Ayurvedic Management of Menopause

Introduction

Every phase in a women’s life is beautiful and gracious. Just like puberty and pregnancy, menopause is another transition in a woman’s life, because of the imbalance of hormones. Menopause is a gradual and natural transitional phase characterized by varying degree of somatic and psychological changes. Menopause is a natural phenomenon usually occurs at the age of 45-55 years. There is less production of sex hormones i.e. estrogen by ovaries after 40 years of age. During menopause ojus of the body is low. Women with low ojus are more prone to imbalance and illness. Ayurveda has an amazing solution for a safe and happy transition to menopause.

Definition of Menopause

The term natural menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation resulting from the loss of ovarian follicular activity. Natural menopause is recognized to have occurred after 12 consecutive months of amenorrhea, for which there is no other obvious pathological or psychological cause. The normal age of menopause is generally 40 to 50 years but the average age is 51 according to the united states.

What Causes Menopause?

Menopause occurs naturally when a woman’s ovaries stop the ovulation that includes releasing of eggs and there is less production of hormones like estrogen and progestin. Menopause can also be the result of surgical removal of a woman’s ovaries or by following the chemotherapy or hormonal therapy done for the treatment of breast cancer.

Menopausal Symptoms

  • Irregular periods
  • Hot flushes
  • Paresthesia (cold hands and feet)
  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Vaginal Dryness

These symptoms may occur early before the actual cessation of periods. For other women, symptoms may not appear for several years. Symptoms of menopause varies from women to women.

Stages of Natural Menopause

Stage 1 – Perimenopause

This stage of menopause usually occurs 3 to 5 years before regular menopause occurs. Periods become irregular or unpredictable. Sometimes it may even stop for several months and resume. Ovaries make less estrogen and progestin and women first begin to notice changes in her body like night sweats, mood swing, joint pains, weight gain, vaginal dryness, urinary incontinence etc.

Stage 2 – Menopause

The term menopause refers to the permanent cessation of the menses, resulting from the loss of ovarian follicular activity. (anovulation of the ovaries). It is the condition when it has been a year since a woman had her last menstrual cycle.

Stage 3: Post – Menopause

This is the stage when after years of menopause other health risks related to loss of estrogen rise in women who have cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, vision problems such as cataract and Alzheimer’s disease.

Ayurvedic Perspective of Menopause

  • Menopause is also called rajonivritti in sanskrit and ayurveda. Rajonivritti is made up of two words “rajah” and “nivritti”. Rajah means artava (menstrual blood) and nivritti means the end or ceasing. Thus, the whole term rajonivritti means end of “artava pravritti or cessation of menstruation. According to ayurveda rajonivritti occurs in jarapakya shareer (aged body) at the age of 50 years is comparable to the present-day studies which show the mean age of menopause to be 51 years. There is a gradual reduction in the qualities of dosha, dhatu, mala, agni, and ojus with the advancement of age.
  • Natural menopause is often associated with aging when there is significant dhatukshaya and vata vitiation. Artava (menstrual blood) is an upa dhatu formed from rasa dhatu. There is a transition from pitta dominant phase to vata dominant phase of life. Menopause is considered to be a normal biological process universally affecting all women who reach their midlife. All aging women should embrace this change of life. Symptoms of menopause can be prevented or reduced by understanding the bodily changes well in advance and doing gradual modifications in lifestyle and food habits.
  • Ayurveda provides many paths for the healing and relief of menopausal symptoms. Among these, the main principle is the tridosha system. The body of each woman is born with a fundamental constitution, or prakriti, that remains with her throughout life. There are three bioenergetics influences, or doshas; vata, pitta, and kapha acting upon these constitutions.  One dosha will always preside out of three doshas.
  • Women with vata-dominated menopause, will likely be experiencing any of the following symptoms; • anxiety • insomnia •mild hot flushes • depression • poor skin tone • constipation • vaginal dryness. Women with pitta dominated menopause   may generally experience   the following symptoms; irritability • short temper • hot flushes and night sweats • urinary tract infections (uti’s) • skin rashes
  • Women with kapha dominated menopause also called “heavy menopause” women may experience heavy feeling i.e. tired a lot, weight gain, • sleepiness • sluggishness • fungal infections • slow digestion.

Management of Menopause in Modern Science

  • Counselling – menopausal women do not require any medical treatment.  Her physical and mental health is maintained by educating her about proper diet and lifestyle changes. Vitamin a, c, e, d (400 mg) + weight-bearing exercises are also necessary.
  • Hrt (hormone replacement therapy) – estrogen replacement therapy is the most effective treatment option for relieving menopausal symptoms mainly hot flushes. But many other hormones eg. Dhea, melatonin and various systems are affected in menopause.  Menopause is the natural process of transition to a new phase of life for a woman. Therapy is needed to the woman who are – symptomatic for 3-6 months. Short term estrogen therapy is beneficial in delaying osteoporosis & reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in a post-menopausal woman. Long term use of estrogen therapy may have some cardiovascular, breast cancer and endometrial cancer risks.

These finding supports the concept of individualization of therapy in Ayurveda based on individual constitution; prakriti.

The Scope of Rasayana in Menopause

One of the most important branches of Ayurveda is Rasayana Therapy which deals with aging factors and their symptoms by enhancing longevity and quality of life.  Rasayana is the only way to combat the symptoms associated with menopause.

Labhopayo hi shastanam Rasadinam Rasayanam|’

(Charak Samhita Siddhisthana 1/1/7-8)

Rasayana means obtaining the optimum nourishment to the Rasadi Dhatu and strotas of the body and helps in the prevention of aging, improving resistance against diseases, bodily strength, and mental status.

Rasayana Is of Three Types

1. Aachar Rasayana

It is basically related to lifestyle management. A sedentary lifestyle leads to osteoporosis. Surya-namaskara, exercise, yoga pranayama can prove very beneficial by relieving stress in women. They also improve muscle tone & hence improves urinary troubles.

2. Aahara Rasayan (Food as Drug)

“Ghritaksheeradi nityasu muditasu kaphatmasu

Aartavam tishthati chiram viparitasvato”- anyatha||

(Ashtang Samgraha, Sharir 1/69)

Daily consumption of ghee, milk, which increase Kapha (Ojas) can delay the onset of menopause. Ghee also has a role to improve sukardhatu. Ghee is now considered to be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Til (sesame) & its oils are very good in the promotion of raja. For rajapravartan use gud (jaggery) + black til. Black til is a good source of zinc and contains antioxidant property. Chickpeas, Bengal grams & black grams are a good source of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens play a vital role in estrogenic therapy. They also increase the level of sex hormone binding globin (SHBG) which gives protection against breast cancer & coronary heart diseases.

3. Dravya Rasayana (Drug Therapy)

Role of Dravya Rasayana includes

  • Stimulates metabolism
  • Prevents senile degeneration
  • Promotes body resistance and immunity
  • Improves memory and intelligence
  • Increases vitality
  • Freedom from diseases
  • Restores health and increases life span

Role of Planet Ayurveda To Treat Menopause Naturally

Planet Ayurveda offers a wide range of herbal supplements such as Menopause care pack for menopausal symptoms that are not only effective but safe. These products are 100 % natural and vegetarian and effectively treat these issues without harmful side effects.

Effective Herbal Remedies by Planet Ayurveda For Menopausal Symptoms

Menopause Care Pack

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1. Naari Kalyan Churna

It is a natural supplement that is especially suited for females of the reproductive and post reproductive age group. It helps support all female reproductive organs and maintains wellbeing in a natural way.

2. Pradarantak Churna

It is an effective herbal remedy for the menopausal syndrome. It is particularly effective in painful menstruation (PMS), uterine fibroids, PCOS, and menopausal syndrome. The herb Saraca Indica present in it balances the disturbed female hormones.

3. Female Health Support

Planet Ayurveda’s Female health support capsules are very effective in maintaining health in females by supporting the female reproductive organs. Female health support capsules from the house of Planet Ayurveda, help by establishing a state of balance in all the three body energies.

Dosage

  1. Naari Kalyan Churna – 1 teaspoonful, twice daily with plain water after meals.
  2. Pradarantak Churna – 1 teaspoonful, twice daily with plain water after meals.
  3. Female Health Support – 2 capsules, twice daily with plain water after meals.