Menopause or Rajonivritti as it is called in Sanskrit, is one of the most significant milestones in a woman’s life. If youth the spring season of our life, then menopause is like autumn. Cessation of menstrual cycles and end of reproductive phase of life are not the only highlights of menopause. It also has equally strong before and after math which influence women’s health for their lifetime.
Philosophers of Ayurveda have considered women’s physiology to be unique and much more complex than men due to the cyclical changes in their Dosha which take place every month from menarche (beginning of menses) to menopause. Due to the complexity of their physiology, maintaining balance of body tissues and Doshas is a indeed a tight rope walk for women. This explains why premenstrual, post menstrual health disturbances, pre- menopausal difficulties and the entire event of menopausal syndrome are such a big deal in women!
Due to rapid urbanization and the overwhelming changes in the social dynamics menopause is no longer a mere physiological event! It has morphed into this event which lashes women with hot flushes, changes in metabolism, risk of osteoporosis (porous brittle bones due to loss of bone calcium), physical changes in the reproductive system (vaginal atrophy and reduced lubrication) and massive emotional turmoil leading to psychological imbalances like anxiety, depression etc. The normal for menopause is around 45-50 years of age. However, some women may experience menopause much earlier before 40 years of age due to premature ovarian failure (POF).
Although, hormonal imbalances sit at the helm of menopausal syndrome, Ayurveda approaches menopause in a much more holistic sense. Ayurveda considers in change in energy dynamics of the body and mind in the form of Dosha, which undergo a major shift during menopause. The decrease in tissue nourishing Kapha Dosha, instability of the Pitta Dosha as it comes to towards the end of its reign during the reproductive years of the adulthood and the rise in levels of Vata Dosha sums up the Dosha dynamics of menopause. These changes are physiological and are often relative to a women’s body type. However, imbalance of Dosha during this phase can give rise to the various symptoms of menopausal syndrome.
Such an imbalance gives rise to symptoms which can range from listlessness, apathy, weight gain and depression in women dominant in Kapha Dosha; anger, hot flushes, agitation in women with Pitta and fearfulness, accelerated osteoporosis, anxiety, sleep disturbances and emotional vulnerability in women with Vata body type. The depleting vitality of tissues; especially that of the reproductive tissues i.e. Shukra dhatu and also of Rasa dhatu– which nourishes the endometrium and controls the menstrual cycles as well as the loss of vitality of mind is also taken into consideration in Ayurveda. Conventional hormone replacement therapies have multiple side effects and often fail to address the huge emotional vulnerability of menopausal women. Hence, holistic solutions for dealing with menopausal issues are much needed. In this article we will discuss five Ayurvedic herbs which are excellent tonics for a healthy menopause-
Read my complete article on the herbs which help you sail smoothly through the menopausal phase at http://www.spiceflair.com/five-effective-ayurvedic-herbs-for-menopausal-care/