Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)/ Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD) is one of the most common female endocrine hormonal disorders, affecting up to 20% of women in their reproductive age, which leads to primary or secondary infertility. PCOS in Ayurveda was correlated with Aarthava Kshaya.
PCOD is a condition in which the ovaries produce high amounts of androgens (male hormones), particularly testosterone resulting in high levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and low levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) prevents follicles from producing a mature egg leading to anovulatory cycles and irregular menstruation.
- Irregular menstrual cycles – menstruation may be less or more frequent due to less frequent ovulation (release of an egg)
- Amenorrhoea (no periods) – some women with PCOS do not menstruate, in some cases for many years
- Excessive facial or body hair growth (or both)
- Scalp hair loss
- Reduced fertility (difficulty in becoming pregnant) – related to less frequent or absent ovulation
- Mood changes – including anxiety and depression
- Insulin resistancePCOS is a problem with hormones that affects women during their childbearing years (ages 15 to 44). Between 2.2 and 26.7 percent of women in this age group.
How Ayurveda Treatment Can Help?
In Ayurveda, PCOS is caused due to an imbalance of any of the two doshas – Pitta (Fire) and Kapha (Water). Aggravated Pitta causes contamination of the dhatus or tissues like blood and plasma. This causes a buildup of toxins or ama in the body.
- In PCOS patients, these toxins get accumulated in the channels of the mind, leading to an imbalance of hormones secreted by the pituitary gland. This results in an imbalance of female hormones and causes the formation of ovarian cysts which is nothing but a collection of fluids
within the ovary, anovulatory periods or periods with no ovulation, etc.
Ayurveda remedies work on these problems that occur due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
- Correcting hormonal imbalance
- Reducing obesity
- Reducing high cholesterol levels
- Treatment for insulin resistance
PCOS Treatment in Ayurveda –
PCOS needs early diagnosis and long term management for avoiding long term complications.PCOS treatment in Ayurveda recommends Virechana (Detoxification), Nasya, Shirodhara and Uttarbasti for PCOD along with Diet and lifestyle modification.
Some Ayurvedic Herbs
- Shatavari- Asparagus racemosus
- Varuna- Crataeva nurvala
- Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
- Pippali – Piper longum
- Bilva – Aegle marmelos
- Ashoka (Saraca Indica)
- Agni mantha – Premna integrifolia
- Shilajit (Purified Asphaltum)
- Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)
- Vibhitaki (Terminalia Belerica)
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)
- Karavellaka (Momordica Charantia)
- Punarvana – Boerrhavia diffusa
- Guduchi – Tinospora indica
- Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
- Shunthi – Ginger
- Varunadi Kashaya
- Chitrakadi Vati
- Triphala Guggulu
- Punarvadi Kashaya
- Shatavari Gulam
- Kanchnar Guggulu
- Triphala Kwatha, Chandraprabha Vati and Manibhadra Choorna help to clear obstruction and normalize the srotas. Especially Triphalaand Guggulu are very useful for reducing excess weight.
- Powder of Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)brings balance and strength to the menstrual system and it helps to regulate Aartva Dhatu.
- Properties of Powder of seeds of Pelargonium graveloens, oil of Krishna Jeeraka (Nigella sativa) and oil of Sahachara (Barleria prionits) were helped to destroy cysts on ovaries and stimulate the follicular maturity. Properties of Deepanaand Pachana of above drugs they elevate the Jatharagni, Dhatvagni as well as Aartavagni.
- Powder of Guduchchadiyaenhances the overall immunity and powder of Atibala has properties of Prajasthapana, Garbhasya DaurbalyAhara, Balya, Brunhana and Ojo Vardhana. Therefore it helps to get conceived and avoid miscarriage.
Yoga for PCOS –
Yoga helps tone up the whole reproductive system. Asanas such as Dhanurasana, Uttanpadasana, Badhakonasana, Ushtrasana, vrikshasana, and Vajrasana are among those yoga asanas that are ideal for women to help them develop a regular and healthy menstrual cycle.
Practising these asanas along with Butterfly stretch & pranayama regularly will ensure that women develop muscular strength, avoid obesity and develop healthy reproductive organs by keeping their hormones in balance.
Lifestyle and dietary changes –
- It is recommended to cut down on the intake of milk and milk products with an exception to the buttermilk.
- It’s better to opt for low-fat milk, ensure that you boil the milk before consuming it. You may want to add a pinch of ginger or turmeric before boiling it to decrease the Kapha increasing quality of milk.
- Follow through a natural sleep pattern, refrain from sleeping in the afternoon as it may interrupt your sleep cycle in the night.
- Say goodbye to all sorts of junk food.
- It’s advisable to restrict your diet of red meat, deep fried food and eggs as much as you can. However, you may feast on fish once in a while.
- Sugar based products are considered unhealthy for health as sugar increases Kapha. You may want to go for honey instead which is believed to reduce Kapha.
- You are allowed to consume beans but avoid intake of nuts.
- Avoid consuming potatoes or sweet potatoes as they become the culprit behind your weight gain.
- It is recommended to avoid undertaking physical or mental work which is beyond your capacity and refrain from all negative feelings such as stress or tension.
- Restrict your use of contraceptives.
- It’s recommended to have a balanced diet.
- Consume wheat or rice in a moderate quantity as these are known to increase Kapha.
- Include herbs such as cinnamon, garlic, and fenugreek in your diet.
- Drink herbal teas such as spearmint tea or green tea.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, and narcotics as these are known for impacting menstrual cycles negatively.
☆ This article is intended for education and awareness. Ayurvedic treatment and advice is always personalised. We recommend you make an appointment with one of our experienced ayurvedic doctors
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if:
You’ve missed periods and you’re not pregnant.
You have symptoms of PCOS, such as hair growth on your face and body.
You’ve been trying to get pregnant for more than 12 months but haven’t been successful.
You have symptoms of diabetes, such as excess thirst or hunger, blurred vision, or unexplained weight loss.
If you have PCOS, plan regular visits with your primary care doctor. You’ll need regular tests to check for diabetes, high blood pressure, and other possible complications.