This week, the world celebrated International Women’s Day with the theme for 2022 being #BreakTheBias. While you might think that Girl Power started in the 90s, the truth is, Ayurveda’s been shouting about the importance of females since its inception.
You see, women’s health is engrained in the foundations of Ayurvedic medicine and has been for more than 5,000 years. Ready to learn some more?
Woman is the new strong
In Ayurveda, women are seen as the centre of creation - and we’re totally here for that! It’s believed that a woman’s individual health plays a huge part in the health and wellness of future generations of their family, which is why there’s so much Ayurvedic research on women’s health in particular.
It goes one step further though. As hormone levels vary from age to age, women’s health is broken up into four key stages - menarche, pregnany, post-partum and menopause. It’s believed that each of these life stages, and their hormonal variations, can bring with it different health issues or side effects.
But, of course, if you know anything about Ayurveda, you’ll know there’s a solution. With a combination of holistic treatments, herbal ingredients and a few additions to lifestyles, Ayurveda is using its age-old wisdom to help women all around the world to combat any issues effectively.
Let’s explore each of the four stages in more detail as well as some of the tried-and-tested Ayurvedic treatments to help you get back to balance.
Menarche marks the start of a female’s reproductive life - when puberty ends and menstruation is about to begin. The body will go through some physical changes and periods will start - often resulting in mood swings, stomach cramps, skin conditions and even aches and pains.
During this time, Ayurveda recommends a healthy lifestyle of yoga and light exercise to help regulate menstruation and prepare the body for adolescense. This can also help with any stomach cramps by elongating the muscles.
Ayurvedic herbs such as Jatamansi, Ginger and Tulsi can also help with related health problems. Jatamansi has been proven to regulate menstrual health as well as the maturity of the ovary’s follicles. Ginger and Tulsi both have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can help to maintain body temperature - which is essential for a balanced menstrual cycle.
Studies have also shown that Ginger can stimulate menstrual flow and protect the body from inflammation. So, for a better flow, with less cramps and pain, (and don’t we all want that?!) Ayurveda advises taking Ginger daily.
Pregnancy can take its toll on both emotional and physical health but, in Ayurveda, there’s plenty of tips to ease the stress - and back pain!
Ayurvedic wisdom says that during pregnancy, Vata energy is directed to the baby. If the mother’s dosha levels were balanced to begin with, then she’ll have enough Vata for both of them. But, if the doshas were imbalanced, she may begin to feel emotionally low and delicate - which are signs of low Vata levels. To combat this, Ayurveda says pregnant women should include grounding and positive activities in their daily routine. Think meditation, self-massage and little pamper sessions.
In order to manage Vata levels, a pure and fresh diet of organic vegetables, grains, healthy fats and oils will keep the body grounded and warm. These oils are also essential in the development of the baby. Short walks and yoga classes are recommended to soothe the body, keep both the mother and baby calm and also keep things moving.
The digestive fire can be off balance during pregnancy - leading to lack of appetite, sickness and general feelings of unwell. Ayurveda says Ginger Tea, roasted Cardamom Seeds and sleeping in a reclined position can all bring your digestive system back into harmony though.
In the days, weeks and months after giving birth, the key to women’s health is to calm Vata. It’s believed that the new mother is full of cold, light and dry qualities after losing fluids, blood and energy - as well as a huge space in her abdomen. Not to mention the fact, she’s now suffering from a lack of sleep! As Vata is airy and light, to combat it, a diet of warm, heavy and smooth foods is advised with lots of healthy fats.
If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll know how important Ayurvedic herbs are in day-to-day life. For new mothers, Fenugreek can support lactation and provides relief to lower back pain. Turmeric and Ginger Powder can help to restart your digestive fire. Cumin, Coriander and Fennel are again great for digestion and support lactation.
Finally, massage with warm oils can help to soothe the body and calm Vata too. It’s believed it will tone the body, reduce any dryness, promote tissue healing and infuse strength. Not to mention, the fact that it allows new mums to have a little time to themselves! Result!
During the menopause, all three doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha - culminate in a woman’s body. The menopause symptoms themselves are Pitta, weight gain is caused by Kapha and mood changes indicidate Vata. Whichever dosha you’re more dominant in will determine exactly what symptoms you experience.
Vatas tend to suffer with mood swings, anxiety, depression and even difficulty sleeping. Pittas can feel angry, fiery and have hot flushes. And Kaphas can experience weight gain, physical heaviness and even mental heaviness. But, Ayurvedic doctors have a few herbal ingredients to help:
Aloe Vera, which is high in phytoestrogens and balances the hormonal levels
Shatavari, known as a women’s health tonic, is proven to treat menopausal symptoms including dryness, anxiety, hot flushes, mood swings and night sweats
And Fenugreek Seeds which come with lots of hormonal balancing properties and are said to keep hot flushes and bloating at bay
At Deja, we’ve created two all-natural supplements which are packed with ingredients to help with menopause symptoms. Mind Balance, a natural nootropic, is a capsule boasting 11 Ayurvedic super-herbs including Brahmi, Shankhavali, Ashwagandha, Jatamansi and Valo. Designed to promote calm, boost focus and combat those stressful periods in life, it’s the perfect addition to your daily routine if you’re going through menopause.
Brahmi helps to reduce brain fog, improving memory, balancing the nervous system and increasing resilience to stress, while Shankhavali reduces stress, anxiety and insomnia. Together, they improve mood swings. Ashwagandha can reduce hot flushes and night sweats, allow the body and mind to deal with stress better, help with feelings of depression and anxiety, and reduce mood swings too. It also supports a healthy night’s sleep and aids the endocrine system, which balances female hormones. Jatamansi is also used in our capsules because of its ability to provide mental clarity and reduce heat in the skin. Finally, Valo is used because it’s been proven to reduce hot flushes, sweating and excess heat.
Our brand-new latte powder, Love Cacao is also packed with menopause helping ingredients and is designed to balance female hormones and help you to tune into your body. Shatavari is used because of its phytoestrogen which helps to bring female hormones back into check. Described as a tonic to the female reproductive system, it reduces hot flushes and helps the body to deal with stress. It’s also shown to reduce vaginal dryness - thanks to its incredible moisturising properties.
The natural Ayurvedic blend is also made up of Maca, which promotes energy and strength, supports the endocrine system, reduces the severity of hot flushes and night sweats, and helps women to cope with stress, fatigue, anxiety and sleep problems. Similar to Mind Balance, Love Cacao also contains Ashwagandha because of its many menopause benefits.
Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend yoga, meditation, self-massage and light exercise to keep the body grounded and calm. Positive activities like journaling can also help to gather thoughts and provide clarity during a sometimes stressful time.
How Deja can help
Love Cacao and Mind Balance are just two of our all-natural supplements and products at Deja. And they’re not just beneficial for those going through the menopause. Ideal for balancing hormones, enhancing libido, strengthening the uterine muscles and even helping with PMS and menstrual cramps, to name a few, Love Cacao can be used whatever your stage in life. What’s more, Mind Balance can help you to deal with stressful days and provide the calm you need - whatever you’re going through.
Looking for more advice when it comes to the Ayurvedic way of life? Perhaps you want to give your body a little helping hand? Drop us a DM or join in the conversation on Instagram.