Ayurveda is a beautiful blend of considering both a person's inner workings (mind, body, and spirit) along with their surroundings (the environment, the seasons, world events). For conception to occur, there must be harmony.
A healthy body, a mind at peace, and favorable timing are all important components when it comes to Ayurveda and fertility. In our previous article, we looked at the four Ayurvedic essential elements associated with fertility:
- The Field
- Healthy and Nutritious Fluids
- The Seed
Preparing the Body and Mind
Conception starts with a healthy body. Namely, the ovum and the uterus. Ayurveda believes healthy reproductive tissues are key to creating a healthy pregnancy and a healthy child.
Known as Shukra tissue, these reproductive tissues can’t be exercised or whipped into shape. Instead, their health begins with the food you eat. The food is then broken down into various products for your body, such as nutritious fluid, bone, muscle. The last is reproductive tissue. That is why Ayurveda considers reproductive tissue to be the most refined and complete.
This chain of metabolic transformations begins with food and ends with reproductive tissues. A woman should consider both the food she eats as well as the health of her other tissues (muscle, bone, fluids) to improve her fertility.
1. Nourish Your Metabolic System with Diverse Foods and Spices
Generally, enjoying a variety of foods is best. This way you can ensure that all tissues are nourished and satisfied. The ayurvedic practice also recommends rotating your menus often, so you are not consuming the same foods day after day.
A diet based on fruits, vegetables, lentils, pulses, and nuts is recommended. These foods contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Additionally, their fiber and protein can provide you with energy and strength.
Spices and herbs that maintain and feed your digestive fire are also important. Maca, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Shilajit, Zinc, Fenugreek, Moringa, and Black Pepper all are known for being fertility friendly. Many of these herbs have characteristics such as hormone balancing, stress-reducing, and immune-boosting. You can reap their benefits by taking them in supplement form or as a tea.
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Dairy proteins
- Whole grains
- Soaked nuts
- Dried fruits
- Mung dhal
- Healthy fats
Foods and Spices for Reproductive Tissue:
- Black Pepper
2. Pay Attention to Your Hormones
Your physical condition is not the only factor that influences healthy reproductive tissue. Hormones and your emotional well-being (particularly stress) both play an important role.
It is understood that hormones are vital to conception. Hormones regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. They dictate when an egg is released, known as ovulation. Instead of focusing just on the hormones responsible for reproduction, progesterone, and estrogen, Ayurveda takes a holistic approach.
The practice considers all your hormones and how they can be better balanced. Additionally, instead of targeting hormone secretion directly, Ayurveda tries to regulate your body's hormone reception and feedback functions with healthy foods and herbs.
Maca, Shatavari, and Moringa are all wonderful hormone balancers. They can help regulate estrogen and progesterone in the body. In powdered form, you can add them to your favorite dishes and beverages. Or, they can be combined into a powerful fertility supplement.
This all-encompassing approach can be much better than just introducing more hormones. It is about balance, teaching your body to coordinate its functions, and providing your system with a chance to level out.
3. Manage Your Stress with Mental Practices
Hormones and emotions are linked. Stress specifically can cause certain hormone levels to increase or decrease. While infertility is linked to higher stress levels, researchers are unsure if stress is directly tied to decreased fertility.
However, because stress can affect a woman’s hormonal balance and her metabolic function it is important to try and reduce stress and anxiety. Ayurveda doesn’t consider stress in general to be a bad thing. It can challenge your body and help you learn to adapt. But if left unchecked it can have negative effects.
How can you improve your emotional well-being and lower stress?
Mind-body connection. Meditation, self-reflection, and a focus on internal balance and stillness are important practices. Repeating positive mantras, maintaining positive energy, and practicing yoga are also beneficial practices.
Ayurveda believes that health, and subsequently fertility, depend on a balance of mind, body, and spirit. Understanding that these things must work in harmony for better fertility is important.
4. Adopt a Routine
Daily routines are also great at reducing stress. Stress can often throw off our routines, maintaining them though helps us stress-less.
Ayurvedic daily routines include waking up early, inner and outer cleansing, light physical movement, massage, meditation, breathing exercises, and a nourishing breakfast. You can tailor your routine to suit your needs and schedule. Though trying to incorporate a piece of each part of the ayurvedic daily routine is best.
5. Add Adaptogens to Your Diet
Adaptogenic herbs are wonderful tools for reducing stress and as a result, boosting fertility. Two such herbs are ashwagandha and Shatavari.
Ashwagandha is known for its calming properties. It can help reduce anxiety, promote sleep, and boost fertility. Its ability to increase blood flow and assist in regulating menstrual cycles are wonderful characteristics for those trying to conceive.
In addition to consuming ashwagandha, you can also use ashwagandha oil for massage. The oil may help strengthen your reproductive tissues, excellent for both conception and pregnancy.
Shatavari is another adaptogenic herb. It may help to reduce stress while boosting your immune system and promoting fertility. It is believed to nourish and strengthen the uterus. It has also been used to regulate menstrual cycles. The fact that it is an aphrodisiac doesn’t hurt either!
When thoughtful combinations of herbs are used, like those found in fertility supplements, your fertility, mental clarity, and physical health all may flourish.
A Holistic Approach
Ayurveda takes into consideration your entire being when it comes to fertility. From the foods, you eat to your body functions, from your emotional health to your mind-body connection. Fertility starts with a healthy foundation, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
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Posted by Shruti Mishra
Shruti is the founder of Freshly Moms. She is a professional plant based chef from Natural Gourmet Institute, NY and a certified IIN health coach. She has been working with Ayurveda, food & nutrition since over 10 years and is also a fresh mom herself.