Ayurveda and Health for Women and Men | Pukka Herbs
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Women's and men's health in Ayurveda

Much of a woman’s life is lead and guided by hormonal cycles from adolescence all the way through to post-menopause. Maintaining a healthy cycle and hormonal balance will impact upon a woman’s whole body health, vitality, wellbeing and general feelings of ‘wellness’. We are all familiar with the term ‘PMT’ or pre-menstrual tension; this is just one indicator of how a woman can feel when hormones can become even slightly tipped out of balance. Understanding your Ayurvedic body type, or dosha, can really help you to determine how best to manage your hormonal cycles and what will help you feel most balanced. In Ayurveda, there are three different body types or constitutions known as ‘dosha’: Kapha, pitta and vata which can be defined by particular patterns of behaviour and physical characteristics. Here is a little insight into how each dosha is affected by hormonal cycles:

Vata

Vata regulates movement in the body and will dominate during the menstrual cycle. An imbalance of vata can cause irregular periods or the even their absence during the menstruating years. In the menopause, vata imbalances can influence symptoms such as forgetfulness, absent-mindedness or heightened anxiety. This is where calming and balancing herbs such as adaptogens become especially valuable.

How do we balance vata?

To balance vata, keep warm, rested and safe. Manage your diary so that you have some calm space to recharge and keep life on your terms, especially during menstruation. This is an opportunity for an extended me-time. Calming, nourishing herbs that will strengthen and support your adrenal glands. For example, licorice and ashwagandha. Steer clear of anxiety inducing stimulants and create space for mindfulness and meditation.

Pukka teas and supplements for vata types:

  • Wholistic™ Ashwagandha helps nourish the mind and relax the nervous system. It supports the body in coping with the increasing everyday demands of modern life

Pitta

Pitta is characterised by heat and fire. During the menstruating years this can manifest as heighted PMT, becoming especially irritated and hot and bothered. Similarly, in menopause, a pitta imbalance can create higher levels of hot flushes and vaginal dryness and irritation. Herbs with a cooling, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effect upon the liver can really help support pitta dominant women.

How do we balance pitta?

To balance Pitta it’s important to support the liver metabolise hormones. You can increase the amount of colourful vegetables, do your regular exercise and let your spirit soar. Use heat-clearing and liver-regulating solutions such as aloe vera and classic greens like wheat-grass, chlorella and spirulina.

Pukka teas and supplements for pitta types:

Kapha

Kapha is naturally nourishing and strengthening but can become congested. They may experience heavy, long and painful periods when out of balance. Kapha types also store not just energy, but memory and emotion. If you notice you feel teary and a little low, it could be an indicator of imbalanced kapha. A kapha menopause may last longer and they may experience issues such as inflamed joints, weight gain and general feelings of ‘heaviness’ and fatigue.

How do we balance kapha?

Herbs that support hormonal balance through encouraging liver metabolism are key. Turmeric and ginger are ideal alongside energising herbs that help balance oestrogen excess green tea.

Pukka teas and supplements for kapha types:

We really recommend reading Maisie Hill’s Period Power if you want to learn more about your cycle and how it can affect everyday life.

Men's health in Ayurveda

Men’s health is a topic not often talked about, with a large majority of heath and wellbeing advice often being focussed around women. When men get out of balance, they generally encounter physical problems in three main areas: prostate problems, sexual dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. As you might expect, mental stress and health can also have a significant effect upon these core areas of male health. Understanding your Ayurvedic body type, or dosha, can really help you to determine how best to manage your health and what will help you feel ‘well’. Here is a little insight into how male health is characterised within each dosha:

Vata

When a vata man is in balance they will feel grounded, centred and creative. Vata imbalance can trigger anxiety, and loneliness, along with back and nerve pain and constipation. This can have significant affects upon sexual functioning, especially when exacerbated by stress.

How do we balance vata?

Vata men benefit from strengthening and nourishing adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and herbal teas containing licorice. It’s important for vata men to keep their energy levels maintained and to eat regularly, little and often. Balancing exercises such as yoga and meditation are excellent for vata types at keeping them physically as well as mentally strong.

Pukka teas, lattes and supplements for vata types to try:

  • Wholistic™ Ashwagandha helps nourish the mind and relax the nervous system. It supports the body in coping with the increasing everyday demands of modern life.

  • Night Time capsules contain calming herbs which help to settle and ground a busy mind. A herbal formula for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Pitta

A balanced pitta man will be charismatic, determined and passionate. When out of balance they can feel and behave stressed, angry, competitive and will strive to take control of every situation. This can manifest in conditions associated with heat and inflammation such as high blood pressure, prostate inflammation and sore, painful joints.

How do we balance pitta?

Pitta types like to push themselves to the limit, so need to be aware of not overdoing it both physically and mentally. Exercises that allow them to expel some of their excess heat are ideal, so short, intense bursts of activity work well for them. Strong pitta types will benefit from cooling herbs that will help relieve stress on the liver and reduce circulating heat in the blood. Herbs that are characteristically anti-inflammatory such as aloe vera and chlorella are ideal alongside herbal teas containing cooling refreshing herbs such as mint and fennel.

Pukka teas, lattes and supplements for pitta types to try:

  • Enjoy Cacao Maca Magic which contains three very nourishing adaptogenic herbs; maca, ashwagandha and shatavari which help us adapt to the pressure of everyday life.

Kapha

Kapha men are characterised by endurance, stamina and strength. When they become out of balance, they can become lazy, stubborn and resistant to change.

How do we balance kapha?

Kapha is dominated by the earth and water elements which can manifest as male health issues characterised by congestion and a slow metabolism such as blood sugar imbalances, high cholesterol or generalised inflammation. Kapha types need to remember to keep themselves active to prevent congestive build-ups. Exercises that are focussed more on endurance rather than speed are ideal, such as long-distance walking or swimming. Herbs that support a healthy metabolism but that are also stimulating can be of great benefit, such as turmeric or ginseng. Teas with mild stimulant actions such as green tea can also help fire a kapha into action.

Pukka teas, lattes and supplements for kapha types to try:

  • Ginseng is excellent for helping kapha types respond to stress, providing both a mental and physical boost.

Don't know your dosha? Take our dosha quiz to find out.