Ayurvedic Remedies for Menstrual Disorders

 

For better understanding of diseases described in this article, it is vital to acquire knowledge of the reproductive system.  The anatomy of the female reproductive system has been shown in following diagram.

Anatomy of the female reproductive system

Fig: Anatomy of the female reproductive system

The female reproductive system consists of the following structures:

  1. Vulva: It constitutes the external sex organ.
  2. Vagina: It is a fibrous-muscular tube attached to the cervix above and continues with the vulva below. The vaginal secretion is in negligible amount in a healthy state of the body. The pH of the vagina is about 4.5 and it is due to the presence of lactic acid. Urethra lies in front of the vagina and is slightly more vertical than the vagina.
  3. Uterus: It is a hollow, pear-shaped organ with a muscular wall. It is divided into body (corpus) and neck (cervix). Uterus has three layers viz. perimetrium, endometrium and myometrium.
  4. Ovaries: They are almond shaped organs lying in the pelvic cavity. They secrete female hormones estrogen and progesterone. The Fallopian tubes are bilateral muscular tubes lined by mucous membrane.

Menstruation is a periodic discharge of blood, mucous and fragments of endometrium from the mucous membrane of the uterus. It occurs at cycle of four weeks between puberty and the menopause.

Puberty is a period of life in early adolescence characterised by the maturation of sexual organs and development of secondary sex characters.

Menopause (climacteric) is the cessation of a woman’s reproductive period of life, characterised by cessation of menstruation.

Anartva (Amenorrhoea)

Cause: Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation after the usual age of puberty and before menopause. The process can be temporary or permanent. Amenorrhea that occurs during pregnancy and lactation is known as physiological amenorrhoea.

A diseased state is known as pathological amenorrhea. Pathological amenorrhoea can be due to congenital factors or injury to the pelvis. Mostly amenorrhea is due to anaemia, diabetes, starvation, and carcinoma of the sex organs.

Sometimes exposure to chill can precipitate amenorrhoea. Surgical removal of the ovaries leads to amenorrhoea. Certain nervous system diseases like stress, anxiety, and hysteria can lead to the incidence of amenorrhoea.

Ayurvedic Remedies:

  • Before starting treatment for amenorrhea, pregnancy must be excluded.
  • Rajpravartini-vati is the drug of choice in treating amenorrhea. One tablet, twice a day, with warm milk is given for three days.
  • For anaemia, Poonarnava mandoora is given with buttermilk in a dose of one tablet, thrice a day.
  • Alternatively, Shatmoolyadi lauha, two tablets twice a day, with water is ideal remedy.
  • Kumaryasva (wine prepared from aloes), six teaspoonfuls (30 ml), twice a day, with equal amount of water can be added to Poonarnava mandura or Shatmoolyadilauha.
  • Decoction of Ulta-kambla, six teaspoonfuls (30 ml), thrice a day slightly warmed is also recommended for treating amenorrhea.

 

Painful menstruation or Kashtartva (Dysmenorrhoea)

Cause: It is of two types, spasmodic and congestive. Spasmodic dysmenorrhoea is characterised by severe pain dating from soon after puberty and the disease have definite cause. Congestive dysmenorrhoea is a form of pre-menstrual or early menstrual pain.

Signs and symptoms:

  • In spasmodic variety, pain begins on the first day of menstruation, never pre-menstrual.
  • Duration of the pain is few hours to days. There may be vomiting or fainting. Menstrual period is often late in appearance.
  • Sterility is common and usually disappears after the age of 30.
  • In congestive type, the pain is of general aching nature. It radiates to the back and down to the legs.
  • Amount of blood lost may be excessive. The period is frequently longer than normal.
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases, tumours, abnormal position of the uterus or endometriosis are common cause for congestive dysmenorrhoea.

 

Ayurvedic Remedies:

  • Shankh vati is the main antispasmodic preparation of Ayurveda. Two tablets, twice a day, are given with warm water for at least five days for complete relief.
  • Parsik-yavani half teaspoonful (2.5 g), thrice a day, with warm water is good antispasmodic.
  • Decoction of Karpas or cotton in dose of six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) is useful.
  • Patranga-asva, six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) with equal quantity of water, twice a day, acts favourably in dysmenorrhoea.

 

Soma-roga (Frequency of micturition)

Causes: It is a very common disorder in women of all ages. It can be due to habit, nervousness, disease of the bladder and urethra. Abnormalities of the urine like acid irritating urine, excessive contents of urates or bacterial infection of the urinary bladder can lead to the incidence of frequency of micturition.

Remedies:

  • Somnatharasa is the drug of choice in treating frequency of micturition. One tablet is given with honey followed by milk twice a day.
  • Alternatively, Amalaki or amla and mulhati or liquorice, equally powdered in a dose of one teaspoonful (5 g) with milk is ideal remedy for treating disorders of micturition.
  • For nervousness, Ashwagandha churana, one teaspoonful (5g) with warm milk thrice a day is also beneficial.

 

Shevta-pradra (Leucorrhoea)

Cause: It is a white or yellow discharge from the vagina. The discharge may contain mucous (mucoid), mucous plus pus (mucopurluent) or pus (purulent). A common form of leucorrhoea occurs in young virgins just before and after menstruation. Leucorrhoea is common in anaemic or malnourished females.

Signs and symptoms:

  • In addition to the discharge, there is pain in the low back and lethargy.
  • In young virgins the discharge is non-infective often associated with red erosion.
  • During pregnancy, non-infective mucoid discharge is common.
  • In women past menopause, vaginitis (swelling in vagina and uterus) are the cause of leucorrhoea.
  • Leucorrhoea is also caused by a microbe, Trichomonas vaginalis (trichomonasis). It is characterised by a purulent discharge with a dull pink colour. It can occur at any age.

 

Ayurvedic Remedies:

  • Pradarantaka lauha is the drug of choice in treating leucorrhoea. One tablet, thrice a day, after meals is highly effective in curing the disease and anaemia associated with it.
  • Dashmoolarishta, six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) with equal quantity of water is indicated in chronic backache associated with leucorrhoea.
  • Decoction of Triphala with buttermilk is used as a vaginal douche (washing).
  • Kukutakndtwaka bhasma is an efficacious remedy in all types of leucorrhoea. 125 mg of the formulation is given with rice water twice a day for seven days. The dose should be prepared by the expert Ayurvedic physician.

 

Excessive menstruation or Asrigdara (Menorrhagia)

Cause: Menstrual bleeding can last more than seven days and amounts lost on any or more days is excessive for any particular patient. Fibroids (type of tumour) of the uterus, abnormal position of the uterus, and inflammation (swelling) of the Fallopian tubes are some of the specific causes. Endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism, exophthalmic goiter and constipation are also related to the incidence of menorrhagia.

Remedies:

  • Asokaristha (wine prepared from Asoka) is the drug of choice in menorrhagia. Six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) of the formulation are given thrice a day with water. Asoka has haemostatic activity.
  • Six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) of Lodhrasva (wine prepared from lodhra) can be added to Asoka in severe cases.
  • Anaemia is best dealt with Navayas lauha, one tablet thrice a day, with buttermilk is recommended for three weeks.
  • Rest during the period is very effective in diminishing the flow.
  • Hot vaginal douche is of value in severe flow.

 

Metrorrhagia

Inter-menstrual uterine bleeding is referred to as metrorrhagia. It may be encountered as isolated disorder or coexist with menorrhagia. Causes are similar to that of menorrhagia. Constant uterine bleeding is a serious problem.

Ayurvedic Remedies:

  • Asokharistha (wine prepared from Asoka) is the drug of choice in menorrhagia. Six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) of the formulation are given thrice a day with water. Asoka has haemostatic activity.
  • Six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) of Lodhrasva (wine prepared from lodhra) can be added to Asoka in severe cases.
  • Anaemia is best dealt with Navayas lauha, one tablet thrice a day, with buttermilk is recommended for three weeks.
  • Rest during the period is very effective in diminishing the flow.
  • Hot vaginal douche is of value in severe flow.

 

Bandhaya (Sterility)

Cause: Sterility is defined as a failure of conception following marriage. If sperm and ova do not unite, fertilisation does not take place and the result is an inability on the part of female to conceive. Congenital abnormalities like absence or underdevelopment of the sex organs or disturbance of sex relations are cause of sterility.

Disturbed sexual relations may include painful sexual intercourse or contraction of the vaginal musculature. Injury to the female genital tract like vaginitis, fibroids (type of cancer) or abnormal position of the uterus may be responsible for the incidence of sterility. Low functioning of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and late marriage may contribute to sterility.

Ayurvedic Remedies:

  • It is estimated that 30 per cent of the sterile marriages are due to male partners. The male partner should always be investigated for sperm count.
  • Kaya-phala in a dose of teaspoonful (5g), with equal quantity of sugar, is recommended for treatment of sterility.
  • Ashwagandha (Nagori variety) one teaspoonful (5g) with warm milk before intercourse is recommended for prolonged treatment.
  • Lakshmana is another drug mentioned in Ayurvedic texts as a potential remedy for treating sterility. The botanical identity of the drug is not clear, but some experts use a white variety of Kantakari as substitute for Lakshmana. Four tablespoonfuls (60 ml) of the decoction of the drug are recommended for treating sterility.

 

Ayurvedic Clinical Research

Leucorrhoea and menorrhagia: Several studies have been published proving efficacy of Ashokarishta in the treatment of leucorrhoea and menorrhagia (Geeta & Nalini, 1996; Anonymous, 2002).

Dysfunctional uterine bleeding: Pushyanuga churna & Lodhrasava were selected for the study. Of total 46 cases studied, 12 (29.26%) cases showed good response, 16 cases (39.02%) showed fair response, 9 cases (21.95%) showed poor response and 4 cases (9.75%) did not show any response after treatment. Five (10.86%) cases were dropped out from study. The treatment was found to be highly significant (P<0.001) in reduction of uterine haemorrhage.

Infertility: The present study was carried out in a sample of 30 numbers of female infertility cases with the use of phalagritam in from of intra uterine insuffulation. After the treatment of three consecutive cycles an overall encouraging result was observed.

Dysmenorrhoea: 30 patients were given Shankhapani Rasa in a dose of 125mg capsules twice in a day for 1 month randomly and effect was evaluated on pre-test and post-test design. Statistically significant (p<0.01) results were seen in subjective symptoms like pain during menstruation and duration of pain.

References

Anonymous. Effect of Ashokarishta and Musalikhadiradi kwatha in menorrhagia. Government Ayurveda College, Trivandrum, 2002.

Geeta A, Nalini AM. Treatment of pradara with Ashokarishta. J Res Ayur Siddh 1996; 16:778-80.

Otta SP, Tripaty RN. Clinical trial of Phalaghrita on female infertility. Anc Sci Life 2012; 22:56-63.

Prameela Devi K. Clinical evaluation of Pushyanuga churna & Lodhrasava in rakta pradara (DUB). Indian J Trad Knowl 2007; 6:429-31.

Satya Priya T, Deeja C R, Rama Mohan Rao G, Badari Narayana V, Suneela P, Sri Durga Ch. Clinical evaluation of Shankhapani rasa in the management of kashtartava (dysmenorrhoea). Int J Ayur Med 2013; 4.

Additional Reading:

Ayurvedic and Home Remedies for Menstrual Disorders

What Causes Menstrual Irregularities?

To get more information and to buy ayurvedic products for relief from menstrual disorders, please click the links below:

Poonarnava

Ashoka

Ashwagandha

Dashmoola

Triphala

Amalaki

Amla

Liquorice

Ayurvedic Products for Women’s Health

 

 

 

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