In addition to the general Ayurvedic rejuvenation practiced during menopause, some of these food supplements also help to manage menopause effectively.
- During winter, take 1/4 teaspoon of crushed cress seeds every other day. Clean and powder the seeds and store them in a dry bottle. Use it by placing the powder in the mouth and swallowing it with warm water or water at room temperature.
- During summer, have a glass of Asparagus sharvat (syrup mixed with water) daily. Take 1kg Asparagus, pound it and cook it in one litre of water on low heat with a lid on. Cook until it is reduced to nearly half litre and becomes a decoction. Filter the decoction and add 700 gms sugar to it. Dissolve and cook on a slow heat for about 40 minutes. For making a drink, dilute a portion with eight times the quantity of water or as per taste.
- Eat about 15 almonds every day before breakfast. They should be soaked overnight and peeled and well chewed on an empty stomach.
- If you experience frequent hot flashes, avoid pitta-promoting foods like garlic, potatoes, pork, beef, eggs, sour tasting foods and all foods that have a pungent taste (including chilli, pepper etc.).
- Banana therapy is very popular for menopausal problems in north-west India. Take slightly unripe bananas and cut them and put them into freshly prepared yogurt and eat every morning on an empty stomach for about four weeks. This treatment particularly cures restlessness and hot flashes.
- Eat foods that are cold in their Ayurvedic nature. Some examples are bitter gourd, endive, onions, spinach, celery, cucumber, sweet apples, banana, pears, beetroot, asparagus, rice, germinated wheat, and red lentils. Avoid sour foods because they are hot in their Ayurvedic nature.
- Avoid coffee, excess black tea, tobacco and alcohol as they enhance heat in the body.
Triphala is a well known remedy for balancing the three principal energies in the body. Most menopausal troubles in women are caused due to the temporary imbalance created due to this changing phase in their life. In an individual who is emotionally and physically balanced and strong with high ojas (immunity and vitality), the passage from one phase of life to another is smooth; be it from childhood to adulthood or youth to middle age. If one is an imbalanced person with low immunity and vitality, the transformation process is problematic. Triphala helps to balance the doshas and is a rasayana (ojas enhancing).
Dosage and method of intake: Soak one heaped teaspoon of the Triphala powder in about 200 ml (1 cup) hot water in a china or glass pot and stir well. Keep it like this over-night. Next morning, heat it slightly and filter it. Drink on an empty stomach.
The effect of Triphala: Triphala is a rejuvenating dietary supplement. It is a valuable drug that re-establishes the equilibrium of the three doshas. In healthy persons, Triphala enhances smooth excretion of stool and urine after its intake and thus purifies the system.
Other methods of regaining equilibrium through Nutrition
Here are a few simple diet ideas to purify the body system. This diet can be had for about four weeks and if you feel good, integrate some of these recipes in your daily menu.
- Cook 2-3 grated carrots in little water. Add some cardamoms to it and cook for about 15 minutes. To this preparation,add a little candy sugar if necessary for sweet taste. Finally, add ½ to 1 teaspoon of ghee to the above mixture. This preparation can be garnished with some chopped almonds in the end. You may add candy sugar or chopped dates if you prefer it to be more sweet.
- Alternatively, have plain yogurt with some cooked rice. Whip the yogurt and add a little salt, pepper and ½ a teaspoon of roasted and ground cumin. Eat this with cooked rice.
Meals: Eat fresh, warm, small and light meals. Do not take late dinners; make sure that you have it at least two hours before going to bed.
- Carrot soup is highly recommended for dinner.
- Balanced vegetables like courgette, pumpkin, carrots are always good to eat. You may add other vegetables to your menu but avoid vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage or others of this family. They are generally hard to digest. Always use fresh ginger along with vegetables and add spices like cardamom, ajwain, cumin, dill, coriander, clove and fennel. It is easy to prepare a spice mixture for your diet: mix all these spices in equal quantities except clove which should be ground and taken in half the quantity.
- Rice or roasted potatoes can be an addition to the above menu. Make sure to have this with bread that is freshly prepared.
- For desserts, eat fruits like papaya, sweet apples, sweet mangoes and pomegranate. Mixed fruit salad is highly recommended.
- Those of you with weak digestion should avoid salads and raw vegetables. Use herbs like coriander, dill, basil and others to garnish the vegetables and soups.
- Take purgatives from time-to-time for maintaining a balance of pitta dosha. The herbal mixtures available for this purpose are easily available.
- Bark of the Ashoka tree is very beneficial for women in many respects. The classical preparation made from these is called Ashokarishatha.
- Regular intake of saffron is considered healthy during this period. The daily dose can be 100 mg or a pinch either in hot milk or hot ghee.
Dr. Vinod Verma
Dr. Verma is a neuro-scientist who has devoted her life to the research and development of Ayurveda. She has written 27 books on Ayurveda which have been published in different languages. In her books she clearly demonstrates the practical aspects of Ayurveda in its various dimensions. The above piece is from her book ‘The Kamasutra for Women’ This book was published in 1994.