What Is Leukorrhea?
Leukorrhea is a thick, whitish or yellowish vaginal discharge. Here we take a look at leukorrhea causes, symptoms, and Ayurvedic remedies for leukorrhea.
Excessive vaginal discharge associated with itching, burning sensation, and pain with body aches and fatigue is known as Leukorrhea in conventional western medicine and sweta pradara in ayurvedic medicine.
Usually, vaginal discharges are normal. It’s the body’s natural way of cleansing, lubricating, and protecting the reproductive organs from infections. Its color can range from clear to milky white.
Depending on the phase of your menstrual cycle, the amount, odor and color can vary. Vaginal discharges normally increase during ovulation and breastfeeding.
When Are Vaginal Discharges Abnormal?
Here are some of the symptoms that indicate abnormalities in vaginal discharges.
- If the color, smell, or consistency seems significantly unusual.
- If the vaginal discharge is associated with itching, burning sensations, redness, rashes or swelling of the vulva.
- If urination is painful.
- If the discharge is thick with an unpleasant odor.
There are many causes of leukorrhea with the most common being estrogen imbalance. The amount of discharge may increase due to a vaginal infection and it may also disappear and reappear from time to time.
This discharge can keep occurring for years, in which case it can become more yellow in color and foul-smelling. This is a non-pathological symptom secondary to inflammatory conditions of vagina or cervix.
While vaginal discharges are normal, changes in discharge can be caused by infections like the following.
- Cervical erosion
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Hormonal changes
Ayurvedic Perspective On Leukorrhea or Swetapradara
White vaginal discharges are termed as swetapradara in classical Ayurvedic medical texts.
In these medical texts, all gynecological disorders including swetapradara (leukorrhea) come under yonivyapada (gynecological disorders).
Kapha or Vatakaphaja doshas are the main causative factor of swetapradara and other yonivyapada.
Treatment of leukorrhea or swetapradara is mainly based on the use of Ayurvedic drugs which are having a predominance of kashaya rasa and Kapha-shamaka property.
These medicines are mainly administered topically and orally.
Causes Of Leukorrhea According To Ayurvedic Medicine
- Incompatible food (viruddha ahar)
- Alcohol intake
- Repeated abortions
- Grief and stress
- Emaciation/debilitating diseases
- Heavy weightlifting
- Unhygienic conditions
Due to above-mentioned reasons, the body’s doshas gets vitiated and lodged in the sites of apana vayu like the hips, bladder, thighs, and uterus.
Due to imbalanced doshas, the body is unable to hold onto its vital strength which is considered to leave the body through the vaginal route.
Classification of swetapradara based on causes.
Adverse Symptoms And Complications Associated With Leukorrhea
Debility, giddiness, syncope, thirst, burning sensations, anemia, drowsiness and Vata disorders like dry skin, brittle hair and nails, and sepsis.
Management Of Swetapradara/Leukorrhea
Brimhana – Nourishing treatment to improve strength, nutrition, and immunity
Stambhana– Suppressing the excess flow.
Ayurvedic Home Remedies For Leukorrhea
- Have nagkeshar powder (Mesua ferrea) with buttermilk for 3 days.
- Shatavari powder 1 tbsp with ½ cup milk.
- Amla seed paste 1 tsp + ½ tsp sugar+ ½ honey twice daily before meals.
- Crush the inflorescence of banana (raw) finely. Mix the 10-15 ml of collected juice with honey or sugar. Take this for 10-15 days early morning on an empty stomach.
- One cup of rice water (made from red rice) and add 5-10 gm of jaggery and cumin seeds and cook for 5-10 mins. Take this in the afternoon (Pitta kala). This relieves the physical weakness caused by swetapradara or leukorrhea.
- Amla seeds (5-6) crushed and mixed with 3 gm of jaggery (gur) and 3 gm of honey.
Why Are Amla Seeds Good For Leukorrhea Or Swetapradara?
Amla seeds contain fixed oils, essential oils, and phospholipids that are very useful for relieving inflammation and infections associated with the uterus and cervix. The powder of amla seeds can be stored for 2-4 months in airtight containers.
Ayurvedic Herbs For Leukorrhoea
- Yashtimadhu – Licorice
- Lodhra – Symplocos
- Patha– Cissampelos pareira
- Daruharidra– Berberis aristate
- Sariva – Indian Sarsaparilla
Ayurvedic Treatments For Leukorrhea
The principle of Ayurvedic treatment of leukorrhea swetapradara is mostly based on its etiopathogenesis.
Kapha-disorders are considered the main causative factors for vaginal discharges.
Ayurvedic treatment of leukorrhea involves restoring the agni (digestive fire) to cleanse the accumulated toxins, bring Kapha dosha back into equilibrium, and toning the muscles surrounding the reproductive organs with the help of rasayana (rejuvenating) herbs.
Ayurvedic Treatment Modalities For Leukorrhea
Specific Treatment – Oral Medicines
- Pestled root of rohataka (Tecoma undulata) should be taken with water. 1,2
- Use of darvyadi (Barberis aristata etc.) decoction cures swetapradara.3
- Paste or powder of amalaki or seed of amalaki (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.) should be taken with honey and sugar.1
- Paste of lodhra (Symplocos racemosa Roxb.) should be taken with a decoction of stem bark of nyagrodh (Ficus bengalensis L)
- Use of decoction of drugs of nyagrodha group is beneficial for leukorrhea due to its astringent property.4
- Use of nagakeshar (Mesua ferrea L.) with takra (buttermilk) followed by a diet of only cooked rice and buttermilk (takra) can cure leukorrhea within days.5
- Powder of root of chakramard (Cassia tora L.) should be taken with tandulodaka (rice-water) in the morning hours.5
- Licking of powdered shadawasa (a variety of Setaria etallica) mixed with oil of tila (sesame) for seven consecutive days cures leukorrhea.5
- Nidana parivarjan
- Kaphanasak treatment
- Uses of Ayurvedic medicine having katu and kashaya rasa
- Balya chikitsa (use of rasayana herbs)
Ayurvedic Classical Preparations For Leukorrhea
Asava-arishta: lakshmanarishta, ashokarishta, patrangasava and lodhrasawa
Ghrita-tail: ashoka ghrita, nyagrodhadi ghrita, vishwavallabha ghrita and priyangwadi taila
Kukkutandatwak bhasma 250 mg with madhu (honey) twice a day.6
Further Discussion On Vaginal Secretions
A woman during her life span may have different types of discharges per vagina. The vagina serves as a passageway between the outside of the body and the inner reproductive organs.
The pH balance of the vagina is acidic, which discourages infections from occurring. This acidic environment is created by naturally occurring bacteria.
A healthy vagina produces secretions to cleanse and regulate itself, like how saliva cleanses and regulates the environment of the mouth.
These vaginal secretions are normal vaginal discharge. Any interference with the delicate balance of vaginal secretions sets up an environment conducive to infection.
One can draw parallels between swetapradara and Leukorrhea based on the symptoms. Incidences of leukorrhea or swetapradara can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene and improving one’s general health.
The Ayurvedic treatment of leukorrhea or swetapradara is mainly based on administering drugs which have a predominance of kashaya rasa and Kapha-shamak property.
Balya chikitsa (nourishing treatment) also plays an important role in preventing the incidence of leukorrhea or swetapradara.
Consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before trying any of the herbs, remedies, or treatments mentioned in this article. Consult your primary healthcare provider if you notice adverse symptoms associated with leukorrhea.
- “Leukorrhea” at Dorland’s Medical Dictionary
- “Definition of LEUKORHEA”. www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2015-12- 20.
- “Leukorrhea | Medical Disorder”. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2015-12- 20.
- Snehal Pol et al “Leucorrhea in Ayurvedic View” National Journal of Research in Ayurveda” Vol 2 Issue -2, 2015
- Vijayluxmi et al “Ayurvedic Concept of Leucorrhea” international journal of pharma 2014; 2(3): 119-123
- B. Jha, Ayurvediya Rasa Shasta, 2nd edition, Varanasi, Chaukhamba Surabharati, 1998 p. 446