What is the human endocrine system?
The human endocrine is the collective network of glands that secrete hormones which are chemical messengers that regulate the function of the human body and are critical to wholeness and well-being. The hormones secreted by endocrine glands inside
the body are transported via blood from one organ to another. Hypothalamus, pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid, pancreas, parathyroid, adrenal, thymus, testis, and ovaries, are the glands in the human body.
The endocrine system produces hormones that control moods, growth and development, metabolism, organs, and reproduction. It also controls how the hormones are to be released and sends those hormones into the bloodstream so that they travel
to other body parts.
Ayurveda is an integrative regimen that balances body, mind, emotions, and consciousness; improves health by creating a deep shift which creates confidence and increases faith which further supports a higher level of overall healing. Without
mentioning anything specific about hormones of the endocrine system, Ayurveda serves as the best way in healing disorders associated with it.
The ayurvedic theory of Tridosha comprises the entire endocrine system. All that’s needed to balance the constitution of Vata, Pitta and Kapha Doshas; are needed to balance hormones within the body.
Ayurvedic Understanding of Endocrine disorders:
• The flow of energy within the body is blocked by toxins and unprocessed emotion that may affect the secretion of hormones from endocrine glands.
• The change in diet, lifestyle, and emotional communication patterns may help in
removal of physical and emotional toxins.
• Some emotions directly affect the endocrine system and Ayurveda addresses these effects by balancing Chakra energy centers during Panchakarma therapies
• An organic and natural diet that is suitable for an individual’s constitution is to be followed and modified as per season to maintain balance within the body.
• Further, Yoga and meditation are to be incorporated into the routine to promote grounding, mindfulness, and connection to spirit.
• Ayurveda highly recommends Shirodhara and Panchakarma to balance the endocrine system.
• Ayurveda recommends Pranayama which constitutes breathing practices that bring calmness to the mind, and yoga postures to boost healing.
• Herbs are recommended by Ayurveda which supports the healing process, based on the affected endocrine gland and associated Hormonal imbalance.
Ayurvedic herbs for endocrine disorders:
Many ayurvedic herbs have been used for decades for the prevention of conception. Some of them can be noted below:
1.Nigella sativa (Krishna jeeraka)-
It is cultivated in North India and is used for post-coital contraceptive efficacy. The hexane extract from the seeds is used in the prevention of pregnancy.
2.Michelia champaka (Champaka)-
The benzene extract of Champaka shows significant post-coital anti-implantation activity.
3.Abies webbiana (Talisar Patr)-
The benzene and alcoholic extract of the herb produces 51% anti-implantation and has
no effect on the estrogen cycle and teratogenicity.
4.Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna)-
It shows anti-implantation and abortifacient properties in its raw form.
5.Ferula jaeschkeana (Heengu)-
Hexane extract from Heengu is known for its infertility activity.
6.Aegle Marmelos Corr ( Bilva)-
The aqueous extract of Baliva shows abortifacient activity and does not show any anti-implantation activity.
7. Potash alum-
When the concentration of potash alum is increased, the time for the death or immobility of sperm decreases.
8.Lawsonia inermis Linn (Madayantika)-
Madayantika has contraceptive value in laboratory conditions. After administration, there is no weight loss or abnormal estrus cycles.
9.Hibiscus rosa sinensis (Japa)-
In modern medicine, Japa is receiving attention for its potential control over the population. This flower is said to have anti-fertility properties in ancient ayurvedic texts. In southern India, it is used for its contraceptive action.
10.Azadirachta indica A. Juss (Nimba)-
Neem leaves produce biochemical changes in caput and cauda epididymis. The oral administration of these leaves results in a decrease in the weight of seminal vesicles and ventral prostate, a reduction in epithelial height and diameter, and secretory materials in the lumen.
11.Nigella sativa (Kalonji)-
This plant produces seeds that are rich in antioxidants and have medicinal properties as they contain thymoquinone. Research has shown that it has therapeutic applications for those having polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS) which is associated with abnormal hormonal levels.
12. Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)-
It moderates the brain’s Hypothalamic – Pituitary- Adrenal (HPA) axis and helps in overcoming stress. It also affects other hormones like insulin levels and reproductive hormones.
13. Vitex agnus-castus (Sinduvara)-
It is combined with other drugs and used in the treatment of menopause symptoms and supports women’s reproductive health. It contains dipeptide compounds that show potential effects on hormones like prolactin and the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Hormone levels in humans keep changing and there are many reasons for this fluctuation. But long-term hormonal imbalance affects health drastically. Using herbal formulations is one of the many natural ways to address changes in hormonal levels. They cure imbalances with the least side effects as compared to modern medicine. Along with herbal medicines, it is also necessary to maintain a proper lifestyle and diet, for the system to stay intact along its lifecycle.