Every stage in a woman’s life is special, right from the moment she is born, to entering adolescence, displaying a vibrant youth, celebrating motherhood and yes, even the advanced mid-life periods and old age.
However, the later years in life are not really something that women look forward to and would rather skip altogether if that were possible. For this is when the skin begins to sag, wrinkles appear, the hairline recedes and energy levels are vastly lowered.
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Yet, it is not only the exterior features that prominently change as females grow older. Numerous modifications occur internally within the system as well, giving rise to indications of body pain, hot flashes, hormonal alterations etc.
These signal the beginning of menopause. And yes, the common notion is that this phase is rather difficult and troubling for all women alike.
Nevertheless, Ayurveda, the ancient Indian practice of medicine, offers some wonderful solutions to alleviate the distress experienced by women entering this stage in life.
Moreover, understanding the factors, symptoms of menopause and incorporating some simple natural remedies to mitigate the bodily discomfort will truly assist a woman to age gracefully.
Conventional Definition Of Menopause:
One of the distinct attributes universal to all women between the ages of 45 – 55, is menopause.
This is a natural phenomenon that signals the complete end of menstrual cycles and hence fertility in women, due to variations in reproductive hormone levels - estrogen, progesterone and ovarian follicular activity.
In fact, this term is derived from the Greek words “Menos” meaning month and “Pausis” meaning cessation.
Ayurvedic Approach To Menopause:
In Ayurveda, the menopausal syndrome is known as “Rajonivrutti”, which literally means “the end of Artava Pravrutti” i.e. the stopping of menstruation.
According to Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita and many other renowned ayurvedic scriptures, the onset of menopause are when menstrual cycles stop in women for a continuous term of 12 months and do not occur henceforth.
Rajonivrutti is characterized by an aggravation of the Vata Dosha, thereby leading to an imbalance in the three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. As a result “Dhatu Kshaya” or decline in body tissue mass occurs, being a gradual consequence of ageing.
Symptoms Of Menopause:
Menopause gives rise to several painful symptoms including hot flashes, weight gain, lowered metabolism and cardiac activity, loss of sexual drive or libido, dryness in vagina, bone and joint aches, urinary incontinence and night sweats.
Furthermore, due to fluctuations in levels of female reproductive hormones including progesterone and estrogen, mental functions are also affected, prompting instances of mood swings, depression, fatigue, anxiety and insomnia. Also Read: Ayurveda For Insomnia: Time-Tested Therapies For A Good Night’s Sleep
Agreed, menopause could often lead to irritation and exhaustion. But there are plenty of natural ways to effectively combat these symptoms, such that women can embrace the bodily changes and ensure a smooth, happy transition to menopause. Read on, to know more.
Natural Remedies For Dealing With Menopause:
With a decrease in estrogen levels in the female body, the regulation of fat metabolism and control of cholesterol levels becomes a challenge. Arjuna is a herb touted for its ability to augment heart functions, thus helping women preserve normal blood pressure and averting cardiac ailments.
Due to sudden peaks and dips in female reproductive hormone levels during menopause, nervous system operations are negatively influenced. Cardamom is a condiment that works as a marvellous mood enhancer which immensely aids in uplifting mental activities, brain functions, memory and concentration, besides soothing depression.
The intense increase in vata dosha in the time of menopause invariably leads to an imbalance in pitta and kapha doshas as well, heating up the body rapidly and resulting in hot flashes. Fennel seeds are a natural vata reducing spice and possess an intrinsic cooling property, which helps to control sweating and body temperature. Also Read: Excessive Body Heat: 7 Simple Ways To Bring It Down
Since hormonal levels vary widely during menopause, body weight changes tend to occur as well. Owing to the fact that an unhealthy gain in body mass leads to chronic conditions of diabetes and obesity, it is vital to keep body weight in check. The gum resin extracted from the potent guggul herb is a remarkable therapeutic method to shed excess kilos for women undergoing menopause.
Due to Dhatu Kshaya i.e. loss of tissue mass and reduction in estrogen levels, the bones, muscles and joints also become weak in women during menopause, increasing the risk of acquiring arthritis, osteoporosis and other debilitating joint ailments. Garlic is famed for its powerful anti-inflammatory traits, which significantly reinforce bones, joints and improve muscle strength.