PCOS is one of the most common maladies to affect women. Nearly 1 in 10 women suffer from this disorder. Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition where the ovaries develop multiple cysts causing it to expand to an abnormal size. PCOS has many adverse effects on other systems as well. It causes severe hormonal imbalances throughout the body, irregularities in the menstrual cycle, imbalance in insulin production and insulin resistance and currently no conventional cure exists for it.
While Ayurved does not describe a condition known as PCOS, all of its symptoms come under “artava dusti” or menstrual problems which are caused by “mityachara” (improper lifestyle and dietary habits) or “Beeja dosha” (genetic problems). Ayurveda has a very holistic and spiritual approach towards all kinds of treatments, all ayurvedic medications work on two principles, treating the mind and body as one and making positive lifestyle changes.
Panchakarma is an ayurvedic procedure practiced to cure a patient of any malady. The word panchakarma means five therapies. These five therapies are the most detoxifying procedures in Ayurved. Cleansing all systems of the body and removing all sorts of toxins that may cause illnesses at a later stage of life.
Panchakarma takes an imbalanced body filled with toxins and wrong proportions of hormones and detoxes them using herbs, oils, and massages to bring it back to balance. It is said to be one of the most effective Ayurvedic treatments for women suffering from PCOS. You can also book your consultation for Panchakarma therapies at Nirogam Ayurveda. Nirogam provides ayurvedic treatment for diseases like PCOS, Diabetes, Hypertension. You can visit their website www.nirogam.com for more details.
Panchakarma in PCOS
Here are a few practices of Panchakarma that make it one of the most effective treatments for PCOS. Note that this is just an informational guide. Kindly consult your doctor before self-medicating.
According to your body’s chemical and hormonal imbalances, the doctor prescribes certain herbs to induce oral vomiting. This is to make sure that your body throws out all kinds of toxins before the next stages of medication can take effect. Ayurveda focuses on throwing out the toxins and detox your body to cure it from within. Vamana is typically practised during the spring. It helps in balancing hormones and also boosts fertility. It is crucial for the long-term management of PCOS. Vamana is an advanced Panchakarma and can only be conducted under specific conditions. It may not be suited for all PCOS patients, hence thorough deliberation is required before undertaking Vamana.
This is another cleansing method where herbal laxatives are given in the form of medicated oil to clear blockages and toxins of any sort. Virechana is often conducted during autumn. Virechana is said to be extremely effective in controlling obesity, irregular or heavy periods, hormonal imbalances, skin colouration and many other symptoms triggered by PCOS. Like Vamana, Virechana also has specific conditions and may not be recommended for all.
Basti is one of the most effective methods of Panchakarma, especially for combating PCOS in women. Basti is a painless therapy that involves a series of medicated enemas performed over a specific number of days. The enemas are made specific to each patient according to their medical requirements, but they commonly consist of Ayurvedic medicinal ghee, oils, and various other decoctions. Basti helps revitalize the reproductive system and detoxifies it at the same time and is one of the most highly recommended therapies for PCOS.
This is a non-intrusive therapy where the entire body is massaged using dry powder. The powder is made with a mix of multiple dried herbs. This massage helps boost the circulatory system and the lymph nodes in the body and helps cleanse and detoxify the skin. Excess acne is one of the most annoying symptoms of PCOS. It also helps to boost metabolism helping in weight management and in most cases even weight reduction.
Once all the stages of Panchakarma have been completed, Nasya is applied to both nostrils. This is the last stage of Panchakarma medications and is especially important to successfully cure the disorder for which the treatment is being done. Nasya is given in a specific proportion as well as specific kind to cure the ailment of the patient. The fact that Nasya is acting on the pituitary gland makes it even more helpful for women with PCOS.
Other Natural Ayurvedic Remedies to Effectively Treat PCOS
Long-term management of PCOS calls for dietary changes that can help keep your weight under control and pre-empt metabolic problems like insulin resistance and even diabetes. Ayurveda uses “apatarpana” or “depleting treatments” to tackle obesity. The focus is on a high-fibre, low glycemic index carb diet. Whole grains like yava (barley), priyangu (foxtail millet), shyamak (Japanese millet), and cheenak (proso millet) are especially useful to tackle excessive body weight associated with PCOS.
Other Natural Remedies To Treat PCOS
Apart from these therapies, there are several other alternative remedies that can help you with PCOS. Like –
- Dietary changes can be made, foods like Sprouts, Dry fruits, Fatty Fish, Buttermilk can be had more frequently.
- Focusing on stress management can be helpful as it keeps your cortisol level in control.
- To balance heat levels in the body, herbs such as Triphala, Guggul, Turmeric, and Pepper can be consumed to increase metabolic levels which in turn would promote weight loss and keep the growth of new cells in check.
- It is also widely studied and proven that lifestyle interventions like exercise can help women with PCOS. Of this, yoga may be most effective, helping tackle problems ranging from mood swings to weight issues and working as a holistic mind-body therapy. A few studies evaluated the effect of conventional physical exercise and yoga on females between the ages of 15 and 18 years who had PCOS.
- You can start with mild exercises like Yoga on a regular basis. Yoga poses such as Suryanamaskar, Shavasan can be done regularly. In a study, a yoga program that consisted of Suryanamaskar, Asanas, Pranayam, and meditation, undertaken for an hour a day for 12 weeks, was found to be more effective at improving lipid, glucose, and insulin resistance values than a conventional exercise regimen.
A holistic and spiritual way of life, backed by a wholesome diet and meditation techniques including yoga, can go a long way in reinforcing and sustaining the benefits you get from ayurvedic therapies such as Panchakarma for PCOS. The key is to treat yourself well and keep at it!
Also, read about #LadiesAndBabies: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
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About The Author
This write-up was contributed to Credihealth by Dr Greeshma Nair.
Dr. Greeshma Nair, (B.A.M.S) is a Staunch believer that Ayurveda is not merely a science but lifestyle too. Her holistic approach towards diagnosis and treatment is based on the root cause of disease and gives you a three-dimensional solution to a condition that includes Ahaar (diet), Vihaar (lifestyle) and Aushadhi (medicines).
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