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Ayurvedic Treatment for Dysmenorrhoea

Vaidya Radhakrishnan Sankaraina Jha

Ayurvedic medicines have proved effective in relieving the pain during menstruation or dysmenorrhoea. In ayurveda it is known as ‘Kashtartava’. It is very prevalent in young single women leading sedentary lives.


Dysmenorrhoea or painful menstruation is one of the most frequent gynaecological complaints. In ayurveda, dysmenorrhoea is called ’kashtartava’. It is very prevalent in young single women leading senentary lives. Dysmenorrhoea can be classified into three different types.

Congestive dysmenorrhoea takes the form of premenstrual pain before menses start; pain is situated either in the back or the lower abdomen. Pain occurs three to five days or sometimes even longer before the onset of menstruation. Pain is relieved by menstrual flow. Along with the required treatment, a good diet and avoidance of excess carbohydrates and strong purgatives also helps. Exercise is important for such patients.

Congestive type of dysmenorrhoea is caused due to vitiation of Pitta and Kapha.

Spasmodic dysmenorrhoea is the most common form of dysmenorrhoea. It is due to vitiation of Vata. Nearly 50% of women under 25 suffer from this symptom. The pain develops on the first day of menstrual period. There is much variation in the type of pain experienced by the patient. The pain is excruciating and lasts for a short time. Fainting, collapse, vomiting or nausea may accompany this. In other cases discomfort may start on the day before the flow and may persist after the actual severe pain has lessened for more than 12-24 hours. Premenstrual pain may be complained of either in the back or lower abdomen. The exact cause of spasmodic dysmenorrhoea is not known. The pain is due to muscular spasm.

Dysmenorrhoea is associated with ovulatory cycles. Cycles in which ovulation does not take place are painless. These girls till unto 18 or 19 years have painless menstruation. The patients between 19-21 years have the most severe type of pain.

The incidence is higher amongst the affluent women; pain is always exaggerated when over-solicitous relatives exhibit undue concern for the same. Women with low threshold for pain and those predisposed to undue fears and anxiety are most susceptible.

Membranous dysmenorrhoea is an extreme form of dysmenorrhoea and is extremely rare. It is accompanied by the passage of membranes, in the form of casts of uterine cavity.

Causes

It is due to vitiated Vata. It is due to the spasms of smooth muscles of uterus. Vitiated Kapha can cause this condition when there is a lot of blood congestion.

Treatment
Pain relieving, antispasmodic and muscle relaxing herbs should be given with emmenagogue herbs when it is required.

Spasmodic type (Vata type): Anti-vata diet should be given. Bowels should be kept open with mild laxatives like triphala. Mild massage with sesame oil to the abdomen below umbilicus should be done followed by sudation. Alternate sesame oil enema should be given with cleansing enema. In this type along with heating emmenagogue herbs, nervine and tranquillizing herbs are also necessary.

Heating emmenagogue herbs are angelica, cotton root, and mugwort in dose of 1 to 2 gm a day, should be combined with nervine soothing herbs like valerian 250 mg at night. Mild carminatives like fennel, asafetida, cardamom should be given with pain relieving herbs. Similarly herbs like cyperus, ficus bengalensis, astercantha longifolia, and saraca indica. Western herbs like salvia, ligusticum are useful.


Tab. vatavidhwansa 250 mg; twice a day or tab. kanakasundara rasa (YC) 250 mg; twice a day should be given during menstrual cycle period to relieve the pain. Tab. kravyada rasa 250 mg; 3 times a day for 5 to 6 days is useful.

Congestive type (Pitta, kapha type): In this type cooling emmenagouge herbs like hibiscus, motherwort, and cyperus should be given. Then give demulcent herbs like shatavari 1 part + licorice 1 part + with nutmeg 1/4 th part, or jatamansi 1/4 part in dose of 1 gm 3 times a day for 15 days.

Tab. chandraprabha 500 mg; twice a day with tab. punarnava guggulu 250 mg; twice a day for 1 month is ideal or give tab. kanaksundara ras 125 mg; twice a day for 7 days.

When to Seek Advice
Urgently, Right Now!

  • If the pain is usually severe.
  • If a period has been missed and there is possibility of pregnancy.
  • When severe or unusual pains develop with or without any blood flow.
Within 24 Hours
  • Significant bleeding between periods even without pains.
  • Recurrent minor, unexplained bleeding between periods.
  • Any uncharacteristic va***nal discharge, especially if accompanied by lower abdominal pain or fever.
  • If sores develop on, in or near the genitals.
  • If you have had s*x with someone who is known to have a se***lly transmissible disease such as gonorrhoea, syphilis or chlamydia.

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