Ayurvedic Treatment for PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess male hormone (androgen) levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
Concept of PCOS According to Ayurveda is a Kaphaja (bodily humor that governs liquid and solid part of body) and Vataja (means air- which governs all the movements of body and mind) disorder leading to imbalance in the functioning of ovulation. In the case of PCOS the dhatus affected are rasa dhatu –( lymph and plasma), meda dhatu – (adipose tissue) and artava dhatu – (the female reproductive system).
CAUSES of PCOD
The exact cause of PCOS is unknown. Some of the factors that may involve are:
- Excess insulin
Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that allows cells to use sugar, the body’s primary energy supply. If the cells become resistant to the action of insulin, then the blood sugar levels can rise and the body might produce more insulin. Excess insulin might increase androgen production, causing difficulty with ovulation.
- Low-grade inflammation
This term is used to describe white blood cells production of substances to fight infection. Research has shown that women with PCOS have a type of low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens, which can lead to heart and blood vessel problems.
Research suggests that certain genes might be linked to PCOS.
- Excess androgen
The ovaries produce abnormally high levels of androgen, resulting in hirsutism and acne.
- Due to hypothyroidism and TRH
Pcos can be a side effect of hypothyroidism. As causes imbalance in the ratio of luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating hormones which plays a major role in ovulation. (In primary hypothyroidism rise in TRH leads to increase in prolactin and TSH)
- Life style factors
Unhealthy lifestyle causing stress, obesity, hormonal imbalance will trigger the risk of PCOS
Major Symptoms of PCOS
- Menstrual disorders
- Abnormal hair growth on face
- Hair fall from scalp
- Weight gain
- Insulin resistance
- Skin changes such as thickness and pigmentation at nape of neck, arms and other sensitive area
Do I have PCOS?
It’s YES when you experience at least two of these signs.
- Irregular periods.Infrequent, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles are the most common sign of PCOS. For example, you might have fewer than nine periods a year, more than 35 days between periods and abnormally heavy periods.
- Excess androgen.Elevated levels of male hormone may result in physical signs, such as excess facial and body hair (hirsutism), and occasionally severe acne and male-pattern baldness.
- Polycystic ovaries.Your ovaries might be enlarged and contain follicles that surround the eggs. As a result, the ovaries might fail to function regularly.
PCOS signs and symptoms are typically more severe if you’re obese.
Complications of PCOS can include:
An individual with pcos is very vulnerable for infertility due to anovulation, hormonal imbalances.
- Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Miscarriage or premature birth
- Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
- Sleep apnea
- Depression, anxiety and eating disorders
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
- Cancer of the uterine lining.
- Risk of developing endometrial carcinoma and carcinoma of breast due to persistently elevated level of estrogen.
Obesity is associated with PCOS and can worsen complications of the disorder.
What is PCOS in Ayurveda?
Ayurveda classifies PCOS as a Kapha (bodily humor that governs liquid and solid part of body) and Vata (means air- which governs all the movements of body and mind)disorder leading to imbalance in the functioning of ovulation. Kapha having first affected the digestive fire (jatharaagni) results in sluggish tissue metabolism and starts to affect the metabolic aspect of the seven tissues called dhatu agni(seven tissue fire).
Each dhatu agni is responsible for the nourishment and formation of that particular tissue that it resides in. In the case of PCOD the dhatus affected are rasa dhatu (lymph and plasma), meda dhatu (adipose tissue) and artava dhatu (the female reproductive system). Ama(toxins), entering the cells of arthavadhathu(female reproductive tissue) begins to affect the normal mechanism of arthava(menstruation). Hence blocking the channels of circulation and resulting the causation of symptoms of PCOS.
How Ayurveda helps in preventing PCOS?
Ayurveda adheres in preventing PCOS in a natural way by balancing the dosas. Helps in removal of blockages from channels and supports normal functioning of menstrual activities.
Apart from customised panchakarma therapies, PVA also offers diet and lifestyle corrections, and suggests various herbal medications to treat this disorder.
Kerala Ayurvedic treatment for PCOS
Panchakarma for PCOS
It is an in depth Ayurvedic treatment which completely cleanses the body, mind and emotions from toxins. It rejuvenates the body by reducing weight and restores regular menstruation cycle and ovulation. It provides strength to the reproductive organs like uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and vagina and maintains hormonal balance. Each person receives a unique combination of five processes according to their specific health condition.
Different procedures involved in Panchakarma are:
Medicated enema is given to pacify vitiated vata and kapha, which plays a major role in pathogenesis of PCOS.
Uttara basti is the most effective treatment in gynecological disorder, in which medicated liquids are given through urethral or vaginal routes.
It helps in purification and clears the arthavavaha srotas(female reproductive system and its channels of its cirrulation), pacifies vitiated ApanaVayu(the downward flowing energy) and improves follicular maturity. After proper completion of uttara basti it has been observed that follicles do rupture naturally without any hormonal injections.
It specifically aims at the elimination of excessive Pitta Dosha (body heat/fire) from the body.
The process of cleansing is carried out in the small intestine & other Pitta . Here purgation is induced by drugs that stimulate bowel movement for the expulsion of doshas through rectum. As arthava has hot properties it highlights pitta dosha involvement and hence to regulate the irregularity in menstruation virechana karma play an important role.
It is a cleansing procedure intended mainly for the expulsion of vitiated Kapha. This is a painless, drug induced emetic procedure. Vamana procedure purifies internal toxins and balance hormonal system and stimulates pancreas to secrete insulin in normal level, so PCOD diseases accordingly.
It is the cleansing procedure for explusion of vitatied dosa from head. Medicated oils or liquids are administered through nasal route. It helps in the stimulation of pituitary glands and its hormone production as it controls the ovulation.
It is the external application of medicated powders on the body with affordable pressure massage in the opposite direction. Thus, helping to reduce kapha dosa and hence obesity.
Ayurvedic medicine for pcod/pcos Ashokarista, Pushyanuka choorna, kanchanara Guggulu, Kalyanakam Gritha, kumarayasava, etc are also benefical in treating PCOS. Main aim of treatment is to normalise menstruation.
Diet for pcos & Lifestyle Advice for PCOS
Vegetarian diet for pcos
- High fiber vegetables includes cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, greens, including red leaf lettuce and arugula, green and red peppers, beans and lentils, almonds, berries, sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin.
- Anti-inflammatory vegetables like tomatoes and spinach.
Non vegetarian diet for pcos
- Fatty fish, including salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel.
- high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and sardines
Other diet that helps to relieve and prevent PCOS recurrence:
- Lighter fruits, such as apples, oranges, grape fruit, pineapple and papaya and pears, are recommended.
- Low-fat milk is recommended. Boil milk before drinking. Add a pinch of turmeric to the milk before boiling it. This helps to reduce the kapha increasing qualities of the milk.
- Sweeteners: Honey is excellent for reducing kapha.
- Grains such as barley, chickpea and millet.
- Anti-inflammatory foods and spices, such as turmeric, tomatoes, kale, spinach, almonds and walnuts, olive oil, fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries.
- Healthful fats, such as olive oil, avocados and coconuts.
- Dark chocolate in moderation.
FOOD TO AVOID WITH PCOS
- Foods high in refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasteries and muffins
- Intake of sugar products, soda and soft drinks, which increase kapha.
- Inflammatory foods, such as processed and red meats, pork.
- Nuts should be avoided
- Spices are recommended only in moderate quantities.
- Fried food such as fast food.
- Vegetables such as potaotoes and sweet potatoes should be avoided as they can cause weight gain.
- Cut out coffee as Caffeine consumption is linked to the changes in estrogen and other hormonal behavior.
- Avoid alcohol and other beverages
LIFE STYLE ADAPTIONS in PCOS/PCOD
- Stress and tension should be avoided. Do not undertake physical or mental work beyond your capacity.
- Limit the use of contraceptives.
- Follow an active lifestyle, exercises should be according to one’s capacity.
- Smoking, drinking alcohol and using narcotics aggravates menstrual disorders.
- Regular yoga, meditation and breathing exercises are beneficial for calmness of mind and to connect with the body.
EFFECTIVE AYURVEDIC HERBS TO TREAT PCOD/PCOS
- Ashwagandha/ Indian Ginseng improves blood glucose control, induce ovulation, reduce weight gain and useful in treatment of fertility.
- Holy basil or Tulasi can help blood sugar, reduce weight gain.
- Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has anti-inflammatory action helps metabolize sugar and balance hormones.
- Stinging nettle (Urtica Dioica) root of this plant reduces the level of free testosterone in the blood helping normalize hormone level.
- Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) due to its stimulant action the root is used in the treatment of menstrual irregularities.
- Cinnamon extracts has a positive effect on insulin resistance and also helps in regulation of menstruation.
- Turmeric due to its antioxidant property has an important role in regulation of blood sugar level.
NATURAL AYURVEDIC HOME REMEDIES FOR PCOS/PCOD
- Amala juice due to its detoxifying action and anti-inflammatory effects it helps to restore hormone
- Aloe vera juice reduces blood cholesterol level hence has a positive impact on ovarian functions.
- Jeera/ cumin water reduces blood sugar level also has antioxidant action, also helps in downward movement of vata. Hence clears the obstruction in the channels of circulation and regulate body process.
- Sesame seed decoction helps in regulate blood sugar level and also induces periods.
- Fennel seed water helps in treating PCOS as they have anti hirsutism properties and help decrease androgen levels.
- Cinnamon and Honey reduces lipid and cholesterol levels in the body.
- Licorice root water can reduce the serum testosterone level in women who suffer from PCOS. Hence promotes ovulation.
- Fenugreek seed soaked overnight in water can be taken everyday morning added with honey. It is a potent remedy to reduce the effect of PCOS by promoting glucose metabolism and that in turn regulates the hormone balance.
- Castor oil taken twice a week at bed time helps in removal of waste products from the body and hence balances vata and kapha dosas.
Herbal tea for PCOD
- Spearmint tea, green tea, turmeric tea, khadhira tea, triphala tea etc.
YOGA ASANAS for PCOS/PCOS
Yoga asanas are highly recommended in PCOS/PCOD as it gives abdominal compression and gentle massages to the internal organs. These helps to tone the internal organ functioning and improves the blood circulation. These yoga asanas also helps in reducing the weight and relieves the stress. Practicing yoga asanas helps in calming the entire body and mind. Here are 5 yoga asanas which are best for PCOS.
- Cobra Posture
- Butterfly Posture
- Corpse Posture
- Sun Salutation
- Bridge Pose
Dr Irfan Poilan
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ABOUT Dr Abdurahman Poilan
Dr. Abdul Rahman Poilan has come from a long line of traditional Ayurveda vaidyas who passed on their knowledge through the generations has an experience of 28 years in the field of Ayurveda. Dr. Poilan is a reputed speaker on international level with invitations to more than 18 countries. He regularly conducts seminars and workshops on Ayurvedic massages and Panchakarma therapy.Read More
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