From menarche to menopause is the reproductive age of women where physiologically all functions are optimal. A woman is called vruddha after she attains menopause. The best part of a woman’s life cycle is this reproductive phase. Ayurveda has a treasure of advise to keep this reproductive phase happy and productive.
The uterus is the primary organ of reproduction. It is safeguarded by nature with good musculature around and beneath. It is normally well protected from external pressures and influences. Keeping then uterus healthy keeps the women healthy. In the oil days tradition was to give the women complete rest and light food during these wet days. There is good scientific reason behind this. If full rest is given, bleeding will never become high and there will be no chance of blood getting into other parts of the uterus. The shedding of the mucous of uterus will also be normal. And as a result there will be normal bleeding and no inflammation to that part.
There are five major and common health problems observed in women during the reproductive age. All these are related to the menstruation.
- Amenorrhoea: the absence or highly delayed menstruation
- Dysmenorrhea: this is state of painful periods that is more common in unmarried women, especially in the earlier reproductive phase.
- Menorrhagia or Hyper-bleeding: bleeding does not stop even after three to five days.
- Leucorrhea or white discharge: with or without smell/infection in between periods.
- Pruritis: itching of the vagina
These conditions are dealt within Ayurveda very effectively.
A decoction made of 10gms of gingelly or sesame seeds, 10gms of horse gram, 3-5 petals of garlic , 10gms of palm jaggery boiled in 4 glasses of water and reduced to one glass , filtered and taken lukewarm at 5pm for 21 days will ensure timely menstruation. It is a very useful remedy for most conditions of amenorrhea where other etiologies like low haemoglobin, chronic infections etc, are ruled out.
Unctuous oils like Dhanwantaram(101) is applied on the lower abdomen above the uterine space during periods. This helps reduction of space during pain. Internal consumption of 120ml of milk boiled with 10gms of black sesame seeds (til) is helpful in alleviating painful periods.
Menorrhagia or Hyper-bleeding:
The best remedy is complete rest. If there is no hormonal imbalance, Pravalabhasama with Ashokaristam is prescribed. Pushyanuga churnam 5gms at bedtime and Lakshaadi churnam 5gms early in the morning – both with honey – are also useful. This helps a lot as a primary remedy fir this condition. Of course this should be handled by a trained physician, but it is helpful to know that such remedies are available in Ayurveda. A paste of sandalwood with milk applied on the abdomen is useful.
Leucorrhea or white discharge:
This is common in women with vata and pitta prakriti that is those who are lean, dry and ill- built. Shatavari (asparagus rhizome) in any form is very good for this condition. Douching of the vagina with a filtered decoction of Nimba ( neem Bark) and Aragwadha bark are excellent for this condition. Women with this condition should take ample ghee in their foods and reduce spicy, deep fried food and food with yeast.
Itching of vagina is very common and can be treated with daily wash of the vaginal with decoction made from the bark of the four milky spicies – Udumbara, Ashwatha, Plaksha, and Nyagrodha. Application of the vaginal suppository of Jathyaadi gritham is also prescribed. Intake of Usheerasava, Chandanasavam, Sareebadyasavam is also good.
These are simple remedies one can use at home at primary level even before consulting a doctor. Within three to five days symptoms should abate. If they persist, it would be prudent to see a doctor.