The wisdom of Ayurveda offers a healthy and discerning approach to wholeness that helps to lighten the complex and complicated subject of hormones. It provides a road map to navigate imbalances that can be manageable and meaningful. But firstly the question arises what are hormones?
Hormones are the communication channels between organs and tissues, which impact physiological regulation and behavioral activities such as digestion, respiration, tissue function, metabolism, sensory perception, excretion, sleep, stress, growth and development, movement, reproduction, and mood. Modern science says that when we are out of balance our hormones are also out of balance. For example, the imbalance in the secretion of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, which are present during different times of the menstrual cycle can cause health-related issues. Also when the thyroid stimulating hormone is low, it can develop Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Moreover, stress is indicated by the secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones. The imbalance in hormones acts as a natural indicator of other imbalances or vikriti in our systems. The imbalances like endometriosis, PCOS, dysmenorrhoea, anemia, menstrual disorders, hot flashes, blotting, weight gain, and struggling with professional and personal life; can be managed in the light of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda serves as the oldest healing system which is based on the wisdom tradition which originated in India. It is entirely focused on the balance of body, mind, and consciousness. Ayurveda’s understanding of endocrinology gives a holistic approach that appreciably helps in the reduction of hormonal challenges. It is rooted in the philosophy of Tridoshas. Every individual has a specific composition of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha Dosha; also, a distinct combination of five elements of wind, space, fire, water, and ether. These combinations of elements for an individual, their dirty choices, and lifestyle are considered during the analysis and cure of a disease.
Ayurveda mainly focuses on the balance of body, mind, and consciousness. In the case of endocrinology, not only physical but also mind and consciousness play an important role. It heals stuck emotions, which have a direct impact on an individual’s overall health. Thus,
hormonal imbalances are well addressed in Ayurveda.
All about hormones:
Stress has become epidemic and every now and then, psychiatric medications like anti-depressants and anti-anxiety are prescribed. The fight-flight-or-freeze reactions are initiated in the amygdala, and signals are passed on throughout the body with the hormones – cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These hormones directly contact the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary functions of the body like breathing, blood pressure, heartbeat, and dilation and constriction of blood vessels. Now, during an increase in the level of stress, the following signs are to be noted- rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, hot flashes, and racing thoughts. Thus, stress is a sign of health and the body’s ability to engage in fight-flight-or-freeze. But the body which cannot complete a fight-flight-or-freeze reaction creates a somatic imprint that becomes our default reaction. Further, acute stress reaction becomes an individual’s common response to major or minor stressors, the brain starts to create neural pathways that standardize such response in the face of threat, leaving that individual chronically stressed.
According to Ayurveda, hormones are considered biochemical converters, closely related to Agni, and often related specifically to Dhatu Agni – viz. present in different tissues and used in the metabolism process within the tissues. A parallel line is drawn between Majja Dhatu, Manovaha Srotas, and pineal – the hypothalamus – pituitary – adrenal axis; and also in between endocrine glands and Chakras.
Here, Ayurveda proves to be an important tool that helps to build resilience to the hormonal imbalances which are susceptible. The mind and body of the individual are dependent on the two aspects- rest and digestion and fight-flight-or-freeze, which are parasympathetic and sympathetic. The balancing of hormones in Ayurvedic practice is related to the daily routine (dinacharya) and seasonal routine (ritucharya). Further, every balance within the body relies on prana, Tejas, and Ojas which are the essences of Doshas.
Digestion is the first thing that goes wrong when any imbalance occurs within the body. The Agni supports digestion and is also responsible for strengthening the communication between the body and mind through the enteric nervous system. Here, Ayurveda prefers working with herbs that kindle the digestion fire and improves the digestion process to reduce ama and thus, protect the strength of Agni.
Read more about the Connection between sleep and Hormone.
How to achieve hormonal balance?
Know yourself: It is necessary to follow a proper routine, lifestyle, and diet in order to maintain proper health. Understanding Prakriti and how it governs various aspects of life and health play a major role in self-assessment.
Manage Agni: Knowledge of how to govern Agni becomes essential in order to eliminate toxins from the body. This is based on the Prakriti of an individual. As Agni is closely related to Hormones, it should be well analyzed.
Honor three pillars in ayurvedic health: The principles for optimization of sleep, nutrition, and lifestyle; are the three pillars of ayurvedic health. Aligning these with nature’s rhythm gives proper balance to the body.
Strategies to de-stress: By knowing one’s Prakriti, the understanding of physiological and psychological state is known. Ayurveda uses herbs to supervise and promote harmony in body functions.
Usage of herbal therapy: Herbs are used in order to regulate lifestyle and Shodhana, so as to achieve hormonal balance. Herbs like Shilajit, Ashoka, Shatavari, and Ashwagandha are of huge importance in hormonal challenges.
Summing up, the reference to emotional balance is directly linked to hormonal balance. The Ayurvedic principle of maintaining harmony between body, mind, and consciousness is indeed true. Hormones also play a major role in one’s personal health. Ayurvedic way of curing is the natural and pure way of self-acknowledgment.