By Dr Renita D’Souza
Ayurveda treatises have dedicated few chapters exclusively emphasizing on women’s health and its maintenance. Maintaining health issues at the earliest in women is utmost important as her normal body doshas are more prone to undergone imbalance due to changes occurring in her physical condition.
Read – Menstrual Pain, Painful Periods – Natural Ayurvedic Herbal Home Remedies
Menstruation is such condition wherein doshas are more prone to undergo changes if proper diet and lifestyle is not followed pertaining to symptoms present during menstrual flow, body type, her digestion strength etc. Imbalance of these doshas during menstrual cycle affects her health as well as health of her progeny.
Read – Diet And Lifestyle For Women In Ayurveda
Menstrual cycle is natural cleansing process occurring in women every month. If this process is regular then it itself heals the imbalanced doshas and purifies blood tissue and rasa dhatu to maintain normal reproductive tissue in women. Hence maintaining and correcting menstrual cycle to normalcy is given utmost important in Ayurveda.
Read – Heavy Periods, Menstrual bleeding Ayurvedic Treatment
Dosha involvement in Menstrual cycle
All three doshas, vata , pitta and kapha dosha are involved to form complete and normal menstrual cycle.
Kapha dosha – acts as the binding substance. In normal it is responsible to combine the substance to build and form particular structure. It is used as synonymous for ojus, which nourishes, supports and gives strength. Owing to this property of kapha it is normally involved from follicular phase until ovulation.
Read – Understand Kapha Dosha By Its Functions
During follicular phase the egg matures and is released during ovulation. If pregnancy occurs during this period then kapha dosha maintains and nourishes the lining of uterus to implant the fertilized egg and maintains pregnancy. Ovulation occurs around 14th day of 28 day menstrual cycle. It can vary 4 days before and 4 days after the midpoint of menstrual cycle
Read – Ovulation Time, Proper Time For Conception, Ayurvedic Perspective
Pitta dosha – It is responsible to fill blood vessels and increase the blood flow while preparing the uterus for implanting the fertilized egg during secretory phase of menstrual cycle. It is responsible for raising the women’s basal body temperature following ovulation.
Vata dosha – It is responsible for movement and activity. During menstrual cycle normal vata dosha cause easy downward flow of menstrual bleeding without pain and obstruction.
Read – Hypomenorrhoea: Causes, Remedies, Ayurvedic Treatment
Read – Understanding Digestion Process From An Ayurveda View
Diet and Regimen during Menstruation
Diet and regimen during periods should be such that it should balance doshas, maintain digestive fire and satvik to mind.
Read – Ayurvedic Home Remedy To Improve Digestion
Read – Diet And Lifestyle Advice For Vata Dosha Body Type
Read – How To Balance Pitta Dosha? Line Of Treatment
Read – Stress Symptoms and Natural Measures for Stress Relief
1. Research conducted on timing of the fertile window in menstrual cycle has concluded that timing of the fertile window is unpredictable, even if the menstrual cycle is normal. (A)
2. Research conducted to evaluate effects of yogasanas in the management of pain during menstruation have concluded with study showing that
yoga and relaxative techniques are better and beneficial therapy in the management of irregular menstruation and reducing the pain during menstruation. (B)
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How is menstrual health related to dietary habits?
Dr JV Hebbar
Quality of food that women consume and quality of menstrual health are directly related, both as per Ayurvedic and modern sciences.
As per Ayurveda,
Menstrual flow is called Arthava.
Nutritious fluid produced after food digestion is called Rasa dhatu.
It is explained that menstrual flow is a byproduct of nutritious fluid (Rasa dhatu). This means, when the quality of nutritious fluid decreases, then the menstrual flow will also be irregular. Quality of nutritious fluid is directly related to quality of food. Hence, the quality of food is directly related to menstrual health.
A scientific study concluded that inappropriate food frequency can cause high intensity menstrual distress in high school students.
Read: Physiology Of Menstruation, Menstrual Cycle – Ayurvedic Perspective
It is important to have good menstrual health during teenage. To achieve this, it is essential for teenage girls to –
1. Eat and drink when hungry and thirsty
2. Avoid skipping meals (except during planned fasting)
3. Eat and drink slowly and avoid eating in a hurry
4. Include a variety of berries, fruits, vegetables and dry fruits in diet
5. Exercise / outdoor games / do Yoga regularly so that the nutritious food is absorbed and utilized by the body efficiently
6. Share your emotions with your parents, friends and family and try to reduce the mental stress. Mental stress and digestion strength are correlated.
7. Sleep for at least 8 hours at night. Sleep, digestion strength and menstrual health are related to each other.
8. Include some amount of spices in your diet. Spices improve digestion strength (Agni)
9. Include healthy amounts of oils and fats in your diet. Make sure to have a well balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
10. Meditate and always be at your center so that you are not easily influenced by external forces.