Ayurvedic Support for Endometriosis
Last updated: February 2021
When I first began turning to diet and lifestyle to heal my body, I rolled out a yoga mat and started stretching my body. What I found was that yoga is so much more than the physical postures. I was especially surprise to learn of yoga’s sister science, Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old practice that is focused on not just treating illness, but supporting you in reaching your optimal health. In other words, it’s more than just the absence of disease. True health is about living a vibrant, meaningful, and satisfying life.
Sounds pretty good, huh?
Ayurveda seeks to identify when the body first gets out of balance. Then is can be addressed at a level that is more easily influenced by diet and lifestyle. So, I became curious, what does Ayurveda have to say about endometriosis?
This is by no means a comprehensive list; It’s impossible to summarize a 5,000-year-old practice into one article, nor is it one that was comprehensively recommended from a certified Ayurvedic practitioner. This is simply what I’ve found in my search. It’s me, sharing my experience from one endosister to another.
Getting started with Ayurveda
The basic premise of the Ayurvedic practice is that there are three different body types – vatta, pitta, and kapha. There’s an in-depth way to determine your body type, but there are also countless quizzes you can find online that can give you a general idea.
Once you know your type, you’re able to identify the coordinating foods that according to their practice will work best with your body. They believe consistently eating outside of your body type foods can create dis-ease in the body.
Establishing a daily routine
Routine: morning, noon, and night. It’s what it’s all about to maintain your health.
To start, rise with the sun, drink a glass of warm lemon water, move the body, mediate, eat a breakfast mindfully... all before 8 am.
At noon, enjoy your biggest meal of the day, sit quietly for five minutes after eating, and take a short walk to improve your digestion.
In the evening, minimize all activity including eating, watching TV, and definitely no smart devices and be sure to snuggle in bed before 10 pm.
The Ayurvedic practice leverage herbs as their “pharmacy.” Two of the most common herbs and may be worth inquiring about for managing inflammation in your body are curcumin and ashwagandha.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric – the yellow spice in many Indian dishes. But sprinkling it on your food doesn’t offer a therapeutic dose, that’s where the supplements come into play. Johns Hopkins has actually been doing extensive research on it with cancer patients and getting promising results thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects.1 Although the research is more limited when it comes to curcumin’s effects on endometriosis, this NIH study does look promising.2
Ashwagandha is what seems to be the most universal herb in the Ayurvedic practice. I’ve personally taken it and found it helpful with managing stress, specifically cortisol levels. Knowing that stress management can be incredibly helpful in managing the symptoms of endometriosis, it may be worth consideration.
I find it interesting to explore how different cultures approach health. Personally, I like to explore their practices and then decide which resonates most with me, connect with my healthcare team, and develop an integrative approach.
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):