In the past few years, there has been a dramatic rise in the female related illness which were rarely seen earlier. In one of the surveys, 30% of the young modern women are suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome. 25% women population is suffering from ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. Ovarian cysts are fluid filled sacs inside the ovary that are common among women during their reproductive years. It is a cause of worry as it is commonly found in reproductive age; it is thought to be one of the leading causes of female infertility.
Organs involoved in Ovarian cysts are:
- (i) Ovary– It is the female reproductive organ present at either sides of the uterus.
- (ii) Adrenal glands— These glands are placed above the kidneys.
- (iii) Pancreas— It is a gland which produces insulin in the body.
- (iv) Pituitary Gland— It is a gland present just below the brain which is responsible for the hormonal control.
In ovarian cyst, there is an increased production of androgen hormone by the ovaries which suppress the maturation of ovarian follicles. So, an ovum does not form properly and released (anovulation). Typically, the ovaries are enlarged 2-5 times the normal size. Stroma is also increased. The capsule is thickened and is pearly white in color. Ovary which is normally oval in shape has many cysts within it.
Histologically, there is a thickening of tunica albugenia. The cysts are follicles at varying stages of maturation.
What are the causes of Ovarian cysts?
- Biggest contributor of ovarian cysts is poor diet.
- Young women who tend to eat too much sugar or carbonated drinks, highly refined carbohydrates cause unhealthy raise in insulin levels.
- Obesity will aggravate ovarian cysts.
- Stress- Stressful women tend to eat more food that are high in fat, sugar and carbohydrate in response to stress.
What are the symptoms of Ovarian Cysts?
- Menstrual disturbance
- Elevated levels of male hormones (androgens) such as– alopecia, hirustism etc.
- Absence of menstruation or abnormally high and irregular bleeding
- Abnormal hair growth on different parts of the body.
- Due to insulin resistance, a dark coloured band like skin lesion may developed at the back of neck, on inner thighs etc.
Ovarian Cysts according to Ayurveda
Ayurvedic treatment involves applying approach towards correcting the hormonal imbalance, treatment of obesity and avoiding high cholesterol levels and treatment of insulin resistance. In Ayurveda, this disease is not classified as a single disease entity, but it can be considered under the heading of Yoni Vyapat(utero-vaginal disorders). In Ayurveda, the balance state of doshas is mainly responsible for health and any derangement will lead to the formation of a disease. As per Ayurveda, when the deranged Vata etc. vitiates the mamsa, shonita and meda mixed up with Kapha, thus they produce raised, knotted and circular inflammatory swelling called “Granthi”. This type of glandular swelling has been compared with the modern terminology called “cyst” which means an abnormal closed epithelium- lined cavity in the body containing liquid or semi-solid material.
Ayurvedic treatment includes correcting “Ama” dosha, achieving koshta shuddhi and thus regularising tridoshas. Treatment basically includes treating agnimandhya at jatharagni level by prescribing carminatives, alleviating sroto avarodha by purificatory therapies based upon the grade of doshic vitiation followed with radical scavanging agents(in ayurveda known as rasayanic drugs) and regularisation of apana vata alongwith changes in diet and lifestyle. Single herbs which are useful in ovarian cysts are-
- Turmeric(Curcuma longa)
- Varuna(Crataeva nurvala)
- Hareetaki(Terminalia chebula)
- Pippali(Piper longum)
- Guduchi(Tinospora cordifolia)
- Punarnava(Boerrhavia diffusa)
- chitrak(Plumbago zeylanica)
- Triphala powder(Mixture of Harad, Baheda and Amla)– 2 gm must be taken with luke warm water after meals. Triphala powder is considered to be having the property of sroto shodhan(cleansing of micro channels) and also removes sroto-avrodha(obstructions in the micro-channels).
Taking Turmeric(Curcuma longa) with plain water is highly beneficial as it has the capability of dissolving cyst formed inside the ovary.
Vitamin C– Vitamin C is a natural anti-oxidant and it is an excellent source for increasing immunity. It has the ability to destroy any abnormal cells like– cysts developing or developed in the body. Amla(Indian gooseberry) is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Include Amla in your diet.
Aloe vera— Drinking Aloe vera juice empty stomach in the morning helps to provide relief in ovarian cysts.
Beetroot— Beetroot contains a compound known as betacyanin that helps in boosting liver’s ability to clear the toxins out of the system. Mix one-half cup of freshly extracted beetroot juice and drink it daily before breakfast.
Apple cider vinegar— It helps in shrinking and dissolving the ovarian cysts caused by potassium deficiency.
Ginger Juice— Ginger is a strong anti-inflammatory herb that reduces inflammation and relieves pain. Take 2 inch piece of freshly sliced ginger or ginger tea is also recommended.
Flaxseed— Flaxseed helps to balance the proportion of estrogen to progesterone levels in the body. This will help to reduce the formation of cysts. Mix 1 tablespoon of flaxseed in a glass of warm water. Drink it daily on an empty stomach.
Almonds— Almond is a magnesium rich food that helps in reducing painful cramps and discomfort. Eat some night soaked almonds daily in the morning.
Increase fluid intake— The best option is water. Try to drink water at regular intervals. Water flushes out toxins from the system.
Ovarian cysts should be taken care in the beginning itself. But, in majority of the cases, it is diagnosed only in later period or else it is neglected as a minor health complaint or simple menstrual irregularity. Early detection and immediate attention will help to curb the disease as well as to avoid the complications like– infertility.
Diet— Patient must include green leafy vegetables in diet. She must strongly avoid junk food from her diet. All the carbonated drinks, chocolates, sedentary lifestyle, waking late in the night and getting late in the morning must be avoided. Morning walk regularly must be included in lifestyle.
Various Ayurvedic medicines for ovarian cysts include– Kanchnaar Guggul, Chandraprabha vati etc. which must be taken under the supervision of qualified Ayurvedic physician.