Menopause is the natural cessation of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. It usually occurs between 45-55 years of age. At menopause, a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs and her fertility hormones decrease.
What happens at menopause?
According to Ayurveda, different phases of our life are marked by a predominance of different doshas. Kapha is naturally predominant from birth to puberty, pitta is naturally predominant from puberty until mid-life, and vata is predominant after the age of 50 years.
Menopause accompanies the transition from the pitta to vata phases of life. Generally, menopause shows increases in vata and pitta, and little change in kapha.
- Cyclical changes such as irregularity or heavy bleeding
- Dry skin, hair and nails
- Insomnia, anxiety, heart palpitations
- Low libido
- Scattered thoughts & poor memory
- Confusion or difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings and irritability
- Hot flushes and night sweats
- Headaches or migraine
- Vaginal dryness
- Fluid retention
- Unnatural weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Increased frequency of urination or incontinence
- Increased possibility of urinary tract infection
- Muscle and joint pain and inflammation
- Osteopenia and over time, increased risk of osteoporosis.
Ayurvedic management of menopause
After an initial assessment of mind-body constitution and current symptoms by an ayurvedic physician, ayurvedic treatment can be tailored to the patient.
The main goal of ayurvedic treatment is to establish the balance of vata and pitta doshas, improve the digestive fire (agni) and eradicate toxins (ama) from the body.
Diet and lifestyle advice for menopause
- Introduce a Vata-Pitta pacifying diet, that is warm, light, cooked, fresh and unctuous (containing good oils) food.
- Avoid dry, cold, fermented, left-over foods, refined sugar and red meats.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Regular, mild-moderate exercise is good to combat the symptoms. Exercises that relax the nervous system, such as walking, yoga, tai chi and meditation are excellent.
- To calm vata, it is very important to create regular routines around your sleep, food, work, exercise and family time.
- Daily self-massage with warm oil (abhyanga) and nasal medication (nasya) where you place some drops of oil in each nostril can assist with hormonal balancing.
Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma) for menopause
- Medicated ghee is orally administered for few days to prepare the stubborn toxins (ama).
- Medicated purgation (Virechana) is very effective in calming down the aggravated pitta doshas and blood tissues.
- Medicated enemas (Vasti) are administered for calming down the aggravated vata doshas and apana vata which become disordered during menopause.
- Medicated nasal oil (Nasya) helps with the symptoms of mind and head.
- Pouring herbal oil or decoction over the scalp (Shirodhara) is an effective therapy for calming the nervous system and balancing the neuro-transmitters.
Ayurvedic herbs for menopause
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
- Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
- Licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Brahmi (Bacopa Monniere)
- Chandana (Santalum album)
Before commencing any therapies or herbal remedies, we recommended you consult one of our expert ayurvedic doctors in either of our Brisbane or Gold Coast clinics. They will diagnose your specific conditions and provide a personalised program for your health and wellness.