PCOS is a complex illness, the right tools need to be applied for a full recovery. Hence, a pill cannot be the answer, a natural and holistic perspective is the right approach!
Dr Poonam is a naturopath, a renowned dietician, an expert Ayurveda physician with more than 14 years of experience in providing integrated holistic healthcare. She has worked with many young ladies and women suffering with PCOS and hormonal imbalances. Her studies, clinical experience and special interest have led to Dr Poonam believing strongly that it is possible to recover from PCOS and continue to enjoy life with this metabolic condition.
Ayurveda is not only about herbal medicines. In fact, the basic philosophy of Ayurveda advises on the healthy ways to live life. The word “Ayurveda” itself means the “Science of Life.” I always say, medicines are a last resort for treating any condition. In order to be healthy, you need to eat right, exercise regularly and manage your stress levels.
For the herbs to do their job effectively, you need to take care of what you are eating and how you are living your life. If you do so, there’s no stopping you from reversing PCOS or any other lifestyle disease.
According to the science of Ayurveda,
In PCOS we see an imbalance of the hormones. Hormones are the chemicals messengers of our body. Vata governs their movement, Pitta governs their transformation, and Kapha governs their stability. When the doshas are balanced there is regularity to the hormonal cycle and this is crucial to understand.
According to Ayurveda Arthava kshaya which can be correlated with PCOS has been described as deficiency/loss of arthava (menstrual flow), arthava does not appear in time or is delayed, is scanty and does not last for three days. Pain in the vagina also can be seen.
Arthava kshaya is a disorder involving pitta (hormones) and kapha doshas (fluids), meda (fat tissues), ambu/rasa (plasma), shukra/arthava dhatu (menstrual blood) and reproductive channels, so the same is with PCOS.
PCOS is basically an imbalance of the Kapha dosha. Taking a closer look,
Vata is responsible for the:
- Movement of follicles,
- Rupturing of the ovary wall to release the mature ovum
- Movement of ovum towards the uterus
- Movement of finger like projections that guide the ovum into the fallopian tube
Pitta is responsible for the:
- Action of the hormones – the energy of transformation.
Kapha’s heavy qualities are responsible for:
- Nurturing the growth of the follicle in the ovarian cycle
- Nourishing the development of tissues
PCOS occurs when kapha blocks vata and pitta thus obstructing the movement and suppressing the transformation. Due to the excessive kapha and ama stored in artavavaha srota – a channel that carries menstrual fluid and ovum – the vata in the ovarian cycle gets totally blocked. Due to vata blockage, Pitta gets blocked resulting in the disorder in the hormones that carry the energy of transformation. The stored kapha and ama expresses itself as cysts inside the ovary. Pitta aggravation manifests as acne and body hairs.
Thus Ayurveda takes a multiple approach in removing the toxins through purification therapy, herbal supplements and lifestyle changes. When the dosha gets balanced, the symptoms gradually disappear and get cured.
If Vata is predominant it manifests:
- Painful menses
- Severe menstrual irregularity
- Low weight
- Feeling of coldness.
If Pitta is predominant it manifests:
- Hair loss
- Painful menses
- Heart problems.
If Kapha is predominant it manifests:
- Increased weight
- Diabetic tendencies
- Feeling of coldness
The pathology is an obstruction in the pelvic cavity causing disorders in the flow of vata, this in turn leads to the accumulation of kapha and pitta.
What Causes PCOS According To Ayurveda?
Ayurveda believes that three ‘doshas’ or forces of energy – vata, pitta and kapha – circulate in the body and facilitate important bodily functions. In healthy individuals, all three doshas are in perfect harmony. According to Ayurveda, any imbalance in the three forces of energies can lead to diseases.
Ayurvedic texts mention the presence of shukra dhatu (semen) in both men and women. Shukra dhatu plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the reproductive system. Shukra dhatu can be considered as a combination of androgen (male hormone) and estrogen (female hormone). Any imbalance in Shukra dhatu can cause infertility.
PCOS is a complex disorder which falls in artava kshaya, anartava, rasa vaha sroto dushti and medo vaha sroto dushti. An imbalance in the doshas can affect the efficiency of the Shukra dhatu. When “doshas” affect the efficiency of the Shukra dhatu in women, it leads to excess production of male hormones and other symptoms of PCOS such as the appearance of cysts in the ovaries.
PCOS treatment in Ayurveda focuses on correcting the imbalance of the doshas or forces of energy.
It involves using a combination of powerful herbs that strengthen the reproductive system. These herbs also treat inflammation and hormonal imbalance that are at the root of PCOS. Certain herbs also work against other complications of PCOS such as digestive disorders, weight gain, insulin sensitivity, and improving mood. In essence, these herbs perform the same function as allopathic medications for treating the different symptoms of PCOS
Panchakarma Treatments & there role in the management of PCOS
Panchakarma is not just a therapy; it is a combined science of healing touch and complex purification techniques using specific authentic Ayurvedic herbs for the body and mind. Panchakarma is much more than just a massage. It is a therapeutic part of Ayurveda and a core part of an overall Ayurvedic treatment. If performed under the guidance of a qualified practitioner, it serves to detoxify and rejuvenate the body, clearing specific body channels and enabling energy resource optimisation of the body. It is highly effective in the prevention and control of various degenerative, inflammatory and chronic illnesses like PCOS.
- Basti – (medicated enema), to bring vata(nervous system) into balance.
- Abhyangan – (herbal steam) it is anti-vata and swedanam
- Virechana to bring Pitta into balance
- Vamana – to bring kapha into balance.
Ayurveda: Do’s And Don’ts for PCOS Patients
According to Ayurveda, here are some do’s and don’ts for patients of PCOS:
- Minimize the intake of dairy products, including curd and other milk products. Butter milk is an acceptable drink.
- Follow a natural sleep cycle. Avoid sleeping during the day time and try to get uninterrupted sleep during night.
- Stay away from all kinds of junk food, Avoid white sugar, Avoid non-vegetarian food.
- Use herbs like garlic, cinnamon, and fenugreek. For example, having fenugreek seeds water (soaked overnight) can do wonders for keeping your blood sugar under control.
- Opt for herbal teas like spearmint tea or green tea.
- Eat healthy fats like ghee
Yoga Asanas for PCOS
Ayurveda also recommends specific yoga asanas for PCOS. These include:
- Naukasana (Boat Pose)
- Bhadrasana (Butterfly Pose)
- Sarvangasana (Reverse Body Or Shoulder Stand Pose)
- Shalabhasana (The Locust Pose)
- Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s Twist)
- Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
Frequently Asked Questions
Can polycystic ovaries be treated by Ayurveda?
Absolutely! The age old ancient medicine system has some natural measures that eliminate the causes of PCOS. In Ayurvedic terms – Pushpaghni Rewati bears some symptoms in similarity with this disorder. After detailed assessment of the patient’s physical, medical, family and mental history, Ayurveda decides on the treatment plan according to the patient’s symptoms. Ayurveda takes the following approach:
- Balancing doshas
- Improving metabolism
- Detoxification of whole body and cleansing the channels.
- Strengthening the reproductive organs
- Balancing the hormones
- Purification therapies
- Diet, lifestyle recommendations
- Herbal supplements
This principle of treatment is aimed at clearing the obstruction in pelvis, regulates the ovarian & endocrine function, reduces the androgens etc.
Ayurveda takes a wholesome approach to any problem and cures the condition gradually and effectively. Dietary and lifestyle advices, herbal supplements and panchakarma are some of the strategies involved in curing the disorder. The treatment plan is individualistic and customized to each patient’s need.
Why our Approach is Unique?
In PCOS the major challenges are: missed or irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, infertility, and weight gain. Women with PCOS may be at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and endometrial cancer.
Ayurveda is very effective and a safe science for the management of Hormonal Imbalance and regulating the menstrual cycle but Excessive hair growth and weight gain is still a challenge which leads to depression and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Our clinic is fully equipped with award winning laser MOTUS AY and ONDA to help to treat excessive hair and management of weight which is still a struggle to deal with by medicinal treatment.