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In the Spotlight: PCOS Awareness Month and the Potential of Ayurveda for Management

September 18, 2023
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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an increasingly prevalent concern among adolescent girls and women of reproductive age, impacting various aspects of life, from menstrual cycles to childbearing. It’s characterized by the formation of cysts in the ovaries and affects an estimated 8 to 13 percent of reproductive-aged women, according to the World Health Organization.

While lifestyle adjustments, exercise, stress reduction, and weight management can aid in PCOS management, some experts suggest that Ayurveda may offer potential benefits for this condition.

Ayurveda, as explained by Anjenay Agarwal, an Ayurveda Expert and Director of Royal Bee Natural Products, adopts a holistic approach to address the underlying hormonal imbalances associated with PCOS, with a particular emphasis on balancing the body’s doshas, including Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Dr. Priya Chauhan, an Ayurveda Expert from The Ayurveda Co, concurs, emphasizing that Ayurveda not only treats the physical symptoms but also addresses emotional and lifestyle factors. This comprehensive approach aims to tackle the root causes of PCOS, promoting long-term well-being.

Unlike conventional treatments that often rely on hormonal medications, Ayurveda, according to Dr. Chauhan, avoids such drugs, reducing the risk of common hormonal treatment side effects such as weight gain and mood swings. Instead, it employs herbal remedies to correct hormonal imbalances, offering a more natural and sustainable solution.

Dr. Astha Lalwani from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at TMU Hospital in Moradabad suggests that adopting an Ayurvedic diet along with yoga practices, weight reduction, and healthy eating habits—such as incorporating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and avoiding saturated fats, refined sugars, and excessive salt—can reduce insulin resistance and lower androgen hormone levels, which are associated with PCOS.

Key Ayurvedic Principles for PCOS Management:
Ayurveda incorporates several fundamental principles for managing PCOS. One crucial aspect is enhancing digestive function. According to Dr. Chauhan, Ayurveda focuses on improving digestive fire (Deepana) and the digestion process (Pachana Karma). This not only aids in better nutrient absorption but also contributes to hormonal balance by ensuring the body receives essential nutrients.

Another critical principle is addressing Sroto Avarodha, which involves removing blockages in the body’s channels. To achieve this, Ayurveda employs Panchakarma therapies like Virechana, a substance used for purging. By clearing these obstructions, Ayurveda facilitates effective hormone regulation.

Ayurveda also incorporates Rasayana medicines, which consist of rejuvenating herbs and formulations that play a vital role in promoting overall health and vitality in individuals with PCOS. These medicines support the body in recovery and maintaining its balance.

Recognizing the significance of addressing specific dosha imbalances (e.g., Vata, Pitta, Kapha) that may contribute to PCOS, Ayurveda tailors treatments to individual dosha profiles, ensuring a personalized and effective approach. Lifestyle modifications, known as Nidan Parivarjan, are integral to Ayurvedic PCOS management, encompassing the avoidance of causative factors such as junk food, oily meals, excessive sleep, and a sedentary lifestyle.

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