Photo: Getty Images
Ayurvedic medicine sees the forces that work on and in human beings through the prism of the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In order for health to prevail, the doshas must be in balance. If they're not, balance must be restored for health to return.
Vata correlates to Wind, and controls the body's mobility, including the five senses and the function of all organs.
Pitta correlates to the Sun, and is the body's energy source, regulating appetite, body heat, complexion, food assimilation and thirst.
Kapha correlates to the Moon and denotes sustenance, body strength and healthy joints.
The branch of Ayurveda dealing with sexual health is Vajikarana. Vajikarana views menstrual disorders, including infertility, as a blockage of apana vayu (downward descending energy). Other forms of imbalance are anxiety, bloating, blood clots, dryness, insomnia, irregularity in menses, and scanty periods. Ayurveda aims to remove obstructions, then nourish with herbs.
Three phases of the menstrual cycle relate to the three doshas.
The Kapha phase marks the end of bleeding until ovulation again occurs. During this phase, estrogen is increasing, the endometrium is building and Kapha is growing.
In order to restore balance to Kapha, purify the blood and support ovulation, it's recommended to include aloe vera, beetroots, nettles, shatavari and whole grains and nourishing soups to the diet.
The Pitta phase begins with ovulation and ends when bleeding begins. Progesterone levels are preparing for egg implantation, and preparing the breasts to secrete milk. Balance is restored by avoiding foods that aggravate heat and stress like alcohol, chocolate and coffee. Abdominal massage, warm baths and yoga are recommended. Pelvic congestion is relieved by organic aloe vera and triphala.
In the Vata phase the apana vayu (downward descending energy) empties the uterus. To improve Vata balance, the woman should focus on resting, relaxing and keeping warm, especially her abdomen.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, a number of things can bring the menstrual cycle back into balance.