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Hormones (Part 3)

August 27, 2012

Finally, we have the testes and ovaries. Both have a known relationship to our immunological function, supporting Ayurvedic understanding that the seventh Dhatu, (tissue level) is the source of Ojas, or immunity. Abuse weakens the immune system: not only overindulgence in intercourse but sex without love and unnatural uses of the sex organs.

yoni and lingam, the female and male sexual representations, or the female and male creative energy

The functions of the group of hormones, known as oestrogen, are activated by the follicle-stimulating hormone, (FSH), which is released from the pituitary gland. When FSH comes to the ovaries, oestrogen production increases and an egg ripens and becomes ready to be released. The increase in oestrogen prompts the uterine lining, (endometrium), to thicken so as to receive the fertilized egg. The thickening of the uterus lining in turn activates the production of another hormone in the pituitary, the luteinizing hormone, (LH). LH triggers the release of the now-ready egg, (ovulation), and the production of the second main hormone, progesterone. The function of progesterone is to further prepare the uterine lining to receive the fertilized egg. If no egg is fertilized and implanted, the production of progesterone declines and the thickened uterine lining is shed in menstruation.

In addition to the main endocrine glands, there are other organs which produce hormones important to bodily functions. The effect of taking estrogenic medications – birth control pills, ERT or HRT – on the prostaglandins is not completely known and should be questioned carefully.

In Ayurveda these come under Root Chakra and Sex Centre and are responsible for desires, sex and procreation. It should be stressed that, while modern science has made huge progress in understanding the individual functions of the endocrine glands and hormonal secretions, much less progress has been made toward an understanding of the complex interrelationships between these glands. In fact, the overall functioning of the body is so dependent on these hormones that even a vitamin or mineral deficiency can play havoc with the body, because an endocrine gland may be affected by this deficiency.

Problems with respect to the thyroids are a clear example. In this aspect, Ayurveda can provide us a much better overview of the total functioning of the endocrine system. This is not to discount the biochemical understanding of allopathic medicine, but rather to provide a broader context in which to use the biochemical information. Used in conjunction with an overview, such information can improve your health. But if used within the confines of a purely mechanical model, this information can produce huge imbalances and dependencies in the body.

It should also be pointed out that the hormone group of oestrogen and progesterone do not exist in a natural state outside of the human body, either in animals or in plants. The advantage with plants is that many herbs provide a simple steroid base that is the base of all hormones in humans and animals. The use of “hormone-promoting” herbs provides just that – support for hormone production. The disadvantage is that, in some cases, these compounds may not be strong enough to make a direct change in a seriously imbalanced system. The advantage is that they are not strong and invasive. They work to support the body’s natural functions and so aid the body to balance itself. This brings a better stage of health, in the opinion of Ayurveda, because no outside person or agency can know which of the many hundreds of hormones to produce.

In most traditional cultures menopause happens relatively effortlessly for the majority of women. Only a small percentage experience difficulties. Even today, as many as half of all women, have little problem with declining hormone production. On the contrary, many women are elated and happy about the change. These facts and attitudes, however, do not create an industry, and are therefore ignored. You must take charge of your own health and try to live a healthy life.

We must not forget that to be healthy and happy is our basic right provided by nature.


Dr Ram Garg | BAMS, MD (Kurukshetra University) India

Ayurvedic physician | Practice no-0218804 | 011 781 5420 |  0727162473

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