With age, our skeletal system becomes brittle, due to loss of bone density, which can lead to fractures and a compressed spinal column, thereby affecting posture and resulting pain in the back and the spine. This is especially true, with older women.
Ayurveda considers this deficiency disorder to be dominated by the air humour of vata. When this condition worsens, it can even impact other functions and organs in the body, causing some associated symptoms of osteoporosis, such as breathing difficulty, anxiety, nervousness, constipation, forgetfulness, physical and emotional instability, degenerative arthritis, low back pain, loss of height, insomnia, bladder and kidney weakness, frequent urination and dental problems.
According to Ayurveda, bone density can be improved through wholesome nutrition, herbs, healthy activities, and with some good home therapies, without depending on drugs or hormones. In fact, osteoporosis is considered to occur due to the same causes as impairment of vata dosha, which contribute to menopausal disorders in women.
Some of the nourishing herbs recommended by Ayurveda for this condition, and to maintain good hormonal balance in the body are, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Dashamula, Triphala, Safron, Gotu kola, Brahmi, and Amalaki.
Few other common herbs that can boost hormonal system are horsetail, nettles, ginseng, Siberian, hawthorn, berries, dandelion root, motherwort, milk thistle, ginger, sage, raspberry leaves, and valerian.
These herbs can be had either in single, or can be combined and used in the form of tea, wherein one tablespoon of the herb can be boiled in two cups of water. Allow to steep for ten minutes, before straining, and drinking after meals. Add a dab of honey if desired.
Other general ayurvedic formulations recommended are Balarishta, Vadagajankuja Rasa, Vadha vithvamsini Rasa, Yogaraja Guggulu, Vadha Rakshasa, Navagrahi sinduram, Loha soveram, Swarna vadha rakshasa, Bhaskara lavanam, Maharasnathi kwatha churanam, Panjathiktha gugglu kritham, and Brihachakalathyam krutham.
Abhyanga or selfmassage using sesame oil, and Dashamularishta are good for vata pacification. The Ashoka bark which has sodium, silica, phosphate, potassium, iron, magnesium and calcium, is also considered good for improving bone density and uterine disorders in menopausal women. However, these preparations should be taken on consulting an Ayurvedic physician.
Some other measures to be adopted to improve bone density are:
Eat calcium-rich foods such as organic dairy foods, green leafy vegetables and bean, foods high in Vitamin D such as organic dairy foods, and trace minerals manganese (mostly found in oatmeal, pineapples, nuts and cereals) and boron (found in nuts, soya beans, fruits, and honey).
As far as possible, stick to whole foods, rather than supplements and avoid all refined foods, refined sugar, iodised salt, excessive caffeine intake, antibiotics, alcohol, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Some foods that are particularly recommended for improving bone health are: dairy foods, cereals (particularly oatmeal), whole grains, leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels, cabbage, sprouts, beans and urad dhal, black gram, chickpeas, mung, soya, fruits such as pine apples, apples, oranges, and nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, seaweeds, and honey.
Chewing a handful of sesame seeds daily in the morning provides natural calcium.
Practise yoga, meditation, exercise regularly and use vata pacifying essential oils on regular basis.
Tags: bone density