Ayurvedic view of menstrual cycle

By Jen Dexter (Ayurveda Counselor Student)

The Ayurvedic view of the menstrual cycle is far more holistic and encompassing, and also personal/individualized than the conventional view.

For example. Ayurveda recognizes the correlation and connections of the lunar cycle with the female menstrual cycle. The lunar cycle is 28 days, as is (roughly) a woman’s internal cycle.

The moon affects our estrogen levels energetically, and it is recommended to sync our menstruation with the full moon. The full moon is the time of letting go of the old energies, just as menstruation is a time of shedding not only the uterine lining but also our emotions and energies that are ready to be released. The moon balances our feminine energy, and being in harmony with her cycles creates inner balance in our lives.

Ayurveda also considers the unique dosha of women, and how each of the doshas affects the menstrual cycles differently. A vata, pitta, and kapha woman will each have a different type of period, with other pms states, and therefore need different ahara and herbs to support their cycles. For example, a vata woman may just have light bleeding for around 3 days, irregular periods, and experience back pain, aches, cramping, dry skin, constipation, and dehydration. She may feel light-headed, anxious, and flighty.

Whereas a pitta woman may have excessive bleeding for 7 days or more, and experience a lot of heat, sharp cramps, headaches, and diarrhea. She may be prone to anger, irritation, and impatience. And a kapha woman may bleed for around 5 days, have a slow metabolism, experience skin breakouts, and have heaviness in her breasts. She may feel sentimental, sad, and clingy, and want to sleep and/or cry a lot.

Knowing what type of menstrual cycle a woman has can determine the support she needs for pms and during her moon cycle.
Ayurveda also characterizes the menstrual cycle (for all women) into vata, pitta, and kapha time periods. The first 15 days after a woman’s last period is the kapha phase, or build-up phase, where the uterine lining is re-forming and building up.
The Pitta phase is day 14/15 – day 28, where the elements of fire and water are more dominant, and progesterone is high. The vata phase is where apana-vayu is strong, causing the uterine lining to break down and shed, resulting in bleeding (excretion of menstrual blood).

Ayurveda considers women’s emotional and mental (and physical) health much greater than conventional views. During menstruation, it is advised from an Ayurvedic perspective to slow down, to avoid heavy physical activity, to rest, self-care, and retreat inwards. To love, honor and respect this sacred time.

Some Herbs that support Menstrual Imbalances.

Vata – Shatavari
Pitta – Rose, shatavari, Ashoka, pomegranate
Kapha – Ashoka, ashwagandha, kumari


Pacifies doshas: Pitta, Kapha
Aggravates: Vata
Imbalance: Heavy Uterine Bleeding, PCOS, Uterine tonic
Supports fertility, lactation, helps sleep, calms mind, balances hormones, good nerve tonic, nourishing, good nerve tonic.
Pacifies : vata and pitta
Aggravates: kapha (can do)


Supports amenorrhea, leucorrhoea, acts as an anti-inflammatory, supports bladder and UTI’s, and conjunctivitis. Helps liver and kidneys
Pacifies: kapha and vata and pitta
Musta (‘nut grass’)
Supports breast milk purification, lactation, post -partum. Also gastritis, treats ama and diarrhea, IBS.
Pacifies: kapha and pitta
Aggravates: Vata


For female (and male) libido and fertility (vajikara), adaptogen, rasayana, balya,
Pacifies: Tridoshic, though may aggravate pitta in excess.


Regulates menstruation, balya (adds strength), beneficial for rasa and rakta dhatus, kindles agni (dipana), pachana (removes ama)
Pacifies: Tridoshic, though may aggravate vata and pitta in excess


Increases milk production in breast-feeding (galactagogue), increases sexual desire (vajikara), helps with painful menstruation and uterine issues, improves estrogen production, reduces ovary cysts, improves blood flow during menstruation, controls blood sugar, weight-reducer
Pacifies: vata and kapha
Aggravates: pitta


Regulates periods, cleansing for uterus and stomach. Helps with indigestion in pregnant women. Enhances digestive enzymes and gut health. Strengthen uterus wall. Helps constipation
Pacifies: vata and kapha
Aggravates: pitta

Divine feminine herb, inner beauty and radiance, balances the heart (sadhaka pitta), enhances connection between sadhaka pitta and prana vayu. Enhances agni, helps all 7 dhatus.
Pacifies: Trodoshic. Esp beneficial for pitta.


Rich in antioxidants, increase blood flow of uterus/promotes healthy uterine lining. Vitamin C, E and folic acid are good for trying to get pregnant/conceive, and for healthy pregnancy.
Sweet pomegranate – natural aphrodisiac. Digestion. Good for heart, intelligence, immunity, strength.
Sweet/sour pomegranate - digestion

Sweet pomegranate – Tridoshic
Sour pomegranate – pacifies vata and kapha, aggravates pitta.