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Ayurveda for Adolescents

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Ayurveda for Adolescents

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Adolescence constitutes one of the most exciting and yet the most tumultuous phases in a girl’s life. Read the article to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Preetha. J

Published At October 24, 2016
Reviewed AtFebruary 17, 2022

Introduction:

Your little baby is now blossoming into a young girl! Ayurveda believes that giving adolescent girls the right care is similar to nurturing a tender bud so that it blossoms into a bright flower! Take special note of how her health is progressing in this transitory phase. Genetic factors, lifestyle, and stress (yes! adolescent girls can get stressed out too) will play a role here.

Adolescence constitutes one of the most exciting and yet the most tumultuous phases in a girl’s life because the little girl goes through a phase of transition and confusion. Her body changes, her attitude towards life and people also change. She yearns for some space and yet wants to be cared off. What can we, as parents or pediatricians, do to make this process easier?

What Should Parents of Adolescent Girls Know?

Medical standards indicate that the adolescent period is from 11 to 17 years. This includes the prepubertal stage that is before the beginning of menstrual cycles and the stage of menarche, which is after menstruation sets in.

Here are a few things that parents of adolescent girls should know.

Medical Examination:

Take your girl child for a medical examination if the following conditions are present.

Abnormalities detected earlier can be easily corrected. Longer the delay, the tougher the treatment.

Hormonal Assay:

Hormones like thyroid, estrogen, FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), and others play a very important role in women’s health. You should take your daughter for the necessary hormonal tests,

  • If your daughter is overweight or underweight.

  • If there is a family history of thyroid abnormality.

  • If she is suffering from increased hair fall and hirsutism (excessive facial hair).

Remember, earlier the detection; easier is the cure!

Exercise:

You should realize that she is not a kid anymore.

  • So, it is important that she works out to look good and to feel good.

  • A fit body improves her self-confidence and gives her the stamina to sail through her hectic schedule, including studies, hobbies, socializing, and much more.

  • There are many options like yoga, dance, games, and gym.

  • The ideal exercise is not the same for all. Give her the right to choose.

  • If your little girl has to persist with her exercise routine, then she should be doing something she loves and not something that she feels like a punishment.

The Right Diet:

  • The right diet should manage her weight, so avoid junk food and unnecessary fat like mayonnaise and deep-fried foods.

  • The diet should nourish her hair and skin - Adolescence does bring in a lot of skin changes. The commonly encountered ones are pimples, pigmentation, etc. Hair that was once thick and bouncy may begin to thin out. So, ensure that she consumes a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. A bowl of fruits and vegetables gives her all the necessary nutrients.

  • Supplementation of essential nutrients - She needs more calcium and iron. Dates, figs, and raisins are excellent natural supplements of calcium and iron. A glass of milk every day helps too.

Ayurveda for Adolescents:

  • Ancient traditions, when followed, will have wonderful effects on your daughter’s health.

  • Research studies in ayurveda have proven the efficacy of these methods. It helps improve her reproductive health too.

1) Sesame Oil and Ghee:

  • They are excellent uterine tonics.

  • One spoon each of sesame oil and ghee when consumed every day will effectively manage menstrual cramps.

  • They improve muscle and joint strength and are good for hair and skin.

  • They are not bad for your health. They contain more high-density lipids, which are also called good cholesterol.

2) Fenugreek:

  • Ayurveda believes that this is a wonder drug in women’s healthcare.

  • Half a teaspoon of dry roasted fenugreek powder should be part of her daily diet.

  • It is a natural hormone balancer.

  • It cures pimples, prevents premature graying of hair, and improves fertility.

3) Oil Bath:

  • This is an ayurvedic home remedy.

  • The latest research in ayurveda and in other forms of holistic medicine has proved beyond doubt the benefits of the oil bath.

  • Practice it once a week.

  • It improves stamina, improves the complexion, tones the muscles, and its anti-aging effects.

Take a Chill Pill:

I am sure women share a lot with each other. She might even tell you that. It helps if you tell her to chill out, too, at times.

Lifestyle:

During the adolescent stage, the child may become upset and slow in a deliberate manner. In addition, practicing exercise, meditation, etc., can even restrain this sort of tendency in children. However, in such cases, as parents or pediatricians, we should help the child to maintain a strong level of physical activity because it is one of the most supportive lifestyle choices that encourage the child. Also, maintaining proper physical activity helps to:

  • Improve blood circulation in the body.

  • Manage the weight better.

  • Decreases anxiety.

  • Balances energy levels.

  • Calms the mind and body.

  • Maintain the proper flow of minerals and nutrients.

  • Increase self-confidence and self-esteem.

  • Helps maintain the detoxification process throughout the body.

  • Provides better sleep.

  • Helps to boost the mood and the brain.

Conclusion:

It is said that adolescent age is the most important stage of life in which various mental and physical changes occur in a child. As a parent or pediatrician, it is crucial to counsel the child at this stage because it is a great task to make them understand that the bodily changes they are undergoing are normal. They may suffer from many psychological problems if they are not educated well about bodily changes such as anxiety, school abstinence, depression, and lack of concentration and confidence. Ayurveda helps us diminish these changes during adolescent age, mental health conditions, and other health problems by various adaptogenic and anti-stress herbs and Panchkarma therapy like Shirodhara and Nasya.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Are Ayurvedic Medications Safe for Children?

Bala Chikitsa is a branch of medicine that deals with the herbal treatment and prevention of diseases in children while they are in the womb. However, the unguided use of the Ayurvedic medications could cause adverse effects. Allergic reactions and heavy metal toxicity are frequently developing complications in children.

2.

How Can Parents Handle Teenage Daughters?

Some tips for parents to deal with teenage daughters are:
- By not taking demanding behavior personally.
- The parents must establish ground rules or boundaries.
- Parents must be compassionate towards their children.
- Communication with children is essential to resolving issues.
- Parents must focus on positivity.

3.

What Should Parents Know About Adolescence?

Adolescence is the period when the child experiences significant changes in their life. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17 undergo tremendous changes in their thinking, emotional, and physical attributes. The parents should be aware of these changes and support their children.

4.

What Do Adolescents Expect From Their Parents?

Adolescents expect a lot of love and support from their parents. The adolescents must believe that they have some autonomy in their life. The children must be able to make their own decisions and take responsibility. The children may also desire guidance from their parents.

5.

What Should One Know About the Adolescence Period?

Adolescence is when the transformation from childhood to adulthood begins. Rapid changes to the body, brain, and individual’s social life occur during this period. Therefore, one must know that it is okay to experience a wide range of emotions and changes during this period.

6.

What Are the Four Areas of Adolescent Development?

Four areas of adolescent development are:
- Physical: It indicates changes to the body during adolescence. The development phase includes growth spurts, changes in body composition, and puberty onset.
- Cognitive: Changes in thinking and reasoning ability of the child during adolescence. The child develops advanced reasoning skills.
- Psychological: Changes to social and emotional functioning during adolescence. The child may experience several emotions, including happiness, sadness, anxiety, and anger.
- Social: Changes appear in family, social, and romantic relationships. The adolescents tend to become more independent from their parents.

7.

What Emotional Changes Appear During Adolescence?

The changes include:
- Mood swings and frequent changes adolescents experience more intense and wide-varying emotions than children.
- They often tend to exaggerate their problems.
- The ability to perceive, assess, and manage emotions increases gradually.
- The adolescents struggle to gain autonomy and spend most of their time with peers rather than family.

8.

How Can a Parent Deal With an Adolescent Child?

- Parents must expect complaints as complaining is a part of separating and developing individuality in teenagers.
- Ensure the adolescents gains some adult-like privileges such as car or smartphones.
- The parents must try to understand and empathize with the pressure that the child may face.

9.

What Role Do Parents Play in an Adolescent’s Life?

Parents play a crucial role in adolescent's life. Parents can help in the following ways:
- Friendship: Parents can be guidance and emotional support for the adolescent.
- Relationships: Parents can help teach their children to be respectful towards others and form healthy relationships.
- Education or Career Guidance: Parents can help children explore career options and guide them.

10.

What Problems Do Adolescents Face?

The problems faced by adolescents are:
- Growth and development.
- School-related issues.
- Childhood diseases that continue during adolescence.
- Mental health issues.
- Self-esteem or body image issues.

11.

What Social Changes Can an Adolescent Expect?

Some social changes that an adolescent can expect are:
- Adolescents are in a constant search for identity. The search is influenced by their peer group, gender, cultural background, and family expectations.
- Adolescents seek more independence, which influences their relationships with family and friends.
- Adolescents seek more responsibilities in their school or home.

12.

What Moral Changes Occur During Adolescence?

According to Lawrence Kohlberg, adolescents have reached six stages of moral development. They are in the third stage of moral growth in the early stages of adolescence and strive to be good people. By middle adolescence, they develop their moral code. During late adolescence, they develop moral ideas about the world, justice, and peace.

13.

What Must All Teenage Girls Know?

- Teenage girls must know they are as beautiful as they are. Their character and personality enhance their beauty but not their appearance.
- They can achieve anything that they set their mind to.
- Teenage girls must know they are not alone in facing difficulties and that it is okay to ask for help.

14.

What Should Not Be Said to a Teenage Daughter?

- Invalidating the teenage daughters' feelings as insignificant can create a rift in their relationship with their parents.
- Parents must avoid shaming their daughters for irresponsible and inexplicable behavior.
- Parents must be delicate while condemning their ward's fashion choices to prevent them from developing rebellious attitudes.

15.

Why Parents Must Understand Their Teenagers?

The adolescent period is a challenging time for young people as it causes physical changes and emotional transformation. Parents may feel that the child has become distant from them. All these changes are part of developing independence, and parents who understand their children are a source of guidance.
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Dr. Niveditha. S.
Dr. Niveditha. S.

Ayurveda Specialist

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