Ayurvedic Herbs and Tips for a Smoother Cycle
A smooth cycle is what Nature intended.
Modern lifestyles, diets and stress can knock your cycle out of balance. Ayurvedic herbs can help to rebalance Apana Vata, the ayurvedic sub-dosha responsible for the normal, downward flow of menstruation and elimination. Keeping this subdosha balanced is a key — a priority in ayurveda — for a smooth monthly cycle.
Specific ayurvedic herbs can also help remove digestive impurities (ama) that, in the ayurvedic model, can lead to menstrual discomfort. The herbs and minerals in Smooth Cycle help nourish and balance your hormones, emotions, mind, liver, blood, hemoglobin, digestion, bones and fertility.
Ayurveda and Your Cycle
There are traditional ayurvedic herbs known for their ability to support feminine health.
Combined in precise proportions and prepared properly, these herbs aid the bioavailability and assimilation of vital nutrients. This formulation of herbs creates a synergy — where the collective benefit is much greater than that of isolated, individual herbs. This synergistic power is an important goal in Maharishi Ayurveda formulations. The specific herbs in Smooth Cycle are:
- Asoka Tree, Lodh Tree and Sacred Fig — three of the most famous herbs for feminine health. They help balance the menstrual flow (Apana Vata), hormones and emotions (Sadhaka Pitta).
- Mango Seed, Lodh Tree, Sacred Fig, Sandalwood and Waterlily promote the normal quantity of blood flow.
- Iron (Ferri Sulphuratum) and Mineral Pitch help maintain the proper level of hemoglobin.
Preparing for an Easier Cycle
Because of the variety of issues and the involvement of so many subdoshas, it is always good to see an ayurvedic expert to tailor a program to your specific needs. However, here are traditional guidelines for a woman’s monthly cycle:
- Detox: “Keep your body ama-free,” is the first and most important recommendation. Ama results from improper diet, poor digestion and inefficient elimination. To eliminate toxins from your diet, avoid stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes and coffee. Stay away from fast food, junk food, leftovers and preservatives. Consume a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, lentils, milk, lassi and fresh cheese such as panir and ricotta. These fresh and nourishing foods will not only keep your body healthier, but will also be easier on your digestive system. Learn more about reducing ama here.
- Rest: Take it easy during your monthly cycle. Assist your body in purifying. The process will be smoother and more comfortable. Try to rest for at least one day. Turn inward, and try to avoid things that make you upset or worried. Do something you enjoy. Eat light, warm, preferably liquid foods that pacify Vata. Your digestive fire is weaker during this time, so try not to strain it with heavy foods. Avoid exercise more strenuous than a short walk. Skip your daily massage during the days of your period. In Maharishi Ayurveda we refer to this time of the month as “resting” rather than the “monthly cycle” or “period.” Name and form — take some time off.
- Planning & Balance: Prepare ahead. A balanced routine during the entire month will reward you with less discomfort. Follow a balanced daily routine, including going to bed before 10:00 p.m. and getting up at 6:00 a.m. Eat your meals around the same time every day.
- Exercise: Regular moderate exercise improves circulation and metabolism, which are essential for the purification process. Practice deep and easy breathing for increased vitality.
- Abhyanga: Start the day with a full-body massage with Youthful Skin Massage Oil for Women.
- Digestion: Pay attention to your elimination. If you don’t have a bowel movement every day, include cooked prunes and figs in your diet. Cook them with a stewed apple every morning. Consume more fresh papaya, pomegranate and pineapple to balance hormones and open up the channels of the physiology. Reduce eggplant, bananas, bell peppers, tomatoes and big beans in your diet, because they are considered harder to digest and can cause ama build-up.
Ayurvedic herbals — Take advantage of the power of ayurvedic herbals. Consider taking Maharishi Ayurveda Smooth Cycle tablets every day for hormonal balance and a more comfortable period. Take Organic Genitrac tablets daily — they help cleanse and support the genitourinary tract. To aid elimination and unblock the channels of Apana Vata, take Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) for at least three days prior to your resting cycle. If you experience anger or mood swings, the Blissful Joy tablets and Blissful Heart Aroma Oil can help. If you are under a lot of mental stress, or your resistance to stress is low, take Worry Free tablets and Tea regularly, complemented by Worry Free Aroma Oil.
Use the following spice mix when you cook to balance your cycle. Mix 6 parts fennel, 1 part black cumin, 1 part cumin, 6 parts coriander, 1 part turmeric and 1 part black pepper. Sauté the mix in ghee and add it to your meals. Also, to support regular elimination and the daily overnight detox, start including Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) in your daily routine.
The Basics: Maharishi Ayurveda Fundamentals of Wellness
Three key principles to long-term balance and wellness in ayurveda are broadly summed up in three lifestyle tactics:
- Reducing ama (toxins)
- Balancing/strengthening digestion (agni)
- Significantly lowering stress
Each of these plays a powerful role in supporting long-term, life-changing wellness, according to ayurveda.
To accomplish these goals, ayurveda offers you lots of enjoyable options. Each of these choices has the power, in the ayurvedic model, to gradually, naturally support and restore ayurvedic balance in mind and body. These lifestyle choices include changes to diet; stress reduction practices like yoga, exercise and meditation; and traditional ayurvedic herbals, to name just a few.
Digestion is a central long-term, priority focus of ayurveda. Great emphasis is placed on keeping digestion (agni) balanced. In this sense, “balance” means functioning at its absolute optimum. That’s because digestion (agni) is the engine of transformation and assimilation. This transformation “engine” isn’t found just in the stomach — it is found in every cell in the body. It is an extremely intelligent engine, too. It transforms and metabolizes food nutrients and food intelligence into you, and selects out that which isn’t useful to the body and mind. Depending on the strength of agni, the “transformation engine,” either toxins (ama) or ojas (the beneficial biochemical of balance) will be created. Ojas is the finest and most-valued by-product of digestion in ayurveda, supporting immunity, happiness, the feeling of connectivity (union or yoga) and emotional stability.
The ayurvedic herbals listed below are core herbal products supporting important areas of ayurvedic wellness.
Triphala: Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) from Maharishi Ayurveda — This blend of herbs is a powerful tonic for the digestive system. If you are feeling sluggish, dull or occasionally constipated, chances are that toxins are building up in your body. Toxins accumulate when your digestion — and elimination — are out of balance, which can lead to skin breakouts, menstrual cramps, fatigue, feelings of sadness and many other health issues. Triphala, available in Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus), is the every-night, overnight detox and digestion balancer, supporting assimilation, balanced agni and ojas. This is Maharishi Ayurveda’s number-1-selling digestion herbal.
Sleep: Deep Rest from Maharishi Ayurveda — The herbs in this formula support sleeping deeply through the night and waking up feeling refreshed. Specifically, the formula is for those who have difficulty staying asleep and wake up in the middle of the night. It also helps those who have difficulty falling asleep and those who awaken early, after less than six hours of sleep. Sleeping soundly is considered a vital tool for balance in ayurveda, because it both refreshes the nervous system and purifies (detoxes) the entire body nightly. Proper sleep during the optimal hours for sleep is a powerful tool for smoother cycles.
Sleep: Blissful Sleep from Maharishi Ayurveda — The inability to fall asleep naturally, according to Maharishi Ayurveda, is largely due to stress, frustration, heavy food and sensory overload. If you’re worried or agitated before bed, your mind stays connected to the senses, keeping them active. When that happens you may have trouble falling asleep — or if you do fall asleep, you may notice that your sleep is light and restless. When your mind is relaxed, and disconnects from the senses, that sleep is sound and deep.
The ayurvedic herbs in the formula produce a calming, balancing effect on the body, mind and emotions. Sleep becomes deeper and more restful. For published research on Blissful Sleep, please see this page.
Stress Free Emotions supports natural resistance to emotional stress and fatigue. Diet, daily habits and ongoing stress are key factors that can contribute to imbalances in mind and body, leading to feelings of sadness and physical fatigue. The herbs promote self-confidence, positive thinking and feelings of fulfillment by balancing the subdosha of Pitta that governs emotional health (Sadhaka Pitta).
Energy: Organic Premium Amla Berry from Maharishi Ayurveda — Our Amla is prepared according to the ancient ayurvedic texts — a 21-step process at a temperature below 90 °F to maintain the potency.
Gram for gram, Amla has 20 times the Vitamin C content of an orange. Good nutrition requires a balance of the six ayurvedic tastes — sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Amla is one of just a handful of herbs that contain five of the six taste categories — all except salty. Such balanced nutrition means that Amla helps balance all three of the basic operating principles (doshas) of mind and body — Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Amla produces total health benefits. It helps strengthen the mind, eyes, heart, skin, and digestion; boosts cellular regeneration; and promotes a positive nitrogen balance for improved growth of muscle tissue.
Hot Flash Relief — Hot Flash Relief tablets contain a mixture of herbs that pacify Pitta dosha (fire element) in the deeper tissues of the body. According to ayurveda, hot flashes occur when heat transfer in the body becomes irregular because of clogged channels. This formula helps clear the channels and helps maintain heat regulation in the body. The herbs balance the 13 agnis (fires) in the physiology and nurture the connection between mind and body and mind and heart.
Calcium Support — You probably know how important it is to take calcium supplements during midlife, when women can lose 30% of their bone mass. But did you also know that low calcium intake is associated with a number of health issues? Or that drinking milk and taking lots of calcium supplements doesn’t guarantee that the calcium is actually reaching your bones?
According to Maharishi Ayurveda, it’s not enough to take calcium supplements. You also need to be able to absorb and assimilate the calcium. That's why Calcium Support supplies your body with over 600 mg of bioavailable calcium a day — and at the same time supports your body’s ability to absorb calcium from supplements and the foods you eat.
Vital Lady — Career, housework, family — if you’re like most women today, you’re under stress. It can be difficult just to make it through the day, let alone excel. But don’t sell yourself short. The 28 powerful ayurvedic ingredients in Vital Lady herbal formula work synergistically to support your mind, body and spirit so you’ll feel composed on the inside and dynamic on the outside. Specially targeted for the female nervous system, this formula helps revitalize the seven types of body tissue; supports cellular regeneration; helps balance hormones and emotions; and promotes healthy digestion, elimination and purification.
Rejuvenation for Ladies — Rejuvenate your cells and build a more youthful body. The cells in your body are continually being replaced by new ones, but this process deteriorates with age. The body’s organs and tissues are less vital than they once were, which causes premature aging. Rejuvenation for Ladies helps restore that youthful glow. It promotes cellular regeneration, which slows both biological and psychological aging. The benefits continue to grow and accumulate over time. This formula is especially helpful during the years before menopause. It nourishes the blood, bones, and bone marrow — which have to be replenished constantly for an easy, natural menstrual cycle.
Midlife for Women I — Are you experiencing early signs of menopause — occasional hot flashes, mood swings, sleep problems — even before it has begun? You’ll be comforted to know that there is a natural way to address these issues. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, menopause is not a disease — it’s a natural progression from your childbearing years. Yet if this is true, what causes such uncomfortable problems? Accumulated toxins can prevent your body from adjusting to the hormonal changes of midlife. The key to a comfortable, easy transition is to cleanse the body of impurities that can build up before and during menopause. It’s these accumulated toxins that lead to the uncomfortable experiences — and the more serious consequences, such as loss of bone density — that most women accept as a normal part of menopause.
Midlife for Women II — If, during menopause, you’re experiencing occasional hot flashes, mood swings, sleeping problems, memory issues, vaginal dryness or other menopause-related issues, you may not know where to turn. According to Maharishi Ayurveda, menopause is not an illness, but a natural transition. If you’re suffering with menopausal issues, it’s due to imbalances in the physiology. Simple lifestyle and dietary changes, along with our midlife herbal formulas, can help promote a healthy transition through menopause that’s smooth and easy.
Osteo Relief — With age, bones can become weaker and more likely to break. For women, it’s especially important to focus on bone health before, during and after menopause. Osteo Relief is a powerful combination of ayurvedic herbs and spices formulated to provide a natural source of calcium that helps promote resistance to stress and supports healthy bones, nerves and joints.
Blissful Heart Aroma Oil — This formula is especially made for those sad times when you’re feeling low or have just forgotten what happiness feels like. This fragrant, uplifting blend that includes Sandalwood, Peppermint, Lemon and Thyme will help wake you up to the joy of life again.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.