PAINFUL MENSTRUATION (Dysmenorhea)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT'S CAUSING IT? WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Are you prone to a problem with 'Painful menstruation'?
Menstruation is a sacred time of cleansing and rejuvenation in a women's reproductive cycle. However, for many women, menstruation comes with fatigue, cramping, and irritability.
Type of Menstrual CrampsMenstrual cramps before your period may be due to restricted blood flow to the uterus as hormone levels drop, a Vata condition. In this case, nurturing, sweet foods and those that promote increase of female sex hormones can mitigate cramps.
Once your period begins, the release of inflammatory prostaglandins stimulate contractions of the uterus, which can be intense and painful. This type of menstrual cramp is associated with aggravated Pitta dosha. You may have a squeezing, vice-grip like sensation in the lower abdomen. The flow of menses may be heavy. In this case avoid all caffeine, alcohol, and other inflammatory foods.
Kapha type menstrual cramps may be due to menstrual clots passing through the narrow opening of the cervix, causing scraping or abrasive pain. In this case warming up the uterus, thinning the blood, and increasing blood flow with herbs like turmeric, manjistha and asafoetida can reduce clotting. Start these herbs the day before your period begins.
Colic, or asynchronous contractions of the uterus, may occur if ama is present. This type of pain will be characterized by spasms. Anxiety, indigestion, constipation, bloating, and the presence of Candida or other pathogens that irritate the uterus lining can also create colic and confusion of the uterus. Antispasmodic herbs like cramp bark or asafoetida can help in this case.
Back pain, hip pain, and pain from other organs may be exacerbated during menstruation, making it difficult to assess the exact cause or nature of the discomfort.
Tips for Healthy MenstruationRegardless of the cause, a cleansing yet nourishing diet should be followed during menses. Include foods that rebuild blood and restore electrolytes, including iron rich foods such as red meat, kale, or raisins, depending on you dosha. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and refined flours during your menses. A combination of triphala, turmeric, and black pepper in aloe vera juice is commonly recommended as it encourages cleansing and flushing of blood throughout the uterus. However, this formula is not appropriate for heavier menses, where an astringent may be necessary. Check with your doctor before changing your health and wellness routine.
Belly breathing, and gentle contraction and release of pelvic floor muscles will assist menstruation. Child's pose and pigeon pose are ideal yoga postures. Rest and reduce activities during this important time of your reproductive cycle. You'll soon emerge renewed!
Disclaimer: 'Painful menstruation' could be serious and should be checked by a medical doctor.
DIET REMEDIES FOR 'PAINFUL MENSTRUATION'
PRODUCT REMEDIES FOR 'PAINFUL MENSTRUATION'
FIND MORE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RELATED PRODUCTSSee our herbs & products in these categories. Or, click here for general Reproductive Health Tips.
DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA HEAL 'PAINFUL MENSTRUATION'?
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTS
With Painful menstruation, one or more of the following
and qualities may be aggravated.
If you have an imbalance of one of these doshas or qualities, Ayurveda recommends avoiding foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate that quality and/or dosha.
These imbalanced doshas and qualities may need to be brought back into balance before this condition can be healed.
Click on the quality to learn what foods and
lifestyle habits should be avoided.
Symptoms Tell A StoryThe first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms. Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances, showing you where your body is weak. Specifically, they reveal the doshas & qualities that may have become aggravated. If you notice a quality or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms, it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
V = VATA, P = PITTA, K = KAPHA
To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.
FAVOR DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS WITH THESE MEDICINAL EFFECTSEverything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using gunas. Gunas are qualities (like cold and hot) that describe the effect a food or herb has on your body. Cooling foods like cucumber, decrease metabolism. Heating foods like chili pepper, stimulate your body and increase metabolism. For 'Painful menstruation', you should select foods with the following qualities (gunas). Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.
ANTISPASMODICHerbs that reduce or inhibit muscle spasms or cramping, such as in asthma, colic or IBS.
Cleanse and Detox:
DETOXICANTAn herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
Heart & Circulation:
BLOOD-TONICAn herb that produces more blood cells in the body or otherwise strengthens blood. Helpful for anemia and other types of deficiency.
REBUILD-ELECTROLYTESSubstances that increase your electrolyte balance. Electrolytes help you retain water, keep your palate moist, and truly quench your thirst.
REBUILDS-FLUIDSHerbs or substances that create moisture in the body and increase fluids.
Mind, Stress & Sleep:
ANALGESICRelieves or reduces feelings of pain without eliminating sensation.
UTERINE-TONICAn herb that tonifies and strengthens the uterus. Helpful for menstrual difficulties and fertility. Often herbs that increase ojas, but also circulation to reproductive system.
ADDRESS ISSUES IN STAGE OF DISEASE 2PAINFUL MENSTRUATION IS IN STAGE OF DISEASE 2 - AFFECTING BLOOD & EMOTIONS
Affecting Blood: Initially, imbalances are localized, often in the digestive tract. As an imbalance grows, it starts to affect your body systemically, via the blood. If you have symptoms in this category it means that your imbalances are starting to spread, have entered the bloodstream, and are now systemic. Pay particular attention to the gunas, tastes, and doshas out of balance systemically, so you know how to strengthen your body as a whole, and reduce physical stress on your organs. At this stage of imbalance you will begin to experience generalized discomfort, imbalanced emotions, and may develop sensitivities to temperature. It may take several weeks of strict adherence to a specific remedial diet to clear blood level imbalances. Blood cleansing herbs may reduce symptoms. A several day cleanse may shorten the recovery time.
REDUCE THESE RELATED SYMPTOMS & HABITSThe following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Painful menstruation'. See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type. Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR UNIQUE BODY?
What aggravates it? What heals it? Then get your Personal Ayurvedic Body Book! This book, written by founder and director of Joyful Belly, John Immel, is individually formatted for your unique body and will help you confidently choose food that restores your healthy glow to get you feeling like your best self. Just $19.99!
HOW AYURVEDA WORKSARE YOU WONDERING HOW AYURVEDA CAN HELP YOU?
WHY IS AYURVEDA THE RIGHT SOLUTION?Ayurveda strengthens the body, in addition to addressing the disorder. It take a holistic, systemic approach, instead of myopically focusing on the disorder in question. Ayurveda shows a person how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them using materials from home, so they can optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you. Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing with an exceptional focus on digestion.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type, which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths). It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders. Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder. It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of gunas / qualities. For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc. This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
On Joyful Belly, we've created an extensive categorization of food so you can easily match food to your imbalances (gunas). By eating an optimal diet that balances your gunas, your whole body is strengthened and the conditions that created the disorder are removed. Once the root causes of the disease are removed, the disease lessens in strength or disappears altogether. Additional remedies - such as herbs and lifestyle practices - focused on the specific disorder, can greatly enhance your healing.
Want to learn more about Ayurveda and its step-by-step approach to healing? Click below.LEARN MORE
GET STARTEDTo get started on your Ayurvedic journey, we first recommend that your find your body type by taking our free quiz. In Ayurveda, every solution is based on your unique body type, so by taking this quiz, you’ll get the best results.
5 WAYS TO HEAL YOUR BODY
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About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Comments & Personal ExperiencesHow does 'painful menstruation' affect your quality of life? What aggravates it? What has helped you? Is there something you'd like to know about 'painful menstruation'?