It is pain or discomfort experienced just before or during menstrual periods. Besides lower abdominal pain, one may also experience backache, pinching and pain in hip. In Nepal most of women get affected by this discomfort. As lots of women experience it, menstrual cramps is considered as a minor complaint, saying it is all in a woman's head. But this concept seems to be changing gradually nowadays.
It is caused by the excess production of prostaglandins & estrogen and decline in progesterone levels.
According to ayurveda, impairment of apaana vayu is responsible for menstrual cramps. Its normal course is downward and if it does not move because of hormonal imbalance, constipation or any other factors.
Following are the signs or symptoms that indicate the presence of this disease in females:
• Painful / Scanty menstruation
• Disturbed digestion
• Pain in lower pelvis (back and stomach)
• General debility
SELF HELP APPROACH
- Avoid potato, yellow pumpkin, and brinjal. Instead you can have white pumpkin, papaya, drumstick (Moringa oleifera, sobhanjan), snake gourd, bitter gourd, and cucumber.
- Avoid fried pulses and sour food items, avoid foods that will cause constipation, especially during the last week of menstrual cycle.
- Garlic is specially recommended. Take five to seven garlic pods per day after removing the outer covering. You can reduce the pungent smell, by taking along with buttermilk or lemon juice.
- Add one teaspoonful of asafoetida (Hingha), in powder form to your food or buttermilk. You have to use it after frying with ghee.
- For spasmodic symptoms, have some fish, but avoid meat, poultry, dairy products and eggs. It is believed that the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may help relieve dysmenorrhoea by affecting the metabolism of prostaglandin and other factors involved in pain and inflammation. For congestive symptoms, avoid sugar, alcohol, salt and dairy foods.
- Before the onset of the period, start doing the following mild exercise two to three times a day. However, during the period of menstruation, avoid sleep during daytime and take plenty of bed rest.
1. Lie face up with legs and knees bent; perform abdominal breathing about 10 times.
2. Stand holding back of the chair; lift one heel off the floor, then the other; repeat 20 times.
3. Stand holding back of the chair, then do five deep-knee bends.
4. While lying on your back, lift and bring your knees to touch your chin 10 times.
5. Bhujangasan is beneficial for this.
- Kumari (Aloe vera) is a stimulant to the uterus and has long been used as a household remedy to promote menstruation and relieve muscle spasms. Extract juice from its pulp and take one teaspoonful of it internally. Kumaari-aasava is the medicine used to treat this condition. Its usual dose is six teaspoonfuls, taken twice daily after food, with equal quantity of water. Rajah pravartani vati, that contains borax in bhasma form, asafoetida (Hingha) and kumari, is another effective medicine. Its dose is two pills, taken twice a day for about seven days, just before the due date.
- Ashokarishtha, 20 ml with equal quantity of water half an hour after meals for 2 to 3 cycles, gives long lasting results.