Ayurveda, the oldest science of life, has healing therapies for all. It has incorporated all kinds of morbidities into eight divisions. However, there is a notion that Ayurveda doesn’t have any branch that directly talks about women’s health problems.
But Ayurveda indeed has a branch which along with pediatrics talks a great deal about women’s health because female problems are often related to their ability to give birth.
The need for Ayurveda in today’s fast-paced culture is more than ever for women because of increasing rates of infertility, abortions, cesarean deliveries, menstrual disorders, menopause, fibroids, cysts & number of other life-threatening diseases.
Modern medicine has its limitations and moreover they come with its own side effects. These medications are proven health hazards while surgery is itself a big blow to the body & mind. Women are turning towards natural alternatives like Ayurveda, which, without much interfering with their body, could restore their health.
But what does Ayurveda offers for women’s health? Let’s find out.
Ayurvedic perspective of female disorders
In Ayurveda, imbalanced doshas are considered as the sole cause of every disease.
In all reproductive and gynecological problems, imbalanced vata dosha is the primary culprit. This vata dosha further obstructs the bodily channels, thus, causing gynecological & reproductive problems.
Imbalanced vata vitiates all the body tissues, especially plasma tissues (Rasa dhatu) and reproductive tissues (Shukra dhatu). Secretions of reproductive tissues called Artava in women also get severely affected.
Almost all fertility problems & hormonal disturbances occur due to deficiency of healthy reproductive tissues & spoilt artava.
What is the Ayurvedic approach?
The primary therapeutic approach of Ayurveda is to strengthen and nourish deficient bodily tissues. Hormone supporting plants and rejuvenating tonic herbs are used to support and strengthen body tissues.
Along with this, such therapies are used which directly work on imbalanced vata dosha. This mainly constitutes various kinds of Basti therapy & Vata pacifying drugs.
Also, clearing up the channels i.e., pranic channels through which vata flows, is another part of treatment. For this, Yoga, Pranayama, and Marma therapy i.e., massage on vital points, are an effective way to clear pathway of vata, which often provides immediate relief from the discomfort.
Also, to improve Agni, digestive stimulants are always an essential part of the treatment. Overall, Ayurveda frames a treatment plan on the principle that correcting the problem at its roots is more effective than treating the symptoms.
What are the Ayurvedic therapies for various female disorders?
As Ayurveda is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ science, there are different treatment plans for every woman and disease. The same disease may show different symptoms in two women & hence, no single treatment plan could be followed in Ayurveda for everyone.
Let us understand the basic treatment principle for different female diseases.
The disturbed menstrual cycle is the most common and primary symptom of a budding gynecological disorder. So, it is crucial to diagnose and cure it at the earliest.
Irregular menstrual cycle, variation in color & smell of menstrual discharge, heavy bleeding, scanty bleeding, cervical or pelvic inflammation, PMS, painful menses are common menstrual problems.
Menstrual disorders show a wide range of variation in every woman. As per that, Panchakarma cleansing procedures are chosen, Uttara Basti being the favorite choice in almost all vaginal & menstrual disorders.
Uttara Basti i.e., injecting drugs through the vaginal passage, is a powerful healing method in Ayurvedic gynecology as it cures even the most severe & difficult to cure menstrual disorders.
Application of vaginal paste, vaginal douche, and vaginal wash with the decoction of vata pacifying drugs are some effective local treatment methods giving quick relief.
Along with it, Ayurveda prescribes specific dietary rules, lifestyle measures, & herbs as per body type to facilitate early relief.
Female tract disorders
Endometriosis, vaginitis, uterine bleeding, cervical erosion, repeated abortions, estrogen deficiency, uterine prolapse, infection of reproductive organs, vaginal discharges are quite common nowadays.
Ayurvedic general treatment principle includes Panchakarma for cleaning vitiated doshas because then only medicine can work at its best. After proper oleation & fomentation, based on vitiated doshas Uttara Basti, massage, anointments, wash, & douches are applied.
Pushyanuga powder, Shatavari ghee, Phala ghee, Triphala ghee, Nyagrodhadi decoction, Maharasnadi decoction, Jirakadi modaka are highly beneficial medicines in vaginal & cervical disorders.
Diet includes fermented drinks, an abundance of milk, & meat soup. Juice of garlic in the morning prevents complications of gynecologic disorders. Preparations of barley & use of long pepper, Chebulic myrobalan, iron powder with honey, Bala oil in diet is beneficial.
The cause of infertility often lies in hidden gynecological disorders. So, treatments of those disorders are done with a view that pregnancy occurs only in healthy reproductive organs.
After cleansing procedures like emesis, purgation, and nourishing & cleansing enemas, rejuvenating & nourishing herbs are given to compensate for the loss of strength & dhatus. Man & women both are prescribed a suitable diet as per body types.
Basti is like nectar to an infertile woman and those who have had repeated abortions.
Nasya, massage or enema with oils like narayana oil, satpuspa oil, lasuna oil, satapaka oil, traivrita sneha, bala oil give excellent results.
Menopause is a healthy & natural change. It is not even a disease, yet about 70% of women experience pre-menopausal symptoms.
If you have hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, digestion problems, weight gain, headache, palpitations, & anxiety, then prepare yourself for this change. You should exercise regularly, eat organic diet low in protein, & begin to rejuvenate your body with herbs.
In Ayurveda, any signs of pre-menopause indicate a deficiency of reproductive tissues, which is to be rejuvenated & nourished. The easiest way to do this is proper diet & exercise.
Herbs like licorice, winter cherry, wild asparagus, comfrey root, marshmallow root directly nourish tissues & relieve weakness, and body pain.
Cysts, fibroids, tumors
It is estimated that 20-40 % of women will have fibroids at least once in their life. Modern medicine treats such cases with surgery. But in time, these problems could be resolved with diet, lifestyle, & herbs.
Ayurveda perceives this problem as the accumulation of kapha in the body due to its obstruction by vata dosha. So, the treatment approach in Ayurveda involves correcting both doshas along with treating pitta as well if digestion is disturbed.
Ayurvedic lifestyle is significant in treatment for cysts, fibroids, & tumors. Lifestyle includes exercise, kapha lowering diet, daily anointments of herbal pastes, & poultice. In the case of uncomplicated cases of tumors & cysts, regular massage with local sudation & Basti therapy works wonders.
Excision & cauterization i.e., Kshara karma remains the main treatment if not cured with medicines.
Women are the most prone to vulnerable diseases as they keep juggling with numerous responsibilities. But, their health is in their hands & they can remain fit with Ayurvedic wisdom.
Ayurveda, with its several methods of healing, can help heal women in accord with their natural cycle. Ayurveda teaches us that everybody has the power to heal themselves. The same goes for women.
In this era of synthetic drugs, which seem to repair one thing and impair other at the same time, Ayurveda is inarguably an excellent option to balance women’s natural cycle by addressing the root cause of all imbalances.