High Cholesterol, Irregular periods, Weight Gain and High blood pressure all have a very dreadful thing in common. They are all symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is also commonly known as PCOS. To define the term simply, PCOS is a hormonal disorder typically experienced by women of reproductive age. It is often experienced when there is an excess of androgen along with infrequent or longer than expected duration of menstrual periods.
In U.S alone, PCOS is said to affect over 6 million women. It is a condition that requires immediate care for those suffering to find any sort of comfort. As of today, nobody knows what exactly causes it although there are assumptions around certain environmental and genetic factors being involved. To add to the misery, there isn’t a definitive cure to this agonizing condition.
That does not mean it cannot be managed. Although there are contemporary medicines and over the counter pills to help alleviate PCOS symptoms, they too come with their own set of side effects. Let us look at what Ayurveda has to say about this condition from some of the reliable Ayurveda literature.
PCOS and Ayurveda
PCOS is a condition that demands early detection and persistent management to better deal with its symptoms. This only makes Ayurveda’s school of thought pertaining to holistic wellbeing all the more fundamental in the context of conditions like PCOS.
Ayurveda, in particular, dedicates a substantial portion of its literature to tackle the issue of PCOS in women. The remedies it recommends involves dependence on natural herbs, therapies, and dietary or lifestyle changes to make a difference.
In this article, we will address each of these remedies individually and advice you on how you too can incorporate these all-natural practices in your daily life to better manage PCOS and find relief from its many discomforting symptoms.
We recommend that you look into the Ayurvedic recommendation in the following order:
- Lifestyle changes
It should come as no surprise that Ayurveda does recommend you change your diet for best results. While you are required to settle on an almost organic diet filled with nutritious fruits, legumes and vegetables, precisely determining what food will be best for you will depend on your mind-body dosha type. We recommend consulting your Ayurvedic practitioner to get an appropriate answer.
However, there are certain foods that you must avoid at any cost to prevent aggravating the symptoms of PCOS. They are as listed below:
- Refrain from having refined sugar, artificially sweetened drinks and sugary food
- Reduce salt intake
- Avoid saturate fat like red meat
- Avoid highly processed fast foods
- Increase intake of fruits and vegetables
- Reduce stress in life and practice meditation
- Get enough sleep
- Incorporate 40 to 60 minutes of exercise or Yoga on a daily basis
- Eating food at the right times and not skipping meals
Yoga can be a great way to relax your body and find relief from PCOS’s many uncomfortable symptoms. A consistent yoga program which includes breathing exercises, meditation and certain asanas can go a long way in helping reduce anxiety symptoms, especially in adolescent girls.
There are certain Yoga asanas that seem tailor-made to help tackle PCOS head on. If performed properly they can help release stress that often comes with a severe case of PCOS.
Some of the asanas you can try are as follows:
- Bharadwajasana (Bharadwaja’s Twist)
- Chakki Chalanasana (Mill Churning Pose)
- Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose)
- Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
PCOS Management through Herbs
Ayurveda has long been an ardent advocate for a wide variety of herbs to help tackle both benign and chronic health conditions. Years before modern medicine was even a thing, it was these herbs that bought relief to ailing minds, bodies, and souls.
Ayurveda recommends an array of herbal remedies to better manage the symptoms of PCOS. We will be looking at some specific herbs that can prove extremely potent when seeking reprieve from this condition.
Some of those herbs are listed below
1 – Ashwagandha
Known as Indian Ginseng, Ashwagandha is Ayurveda’s most prominently prescribed adaptogen. It can be immensely beneficial in managing stress on both a mental and physical level. According to a 2016 study, wherein 52 people suffering from chronic stress were administered ashwagandha regularly, it was found that the herb was able to balance cortisol levels in the body, thus helping them manage stress quite efficiently. It is this quality of Ashwagandha that can exploited by women afflicted with PCOS as well.
2 – Cinnamon
We know insulin resistance as one of the major symptoms experienced by women suffering from PCOS. Cinnamon being popular for its ability to manage blood sugar levels, can exhibit positive results when it comes to insulin resistance. If recent studies are to be believed, cinnamon can also play a crucial role in regulating menstrual blood cycles, thus qualifying it as one of the strongest allies for women with PCOS.
3 – Turmeric
PCOS is just one of the many chronic health conditions Turmeric promises to solve, thanks in large part to its active ingredient ‘curcumin’. Turmeric possesses powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it extremely effective in reducing insulin resistance in the body. Turmeric does pose an issue of low bioavailability, meaning the body struggles to absorb it completely in order to harness its benefits. However, you can have it with Black Pepper to solve the issue.
Panchakarma is a five-step process that galvanizes the detoxification of human body to negate the effects of poor lifestyle choices such as an unhealthy diet, a sedentary schedule and living amidst rampant pollution.
To put it simply, Panchakarma is a way to release toxins and free radicals from the body through a series of natural detoxifying tactics approved by Ayurveda. As such, Panchakarma can be especially effective in helping with PCOS and infertility in women
In a 2017 study, 15 women with PCOS were asked to go through the process of Vamana Karma (therapeutic vomiting). They were also administered Yoga-Ikshwaku seed powder and a compounded formula called Shatapushpati Ganavati. At the end of the study, researchers determined that this remedy could result in increasing the chances of conception in women with PCOS.
The Bottom Line
PCOS can be a frustrating condition to overcome for women of reproductive ages. Although there are over-the-counter pills available to manage its symptoms, one should find solace in more natural remedies to better alleviate its symptoms without having to worry about additional side-effects.
Ayurveda helps manage PCOS by recommending remedies that involve consuming certain crucial herbs, undertaking regular yoga sessions, meditation and natural detoxification. To know more on how Ayurveda can help you personally manage PCOS we recommend you get in touch with an expert Ayurvedic practitioner today.
Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.