Ayurvedic Regimen to be Followed by Females in Menses
Ayurveda disquisitions has allocated some chapters which mainly focus on woman health and its maintenance. Women are the individuals that most commonly suffer from dosha vitiation and hence the obvious effects are generally seen on their menstrual cycle which is called as raja darshan in Ayurveda. This raja darshan duration or commonly understood as period days has to be maintained following a proper regimen. The regimen is termed as rajaswala paricharya by ayurveda acharya.
When we talk about a regimen that has to be followed during periods or menses, we might often think that what special will happen after following that regimen? So let's start understanding this concept from the very beginning and this all from an ayurvedic perspective.
In the whole world menses are seen from different ideologies. Some think it's a body cleansing effect, some think it as a taboo, some take it as casually as their normal routines, some take it as a weakness and some take it as a part of life. But if seen or understood from the ayurvedic perspective then we have to understand the basis first.
As we all know that our body is made from 5 elements that are air (vayu), water (jala), fire (agni), aakash (space) and earth (bhumi), three doshas or three humors vata, pitta and kapha and sapta dhatu rasa, rakta, mansa, meda, asthi, maja and shukra. Mainly the body's functioning is controlled by the three humors and any imbalance in these three humors leads either male or female towards some health related condition.
Talking in terms of females, then these days, we females generally think that menstrual cramps are normal or having cycle irregularities is the part of working life or managing your lifestyle during your periods is an old school practice and PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is nothing more than a mood swing.
I am really sorry to hurt you ladies but here you are completely wrong. Menstrual cramps during periods are completely abnormal, not having regular menstrual cycles is not cool and following a proper lifestyle even during your normal days must be a priority and PMS is more than a mood swing. The next question in your mind is how and why?
You must read and understand.
Tridosha And Their Effect On Rajaswala Charya
- Vata, one of the three humors, tends to have properties like colde, thinner, creative, nervous and anxious. It is the most vulnerable and unstable dosha due to its chaltv guna. Vata vitiation is generally the result of late night sleeping, being empty stomach for long durations, excessive dieting plus exercising and hence facing menstrual cramps during your rajo darshan duration. Even vata vitiation can be the reason for irregular menses or scanty flow.
- Pitta is known for its warmth. But it’s imbalance is the main reason for premenstrual syndrome and anger issues. Pitta imbalance is the result of having too much spicy, fried food in your diet on a daily basis. Even females who are driven to or are fond of citric tastes usually suffer from premenstrual syndrome and also skin breakouts before their cycle starts. Pitta vitiation tends to show heavy flow during periods along with unusual burning sensation in the whole body.
- Kapha which is the last of three doshas believed to be the strongest of all. But it's vitiation is the main reason for delayed periods or long menstrual cycles. Kapha imbalance is generally due to today’s sedentary lifestyle which involves eating heavy delicious foods, sitting for long times, not performing any kind of physical activity and sleeping in the afternoon. Vitiation of this dosha tends to show development of fibroids, poly cystic ovarian syndrome and uterine congestion.
Now when we know what we don't have to do and the effects of wrong doings. A common question would be punching inside your mind that what should be done or what regimen to be followed during mense.
Regimen To Be Followed In Menses
As I have mentioned earlier, there are many chapters in which our acharyas have talked about ways to maintain exclusively women's health.
Ayurveda mentions menstrual regimen not because our acharyas were superstitious, but because it is important for a female to take care of herself as much as she can. Keeping this in mind acharya charaka, sushruta and vagbhata had mentioned a proper guided regimen which can be easily followed during menses. But firstly let us understand.
Meaning Of Menstruation
The blood which is collected for one month, having blackish colour and specific odour is secreted from dhamanis (uterine actions and their endometrial capillaries) brought downwards to vagina for evacuation.
Normal Menstruation Explained By Aachraya Charak
The normal menstruation occurs once in a month for a maximum of five days. The quantity is medium neither more nor less, devoid of sliminess, burning sensation and pain. The color of blood evacuated resembles the colour of gunja (Abrus precatorius), red lotus flowers and indragopa (fire fly). Such artava or menstrual blood or menses are considered as normal.
Rajaswala Charya Or Menstrual Regimen
Rajaswala charya is very important for each and woman to follow. Reason behind mentioning this is the wrong lifestyle adaptions of females these days which affect their body as well as their hormones especially during the menstural cycle.following are some life style alterations that must be considered so as to bear a healthy menstrual cycle.
- From the onset of menses a lady must observe chastity (brahmacharya).
- Avoiding day time sleeping is to be followed
- Getting upset on small things or crying should be kept aside
- Bathing from head to toe must be avoided.
- Though if considered according to modern times not bathing is like inviting infections. In early days people didn’t have a proper bathing setup and used to have bath in rivers. That’s why bathing was asked to avoid. Moreover, bathing with cold water causes muscle constriction and due to this constriction bleeding can be scanty.
- But the head should be only washed once bleeding is over. But you must clean yourself and maintain proper hygiene. Head wash is to be avoided as it results in shifting of body temperature immediately. It cools down the body and shows effects on hormonal secretion leading to sensation of bleeding or scanty blood flow in periods. Bathing with hot water relaxes muscles and helps in preventing cramps in periods.
- Massaging, paring of nails, fast racing, and listening to disturbing topics should be avoided. Massaging during periods is very much important to avoid. As massage causes increased circulation in the body. This increased circulation can result in reverting back of uterine supply back into circulation and hence can result in pitta aggravation. This vitiated pitta can cause skin allergies and clotting of blood in the uterus may give rise to PCOS. Exposure to fast winds and excessive exercise are not to be done.
- Use of nasya (inhalations), swedana (sudation) and vamana (emesis) are not to be done.
- Concentrate on thinking good, positive and cheering things
- You must sleep on time on a comfortable warm bed
- On the fourth or fifth day after the bleeding is completely over one should bath from head to toe. Wear clean and fragrant clothes and don’t forget to cheer yourself.
- There are many things that are to be excluded from your food habits. The food articles having pungent (tikshna), hot (katu) and salty (lavana) are to be completely avoided. Reason being they behave as channel blockers, cause muscle constriction leading to cramps and lead a female towards conditions like ovarian cyst, PCOS etc.
- Ingestion of pickles, curd, junk binging, heavy to digest food articles, fried food, piquant articles should be kept under must to avoid list.
- Food should not be eaten frequently and less quantity is to be preferred.
- You can include meals made of ghee, shalli rice (red rice) and milk in your diet.
- Avoid drinkables like carbonated drinks, caffeine containing drinks like coffee and tea as they behave as channel blockers (strotaavrodha) and hence can result in bleeding seization and ovarian cyst also.
- Meal should be eaten in a calm and stable way.
- Even after the menses are over you should not jump directly to your previous eating habits. One can go for diet cheat but junk binging is to be avoided.
Rajaswala paricharya is not to be marked as a restriction but rather has to be understood as a therapeutic suggestion. In today's time we can impose things on people but can make them the importance of old school sayings. I understand all old school things are not acceptable but the above mentioned menstrual regimen is very important for each and every female because implementing this just for 5 days in your whole month can be very beneficial for your body. Just try it! Trying won't hurt you neither make you an old schooler.
Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan
MD (ALT. MEDICINE) View Profile