Hello dear lady, if you are slipping into the confusing period of menopause or are already in the middle of it, Ayurveda can help you to alleviate the unpleasant side effects.
The most important aspect of Ayurveda for menopause is embracing change. And this time as an opportunity for something wonderful, namely to evaluate something new:
I can be a Ferrari! But this Ferrari is 50 ±. For every enthusiast of this model, this means that the times on the road will be less, the maintenance increased, the engine oil needs a high quality and I don’t drive it too fast.
So it means: take breaks! But it remains a Ferrari.
So if I make use of the knowledge and change my lifestyle, I can experience myself from a different perspective. I no longer have to rush with the herd, I can take a break and let others take the stage now and then. As a viewer, I can definitely have joy and fun. And I can be an inspiration to younger women, a woman who shares her knowledge. From woman to woman.
Menopause, climacteric, menopause
Terms that are neither sexy nor appealing in any way. In the past, this natural, feminine state was more associated with an image of “Mum in her apron” and was then excluded and taboo for many decades. Today we are around 50 years old, we do sports and we take care of our bodies.
The courage to have our own identity, our own, self-determined life, what is in us as an aging woman, the great gift of the new direction, unfortunately, we do not have a compass for that. And despite all the advice, we sometimes don’t know what to do. And if so, which one first? In the vast majority of cases, women ask ourselves the same things: In what form should we get a grip on symptoms such as sweating, depressive moods, insomnia, and much more: with or without hormones?
The special thing about Ayurveda for women:
Ayurveda assumes that in the middle of my life I will enter the phase of the very wise woman. I will then still be a creator, but I no longer have to do a lot because I function like a source and no longer have to “burn” so much. That happens in the middle of my life, around 50 years old. You see, the Ayuerveda is optimistic that we will be at least 100 years old. OK then!
How does this work?
Ayurveda can you help if you are willing to take good care in the following three areas for you: In the diet, the body care and the yoga with meditation.
In this article, I would like to go into more detail about these three areas and especially about nutrition during menopause. But before you start, you will see an overview of the properties of the doshas in the following table. Doshas denote your basic constitution. All people can be classified into three types, whereby we usually have something from all three, but one of the doshas is dominant. Then this is your dosha type. Here is an initial overview before we get into the right diet for each dosha type during menopause.
Ayurvedic diet for menopause:
Each of these doshas has its own particularities in nutrition, which I would like to introduce to you in a little more detail:
In Ayurveda we know that a “correct” diet is a type-appropriate diet. This means that it takes into account the individual constitution of each person and does not simply lump all people together. The diet is one of the pillars of health. (The other two pillars are sleep and sexuality) Incidentally, according to Ayurveda, 80% of all complaints are due to poor nutrition.
That is why it is particularly important to question your eating habits and get the right advice from a trained Ayurveda therapist.
The diet for the Vata woman
Vata, consisting of air and ether, needs a lot of warm and cooked food because the Agni (the digestive fire) is very unstable and does not always burn well. Someone who has a lot of Vata in their basic constitution likes to forget breakfast because they are not yet hungry. He/she loves hot food and the idea of having to eat a raw apple will give you cold feet immediately.
Easily digestible and warming foods help here, such as juicy vegetable stews with rice or oats, creamy soups, and some warm milk with nutmeg before going to bed. Eating overabundant and overcooked food, food that is difficult to digest (such as legumes, peppers, cabbage, and mushrooms), cold food and drinks, an irregular lifestyle,
Recommendation for daddy types:
- Vegetables :
fennel, garlic, pumpkins, carrots, okra, parsnips, beetroot, asparagus, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, onions
Legumes and rice: mung beans / mungdal, urad dal, basmati rice
Ajwain, anise, hing (Asafoetida), ginger, cumin (cumin), fennel, cloves, saffron, cinnamon
Characteristics of Vata women:
The Vata woman is more like the elf. Vata is the element that dries out and at the same time brings a lot of movement into the system. This is particularly noticeable in the form of a restless mind. The psyche is a bit unstable and these women always have that “princess and pea feeling” or they are perceived by others as tender beings. Vata as a concept goes through the sense organ ear, which means that these people are particularly sensitive to noise. Loud train stations, city noise or open-plan offices – the Vata type is particularly triggered in these environments. They are also particularly sensitive to the way they feel on the skin, which is why Ayurvedic oil massages work so well here. Vata increases permanently and continuously with the onset of menopause (about 7 years before the last bleeding).
The diet for the Pitta woman
Pitta women are high achievers. You can eat and drink anything until the onset of menopause. They don’t mind wine or ice-cold dishes and they can’t really make friends with the eternally hot ginger water, which is otherwise so popular in Ayurveda. They are insensitive and are unlikely to be familiar with digestive problems. Mild, steaming, and cooling dishes are best tolerated when there is a large amount of Pitta Dosha. Since strongly spiced dishes can irritate the Pitta Dosha, even more, mildly spiced dishes are preferable. It is also advisable to avoid acidic foods. All foods that have a sweet taste have a dampening effect.
Recommendation for Pitta types:
broccoli, cucumber, potatoes, garlic, Swiss chard, okra, parsnips, celery, asparagus, spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini, onions
Legumes and rice: Mung beans / mungdal, mountain lentils, all types of rice, especially wholegrain basmati rice
fenugreek (methi), fennel, cardamom, coriander, cumin, turmeric, saffron
Characteristics of Pitta women:
A Pitta woman is more of a worker bee who suddenly discovers traits of the princess or fairy in the phase of the climacteric. Suddenly she can no longer eat a salad in the evening and sleeps poorly after a wine. She feels the mood swings on the emotional level in the form of uncontrolled outbursts, for which she is ashamed afterwards. The night sweats also start clearly noticeably in Pitta women. Ayurveda says: The “excess” Pitta now leaves the body. In Ayurveda this is quite normal. In this phase, the Pitta woman should also dare to adopt a Vata-reducing diet.
The diet for the Kapha woman
Kapha women have always struggled with the excess pounds and unfortunately sometimes overlook the fact that a small fat pad is actually a good concept of nature because the nerves are in adipose tissue. In order to get these type-related weight problems under control, a change in diet according to Ayurvedic principles is very helpful.
All foods with a spicy, light, dry, bitter, and heating component are particularly good and give the phlegmatic Kapha organism new energy and vitality. It is important to know that dairy products and animal proteins such as cheese, eggs, or meat place a high load on the digestive system and thus inevitably lead to mucus and weight gain.
Recommendation for kapha types:
eggplant, cabbage, carrots, okra, radish, spinach
- Legumes and Rice:
Green Mung Beans, Chickpeas, Whole Grain Basmati Rice, Camargue Red Rice
Ajwain, ginger, cumin (cumin), turmeric, nutmeg, cloves, fenugreek (methi), allspice, pepper
Characteristics of Kapha women:
The Kapha woman has lost her calm, can really be shaken by little, and always has a caring manner for her fellow human beings. Kapha likes to take care of others but prefers to be in the background herself. You are something like “the good soul”. They often struggle with sweat, because the elements of water and earth bring moisture and stability here. For these women, I recommend a light diet that also warms you (very important!). In addition, Kapha women benefit from “more” exercise, such as a gentle yoga program that does not strain the joints or hormone yoga, which soothes your menopausal symptoms.
Khichari – the healing soup for every type
Khichari, a vegetable soup with rice and legumes, is a basic recipe for healthy Ayurveda cuisine. A khichari is quick and easy to prepare, can be tailored to individual needs and contains everything that is good for us women. No matter what Typoi you are, the following recipe is always good. Enojy your meal!
Easy Kitchari Recipe:
Compensating for all Ayurvedic Dosha types:
- 1 cup of green mung beans
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- pinch of Hing (Asafoetida powder)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup of basmati rice
- 3 teaspoons of ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin, whole
- 3 green cardamom seeds
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- A bit of salt
- 8 cups of water
- A handful of vegetables (for example carrots)
- Soak the mung beans in water overnight.
- Wash and dry well the next day. Grind cumin, cardamom and pepper in a mortar.
- Heat the ghee in a large saucepan, first add the cumin, then the remaining spices and fry briefly. Now add the mung beans, rice and salt. Deglaze with the water and bring to the boil once. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for approx. 40 minutes.
- Chop the carrots and stir in after 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Enjoy warm. The consistency of this soup should best be thick. Good Appetite!
Ayurvedic body care for menopause:
Your body changes during menopause. This also has an impact on your personal hygiene. During this time, all women suffer from increasing drought that creeps in unstoppably. We often forget that collagen starts to break down in the skin from the age of 25. The tissues change and gravity wins. In Ayurveda there is the Abhyanga against dryness and sagging tissue.
This is a massage with an Ayurvedic oil in which many medicinal herbs have been boiled down. This application thrives on long, slow strokes. The medicinal herbs are then absorbed by the tissue through the skin and can thus have a lasting and profound effect.
Self-massage , a small cure to take at home
For example, it instantly reduces excess Vata. Self-massage is part of the daily Ayurvedic morning routine because it invigorates the skin, tendons, muscles, and blood circulation. It drives away tiredness, strengthens the Ojas and fosters the heat in the body. A Garshan glove massage can also help to stimulate the metabolism. It is particularly recommended for Kapha women in the morning. There are now many online shops that sell high-quality organic oils for every Ayurvedic type. If you know your Ayurveda type, be sure to choose an oil that suits you. And whether it stimulates you or calms you down. You can get particularly good oils in the Kerala shop in Austria, for example.
Ayurveda and yoga are closely related because yoga has a wonderfully rejuvenating effect on all levels. It not only strengthens the body and, with its asanas, is good for the muscles and counteracts osteoporosis, yoga is also beneficial in these troubled times because it strengthens the mind.
I would particularly like to emphasize that meditation can change brain activities so positively that the aging process slows down. Meditation works like a fountain of youth. Which form you should practice in order to get into your center depends on your basic constitution. But please don’t overwhelm yourself, just have fun.
And if you want to go even deeper into the subject, we recommend our Yoga Meets Ayurveda course, a 10-day online course that brings you the best of yoga and Ayurveda at home.
Last but not least, menopause naturally also affects sexuality and, as already mentioned, this is one of the important pillars in Ayurveda. In the book “With Ayurveda through menopause”, which I have just written together with the wonderful Kerstin Rosenberg from the European Academy for Ayurveda, we also approach the taboo topic of sexuality in old age.
However, it should not be a taboo topic, but rather be viewed with relish and joy. Here I would like to give you a small excerpt with the kind permission of Südwest-Verlag:
Constitution and sexuality
In accordance with our individual constitution, we also have specific characteristics and preferences in sexuality. Regardless of upbringing, culture or religion, sexual performance also depends on genetic makeup. Depending on whether we naturally have more Vata, Pitta or Kapha components, we can be aroused and satisfied in different ways.
For example, Vata loves imaginative lovemaking with constant variety, while Kapha likes it cozy and comfortable. Pitta women and men, on the other hand, desire ardently, passionately and impatiently. Knowing about the sexual desires and needs according to the individual constitutional type also helps us to better understand why we may work very differently in some things than our partners or friends with whom we exchange ideas.
Sex is not a competitive sport, and there is no good or bad here. From an Ayurvedic point of view, every woman and every man can love as he or she likes. A prerequisite for a fulfilled sexuality is a good ojas household *, which keeps the libido active and ensures empathy, serenity and love with which we can combine our own wishes and the wishes of the sexual partner in a fulfilling way.
It is a myth that lust and passion are over with menopause.
On the contrary, many women experience sexuality in the second half of their lives far more intensely and enjoyably than at the time when they were still busy with family and contraceptive stress.
(* Ojas means strength, freshness, vitality, energy. Ojas arises with healthy digestion. It is spiritual and transformed sexual energy; light and shine; Ojas arises when the body is spiritualized. In Ayurveda, Ojas is the finest product of the digestive process, the finest Essence of our food and is no longer on the material plane.)
Source: Ayurveda in the menopause