Ayurvedic Care for Women at Any Age
Women’s bodies are complex—and powerful. From monthly menstrual cycles through pregnancy, early motherhood, and menopause, the female body is constantly changing and adapting to all that life brings. Whether you’re married and raising a family, retired and flying solo, or anything in between, Ayurveda offers a wealth of practical knowledge to help you stay balanced at every age and stage of life.
Teens: Laying the Foundation for Lifelong HealthThe teenage years are a time of rapid transition and change for young women. This stage of life is governed by Pitta dosha, which is associated with heat, metabolism, and transformation. It’s an exciting and expansive time, but all those hormonal fluctuations and changes can feel a little overwhelming at times (for parents, too)! To harness the transforming power of Pitta, be mindful of your teenage girl’s underlying dosha and, when appropriate, feed her a cooling, nourishing, Pitta-pacifying diet that’s rich in well-cooked, fresh, colorful produce—especially sweet, juicy fruits and mild veggies like squash and green beans. Pizza and fries are best left as occasional indulgences.
Being mindful of your teen’s underlying dosha could mean, for example, if your daughter is Kapha dominant, avoid feeding her heavier, sweet foods, as this could lead toward weight gain. Or, if she is Vata dominant, do just the opposite; heavier, oily foods may ground her flightiness. Getting to know the doshas and how food affects your daughter’s unique physiology is a great first step. Start here to learn more.
Following a good routine can be very stabilizing for those hormonal ups and downs, as is getting plenty of rest and following a 10 p.m. bedtime when possible. Staying active is a great way to channel all that fiery Pitta energy into fun, feel-good endorphins and camaraderie with teammates. When your independent teen is open, family time, father-daughter, or mother-daughter time are all nourishing to her heart—even if she never admits it! Read more on Ayurveda and the teenage years.
All too soon, it seems, it’s time to send our kids off to college! While they’re away, nurture them with Ayurvedic care packages that include cooling Organic Rose Petal Spread, Ayurvedic Herbal Soaps, Organic Rose Water, and our Intelligence Plus formula with brain-boosting herbs like bacopa, gotu kola, and ashwagandha. Vata and Pitta teas are also dorm room favorites. Tasty and easy to make, these balancing teas are loved by our college-age adults.
20s & 30s: Stress Relief and RejuvenationAs young women move away from home, start their careers, and embark upon their own families or solo adventures, Pitta dosha continues to predominate. During this dynamic phase, stress-management is key—whether in the form of meditation, yoga, or simply setting aside some time for self-care each day. For a little herbal assistance, Stress Free Emotions offers natural resistance to life’s emotional stressors. Our Vital Lady formula also supports the reproductive system and balances the natural flow of hormones.
Women wanting to have children can turn their attention to nurturing their shukra dhatu, or reproductive tissue. Foods that nourish the reproductive tissue and boost fertility include fresh, organic produce; asparagus and broccoli (if your Vata type can handle the cabbage family); dairy; soaked almonds and walnuts; date milkshakes; and rice pudding, among others. Read more Ayurvedic fertility tips, and learn about the Ayurvedic perspective on pregnancy and early motherhood. Period problems? During your period, try to take it easy to support your body purifying itself. Rest for the first few days, do something you enjoy, and avoid any exercise more strenuous than a short walk. Here are a few more tips for a smoother menstrual cycle.
The 20s and 30s are also a good time to start wearing sunscreen daily, or protective clothing—if you aren’t already—to ward off sun damage. A daily abhyanga (warm oil massage) with Soothing Herbal Massage Oil offers myriad benefits, including moisturized skin, improved muscle tone, better metabolism, detoxification of your skin layers, better circulation, deeper sleep, and a greater sense of calm throughout the day, just to name a few.
40s & 50s: Making the Most of MenopauseDuring their 40s and 50s, women begin moving gradually out of the Pitta phase of life and toward the Vata cycle. This is when you might begin to notice things like dry skin and symptoms of menopause (like hot flashes and emotional ups and downs). But fear not! You can minimize discomfort with a few dietary and lifestyle modifications.
If you’re noticing Pitta-based menopausal issues like irritability, hot flashes, and night sweats, try to follow a Pitta-pacifying diet: avoid spicy, salty, or sour foods, and favor bitter, astringent, and sweet tastes. If you’re experiencing Vata-related menopause symptoms, like vaginal dryness and memory loss, bring Vata dosha back into balance with warm, unctuous foods and a Vata-pacifying diet. A daily oil massage with warmed Youthful Skin Massage Oil will also do wonders to calm the nervous system while deeply moisturizing your skin and toning your muscles.
Also helpful: our Midlife for Women I and Midlife for Women II formulas, which promote emotional, physical, and mental health during the midlife transition. These time-tested formulas help flush toxins, balance hormone production, and nourish reproductive health during menopause and beyond.
60s & 70s: Relishing the Golden YearsFor many women, the 60s and 70s offer the opportunity for a rebirth of sorts. This is generally the period where people retire and turn their attention to family, travel, hobbies, passions, and volunteer work. On the other hand, some women will continue to thrive on the vigors of their careers and may even find themselves at their most powerful. Whatever your path at this stage, Ayurveda can keep you at your best and brightest.
As Vata’s drying influence dominates this phase of life, a daily abhyanga with soothing warm oil just might be one of the most important things you can do to nurture the mind, body, and emotions. And if you’re feeling stiff and creaky, massage a bit of Joint Soothe II into your joints to help keep them lubricated, while eliminating impurities. Veda 2240 Joint Plus tablets help remove toxins from the joints and support healthy flexibility, and Flexcel strengthens joint mobility. The goal is to stay active, limber, and to enjoy playing with the grandkids!
Staying hydrated is important at any age, but it’s especially crucial during the Vata phase of life. It’s also crucial to keep ama at a minimum throughout the body to help ward off chronic imbalances. Follow the diet that best suits your dosha makeup, and try to include stewed fruit in the morning and if occasional constipation is an issue; Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) is also very helpful in this regard. Forgetting things now and then? Organic Youthful Mind and Organic Ashwagandha balance Vata dosha and naturally remove toxins that impede mental clarity.
80s and Beyond: Aging Gracefully with AyurvedaGenerally speaking, the Ayurvedic lifestyle suggestions listed above for women in their 60s and 70s apply to this age range as well. But as the Vata phase of life progresses, it’s more important than ever to stay hydrated, moisturize your skin with daily abhyanga, and follow a healthy Ayurvedic dinacharya (daily routine) to balance Vata dosha and align your rhythms with nature.
Ayurveda offers easy solutions for many of the common challenges that can crop up during this period of life. If you occasionally feel constipated, Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) helps improve elimination gently and naturally, without creating dependency. Trouble falling asleep now and then? It’s common among seniors, but Blissful Sleep can help you fall asleep faster and wake up refreshed (whereas many over-the-counter alternatives may leave you with morning fog). Feeling a little bit down, now and then? That can happen as we age and slow down. The uplifting Ayurvedic herbs in Blissful Joy can help you experience your inner bliss—and all the many lives you continue to enrich simply by being you.
Think your days of being limber and active are over? Think again! Flexibility and gentle activity are possible well into one’s 90s. Even just getting out for a morning walk to enjoy the birdsong and sunshine will boost your mood and metabolism all day long.
For all ages, staying in touch with your body is the key. Taking our dosha quiz weekly can help you understand your current state of balance and allow you to make healthy Ayurvedic decisions.
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.