Treating Hormonal Imbalance in Women through Ayurveda

Correcting Hormonal Imbalance in Women through Ayurveda

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 23 Jan 2016 - 18:35

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Hormonal imbalances can occur at any age in a woman's life, though most often seen in women over 50 years. It can also appear from the start of her very first period or at puberty itself. The hormonal health depends upon the delicate balance of progesterone and oestrogen hormones. Hormonal imbalance occurs when the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in a woman's body become unstable. This imbalance affects the weight, appearance, fertility, anxiety and energy levels of the person. Studies reveal that almost 80% of women suffer from some kind of hormonal imbalance resulting in a slew of physical and mental health challenges, during her life time.

Common Causes of Hormonal Imbalances in Females

Poor nutrition, stress, lack of exercise and various other lifestyle factors damage the ability of the body to maintain that delicate balance between hormones. This eventually results in an imbalance. Other common causes of hormonal imbalance include:- 

The simplest of hormonal imbalances tend to increase as the woman ages, especially if ignored in earlier years. When your hormones are in good balance, you look good and feel good and feel energetic. When your hormones are out of balance, you may experience a wide range of symptoms that can affect the mood, energy and may also lead to more serious conditions such as development of uterine fibroids, fibrocystic breast tissue or cancer, type 2 diabetes amongst others.

Treating Hormonal Imbalance with Ayurveda

The good old traditional medical system, Ayurveda, has its own treatment for hormone imbalance . Its ultimate objective is to strike a perfect balance between body, mind and spirit.According to Ayurveda, hormonal imbalance is linked to the development of various diseases which can beprevented by treating this imbalance with various herbs. .

Some of the herbs for hormone imbalance treatment include –Amla, Ashwagandha, Asparagus Adscendens, Bacopa, Bamboo, Black Gram, Chinese Smilax, Eclipta, Gotu Kola, Indian Madder, Neem, Nutmeg, Turmeric, etc.

Three Significant Ayurveda Approaches to Treat Hormonal Imbalance

1.      Ayurveda Herbal Remedies
2.      Diet
3.      Lifestyle Recommendations.   

1.      Ayurveda Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies are sought after for treating various health issues including hormonal imbalance. Herbs are known to work quickly as they are absorbed faster by the system and are considered effective therapeutically. Some of the effective Ayurveda herbs that work for treating hormonal imbalance are:

1.         Shatavari

  • Enhances fertility in women and promotes lactation
  • Strengthens immune system and optimizes function of pituitary glands
  • Reduces spasmodic pain
  • Consumable as capsules, tonics, tincture or extracts

2.         Burdock

  • Stimulates pituitary gland function, thus maintaining optimum levels of oestrogen
  •  Burdock root supports the liver and flushes out heavy toxins
  • Eliminates excess oestrogen from liver, bringing it to the correct concentration
  • Consumable as capsules, tincture, decoctions or tonics

3.         Chaste tree/Vitex

  • Regulates menstrual cycle and reduces PMS symptoms like teariness and irritability
  • Reduces oestrogen excess in cases of fibroids and endometriosis
  • Indirectly supports production of progesterone, inhibits FSH and stimulates corpus luteum production
  • Consumable as herbal tea, capsules, tincture or powder

4.         Dong Quai

  • Increases oestrogen levels as it contains phytoestrogens
  • Stimulates the body to maintain hormonal balance
  • Increases stamina and longevity by optimizing immune system functioning
  • Consumable as tincture, dried root powder, root extract, herbal tea made from fresh roots

5.         Pasque flower

  • Excellent analgesic that has anti-spasmodic actions
  • Reduces inflammation in female reproductive system
  • Soothes feeling of depression, exhaustion and teariness
  • Relieves headaches or insomnia caused due to tension and anxiety

2. Diet for Hormonal Imbalance

Your diet has a significant impact on your hormonal balance. It is important you include the following in your regular diet:

  • Vitamin B6:This vitamin maintains a strong hormonal balance by affecting the levels of progesterone, oestrogen, androgen and glucocorticoid in the body. Vitamin B6 creates neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, taurine, histamine and norepinephrine. Foods –like tuna, chicken, bananas, cod, turkey, snapper, salmon, halibut and beef are known to contain good amount of vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin C : The production of thyroid hormone is regulated by vitamin C, Vitamin C actsas an antihistamine, antioxidant and immunity booster. It also gives you relief from colds and stress. Sources rich in vitamin C are oranges, broccoli, strawberries, red peppers, cauliflower, kiwi and cantaloupe.
  • Vitamin E : Significantly boosts the production of progesterone while decreasing oestrogen amounts in the body. Keeps the brain protected from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. Excellent vitamin E sources are almonds, olives, sunflower seeds, blueberries and spinach.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are great for maintaining optimum hormonal balance. Foods that are omega-3 rich include flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
  • Healthy Fats: Including good fats ( good cholesterol) in your diet helps you have a better balance as cholesterol manufactures hormones. If your body does not have sufficient good fats, it means it cannot produce required hormones.

3.      Lifestyle Recommendations

A study published in the Journal Cardiology in Review in 2005, suggests that upon practicing yoga, anxiety reduces and the overall quality of life improves effectively. This makes life easy for those suffering from hypertension and heart disease.

Useful tips to get rid of Hormonal Imbalance

  • Meditate everyday : A study published in the Journal Health Psychology reveals that women practicing  daily meditation undergo less hormonal mood swings. It is therefore imperative that you meditate for a minimum of 10-15 minutes. This study also justifies other research findings about the effectiveness of meditation in dealing with stress. 
  • Get Adequate Sleep : Lack of proper sleep worsens hormonal imbalance. You must therefore get at least 8 hours of quality sleep. Sleep helps repair the body and energises it for taking on tasks the next day
  • Maintain Healthy Diet : Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial to a healthy mind and body. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and eating meals in moderation at short intervals can help you maintain a healthy weight. Shatavari, the Ayurvedic herb has been useful for both menopausal hot flashes and PMS associated with irritability and mood swings. Processed foods, snacks and aerated drinks are a no, no for a healthy weight.
  • Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise increases blood circulation and delivers nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. Also, if you exercise regularly, you tend to sweat and this unclogs pores and causes release of hormones related to testosterone. Make sure you maintain a specified exercise regime everyday for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Three Simple Ayurveda Strategies for Enhanced Energy Levels

  • Sun Salutations: This is a simple yet effective form of exercise which helps expand your spine while boosting your energy levels. In the entire process, it uses your body’s own life force or prana to circulate the energy across your system.
  • One minute yoga: In order to build energizing heat in the body, you can use your own breath to circulate prana. Several clinical trials show that a fifteen minute deep belly breathing twice everyday decrease hot flashes and night sweats as well as improve energy levels and a sense of well-being.
  • Early meals: if you want to wake up in the morning feeling energetic and fresh, make sure your last meal is at 6pm the previous day. Another great way to pump up your energy levels is to skip your dinner couple of times a week.

“ In addition to helping with hormonal balance, these mind-body techniques help to bring about balance, create a greater sense of wellbeing and eventually optimum health” says Dr. Valencia Porter, M.D., M.P.H., FACN and Chopra Center's Director of Integrative Medicine.

 

Reference Links:

http://jocpr.com/first-issue/JOCPR-13.pdf

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/10/4-causes-of-hormonal-imbalances-puja-madan/

http://www.ayurvedavignan.in/ayurveda-and-health-articles/Hormonal-Imbalance-and-Menopause.pdf

 

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