10 Superfoods from Ayurveda for Your Menstrual Health | Period Pains | Irregular Cycles

10 Superfoods from Ayurveda for Your Menstrual Health | Period Pains | Irregular Cycles

10 Superfoods from Ayurveda for Your Menstrual Health | Period Pains | Irregular Cycles

Menstruation is a natural and necessary part of every woman's life. The normal menstrual cycle ranges from 22 to 35 days, starting from the first day of your last period until the first day of your next period. However, this time period can vary for different women, so for some, 22 days may be normal while for others, 35 days may be normal. 

When your periods become unpredictable, or there are variations in the length of your monthly cycle, or you experience excessive or missed periods, these can be signs of menstrual health problems.

In Ayurveda, poor menstrual health stemming from hormonal imbalances, stress, nutritional deficiencies, PCOS, or thyroid disorders can be effectively addressed. These irregularities not only impact physical and emotional well-being but also cause stress and anxiety in daily life. Fortunately, Ayurveda offers relief through the use of specific superfoods. By incorporating these Ayurvedic superfoods into your diet, you can manage menstrual pain and irregular cycles, promoting better menstrual health overall.

1.Hing

Hing, also known as asafoetida, is a spice renowned for its digestive benefits and now gaining recognition for its potent anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate period pain. By regulating hormone secretion and improving blood flow, hing acts as a natural and effective pain reliever for menstrual cramps. It also helps regulate irregular periods and excessive bleeding, promoting a balanced menstrual cycle.

Consuming hing is simple: a pinch mixed with water twice a day can work its magic. However, it's important to take a holistic approach to menstrual health by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress, and exercising regularly.

2.Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek, or methi, is indeed a popular spice that has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties. While it is commonly known for its culinary uses, fenugreek also offers several potential health benefits, including relief from period pain.

The active compounds found in fenugreek seeds, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, and saponins, possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. These properties can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with menstrual cramps.

To use fenugreek for period pain relief, 

Soaking a tablespoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight allows the beneficial compounds to be extracted into the water. Drinking this water on an empty stomach the next morning may help alleviate menstrual discomfort. 

3.Jaggery

Jaggery, also known as "gud" in Hindi, is an unrefined natural sweetener and a superfood in Ayurveda. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, with lower sucrose content than sugar, making it a healthier alternative. Jaggery is beneficial for conditions like anemia due to its sodium, iron, and potassium content. It also helps with menstrual issues like mood swings and cramps. Jaggery can be consumed raw, as a sweet powder called "churma," or mixed with milk, tea, coffee, or yogurt. During periods, it is advisable to avoid caffeine, so raw jaggery or jaggery mixed with milk or yogurt is recommended. Another way to consume jaggery is by mixing it with fenugreek or carom seeds, forming small laddus, and consuming them on an empty stomach in the morning.

4.Licorice

Licorice, also called Mulethi, is a plant that grows in the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. It has been used in traditional medicine like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine for a long time. Licorice is believed to help with regulating the menstrual cycle because it has anti-inflammatory properties and can balance hormones. You can benefit from licorice by drinking rice wash water with licorice or making tea from licorice roots. To make the tea, boil the roots in water for 10 minutes and then strain it. Drinking licorice regularly in these ways is thought to have a calming effect on the uterus, help balance hormones, and reduce symptoms like cramps and bloating. If you like, you can add honey or lemon for taste.

5.Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a medicinal herb that has been used since ancient times and has remarkable benefits for menstrual issues. It can effectively relieve period cramps and regulate irregular periods. Cinnamon has properties that reduce spasms, prevent blood clotting, and reduce inflammation, providing significant relief from menstrual pain. It also contains important nutrients like fiber, calcium, iron, and magnesium, which can help regulate irregular periods when consumed regularly. To experience its benefits, you can add about one-fourth teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a cup of hot water and boil it for 5 minutes, then add a small amount of honey to improve the taste. Drinking this herbal tea a day or two before your monthly cycle can help prevent period cramps.

6.Turmeric 

Turmeric, also known as haldi, is recognized for its potential effects on menstrual flow. Ancient Ayurvedic texts refer to turmeric milk as "The golden milk" due to its therapeutic properties. While scientific research is limited, there is evidence suggesting that turmeric may help regulate menstrual cycles and alleviate period cramps. Its antispasmodic properties can relax uterine muscles, stimulating the uterus and promoting the onset of menstruation. Regular consumption of turmeric, such as in turmeric milk or boiled concoctions, may support a more regular menstrual cycle with predictable timing of periods. Additionally, turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties may offer relief from menstrual cramps caused by uterine inflammation.

7.Dates

Dates are nutritious fruits valued in traditional practices like Ayurveda, and while they aren't a magical solution for all menstrual health concerns, they do offer benefits for reproductive health. Consuming dates with warm milk daily can provide natural sweetness and nutrients, supporting overall well-being. However, individual effects may vary, so consulting a healthcare professional is advised. Eating dates before bedtime during winters is suggested for their fiber and antioxidant content, benefiting overall health. The impact on reproductive and menstrual health requires further research. Dates' natural sweetness makes them a healthier alternative to refined sugars, making them a good choice as a natural sweetener in dishes and beverages.. 

8.Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is widely recognized for its potential benefits in regulating menstrual cycles and promoting weight loss. Additionally, it has been found to enhance metabolism, support gut health, address hormonal imbalances, and alleviate menstrual irregularities. To incorporate aloe vera into your routine, you can prepare and consume its juice, preferably in the days leading up to your expected period date. It is important to avoid using aloe vera during your menstruation, as it has the potential to increase uterine contractions.

9.Ginger

Ginger contains gingerol, which is known for its beneficial properties in reducing body inflammation. It aids in the contraction of uterine muscles and promotes hormonal balance. Additionally, consuming ginger by boiling it in hot water daily can assist in weight loss, improving gut health, and regulating menstrual cycles.

10.Sesame Oil

Til oil, also known as sesame oil, has numerous benefits, such as reducing hair whitening, stress, and most importantly, period cramps. It contains linoleic acid, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties that can naturally treat irregular menstrual cycles.

For period cramps, a gentle massage with til oil is considered highly effective. Simply heat a small amount of oil on low heat and gently massage it onto your lower abdomen. Doing this daily will provide significant relief from period cramps.

Takeaway: 

These superfoods can help alleviate period cramps and improve menstrual health. By incorporating these Ayurvedic superfoods into your lifestyle, you can take proactive steps towards managing period pain and enhancing your overall well-being. So, don't forget to make these superfoods an integral part of your routine for a healthier and happier menstrual cycle.