Any woman experiencing menopause can vouch that it is no cakewalk. Hot flashes, mood swings, aches can make it a tough ordeal. Though every woman’s experience is unique, the traditional science of Ayurveda can make a significant difference to the overall experience of menopause.
Menopause marks a transitional phase in the natural cycle of a woman’s life. It can be challenging for most women owing to variations in ovarian follicular activity and reproductive hormone levels.
In Ayurveda, this phase is called ‘Rajonivrutti’, meaning ‘the end of Artava Pravrutti’ or stopping of menstruation. Characterised by an imbalance of three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha- results in ‘Dhatu Kshaya’ or decrease of body tissue mass as a natural result of ageing.
Taking a cue from Ayurvedic wisdom - ‘food as medicine’, support in terms of diet and lifestyle adjustments can help a woman to better manage this phase. Traditional herbs like Shatavari, Ashwagandha, and Licorice can aid in balancing the hormonal environment and bringing relief from related menopausal symptoms.
Known as the ‘Queen of Herbs’, Shatavari offers numerous benefits for strengthening women’s health. A vital female reproductive Rasayana and hormone modulator, this rejuvenating herb can nourish the female reproductive organs to uplift female health. Shatavari contains steroidal glycosides that seemingly have an anti-inflammatory effect to help with menopause-induced headaches, endometriosis (inflammation of the uterine lining), and joint pains. Its bioactive components can provide relief from insomnia, mood swings, increased irritability, and support bone health.
Rich in phytoestrogens and steroidal saponins, Shatavari can help with night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. An adaptogen, Shatavari contains immune-stimulating constituents for fortifying the immune system weakened by stress.
How to consume Shatavari?
There are many ways to incorporate Shatavari into your daily routine. You can add it to your herbal teas or mix half a teaspoon of Shatavari powder into a cup of warm milk or whip up a refreshing latte. You can mix a teaspoon of it in your bowl of yoghurt or smoothies. Roll some Shatavari laddoos as a tasty and nutritious treat.
#2 ASHWAGANDHA or INDIAN GINSENG
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that can serve as an excellent antidote for tackling menopausal issues. The energising herb is a potent immunity booster and enhancer of vitality and longevity. It is regarded as a nervous system soother as it can help manage both physical and emotional stressors and support restorative sleep. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can help reduce pain and swelling and speed up a sluggish metabolism.
How to consume Ashwagandha?
You can add ashwagandha to your smoothies, latte, coffee, and tea blends. You can also whip up delicious brownies using ashwagandha or prepare tasty laddoos as a healthy treat.
#3 LICORICE or MULETHI (Yashtimadhu)
Another important women’s reproductive tonic is Licorice. A harmonising, fortifying herb, it is also a great detoxifier. Licorice contains phytoestrogens that can help in reducing the intensity and frequency of hot flashes. Its anti-inflammatory action can help manage joint pains and swelling. Its nourishing properties can help reduce stress, improve digestion, and enhance immunity. After menopause, lower levels of oestrogen can impact bone density. Licorice can help balance oestrogen levels for women to support bone health.
How to consume Licorice?
Licorice is easy to include in your daily routine. Add it to your herbal tea or a cup of milk. Check out this easy-to-brew Licorice-Triphala Herbal Chai Recipe to enjoy its plentiful benefits.
A good way to make a healthy transition is to begin now! The important thing is to listen to your body, be in tune with its energy levels, and take things easy. Prioritise self-care, make time to rest and rejuvenate. Ayurveda recommends yoga, meditation, consistently following a good routine, daily exercise that’s easy on Vata Dosha as some of the ways to support your journey and enjoy all-encompassing good health.