Ayurveda links menopause with aging. Aging is a Vata (air) stage of life. Thus, the
symptoms of menopause experienced by some women are similar to the symptoms seen when the
Vata dosha rises and upsets the normal balance of the body. Vata-type menopausal symptoms
tend to include depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Menopause may also manifest itself in
the other two humors. Women with Pitta-type symptoms are often angry and suffer hot
flashes. Kapha type symptoms include listlessness, weight gain, and feelings of mental and
physical heaviness. The type of treatment depends upon the dosha in which the woman's
menopausal symptoms are manifesting.
For a complete description of the Vata, Pitta and Kapha dosha as well as a diagnostic
test to determine your mind body constitution, visit our ayurveda section.
Treatment for Vata-type menopause
Excess Vata (air) may be reduced to proper levels by utilizing oils, incense, herbs and
a special diet.
Sesame, almond and olive oil are among the oils that may be used in massage or placed
on specific parts of the body, such as the mouth and ears. Herbs may be mixed with the
oils. The vapors from essential oils, such as wintergreen, cinnamon or sandalwood, may be
inhaled. Incenses, such as myrrh, frankincense and musk, may also be inhaled.
Anti-Vata herbs include ashwagandha, arjuna, astragalus, cardamom, comfrey
root, garlic, ginseng, guggul, hawthorn berries, licorice, myrrh, rehmannia, sandalwood
and zizphus. Also helpful are herbs that help to strengthen the female reproductive
system, such as aloe, saffron, kapikacchu, lycium, and white peony.
The anti-Vata diet includes warm, heavy and moist foods that give you strength.
Frequent small meals, mildly spiced and with only a few different types of foods per meal
are recommended. Dont eat when you are nervous or worried. If possible eat with your
Treatment for Pitta-type menopause
Women who display anger and suffer from frequent and severe hot flashes may be
suffering from menopausal symptoms associated with excess Pitta (fire). For them,
treatment would aim to "reduce' the Pitta to proper levels. The treatment may utilize
oils, incense, herbs, and a special diet.
Oils used to combat Pitta-type symptoms include coconut and sesame. You may also take
clarified butter, called ghee, internally or using it for massage. In addition, inhaling
the vapors from essential oils made from gardenia, honeysuckle, lotus and iris may be
recommended, as well as incense made from saffron, jasmine or geraniums.
Herbs to be used include aloe vera, arjuna, barberry, golden seal, gotu kola,
motherwort, myrrh, saffron, and shatavari. Sandalwood oil is applied to the chest and to
the "third eye"- in the middle of the forehead. Meditation and other techniques
are used to reduce the pent-up anger, hatred and resentment. Exercise and exposure to the
sun are limited.
The anti-Pitta diet consists of cool, slightly dry and heavy foods. Eat the food raw or
relatively plain-tasting, not cooked in lots of oil or heavily spiced. Three regular meals
a day are suggested, with no eating late at night.
Treatment for Kapha-type menopause
If the menopause is manifesting in the Kapha (water) humor, the woman may feel
unmotivated, tired and bloated. Her treatment would be an anti-Kapha regimen.
Mustard oil and linseed oil are often recommended for this condition. Avoid all massage
and cooking oils. Inhaling the vapors from essential oils made from cedar, pine and sage,
as well as incense made from basil, frankincense and cedar, is recommended. Herbs to break
up phlegm and ease chest congestion include bayberry, cayenne, cinnamon, guggul,
motherwort and myrrh. Cinnamon, mustard or camphor may be applied to the chest to ease
The anti-Kapha diet is light, dry and warm. Avoid cold, oily and heavy foods. Eat three
meals a day, with the lunch being the main meal. Weekly fasting is helpful. Most or all of
the daily food should be consumed between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.