In the modern world, women must work continuously, in ignorance of their natural rhythms. Chemicals and pollution, a hectic lifestyle, intellectual exertion, and a richer diet contribute towards heavier and more frequent menstrual cycles, further contribute towards a wide range of imbalances and complaints.
It is thus essential that healthy menstrual practices be observed, so as to preserve the natural balance of the female body, for the sake of her own health and pregnancy. Menstrual cycles can give rise to various physical and mental disturbances: Headaches, migraine attacks that induce vomiting, breast tenderness, feeling of bloatedness, and mood swings, among others. These are attributed to fluctuating hormone levels (of the estrogen and progesterone, mainly).
As regards the heavier form of menstrual cycles, the biological term for menstrual problems is dysmenorrhea, a medical condition characterized by severe uterine pain during menstruation. While many individuals experience minor pain during menstruation, dysmenorrhea is diagnosed when the pain is so severe as to limit normal activities, or require medication. Dysmenorrhea can feature different kinds of pain; including sharp, throbbing, dull, nauseating, burning, or shooting pain.
A woman may experience difference symptoms depending on their respective body types:
Typical symptoms of a Vata imbalance during the premenstrual period are anxiety, nervous tension, mood swings, insomnia, light amount of flow, menstrual pain/cramps, backaches, extended length of period with dark, clotted flow.
Suggestions: Avoid cold and raw foods. Instead, stick to soups, rice, and cooked vegetables. Avoid exposure to wireless devices and computers.
For Pitta imbalances, there is irritability and anger, sweet cravings, increased appetite, headaches excessive body heat or sweating, diarrhea, skin rashes/acne, excessive menstrual bleeding, increased frequency of periods, and bright red flows of blood.
Suggestions: Avoid foods that are hot and spicy, as well as alcohol and caffeine. Do not engage in excessive exercise, and try to have regular meals.
Kapha is typified by lethargy, depression, and water retention. A woman will suffer from weight gain, breast tenderness, fluid retention, abdominal bloating, acne, stiffness in back, achy joints, pale, mucousy menstrual flow.
Suggestion: Skip dairy products and fried or oily foods. Try herbal supplements that balance the dosha. Exercise and go for a lighter diet that reduces impurities.
The following diet will be suggested: light foods that are warm and nourishing, immediately before and after the cycle; e.g. lightly steamed vegetables, well-cooked grains, lots of leafy greens and green herbs such as basil, cilantro, or parsley. Spices such as fennel, coriander, turmeric, cardamom and saffron are wonderful to enhance digestion and alleviate PMS symptoms.
Contrast the above with what doctors, who are conventionally trained in accordance with Western medicine, resort to:
Vitamin B6, and evening primrose oil; the former prescribed for painful periods, the latter for tender breasts.
Diuretics for water retention.
Tranquilizers and antidepressants for depression.
Progesterone therapy – natural progesterone in the form of suppositories – instead of progestagen (the side effects of which may cause depression).
By ridding the body of these excesses during the menstrual time, the body is able to perform its natural biological functions more effectively. Can work more easily. So we suggest that you follow these simple dietary practices:
Sip plain hot water frequently throughout the day.
Eat a full, warm, cooked meal at lunchtime, but have a light and early dinner.
Avoid fried and sour foods. Instead, consume vegetables such as white pumpkin, papaya, drumstick, bitter gourd and cucumber.
Take at least twenty minutes to eat, and wait for some time before your next meal, so that the consumed food is digested properly first.
Get enough rest.