As we age, the risk of heart diseases rise. In the case of women,these symptoms can become more evident after the onset of menopause. Dr.Madhavi H. Rabadia, explains how Ayurveda can help manage this condition.
Cardiovascular disease in post-menopausal women is often under-diagnosed and under-treated as its clinical features differ in men and women. Diagnosis at a later stage makes the condition difficult to manage and, as a result, there is an increase in the number of deaths in post-menopausal women due to heart-related conditions. Thanks to its holistic approach, Ayurveda is very beneficial in preventing and treating this condition.
Management of Menopause in Ayurveda
Ayurveda can work miracles in menopause. Effective herbal remedies are available for controlling the adverse symptoms of menopause. Ayurveda has the best natural health supplements and products to manage the changes in the body right from pre-menopause to menopause. Ayurvedic healthcare is the perfect solution for women to control the aging process. Periodic rejuvenation therapy will keep their health, beauty and zest intact throughout these years.
Diet during Menopause
* Whole wheat
* Carrot and beet juice, barley
* Vitamin E – nuts, eggs, olive oil
* Vitamin D – egg yolk, fish liver oils
* Calcium – milk and milk products, green leafy vegetables, cereals,fruits like sitaphala and dates
* Phosphorus – milk, dry fruits, guava
Sweet juicy fruits like grapes, pears, plums, mango, melons, and apples also serve the purpose to alleviate hot flashes. Summer vegetables like yellow squash and cucumber are also advised.
Food to be avoided
Spicy food, Chocolate, Coffee, Saturated fats like butter, ghee, cheese, tea
Yoga during Menopause
Yoga also plays an important role in alleviating menopausal symptoms. Simple yoga poses help to make the body more flexible, improve posture and ease many of the menopausal problems. Yoga and breathing meditation techniques like Anuloma Viloma and Kapalbhati may help to reduce anxiety and other psychologicaldisturbances. Aasanas like Trikonasana, Tadasana, Padmasana, Matsyasana and Shalabhasana strengthens abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles. Yoga exercises have positive benefits on both the physical and mental health of menopausal women.
The Rasayana refers to the means of obtaining the optimum nourishment to the Rasadi Dhatus. Thus, the Rasayana is a specialized type of treatment influencing the Dhatus, Agnis and Strotas of the body leading to an overall improvement in the formation and maintenance of the living tissues. This helps in the prevention of ageing, improving resistance against diseases, increasing body strength and in improving the mental faculties. Daily consumption of ghee, milk, can increase kapha and thus delay the onset of menopause.
AacharRasayana – This is basically related to lifestyle management. According to Ayurved Sadvritta and Swasthavritta, by following Dinacharya, Ratricharya and Ritucharya along with taking measures to relieve stress and strain, the ageing process can be delayed and the symptoms associated with menopause can be minimized. Muscular exercise is the most important for maintaining the strength and mineralization of the bones. Strength of the bone depends essentially on the integrity of the collagen matrix. In terms of reduction of kapha, there is a decline in the collagen matrix resulting in osteoporosis. Sedentary lifestyle enhances osteoporosis. Surya-namaskara, exercise, yoga, pranayama have proved to be beneficial by relieving stress. It can also improve muscle tone and thus improve urinary troubles.
Aahara Rasayanas (food as drug) – In Menopause, there can bedhatu kshaya,which means ojas-kshaya.Dietary items consisting of black grams, milk, ghee and meat soups should be used to overcome dhatukshaya. Ghee has a special role in improving sukradhatu. Ghee is also considered to be a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.Til (sesame) and its oils are very good for promoting raja. For rajapravartan, Gud (jaggery) + black til can be used. Black til is a good source of zinc and contains antioxidant property. Vegetarian diet helps in the mineralization of the bones. A balanced vegetarian diet is the most important aspect in the preventive management of menopause.
Dr. Madhavi H. Rabadia
Lecturer Dept. Dravyaguna,
Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Gujarat Ayured University,