Scanty menstruation is called Hypomenorrhea and in some cases may be considered as Amenorrhea. This condition can be caused by several factors, some physiological, some pathological and some psychological.
Physiologically speaking, it can occur during the extremes of reproductive life (immediately after puberty or just before menopause.
Pathologically, being severely underweight, hormonal problems (low thyroid, high insulin, high androgen, high prolactin), diabetes, hypogonadism, Asherman’s Syndrome and several other conditions can result in scanty or absence of menstruation. Its best to get a proper diagnosis from a medical doctor and follow through with the treatment of that specific problem.
Psychologically, stress, depression, anxiety, and several other conditions, can result in this issue. Why? All these psychological conditions involve hormones (Serotonin, Glutamate, Cortisol, etc) and these hormones affect overall neuro-chemistry including the glands that secrete the hormones (Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Luteinizing Hormone, etc) which regulate menstruation. When these glands start to develop irregularities as a result of mental tension, their physiological functions become problematic and can result in improper production of these hormones.
If you are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above, please consult a doctor.
In order to correct this, we have to get the hormones (endocrine system) regulated as well as the induce menstruation by increasing circulation to the reproductive organs. We must ensure that the hormones are being formed correctly by giving herbs that rejuvenate the reproductive system, nervous system and endocrine system.
1. Regulate Endocrine System
The following herbs contain naturally occurring steroids, neurotransmitter precursors and phytoestrogens which help in regulating the process of menstruation.
These herbs should be used for at least 1-3 months to regulate menstruation in chronic cases.
– Mucuna Pruriens – AVOID in high testosterone condition.
Known for being rich in L-Dopa, this herb is effective in regulating hormones including the reduction of Prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone known to disrupt ovulation by inhibiting gonadotropin – this is the cause of Amenorrhea during lactation in nursing women (1). L-DOPA and its metabolite dopamine stimulate the hypothalamus and fore-brain to secrete gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which then up-regulates the anterior pituitary gland to secrete follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones stimulate menstruation and play a vital role the various menstrual phases. Speak to an Ayurvedic doctor about the right dose for you.
– Shatavari – Use for low estrogen
Shatavari is held in high esteem for its ability to regulate menstruation, promote fertility and reduce stress. It is rich in phytoestrogens and has been well recognized for its potent aphrodisiac effects. While shatavari may not directly induce menstruation, it is certainly needed for the purposes of regulating it. The general dose is 1/2-1 teaspoon of Shatavari in hot coconut milk with a little honey.
Combining these two herbs can be even more effective.
2. Stimulate Uterine Contractions
Some cases may be more related to functioning of the reproductive system itself. In these cases, additional support may be needed to stimulate uterine contractions. Emmenagogue herbs and foods can help with this.
– Parsley contains apiol and myristicin which are known to stimulate uterine contractions.
Parsley tea can be used, or it can be used whole and even added to smoothies. A general dose is 2 grams, 3 times a day.
– A cup of ginger and fennel tea, with some honey is a good remedy to initiate menstruation. Consume this twice a day.
– Aloe Vera is known to induce menstruation, as well as regulate it. It should always be administered with a carminative like ginger or turmeric, to avoid gripping pain. Speak to an Ayurvedic doctor about the correct dose for you.
– A teaspoon of Cumin seeds, can initiate movement by inducing peristalsis and proper induction of downwards movements. Take this once a day.
– Turmeric is known to induce menstruation due to its hot nature. A cup of Turmeric tea or a glass of milk mixed with ½ teaspoon turmeric powder can help induce menstruation. (this can be harmful if used excessively or if you have history of internal hemorrhaging and/or liver problems.)
– Safflower and Rose Flower tea can also aid in delayed menstruation.
3. External Stimulation
Gently massaging with warm sesame oil (Black sesame seed oil), over the lower abdominal/pelvic region, will help to induce the flow of blood to the area. Sesame oil is warming and counteracts pain and other effects of improper nervous impulses.
After massaging with oil, the application of heat (fomentation) is advised. Using a hot water bottle, or applying a towel (which has been dipped in hot water) over the massaged region. This application of heat can also be done whenever there is pain or discomfort.
Practicing the yogic pose known as “Wind Relieving Pose” or “Pavanmuktasana” should be done regularly, to aid in regulating the function of the lower abdominal organs. (This pose may also aid in problems related to gas, constipation, and weak digestion)
(NOTE: This pose is contraindicated in High Blood Pressure, Hernia, Slipped Disc, Acidity, Pregnancy, during menstruation, and a few other conditions. Yogic practices should be done under the guidance of an experienced yoga practitioner)
Any type of heavy duty exercise like weight lifting, or even simply jogging is enough to induce your period, but be careful with this as it can have a negative impact on hormones.
Honey, Butter, Black Gram, Horse Gram, Red Meat, Salmon, and Oysters are good for this condition.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.
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