in her body taking place beginning from her 1st periods to the old age. Ayurveda says the health and lifestyle, especially during fertile period of woman will have impact on her child.
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Hence maintaining healthy lifestyle and diet for women is utmost important for her health as well as her progeny.
In Ayurveda imbalance of vata dosha is the main cause for various health issues in women.
Wrong habits to avoid Vata Dosha imbalance:
Excessive physical strain activities such as exercises for long hours, wrong Yoga postures,
high heel footwear,
travelling for many hours on daily basis
delaying sleeping time with smartphone engagement
Skipping meals, having very little amount of foods for weight management,
Habitual suppression natural urges such as hunger, thirst, urination, defecation continuously can lead to Vata Dosha imbalance. It leads to many complaints such as bodyache, headache, bloating, nausea menstrual pains, back pain, anxiety etc.
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Psychological factors – Stress, anxiety, fear, depression, phobia, emotional volatility etc lead to physical and mental health.
For example you might have missed your periods or had scanty bleeding during exams or work stress. Fear causes dislike for food, sleepless night etc which will have impact on physical health in long run mainly due to vata dosha imbalance.
Wrong food habits to avoid:
Dry fish, strong, highly spicy pickle, cold refrigerated water and food items,
excessive spicy, sour, junk food, canned foods, uncooked, spoiled, contaminated, previous night left over food, repeatedly heated food, skipping meals, untimely taken food
Refrigerated and re-cooked foods
Alcohol, junk foods,
Continuous intake of hotel foods, packed, ready-to-eat food junks etc.
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Lifestyle changes during menstruation
Healthy Lifestyle And Diet For women In Different Phase Of Her Life
– Avoid intake of heavy food which is difficult to digest. Example – meat, junk foods etc
– Avoid pickle, excess salt consumption during this period
– Take food which is easily digestible. Example – diet including wheat, barley, snake guard, green gram etc
– Drinking cold water and other refrigerated food items will increase vata which can cause painful periods.
– Drink warm water and take warm food.
– Avoid excess spicy, sour, salty food this can increase the flow in those who have heavy menstrual bleeding.
– Avoid excess walking, travelling, talking, standing or other physical strain which cause imbalance in vata dosha which in its normal state helps easy menstrual flow.
Read – Heavy Periods, Menstrual bleeding Ayurvedic Treatment
Ideal food during Pregnancy
– Food should be easily digestible, freshly prepared wholesome and delicious as per the pregnant lady desires to have.
– Diet can include ghee, milk with turmeric or saffron, leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, banana, pomegranate, chikku, custard apple, walnuts, almonds, avocado, fennel, cumin, coconut water etc
– Avoid raw papaya, raw pineapple, castor oil, raw meat, caffeine liquor, excess asafoetida, uncooked, spoilt, canned junk food and left over food.
– Avoid carrying heavy thinks, travelling, climbing stairs or hill, standing on height, staying near places of loud noise etc
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During this period there is cessation of menstruation which cause imbalance in all three doshas which accordingly produce various symptoms hence it is the period where utmost care of health has to be taken to form balance in doshas. Treatment should be done according to the presenting symptoms.
For vata predominant symptoms like mood swings, fear, Constipation, insomnia, anxiety, body aches etc then should avoid intake of dry, cold food items and activities such as excess exercise, travelling etc.
For pitta dominant symptoms such as hot flushes, anger, burning sensation, excess bleeding etc should take coolant, bitter, sweet taste food such as snake guard, green gram, barley, sugarcane juice, coconut water etc. Avoid spicy, salt, sour food, pickles, chilies etc
In kapha prominent symptoms symptoms like obesity, depression, indigestion etc then avoid taking excess sweet, oily food, heavy, raw food, day sleep etc
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General Therapies To Improve Women Health
Oil massage (Abyanga)
– Daily body oil massage before warm bath balances vata dosha
– Improves skin health
– Moisturizes the skin, removes dryness, improve complexion etc
– Lubricates joints, relaxes muscles thereby reduce body aches and joint pain
Regular exercise (Vyayama)
– Controls body weight
– Reduces excess body fat
– Maintains bone and muscle health
– Relieves stress, anxiety, fear, depression
Read – Benefits of gym and exercise – Ayurvedic explanation
Maintaining normal movement of vata dosha (Vatanulomana)
– Drinking warm water maintains normal movement of vata also improves digestion, maintains appetite
– Drinking water soaked overnight with raisins, early morning in empty stomach brings vata movement in normal direction, acts as mild laxative thereby eases bowel movement.
Meditation – This plays important role in all phase of women’s life.
– Helps to relieve stress, anxiety etc
– Improves disease tolerance capacity of body.
– Maintains physical and mental dosha in balance
– Maintains normal digestive strength. according to Ayurveda, altered digestive strength is involved in every disease condition.
Read – 24 Stress Management Tips: Pranayama, Meditation, Lifestyle Changes
Medicines for women health
Medicines mainly used for Women Health
Shatavari Gulam – Mainly used in almost all the gynecological complaints, PCOD, menstrual pain, irregular menstrual cycles, heavy menstrual bleeding, urinary tract infections etc
Chandraprabha Vati – Widely used in urinary tract infections, gynecological problems, relieve indigestion, improves strength, it is a natural aphrodisiac and anti aging Ayurvedic medicine.
Ashokarista – Primarily in female complaints, usually prescribed by many Ayurvedic doctors for treating menstrual irregularities.
Lodhrasava – Used as natural remedy for heavy period.
Chandanasava – It relieves excess body heat, improve strength, digestive power. It is a natural cardiac tonic.
It relieves excess body heat.
Ashwagandha Churna – Used in anxiety, leucoderma, depression, insomnia, weight gain, weight loss, immunity, muscle strength, body building, anti oxidants, sexual stimulant
Pushyanuga Churna – Used in Ayurvedic treatment of Menorrhagia, Metrorrhagia, Leucorrhoea, Menstrual disorder, Excessive menstrual bleeding of various etiology.
Menosan Tablet – Used to treat all menopausal discomforts and ensures sense of well being.
1. As per the research conducted by Department of Psychology H.N.B Garhwal Central University Garhwal Uttarakhand, India on stress among employed women and housewives and its management have concluded stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, hypnosis, guided imagery, muscle relaxation, mindfulness breathing etc. have shown improvement in positive coping skills. (A)
2. As per the research conducted on effect of massage therapy during pregnancy and labor, concluded that massage therapy is effective during pregnancy and labor. There was reduced depression, anxiety, decreased leg and back pain in pregnant women who underwent massage therapy and on labor pain women experienced significantly less pain, and their labors were on average 3 h shorter with less need for medication. (B)
3. Menstrual cycle and food habits:
The evidence indicates that women eat more food per day during the 10 days after they ovulate than during the 10 days before (c)
4. Menopause and exercise:
A research study concluded that 12-weeks of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise may result in small improvements in sleep quality, insomnia and depression in midlife, sedentary women. (d)