The maternal instincts of a woman arise almost entirely from the female hormones within her body. These hormones are produced in a pair of almond-shaped organs, known as the ovaries. They are situated deep within the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus or womb.
The two major female hormones are estrogen and progesterone. These hormones give the woman strength and the stamina and are largely responsible for the peculiarly feminine shape of her body. The ovaries start producing large quantities of estrogen, the dominant female hormone when a girl reaches about 12 years of age. This enables her to grow rapidly and develop into a normal young woman. The commencement of menstruation at this time heralds the reproductive phase of her life, when she can have children. This phase may last for about 35 years.
The menstrual flow is connected with the female function of ovulation or the passing of the egg cell or ovum from the ovary to the womb ready for fertilisation. It is a provision of nature to cleanse the inner surface of the womb and enable reproduction to take place normally. The flow normally lasts for about four days and has a rhythm of some 28 days.
The main problems relating to menstrual flow are premenstrual tension, painful menstruation, stoppage of menstruation and excessive menstruation. These disorders are quite common, but they are not normal. Healthy women, living according to natural laws and eating a diet of natural food do not suffer from the monthly ordeal. Most menstrual disorders are caused by nutritional deficiencies which lead to deficiency and improper metabolism of the female sex hormones. These disorders are discussed briefly in the following lines : Pre-menstrual tension and menstrual cramps
Just before menstruation, some women become nervous and irritable. They suffer from depression, headaches, fullness in the breasts, insomnia and swelling in the lower extremities. Studies have shown that starting from 10 days prior to menstruation, when the ovaries are the least active, the blood calcium drops steadily and progressively. As the decreased blood calcium induces stress, the production of cortisone and aldosterone are stimulated and salt and water are retained in the body. This results in the symptoms of the pre-menstrual tension.
The blood calcium drops still further on the first day of menstruation, causing muscular cramps in the uterus and sometimes elsewhere in the body. Convulsions may occur if the blood calcium drops dangerously low. Both pre-menstrual tension and menstrual cramps can be prevented if adequate calcium is obtained and efficiently absorbed. Since more calcium is retained when magnesium and vitamin D are adequate, it is essential to take sufficient amounts of vitamin D, calcium and magnesium daily prior to and during menstruation in case of pre-menstrual tension.
Painful menstruation or dysmenorrhoea, as it is called in medical parlance, is a very common occurrence these days. This disorder is traceable to a debilitated and toxic condition of the system in general and of the sex organs in particular due to wrong feeding, wrong style of living and nervous exhaustion. The pain may be felt either two or three days before or immediately before or during the flow.
Pain starting two or three days before the flow ususally shows that the ovaries are not functioning properly. This is a glandular malfunction and a carefully planned natural diet will usually put matter right. For local treatment, hot hip baths on alternate nights for a week before the period is due will be highly beneficial. Between period,the cold hip baths will increase the tone of the ovaries.
Pain immediately before the flow commences is indicative of uterine flexion, which means that the position of the womb is abnormal. A professional examination should be arranged to ascertain the position of the womb and corrective exercises undertaken under professional advice. Uterine flexion often occurs in women who are so thin that they have lost internal fat and the ligament, on which the womb is suspended. General treatment along the dietetic lines is essential along with corrective exercises.
When the pain occurs during menstruation, it usually means that the womb itself is inflamed. This condition can be relieved by proper attention to diet and hot sip baths just before the period is due and cold hip baths between the periods. The hot sip bath is generally taken for eight to ten minutes at a water temperature of 100 o F which can be gradually increased to 120 o F. The cold hip bath should be taken for 10 to 15 minutes at a water temperature of 50 o to 65 o F.
Menorrhagia or excessive menstruation :
Profuse menstrual flow is common in certain women and usually denotes a blood deficiency, especially blood calcium. A variety of causes may be responsible for this trouble, but a toxic condition of the system is at the root of the matter. It is essential to keep the patient absolutely quiet and confined to bed. The bottom of the bed should be raised four to five inches. In case of excessive bleeding,a gauze may be inserted in the vagina as a temporary measure.
For the first few days the diet should consist only of milk and raw vegetables. NO stimulants should be taken as they tend to increase the flow. When the bleeding has stopped, great care should be taken to avoid over- exercising or straining the body in any manner. A full natural diet should then be adopted using fresh raw vegetable salads twice daily. As a long term measure, what is needed is a scheme of treatment which will thoroughly cleanse the system of toxic material.
The various disorders relating to menstrual flow are indicative of the low level of a woman’s health and a toxic condition of her sex organism, which has been brought about by the wrong living habits, especially wrong food habits. These disorders are made more deep seated and chronic by the modern medical efforts to deal with them through the suppressive agency of surgery and drugs. The disorders being systemic in origin, can be tackled only by treating the system as a whole so as to remove the toxocity from the body and build up the general health-level of the sufferer.
To undertake such a scheme of all-round health- building treatment, the sufferer from menstrual disorders should begin with an all-fruit diet for about five days. In this regimen, the patient should have three meals a day of fresh,juicy fruits,such as apples,pears, grapes , grapefruits, oranges, pineapples, peaches and melons. NO other foodstuff should be taken, otherwise the value of the whole treatment will be lost. However, if there is much weight loss on the all-fruit diet, those already underweight may add a glass of milk to each fruit meal. During this period the bowels should be cleansed daily with a warm water enema.
After the all-fruit diet, the sufferer should adopt a well-balanced diet consisting of three basic food groups, namely, seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits as outlined in Chapter 1 on Diet in Health and Disease.
Further short periods on the all-fruit diet for two or three consecutive days can be undertaken at monthly intervals, according to the needs of the case. The morning dry friction and cold hip baths should form a regular feature of the treatment. All cold baths should, however, be suspended during the menstrual period.
The diet factor is of the utmost importance. Fruits and salads, nature’s body-cleansing and health-restoring foods, must form the bulk of the future diet along with whole grains, nuts and seeds, especially in sprouted form. The diet should contain an adequate , but not excessive, amount of high quality protein, preferably from raw, unpasturised milk, sour milk and home-made cottage cheese. The emphasis should also be on iron-rich foods such as apricots, milk, eggs and nuts. Raw juices such as spinach juice, red beet juice and grape juice are also beneficial in the treatment of menstrual disorders. Vitamin B12 has been found helpful in restoring normal menstrual cycle and the patient should take upto 50 mg. of this vitamin daily.
The patient should take frequent small meals instead of few large ones to prevent low blood sugar, which is common during menstruation. The foods which should be avoided in future are white flour products, sugar, confectionery, rich cakes, pastries, sweets, refined cereals, flesh foods, rich, heavy or greasy foods, tinned or preserved foods, strong tea, coffee, pickles, condiments and sauces. Smoking, if habitual , should be given up completely as it aggravates menstrual disorders.
The utmost care of the body, combined with scrupulous cleanliness, is essential to the success of the treatment. Fresh air, outdoor exercise and deep breathing are also important and should be practised daily.
A significant event occurs around the mid or late forties in women. It is called a change of life or menopause, to give it a proper medical term and is a perfectly normal event. It signifies the end of the female reproductive period of life, which commenced during a woman’s early teens. IN physical terms, it refers to the cessations of the monthly periods.
There are several misconceptions about menopause. Many women at this time feel that they are growing old and that they are well past their full physical vigour. Other woman feel that the menopause bring a cessation of sexual pleasure. These apprehensions are far from the truth. Menopause may be considered an end to woman’s fertility, but certainly not to her virility. It does not decrease a woman’s physical capacity and sexual vigour or enjoyment.
During the menopause, the entire chain of endocrine glands is disturbed, particularly the gonads, the thyroid and the pituitary glands. IN a really healthy woman, the menopausal change takes place without any unpleasant symptoms. In such a woman, the only sign of the change of life is the cessation of the menstrual flow. There are, however, many women who do not enjoy good health due to dietetic errors and a faulty style of living. In these cases, the menopausal change often leads to all kinds of distressing physical, emotional and nervous systems and manifestations.
Hot flushes, night sweats, nervous tension, menstrual disturbances, insomnia, a diminished interest in sex, irritability and depression are the typical symptoms of menopause. Other symptoms are a feeling of fatigue, palpitations, dizziness, headaches and numbness. Not every woman, will get these severe reactions. The severity or otherwise of the symptoms depends on a variety of factors such as general health, previous surgery and radiation. The problems of menopause are usually over when menstruation stops.
The annoying symptoms associated with menopause arise from the fact that the ovaries are no longer producing their normal amount of estrogen, the dominant female hormone. Anything which interferes with the normal functioning of the ovaries may also bring about these symptoms. The same strange feelings may occur if the ovaries are removed by surgery because of a disease. This can also result from heavy X-ray therapy or the use of radiation.
A lack of normal hormone balance may also result in a severe backache. This is caused by the thinning of the bones because of the low level of estrogen in the blood stream. Unless properly treated, this may eventually lead to a collapse of one or more of the vertebrae.
Although menopause cannot be avoided, it can be postponed for as long as 10 to 15 years and it can be made a smooth affair when it arrives, with a proper nutritional programme, special supplements and the right mental attitude.
When a woman is affected by the menopausal change to any marked extent, it is a sure sign that her body is in a toxic condition and in need of a thorough cleansing. For this purpose,she should undergo a course of natural health-building treatment.
Diet is of utmost importance in such a scheme of treatment. In fact, the problems of menopause are often much more severe than those of puberty, largely because the diet has been deficient for years prior to its onset in many nutrients such as protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamins D, E and pantothenic acid.
The diet should be made up of three basic food groups, namely, seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. The emphasis should be on vitamin E-rich, raw and sprouted seeds and nuts, unpasteurised, high quality milk and home-made cottage cheese and an abundance of raw, organically - grown fruits and vegetables. Plenty of freshly made juices of fruits and vegetables in season should also be included in the diet.
All processed, refined and denatured foods, such as white sugar, white flour and all articles made with them, should be completely eliminated. Special supplements such as vitamin C, B6 and panthothenic acid should be taken. They have a specific property of stimulating the body’s own production of estrogen or enhancing the effect of existing astrogen.
During menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones can result in a severe calcium deficiency. For this reason, a larger than usual intake of calcium may help a lot. Vitamins D and F are also essential for assimilation of calcium. Any woman having difficulty at this time should supplement her daily diet with 1,000 Ius of natural vitamin D, 500 milligrams of magnesium and obtain daily two grams of calcium which can be supplied by one quart of milk.
During menopause, the need for vitamin E soars 10 to 50 times over that previously required. Hot flushes and night sweats often disappear when 50 to 100 Ius of vitamin E are taken daily. The symptoms recur quickly if this vitamin is discontinued.
Of late, it has become popular to take estrogen to prevent or postpone the menopausal symptoms. Although hormone therapy is apparently successful and will, in many cases, help the patient to feel and act younger, it cannot be recommended in all cases because of its carcinogenic (cancerous) effect. If, however, estrogen therapy is undertaken, it should never be administered at the same time as vitamin E therapy. Ingestion of estrogen and vitamin E should be seperated by several hours.
Plenty of outdoor exercise, such as walking, jogging, swimming, horse-riding or cycling, is imperative to postpone menopause. Other helpful measure in this direction are avoiding mental and emotional stresses and worries,. especially the worry about getting old, sufficient sleep and relaxation and following all the rules of good health. The healthier a woman is, the fewer menopausal symptoms she will experience.
Menopause can be made a pleasant affair by building one’s physical health and adopting an optimistic attitude. From puberty to menopause, a woman has been somewhat of a slave to her female glands. She was inconvenienced by her periods. She bore children, enduring the pain and discomfort of pregnancy. Menopause relieves her of this bondage to her feminity. It is only now that she will begin to experience some of the most carefree days of her life. A whole new life is give to her, if she is wise enough to prepare for it and accept it as such. Leucorrhoea
Leucorrhoea, commonly known as whites, refers to a whitish discharge from the female genitals. It is an abnormal condition of the reproductive organs of women. If not
treated properly in the initial stages, it may become chronic.
Recent investigations have shown that secretions from the uterus and the upper part of the vagina flow down and are reabsorbed in the lower part of the vagina. This is the normal constant flow within the female organs. The whitish discharge is, however, caused by the presence of infection in any of these tissues and a variety of other factors. The condition may continue for weeks or months at a time.
In addition to the whitish discharge from the vagina, the patient feels weak and tired. She also suffers from pain in the lumbar region and the calves and a dragging sensation in the abdomen. Other symptoms are constipation, frequent head-aches and intense itching. In the chronic form, the patient feels irritable and develops black patches under the eyes.
Leucorrhoea does not develop suddenly in an acute form. It denotes a devitalised and toxic condition of the system generally. The condition also involves one or many parts of the reproductive organs. Whenever the body is loaded with toxins due to wrong food habits and the eliminative organs such as skin, bowels, lungs and kidneys are unable to eliminate them, woman’s produces profuse discharge or elimination through the mucous membrane of the uterus and vagina in the form of leucorrohoea. IN the case of advanced, chronic inflammatory conditions of these organs, it leads to discharge with pus, offensive in odour and colour varying from cream to yellow or light green.
In young girls, leucorrhoea may occur during the few years before and after the start of the menstrual flow. It may be due to an irritation of the genital organs caused by various factors such as dirt, soiled undergarments, intestinal worms and excessive mental stimulation of sex or masturbation. Some excess secretion is normal when the girl reaches puberty, due to the overactivity of her sex glands and organs. This usually disappears within a short time.
In young women, leucorrhoea may occur during inter-menstrual periods, due to a thickening of the mucous membrane in the reproductive organs. Such discharge is associated with painful menstruation and other menstrual disorders.
In mature women, a profuse yellowish discharge, associated with burning on urination, may be caused by gonorrhoea. This is a serious infection which should be treated promptly. During the child-bearing years, from adolescence to mid-forties, the infection may sometimes follow the birth of a child due to damage of the cervix during delivery. This is increased by prolonged ill-health, anxiety, neurosis, sedentary occupation and standing for long period. If not treated properly, this infection may continue for months or even years and may spread to other areas of the genital tract.
Leucorrhoe may also result from a chill. A chill causes inflammation of the womb and vaginal membranes. Other common causes are the displacement of the womb and unhygenic conditions which attract the bacteria to the genital organs.
A total health-building scheme is essential for the removal of the systemic toxicity which is primarily responsible for the disease. Such a scheme should consist of correct feeding habits, proper sleep, exercise, fresh air and sunshine.
To begin with ,the patient should fast for three or four days with lemon water or fruit juices for the elimination of the morbid matter from the body. During this period, the bowels should be cleansed daily with a warm water enema. In case of habitual constipation, steps should be taken for its eradication.
After a short fast, the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for about a week. In this regimen, she should have three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruits, oranges, pineapples and peaches. If the patient is suffering from anaemia, or is very much underweight, the diet may consist of fruits and milk. The patient may then gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet on the following lines :
Upon rising : A glass of lemon or orange juice in lukewarm water.
Breakfast : Fresh acid-bearing fruits such as apples, oranges, pears, all berries or fruit juice and milk.
Lunch : Steamed vegetables, whole wheat chappatis and butter-milk.
Dinner : Vegetable soup, a large salad of all available vegetables in season and dates, figs and raisins. Fresh fruits or fruit juices only should be taken between meals. All forms of white flour, white sugar, fried and greasy foods, condiments, preserves, tea and coffee should be avoided.
Treatment through water is extremely beneficial in curing leucorrhoea. A cold hip bath twice a day for 10 minutes will help relieve congestion in the pelvic region and facilitate quick elimination of morbid matter. A warm vaginal douche at 30 o to 40 C is beneficial for general cleaning and elimination of the putrid discharge. The procedure is to fill the douche can with three pints of warm water and hang it at a level of three feet above the body. The patient should lie with the hips slightly raised above the body and special nozzle applied for this purpose should be oiled and inserted slowly into the vagina. The flow can be regulated by the small valve at the nozzle. IN severe cases of leucorrhoea, the douche should be taken daily.
The patient should completely relax and should avoid mental tension and worry. Abdominal exercise and walking are also helpful. Sterility
Sterility in case of the female refers to the incapacity to conceive and give birth to a living baby. It ranks high as a reason for unhappy marriages. Sterility or failure to reproduce must be distinguished from fridigity which denotes failure to perform the sex act or to perform it imperfectly.
It may be relevant to first examine the mechanism of conception. The sperms of the male are injected into the vagina during sexual intercourse. At the very same time al alkaline fluid is secreted from the vaginal walls. The mobile sperms are able to move up the womb and through thefallopian tubes to fertilise the ova or the female egg only when this fluid is present.
Two factors are important in ensuring a normal secretion of this fluid. Firstly, there should be an adequate nerve supply to the vaginal ducts. This is the reason why a very nervous woman fails to conceive. The nervous system in such cases must be strengthened by rest, relaxation and proper diet. The second important factor is to ensure that the fluid flowing from the vaginal walls is alkaline. If this is not so, the sperms are destroyed by the womb. To ensure the necessary alkalinity of the fluid, it is essential to take a predominantly alkaline diet, with a liberal intake of raw vegetables and fruits, and eliminate acid-forming foods. Causes
Sterility among the female may be due to physical defects, physical debility and functional faults. Physical defects or structural abnormalities ofthe genital and reproductive organs may be congenital or accidental. These structural abnormalities may result from a malformation or the sagging of the womb, collapse of the fallopian tubes and rigidity of the hymen.
Sterility due to physical debility may result from poor health as a consequence of certain acute or chronic diseases. The diseases may affect not only the physical body but also the genital organs. Complaints like gonorrhoea, syphillis and inflammation of the fallopian tubes also come under this category. Chronic anaemia, constipation and leucorrhoea may aggravate these conditions.
Sterility may also be caused by a loss of essential glands or organs of reproduction or a decrease in their functions. These conditions may be brought about by a variety of factors such as surgical injuries, tumour, excessive radiation and lack of normal menstrual cycle. Obesity or emaciation due either to dietetic errors or faulty metabolism are yet other factors which may contribute to female sterility.
Psychological factors like emotional stress, tension, mental depression , anxiety and fear may also result in psychosomatic sterility. This condition is generally temporary and can be corrected by psychotherapy. Dietary Treatment
Structural defects can be ascertained by thorough physical examination and radiology and can be set right by surgery. Physical debility and the functional faults of organic nature can be cured by simple and effective methods of natural treatment. These methods include hygienic living, optimum nutrition and following all the laws of nature.
Fasting is the best remedy for the treatment of disorders resulting from the toxins in the system. A short fast or two or three days may be undertaken at regular intervals by the women who are unable to bear children. The bowels should be cleansed by a warm water enema during the period of fasting and afterwards when necessary. They will have beneficial effect not only on the digestive system but also on the surrounding organs of urinary and genital system.
Diet is the most important factor in the treatment of sterility. It should consist of the three basic health - building food groups namely, seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. These foods should be supplemented with milk, vegetable oils and honey. The best way to take milk is in its soured form, that is ,curd and cottage cheese. Each food group should roughly form the bulk of one of the three meals. About 70 to 80 per cent of the diet should consist of foods in their natural uncooked state, because cooking destroys much of the nutritional value of most foods. Sprouting is an excellent way of consuming seeds, beans and grains in their raw form as in the process of sprouting the nutritional value is multiplied, new vitamins are created and the quality of protein is improved.
The daily menu of a health-building and revitalising diet may be on the lines prescribed in Chapter 1 on Diet in Health and Disease. Excessive fat, spicy foods, strong tea, coffee, white sugar, white flour, refined cereals, flesh foods, greasy or fried foods should all be avoided. Smoking and drinking,where habitual, must be completely given up.
Other helpful measures in overcoming female sterility are mud packs and cold water treatments like hip bath and wet girdle pack. These treatments will greatly improve internal circulation in the genital organs and will relieve them of all kinds of inflammation and other abnormalities. Mud packs may be applied to the abdomen and the sexual organs. For hip baths, a common tub may be used. The tub may be filled with sufficient water to cover the hips, when a person sits inside it. The cold hip bath should be taken for 10 minutes at a water temperature of 50 o to 65 o F. For the wet girdle pack, a thin underwear wrung in cold water should be worn. Above this wet underwear, a thick dry cotton or woolen underwear should be worn. All cold treatments should be suspended during menstruation.
Certain yogasanas which help tone up the gonads should also be practised regularly for overcoming female sterility. These asanas are sarvangasana, matsyasana, ardha- matsyendrasana,paschimottanasana and shallabhasana. All these measures along with clean habits, proper rest and relaxation will go a long way in overcoming female sterillity.