Periods are challenging for any woman. While some experience mild symptoms, for others, these four to five days can be extremely difficult. The primary reason for it is the pain a woman experiences while menstruating. Although some amount of pain is normal, if it gets too much to bear and interferes with your day-to-day functioning, you know you need to get a remedy. Although popping a pill can be a convenient solution, is there a healthy way to deal with the situation? The answer lies in Ayurveda. In fact, the solution might lie right there in your kitchen cabinets. There are some Ayurveda herbs and ingredients that can help you manage period pain. To know about it, Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr Shruti Patil, who is a consulting gynaecologist and obstetrician in The Art of Living’s Sri Sri Ayurveda Hospital, Bangalore.
Almost every woman experiences some amount of pain when she starts menstruating. In girls who are in their teens or early 20s, this might result from menstruation-related stress and anxiety. Some muscle-related issues and those linked to the uterus also play a role. This is manageable and can be treated with simple medication. However, in older women and those in their 30s, period pain can result from certain underlying issues such as fibroid in the uterus, ovarian cyst, infection, or certain defects, which need to be taken care of.
What Does Ayurveda Say About Period Pain?
According to Dr Patil, Ayurveda attributes period pain to Vata dosha (disturbance). Vata is associated with the element of air and is linked to movement. And lifestyle disturbances trigger Vata dosha, said the doctor. Such lifestyle disturbances include having improper food, lack of sleep, lack of or too much activity, and lack of exercise and too much. And to deal with the pain, Ayurveda suggests having a holistic approach. Dr Patil says keeping your gut clean is one of the things you should do to deal with the pain.
Ayurveda Herbs To Manage Period Pain
“The Indian kitchen is a storehouse of Ayurvedic herbs,” says Dr Patil, and “more we deviate from traditional food and westernise our diets the more problem it creates for our body,” she added. Our traditional way of eating is good for uterine health in particular and overall health in general. And there are some Ayurveda herbs that you can consume and apply externally to manage menstrual cramps. However, you should first get the underlying cause for pain diagnosed before adopting the Ayurveda-based remedy. Here are the kitchen ingredients that you can have when suffering from period pain:
- Hing or asafoetida
- Jeera (cumin)
- Dill leaves
- Dry grapes
These can be useful in preventing period pain when it is mild to moderate. Several times constipation is a huge factor behind the pain and by keeping your gut clean, you can easily manage it.
- Have triphala, which is a combination of amla, haritiki and vibitaki, once every 10 to 15 days to clean your gut and keep your uterine system healthy. You can have it with warm water.
- Dry grapes such as raisins, draksha, or munakka can also be consumed for this purpose. Just soak these for a few hours or overnight and chew them well the next morning.
- Herbs such as hing, jeera and ajwain are anyways helpful in managing digestion-related issues. What you can do is roast these herbs in some ghee, ground them and store. Whenever you feel any digestive disturbance, have a teaspoon of it. You can also make a warm decoction using these herbs and have it like tea.
- You can also apply the herbs externally. Just warm some ghee, add a pinch of rock salt to it along with some hing. Apply this to your umbilicus, belly button, and over your lower abdomen and thighs. This, along with placing a hot water bag over your abdomen also helps.
So, these are some herbs that can help you manage period pain. However, these are generalised simple remedies, which might not work in case of a medical issue. Hence, get yourself checked before trying out these remedies, which provide you relief without causing any side effects.
(With inputs from Dr Shruti Patil, consulting gynaecologist and obstetrician in The Art of Living’s Sri Sri Ayurveda Hospital, Bangalore)