Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, also known as PCOS or PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease), is a very common hormonal disorder in women.
Ayurveda classifies PCOS as a Kapha disorder.Vata is responsible for movement of the follicle during the ovarian cycle, the rupture of the ovary wall releasing the matured ovum, the movement of the fimbriae – the finger like projections that guide the ovum into the fallopian tubes and the movement of the ovum towards the uterus.The action of the hormones expresses the nature of pitta, the energy responsible for transformation.Kapha’s heavy cool qualities nourish the development of the tissues that form and support the reproductive system including the nurturing energy supporting growth of the follicle during the ovarian cycle.PCOS is due to kapha blocking vata and pitta, hence movement is obstructed and the transformation process is suppressed.
Artava dhatu affected by the heavy sticky qualities of kapha and ama creates srota dushti in artavavaha srota. Apana vayu in artavavaha srota becomes stagnant – sanga, due to excessive kapha and ama accumulation blocking the channel impeding the flow of vata in the ovarian cycle. Because vata is blocked, pitta is blocked as well as pitta in order to act as the intelligence behind transformation needs the movement of vata in order for its energy to have potential. As pitta is blocked the hormones that carry the energy of transformation are unable to initiate their action. The accumulated kapha is expressed in the formation of the cyst in the ovary as it takes on a heavy white sticky quality expressing kapha and ama.
Due to vata and pitta being blocked in artava dhatu the other functions of both these doshas begin to become aggravated. Pitta aggravation at the level of bhrajaka pitta and ranjaka pitta manifests as acne and increased body hair. Menstrual problems manifest due to the aggravation of all three doshas but namely apana vayu.
"Without the aggravation of Vata, the vagina does not get disordered in women, hence it should be treated before Pitta and Kapha" – Astanga Hrdayam
# Treatment of PCOS With Allopathic Medicines :
Allopathy treats the condition on lines of hormonal imbalance and the major treatment includes HRT (hormone replacement therapy) where subsequent hormones are administered after proper evaluation of the patient. Apart from that, diet and certain exercises are also recommended. Apart from that, there is a growing belief that PCOS occurs due to malfunction of the hormone insulin and hence diabetic drugs like metformin may also be prescribed by your doctor for the same. Surgery is also an option exercised where the ovary is punctured or the cystic tissue above the ovary is destroyed for better hormonal gain. However, all these have their own after effects and you must evaluate all options about it by talking with your gynecologist and personally researching on the net. This rule not only applies to allopathy but also to other streams of medicine as after all it is your body.
In taking hormones, it further depletes your endocrinal system and puts them in sleep. The stuff that has to be naturally released by the body, once delivered with artificial means puts the body in a lazy mode. The HRT treatment may give you good results but is not recommended in long run as it can cause other problems.
# Now taking in account the above-mentioned treatment modalities, we can place a pattern for proper evaluation and treatment modalities for PCOS.
1. Eat at regular intervals. For example, if you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner between 8 to 9, 12 to 2 and 8 to 9 respectively, see to it that you follow these timings as the thyroid gland become trained to secrete juices in these times. Any variations and it puts pressure on the glands. Doesn't matter even if you gulp down a glass of milk, but the timings must be maintained.
2. Salt restriction is another major aspect. Prepare food without salt. Take as much as you want in the plate (only one helping) then add salt to taste. Prefer saindhav salt (Himalayan crystal salt).
3. Have a papaya for breakfast/dinner at least 2-3 times a week until your cycles regularize. Apart from that also intake porridge prepared from Ragi extract (nachini, Eleusine coracana). prefer crystal sugar (Khadisakhar, Mishri) for taste instead of normal sugar. Weight watchers can prefer sugar substitutes however crystal sugar is very safe.
4. Avoid sleeping after lunch. Have a glass of buttermilk (prepared without salt).
5. Stay away from direct/indirect use of the following items; Brinjals, Peas, Peanuts, cauliflower, seafood, pickles, curds (buttermilk is okay), green chilies, mustard, bakery products (pastries okay).
# Here is List of some simple herbal decoctions, which if taken over a period of 2 to 3 months will definitely help:
1. Take Ashwagandha roots (Withania somnifera; entire about 150 grams), Arjun bark (Terminalia arjuna; about 70 grams) from a local herb shop. Divide both of these into 30 equal parts. Now boil 1 part every morning in 3 cups of water (approximately 150 ml) and reduce to 1 cup. Now filter this mixture and add 1 cup of cow's milk to it. Boil the mixture again over a low flame until milk remains. Add 2 cardamoms while boiling. Consume this milk early morning empty stomach. Little sugar can be added for taste. The remaining filtrate of Ashwagandha and Arjun can be used similarly in evening. During summer months, Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus var. javanica) can be substituted for Ashwagandha.
2. After 30 days or 35 days if the periods do not commence have the following mixture for 3 days, 10 grams Nagkeshar (Mesua ferra flower stamens), 10 gms crystal sugar (Khadisakhar, Mishri) and 10 gms Cow's ghee (clarified butter from cow), it must be mixed and consumed with milk once a day. The above combination is for one day. If the periods do not commence even after this medicine, then do not worry. Keep taking the above medicine. Eventually they will come and with proper ovulation.
The above simple remedy coupled with diet will definitely help and let you lead a normal menstrual life with kids and no infertility. In case you feel you need to evaluate this option more, try and consult a good Ayurveda physician. Having customized and specialized treatments will help you gain more. For example:
1. Generic preparations like Ashwagandharishta, Ashokarishta, Kumaryasava, Chandraprabha Vati, Pushyanug churna, Phal Ghrita, Raupya Bhasma, Vang Bhasma, Abrakh Bhasma, etc. are useful.
2. Panchakarma techniques like Basti, Uttar Basti, Vaman, Virechana, Nasya are also undertaken.
3. Certain yogic exercises like Simhasan, Vajrasan, Shalabhasan, Sarvangasan are also helpful and may be coupled with the above medicines
# Ayurveda says to do this before trying conception #
Besides the above remedies, the simple Ayurveda method to check if the periods are adulatory and with proper hormonal functions is to take a few drops of menstrual blood on a clean white cloth and wait for few seconds. Now wash the cloth with plain warm water (no soap, detergents) and observe if it leaves a pickle like stain. Clean periods as per Ayurveda must not leave stain on the cloth. Once you achieve that, you can then try conception !
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