Society has changed today, and there is less difference between a man and women. Women today are better empowered and more on an equal footing as men. But this has caused more stress on women trying to balance more responsibilities at home and outside. Often women neglect their own health and focus on the family instead. It is important for women to value their state of health and work toward achieving optimal health. The ancient knowledge of Ayurveda and yoga can help bring back health and happiness in life through diet, herbs, lifestyle changes, therapies, yoga poses, meditation and breathing exercises etc.
In women, hormones are key in keeping the mind, body and spirit aligned. A female body goes through several life changes and requires a rebalancing of the hormonal system. Being healthy means experiencing a sense of wholeness and pleasantness in body, mind and spirit.
Some change in mindset is also needed. For example, in Western societies, menopause is seen as a crisis or a disease because maintaining youth is overemphasized. A woman in Eastern societies may gracefully accept menopause and come into her own to see herself more valued in society. In Western societies, women go through a lot of stress and may not look forward to this transition due to fear of discomfort. This period should be viewed positively; women should use this opportunity to turn the energies inward to explore the depths of their soul. In pregnancy, every thought, action and decision taken by the pregnant mother impacts the child. Every food, aroma, sight, touch and sound also enters the fetus. Pleasing sounds can improve immunity and reduce anxiety. Women can improve immunity and enhance the life-energies of the baby by taking holistic care during the pregnancy.
It is advised to consult a medical practitioner before starting any treatment.
Shatavari is very useful herb to increase fertility and balance hormones. It can treat a wide variety of hormonal symptoms from PMS, mood changes, menstrual cramps, likoria, insufficient milk for nursing to menopause symptoms. It can be taken in combination with other herbs or individually. There are certain teas also available with shavarias an ingredient. Drinking a combination of dashmool kwathand shatavari powder boiled in water increases milk in nursing mothers. Shatavari can also be given to girls during puberty to help with their growth.
Aloe vera is a multipurpose herb and very useful for women. It helps restore inner youthful energies, improves reproductive health and balances menstrual cycle. An aloe vera gel can be applied on the skin to remove pimples and improve skin health.
Soak 3-4 figs in water and eat in the morning. They can also be boiled in milk and eaten at night. It is useful for those with nervous problems, weakness, low blood pressure, heart problems, menopause issues, constipation problems, low hemoglobin, and liver and respiratory problems. Avoid figs in the case of diabetes.
Boiling one spoon of dashmool kwath in water and drinking as tea twice everyday helps with problems related to periods. Drinking juice made from sheesham leaves helps stop severe bleeding and white discharge/likoria. One tablet of raj pravartini vatieach morning and evening helps in conditions where periods are irregular.
For Reproductive Health
Mix equal quantity powders of white musli, shatavari and ashwagandha. Take about 3-5 grams of this powder with milk in the morning with an empty stomach and after dinner. Shivlingiseeds taken with milk everyday also help with reproductive health. Eating one teaspoon of phalgrithtwice everyday helps improve problems related to the uterus and ovary.
Eat about 5-10 grams of ghee during pregnancy every day. It helps staying healthy during pregnancy and also during childbirth. Bananas, dates, figs, cardamom and ghee taken every day in pregnancy improves overall health and increases blood in the body. The bottle gourd ‘lauki’can be used as a salad or juice; it is helpful during pregnancy, anemia, nausea and low hemoglobin conditions.
For Breast Problems
One tablet each of kachnaar guggulsand vridhivadhika vatiafter dinner helps with fibroids and cysts. It is also helpful for breast tumor condition. For breast tumor, cancer or other breast-related conditions, castor oil massage is helpful. By dipping castor plant leaves in castor oil and covering the breasts overnight, it may help in diminishing breast tumors. Boil castor plant leaves in water. When the water is reduced to half, drink this water to help with hormonal, period-related and breast-related problems. Create a powder from roasted cumin and mix 2 grams of cumin powder with 3 grams of shatavari; mix it with milk and take twice everyday to improve milk production for breastfeeding mothers.
Avoid caffeinated beverages, spicy foods and alcohol. Improve the lifestyle to focus on stress reduction. Simple changes like eating meals in a quiet environment, waking up, and eating and sleeping at a fixed time everyday will reduce stress.
Include fresh foods in the diet like yam, and seeds like quinoa and amaranth to help balance hormonal levels. Several herbs are known to help in menopause, including motherwort, red clover, saw palmetto,dong quai, vitex, blue cohosh, black cohosh, shatavari, licorice, aloe vera gel, ashwagandha, kapikacchu, triphala, dashamula, brahmi, gotu kola, vidari, saffron and amalaki.
Saraswatarishtais an Ayurvedic medicine used for several health conditions; around 12 ml can be taken twice a day after meals. It is known as an anti-aging tonic, and also improves memory and immunity.
In one cup milk, add 5-10 strands of saffron, add a ½ teaspoon of shatavari powder and a ½ teaspoon of ghee. Warm this milk and drink after dinner.
A combination paste made from a ½ teaspoon of ashwagandha powder, ½ teaspoon shatavari powder, ½ teaspoon of vidari powder, ¼ teaspoon ginger powder and 2 teaspoons of local honey is useful to take any time during the day.
For Skin Health
Drink a lot of water, and avoid fried and spicy foods. Drink aloe vera juice and gooseberry juice regularly once a day to help with pimples and other skin-related problems. Neem oil application is useful for uterus infection and skin problems.
For Hair Health
For healthy hair, warm olive oil, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 1 tea spoon honey, and make a paste. Apply this paste to the hair roots. Wait for about 15 minutes and then wash the hair.
Panchakarmais a five-part purification therapy to bring balance in the body and remove accumulated toxins. It also helps problems related to miscarriage.
Fifteen to 30 minutes devoted daily to breathing exercises can reduce the need for some herbal treatment stated above. Regular breathing exercises are sufficient for overall health. Kapalbhatiand anulom vilombreathing exercises are recommended, along with moola bandha. Yoga poses like sarvangasana,halasana, mandukasanaand shashankasanaare helpful in improving health.
Acupressure on the palm below the thumb and on the inner wrist improves thyroid and other reproductive health issues.
Today’s world has moved from muscle to intelligence, and technology has reduced the difference between the genders. Both genders can do the same task with equal competence. There is no need for the world to be an either male- or female-dominated one. We should instead try to achieve integration, inclusion and cooperation. A healthy society is one where there is a recognition, respect and balance between male and female energies; both are equally important for humanity to succeed. This change in mindset is a responsibility of each individual and not left to the government to enforce.