Every year, Menstrual Hygiene Day is observed on May 28 to initiate conversations around breaking the taboos and ending the stigma surrounding menstruation. Additionally, it also seeks to raise awareness about the challenges regarding access to menstrual products, education about menstruation, and period-friendly sanitation facilities. One of the most common issues experienced by many menstruating women is menstrual cramps – throbbing, cramping pain in your lower abdomen.
“Painful menstruation or cramps is medically known as dysmenorrhea, peaking during the first two days of menstruation. It may be associated with nausea, vomiting, backache, indigestion, and disturbed sleep. Dysmenorrhea can be primary when there is no underlying issue in one’s uterus or pelvis, and secondary when the reproductive system has an underlying problem, ”Dr Archana Sukumaran, Ayurveda Doctor (BAMS), Kerala Ayurveda Ltd said.
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Lifestyle tips for painless menstruation
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Dr Sukumaran shared the following simple ways to follow.
* Don’t compromise on your sleep.
* Use heating pads for better relief.
* Drink plenty of water.
* Reduce your sodium intake.
* Avoid drinking too much caffeine.
* Control your food cravings.
* Avoid using scented products down there.
* Have warm, well-cooked food.
Yoga for painless periods
“Yoga is beneficial not only in redressing menstrual cramps, but also in improving overall menstrual health. It helps in bettering the sleep cycle, ”she said, sharing some yoga asanas for better menstrual health.
Ayurvedic herbs and tips for menstrual cramps
“As per Ayurveda, menstrual pain is known as Kashtarthava. The major culprit behind gynecological issues women face is the vitiation of Vata dosha. Apana Vayu, a sub-type of Vata dosha in the naval region responsible for reproductive health, causes menstrual cramps and pain on its vitiation. Ayurveda spotlights following a regular and healthy diet in the management of dysmenorrhea, ”the Ayurvedic expert explained.
As such, it is important to consume a diet which soothes Vata dosha. “Hing, ajwain, dry ginger, Shatavari fenugreek, jaggery, and cumin seeds are highly recommended. Also, avoid diets that increase Vata dosha – such as cold, heavy, processed foodrefined sugars, and caffeine. ”
Here are some other tips:
*Practice Abhyanga – Dhanwantharam Thailam, which is a pre and postnatal oil for women, is also a complete nourishment oil that can help you relax and rejuvenate. Apply this oil over your lower abdomen, before bath, every day, 1 week before your period starts. After this practice, sit, bath in warm water infused with Vata balancing herbs to help you soothe pain and cramps.
*Mild Virechana – Consuming Triphala choorna or Triphala tablets, which are mild laxatives in nature, can help relieve menstrual cramps and associated digestive issues.
* Include a diet rich in fruits, asafoetida, dry ginger, Shatavari, fenugreekcumin, and cinnamon.
* Add one pinch of hing to a glass of buttermilk. It helps soothe your cramps.
* Drink ajwain tea with honey.
* Mix two teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water and leave it overnight. Strain the water and drink it in the morning.
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