I recently talked to a friend who just entered menopause and discussing her issues made me look deeper into the matter from an Ayurvedic point of view since as to everything in life this wonderful medicine created over thousands of years of experience will have its particular explanation for this important phase in a woman’s life as well and that – as always in Ayurveda – in a very natural, connected way.
Menopause has always something that hits woman end of their 40s, beginning 50s. There is though a respectably high number of women, who enter that transition phase already in their 30s or beginning 40s. No scientific 100% concrete explanation has been found so far for the fact that some women arrive at the end of their ovarian reserve that early.
Anyway, sooner or later it will concern all of us and I suppose if we prepare ourselves well and take care about our bodies during the transition we should not be facing any bigger problems.
The decrease of estrogen levels in a woman’s body bring along challenges like hot flushes, anxiety, depression, hair loss, loss of bone mass etc. None of this has to occur, but it can. Yoga and meditation in combination with a cleansing of the body, a healthy diet and natural herbal remedies help to get you through these years in the best possible way, easing many of those discomforts.
Menopause is the transition from Pitta to Vata in a woman’s life. If you already suffer from Vata imbalances you should follow a Vata pacifying diet, which is recommend though for every woman facing menopause. The body has to be well-nourished with a special regard to essential fat in order to combat Vata’s dryness.
Vata is balanced by a diet of freshly cooked whole foods that are soft or mushy in texture, rich in protein and fat (oily), seasoned with a variety of warming spices (favour sweet, sour and salty), and served warm or hot. These foods calm Vata by lubricating and nourishing the tissues, preserving moisture, and maintaining warmth, all while supporting proper digestion and elimination. A warm breakfast with eggs or boiled cereals with dates and figs and nuts make a fantastic, powerful start of the day. Lunch should be your main meal, look at pulses, wholegrain pasta or rice, enriched with vegetables. Think avocado, fatty fish, buttermilk, cheese… Dinner should be small, but warming and hearty. A carrot soup with some added spice, sweet potatoes – let your fantasy move. All meals should be eaten in a calm environment, enjoying your food and the nourishment that it brings you.
Regular exercise is crucial, it prevents the loss of bone density and excessive weight-gain that can occur in these years and keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Add weight-bearing exercise to strengthen the skeletal system. Yoga and meditation calm your mind and eliminate uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. At the same time yoga is important for maintaining a flexible body and strong bones.
There are some herbs, which can help you through the time: Shatavari (which anyway is THE herb for any woman) as well as Vidari are the two most beneficial herbs. They contain phytoestrogens and thus help to balance the deficiencies in your changing body. Brahmi and Purnavara more work on the psychological side, calming the mind. These herbs strengthen your body and balance its functions.
Most important thing is to not see menopause as an illness at whatever age it may occur, but to enjoy your wisdom, your beautiful body and your self-conscience. Maybe you like this quote of Florence King, I do: