Production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone trigger the development of a woman’s body and menstruation is a natural process that all women experience with various problems before and during their cycles. Menstrual cycles can give rise to various physical and mental disturbances: Headaches, migraine, breast tenderness, feeling bloated, and mood swings, among others. These are attributed to fluctuating hormone levels (of the estrogen and progesterone, mainly).
In the modern world, women must work continuously, in ignorance of their natural rhythms. Chemicals and pollution, a hectic lifestyle, intellectual exertion, and a richer diet contribute towards heavier and more frequent menstrual cycles, which further contribute towards a wide range of imbalances and complaints.
It is therefore essential that healthy menstrual practices be observed, so as to preserve the natural balance of the female body, for the sake of one’s own health and pregnancy.
In Ayurveda the menstrual cycle is viewed as an internal season in a woman’s biorhythm, as seen in the traditional Sanskrit word for menses.
Early menstrual rituals are thought to be some of the initial expressions of human culture, and gave rise to the earliest calendars. In all cases the menstrual blood is considered sacred.
As with western medicine, Ayurveda views menstruation as a means to cleanse and prepare the uterus for the process of conception and gestation.
Ayurveda suggests that In the ideal cycle the female human body would be synchronised to the cycles with the moon, ovulating on or near the full moon (a time of fullness) and menstruating on or near the new moon (a time of renewal), a twenty eight day cycle in all. Upon rebuilding the essences of reproduction (shukra), fertility would peak around the time of the full moon, considered the ideal time to conceive as the moon represents the fully awakened mind.
Menstrual cycles that vary from this mirror an imbalance in the internal season, usually caused by excesses of stress, overwork, stimulants, and malnutrition (including the absence of healthy hormonal signs in a woman’s diet).
Nutrition and Menstruation
The diet consumed during the last week of the menstrual cycle is very crucial. The hormones in our bodies are especially sensitive to diet and nutrition. PMS and menstrual cramping are not irregular and many different cultures believe that women are unpredictable, too emotional or fragile for certain social roles just prior to menstruation.
A healthy menstrual cycle is essential to a woman’s health and well-being. Most women experience PMS or menstrual complaints at some point in their lives. Wide hormone swings can dramatically affect the delicate balance of the body leading to a myriad of complaints associated with PMS and their monthly cycle.
Recommendations for a Healthy Menstrual Cycle:
There are many thousands of herbs used to maintain menstrual and reproductive well-being and to support the internal flow of seasons. Most are specific to a particular age and type of imbalance. However there are a few that can be safely used by most women to maintain menstrual wellness, regulate minor imbalances in the menstrual cycle, and offset moderate premenstrual discomforts.
We will provide you with dietary and nutrition advice as well as a course of treatments to relieve the psychological symptoms of tension, anxiety and mood swings that accompany PMS.
A woman may experience difference symptoms depending on their respective body types:
Ayurveda looks at individuals differently, depending upon their respective body type of Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. You can find out your body type by completing our Dosha Form here.
To summarise and in general those with a Vata imbalance get the best results from rest, meditation and a regular routine. Those with a Pitta imbalance respond best to monthly internal cleansing, and those with a Kapha imbalance find that herbal supplements, exercise and a lighter diet have the best effect.