Ayurveda is “the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.” [1]

As with any practice, there is an art to a perfectly timed period and a perfectly comfortable period. If you eat well and manage your lifestyle, chances are your period will not only be more comfortable, but it will also be much lighter than the norm. Banyan Botanicals, an Ayruvedic herbal supplement company, explains menstruation as “percolat[ing] through the blood vessels and into the uterus.” Blood vessels construct and the body experiences a depletion of bodily tissues. With heavy bouts of dryness, how do we have more manageable and comfortable periods?

This ancient system of medicine is comprised of three energies believed to both circulate the bodies systems and psychological systems. When one is out of balance, physical and mental side effects can occur. Some may argue it’s a very strict way of living, but others would agree that it is a commitment to a balanced energy field within the body.

Each of the three energies is believed to circulate in within body and govern physiological activity.

That’s because, according to Ayurveda, the Apana Vata governs the menstrual cycle. This specific subdosha is responsible for the downward flow of the intestines. When the Apana Vata is out of balance, the menstrual flow can be very uncomfortable and very irregular.

Ensuring your Apana Vata under control is the key to ensuring you are well prepared for your next period.

Balancing the Apana Vata

Eat the basics: The Ayruveda practice believes in eating simple foods. While on your period, eat warm, mushy foods, especially ghee. If your period appears dryer, that is a sign that you need to increase your ghee intake. Above all, avoid caffeine. Try a warm glass of tea instead!

Castor Oil: castor oil is heavy and thick but should not deter you from giving it a try. Castor oil nourishes the apana vayu tissues and breaks blockages that form as a product of menstruation. Apply castor oil in the form of a lymphatic massage about a week before your expected period.

Hydration: we become very dry during our menstrual cycles, which is why it becomes even more important to hydrate. Combine your water intake with warm foods and drink water after meals versus before. Fennel and coriander tea are simple teas to pair with an after dinner drink.

Increase your herbal intake: Ayruveda suggests that nourishing herbs such Shatavari and Ashwagandha, help digest and break down heavy foods.

Don’t suppress urges: remove waste when you feel the urge and listen to your body as it continues its downward flow.

Ayurveda is a disciplined and conscious way of life. And while it may seem specific and require researching which dosha fits your physical and mental body, it is an approach that bodes praise for its simplistic solutions to menstruation. Quiet your flow.

Written By: Isabelle Marsh, Writer and Storyteller

Member of the Kali Girl Tribe.