Ayurveda is a science that deals with the dynamic equilibrium of the human body.In fact, the entire science of Ayurveda revolves around different equilibriums within the body and without. Health is the state of balance in this equilibrium. Imbalance is a disease. Can anyone provide a simpler explanation for health? This is the beauty of Ayurveda. The unified theory of Western science is yet to find a comprehensive explanation for health, whereas Ayurveda had, a long time ago, reduced everything within the unified theory of Tridoshas, the all-pervading functional units of the body.
Vata, Pitta and Kapha are the radical etiological factors for the skin diseases too. Wrong diet and lifestyle which go against the seasons and one’s nature or prakruti are the two important factors that derange doshic balance in the body.
The time 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 advice to keep this reproductive phase happy and productive.
The uterus is the primary organ of reproduction. It is safeguarded by nature and well protected from external pressures and influences with good musculature all around it.A healthy uterus is the sign of a healthy woman. In the traditions of yore, women were given complete rest and light food during these wet days. There is good scientific reason behind this. It is understood that a woman who is given complete rest during the wet days will have normal bleeding and the chances of blood getting into other parts of the uterus will be low. The shedding of the mucous of the uterus will also be normal. The final result is that there will be normal bleeding and no inflammation.
There are five major and common health problems observed in women during the reproductive age. These are related to menstruation.
- Amenorrhea: 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
Ayurveda deals with the above conditions comprehensively.
This condition is treated by taking in a decoction made of 10gms of gingelly or sesame seeds, 10gms of horse gram, 3-5 petals of garlic, 10gms of palm jaggery that is boiled in 4 glasses of water and reduced to one glass, filtered and taken lukewarm at 5pm for 21 days. This will ensure timely menstruation. It is a very useful remedy for most conditions of amenorrhoea where other etiologies like low haemoglobin, chronic infections etc, are ruled out.
Unctuous oils like Dhanwantaram(101) is applied to the lower abdomen above the uterine space during periods. This helps to reduce the area of the pain. Consuming 120ml of milk boiled with 10gms of black sesame seeds (til) is helpful in alleviating painful periods.
Menorrhagia or Hyper-bleeding:
The best remedy for this is complete rest. In case of no hormonal imbalance, Pravalabhasama with Ashokaristam is prescribed. 5 gmsof Pushyanuga churnam at bedtime and 5 gms of Lakshaadi churnam early in the morning – both with honey – are also useful. This is usually a primary remedy for 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 also useful.
Leucorrhea or white discharge:
This is common in women with Vata and Pitta prakriti that is in those women who are lean, dry and ill-built. Consumption of 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 by washing the vagina daily with a decoction made from the bark of the four milky species – Udumbara, Ashwatha, Plaksha, and Nyagrodha. Application of the vaginal suppository of Jathyaadi gritham is also prescribed. Intake of Usheerasava, Chandanasavam, Sareebadyasavam is also good.
Women all over the world wish to be beautiful, glowing and have a clear blemish- free skin.The skin is most prone to pimples during adolescent age. The skin is also the largest organ of the body and hence skincare is of utmost importance. Skin is also most often the barrier which prevents the harmful organisms from entering the body from the external influences of heat, cold and wind. To protect one’s skin means to protect one’s life.Among them Bhrajaka- pitta, situated in their skin , is the prime vitiating factor in skin disease which can be addressed with the following lifestyle modifications.
Abhyanga, vyayama and udvartana are the three important preventive and health- promoting activities in daily life which keep the skin healthy and shinning.
ABHYANGA is the application of medicated oils all over the body in a systemic way. It is the most common form of treatment during the pre-panchakarma stage. This is popularly called the Ayurvedic massage. It is used for a very wide range of disease conditions from pain to paralysis – and also to rejuvenate the body.
VYAYAMA or exercise and physical activity delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues and helps the cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Vyayama pacifies the doshas in the body and cures some diseases. It also increases the potential of the digestive fire. Vyayama retards the process of ageing and is very effective in regulating cholesterol and obesity. It gives the body good shape and brings about alertness in the body and mind.
UDWARTANA is a gentle rubbing of medicated powders over the skin. It is beneficial for obesity and similar conditions.
Timely eating, timely evacuation and timely sleep are the three important lifestyle factors that helps to improve skin health.
Ahara: the most desirable foods for the skin are of madhurarasa – pradhana (sweet dominant) foods. Foods that cause early shrinkage and roughness of the skin are salty, sour and bitter foods, whereas astringents and pungent foods ( Kashaya and katu) are neutral to the skin especially if ingested with madhurarasa- pradhana foods. Fruits like pomegranates, raisins, and dates; vegetables like tender cucumber and white pumpkin are good for the skin. Other vegetables like bitter gourd, ridge gourd and small beans are not healthy for the skin even though they are nutritious and good for obese people and for those who have frequent bowel movement. A balanced diet is the most important skin care product.
Malashodhana: During the process of digestion at macro and micro levels certain bi-products are formed as excretory waste and should be regularly disposed of. If these products are not excreted on a regular basis, they can be harmful to the body. They are stools or purisha, mutra or urine, sweda or sweat, tears (eye), mucous (tongue), oily secretions (skin) mucoid secretions (mucus membranes). This malashodhana helps the functioning of the organs.
Nidra : Timely sleep is another very important factor for a healthy skin. It is important not to sleep too much during the daytime. Sleep rejuvenates the skin. It gets back its natural status by optimum physiological activity during sleep. The above practices are also good for holistic skincare too.
The following are very useful in skin applications to improve skin texture and glow.
• Kumkumaadi tailam for dry skin. Apply this on the face in small quantities and gently rub for a few minutes. Leave it like that on the skin for one hour for better penetration. This can also be applied at nightand washedoff the next day.
• Apply a paste of Chandana with milk for dry and dark skin.
• Apply the bark of Lodhra with milk for oily skin.
• Use red sandalwood paste with rose water for ordinary skin with blemishes
These are simple home remedies and one can use it at home at primary level, even before consulting with a doctor. Within three to five days symptoms should abate. If they persist, it would be prudent to see a doctor.
Dr. G G gangadharan
Ramaiah – Indic Speciality Ayurveda
A unit of Gokula Education Foundation (M)
New BEL Road, MSR Nagar
Mathikere PO, Bengaluru – 54
Tel: +91-80-40503456, Ext: 367
M: +91 9449495876