What can you do for saggy breasts? (sagging breasts)

How To Firm Sagging Breasts With Ayurveda

Breasts are a symbol of femininity and beauty. But saggy breasts can damage a woman’s self-esteem and self-confidence. So here are some Ayurvedic herbal solutions to firm sagging breasts and keep them toned.

Unfortunately, sagging breasts come naturally with the aging process. Over time, breasts lose their suppleness and elasticity. If you think nothing can be done to improve this situation except surgery, think again. Surgery has its own side effects. Before we go into how to firm sagging breasts with Ayurveda, let’s cover some basic information.

Breasts: A Brief Overview
What Causes Saggy Breasts?
Herbs For Breast Nourishment
Breast Massage
Massage Oils To Prevent Sagging Breasts
Herbs For Breast Massage
6 Additional Herbs For External Application
Foods For Healthy Breasts
Yoga For Stress And Breast Shape
More Tips To Prevent Sagging Breasts
More Tips To Prevent Sagging Breasts
When To See A Health Practitioner

READ MORE: How To Breastfeed The Ayurvedic Way

Breasts: A Brief Overview

Sagging breasts, saggy breasts, what you can do instead of surgery.

A woman’s breasts are made of specialized tissue that produces milk (glandular tissue) and fatty tissue. The amount of fat in the breast determines the size of the breast. During pregnancy, the breast develops fully. A complex interaction of hormones, including estrogens, progesterone, and prolactin, encourages their growth.

According to Ayurveda, breasts are regarded as the channel for milk production. They have an external opening. The ancient Ayurvedic scholar Sushruta considered the breasts one of the roots or origins of the reproductive tissue.1

READ MORE: Mastitis: 5 Ayurvedic Home Remedies

What Causes Saggy Breasts?

Saggy or hanging breasts are the natural consequence of aging. However there are other key factors which influence breast sagging over a woman’s life time.

Old age, menopause, mental stress and estrogen deficiency can affect a woman’s breast tone. Collagen deficiency, too much weight, multiple pregnancies, smoking and genetic factors can also play a role.

Significant weight loss or weight gain, physical activity without any breast support and not wearing the correct size bra can also affect the breasts.

According to Ayurveda, saggy breasts are caused by one of four conditions.

In cases of obesity, an increase of fatty and muscle tissue in the breast region results in hanging breasts.2 Aggravation of Vata dosha is responsible for dryness and emaciation of the body which leads to shrunken or saggy breasts.3

In old age, predominance of Vata dosha occurs naturally and that alone is responsible for ptosis (sagging breasts) in this phase of life.

In the case of a breastfeeding mother, stress, fasting, excessive exercise, consumption of drying foods and drinks, emaciation and excessive use of purifying measures like Panchkarma can all cause laxity of breasts along with decrease in quantity or absence of milk secretion.4

Here are some Ayurvedic and herbal remedies which may help to bring the breasts back into shape.

READ MORE: Vaginal Dryness Treatment, Causes, Menopause + Ayurvedic Home Remedies

Herbs For Breast Nourishment

These can be administered in the form of a powder, juice, decoction or cool infusion.

Certain herbs which delay aging, increase vigor and rejuvenate the body, aid in breast nourishment.5 They can be consumed in order to delay the effect of aging and add firmness to the breast.

Some of these include Indian asparagus (Asparagus recemosus, Shatavari), Indian ginseng (Withania somnifera, Ashwagandha), Indian sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus, Vidari), symplocos tree (Symplocos racemose, Lodhra), Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis, Amla), khus khus grass (Vetiveria Zizanioides, Vetiver), Indian tinospora (Tinospora cordifolia, Guduchi), gotu kola (Centella asiatica, Mandukparni), spreading hogweed (Boerhavia diffusa, Punarnava), pluchea lanceolata (Indian camphorweed, Rasna), chebulic myrobalan (Terminalia chebula, harad), vigna trilobata (Phaseolus trilobus, Mudgaparni), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and anise (Pimpinella anisum).

According to a scientific research study, fennel and anise seeds contain photoanethole and anethole which work by stimulating estrogen production to help promote breast growth.6

Fenugreek seeds have also shown estrogenic activity due to the presence of diosgenin which has been reported to enhance breast size.7

Aloe vera gel significantly improves wrinkles and elasticity in photo-aged human skin, with an increase in collagen production in photo protected skin and a decrease in collagen-degrading MMP-1 gene expression.8 Due to this property it can be useful in breast firmness.

Other dietary herbs can be used to firm saggy breasts.9

Red clover has estrogen boosting nutrients, namely phytoestrogens, which are helpful in stimulating breast growth in women. In both Europe and China, motherwort has been used traditionally to regulate menses and stimulate the development of new tissue. Dong quai has been used extensively as a feminine tonic for treating feminine complaints. It has also shown to balance hormones and aid in breast enhancement.

Damiana leaves contain a high concentration of phytoestrogens which stimulate the tissue of the breasts. Research indicates that damiana is an herb with one of the highest capacities to bind to progesterone receptors. It is known to balances hormonal levels and helps in breast enhancement and firmness. Saw palmetto is used to enhance sperm production, breast size or libido.10

Chyavanprash is a unique Ayurvedic formula of around 50 herbs. It is a rejuvenator or rasayana. It is known to maintain the physique, vigor and vitality. It nourishes the body, boosts the immune system and delays the aging process.11

A diet that is rich in antioxidants helps to support breast health. Several ingredients present in chyawanprash possess antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in vitamin C and vitamin E which helps in scavenging free radicals and preventing damage to the body.12

Breast Massage

Gentle massage or deep tissue massage on marma points in a proper way is known to balance the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) at the physical level and the three mental attributes or trigunas (Satva, Raja,Tama) at the mental level.13

Massaging the breasts can help to make them firmer and healthier and can also aid in maintaining the balance of hormones in a woman’s body.

Since the breast area consists of several vital marma points,14 massage should be done carefully in this area using mainly the thumb. The thumb projects the main pranic power of the hand. However, the knuckle, wrist or palm of the hand can be used, particularly to cover a larger region.

Breast massage for sagging breasts (saggy breasts).

Marma point massage of the breasts should be done for at least three to five minutes twice a day. Massage should be done in a clockwise motion as it helps in tonification or strengthening of the breast tissues.

Follow these breast massage steps to firm the breasts.

Apply mild pressure with a suitable oil or herbal paste. You can do this on your own or with the help of another person. Sit or lie down, whichever makes you most comfortable.

The first step is to apply some massage oil or fine herbal paste to the breast and associated areas in a circular motion. Go from the center of the chest to the underarm area covering all the important marma points.

After applying oil all over the breasts, massage them by kneading them gently, lifting the breast from the body. With both hands still holding the breast, twist the flesh gently.

Step three is to use the flat part of the fingers and try to scoop the fibers of the breast with utmost gentleness in a clockwise direction.

Finally, smooth the flesh of the breast with the fingertips going from the center downward. This is known as the cooling phase. When this is done, repeat the process on the other breast. After the massage, be sure to drink plenty of water.

READ MORE: Facial Marma Massage: Herbal Oils + Kansa Wand Sequences

Massage Oils To Prevent Sagging Breasts

Coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, almond or argon oil, shea butter, lavender oil, fenugreek oil and wheat germ oil are generally used for breast massage to bring firmness to saggy breasts.

Herbs For Breast Massage

Some Ayurvedic herbs on topical application have shown improvement of the viscoelastic and hydration properties of the skin. These properties help in maintaining elasticity and tightening of the skin. They may be beneficial for sagging breasts.16

Some of these herbs include licorice (Glycyrriza glabra, mulethi), turmeric (Curcuma longa, Haridra), seeds of psoralea (Psorolea corylifolia, Bakuchi), sickle senna (Cassia tora, Chakramard), betel nut (Areca catechu, Supari), fruits of Indian goose berry (Embelica officinale, Amla), leaves of gotu kola (Centella asiatica, Mandukparni), dried bark of cinnamon (Cinnamon zeylanicum, dalchini) and fresh aloe vera gel.

6 Additional Herbs For External Application

Pomegranate oil for sagging breasts, saggy breasts.1. Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Hops extracts are useful in the prevention of skin aging and in the treatment of loose skin, stretch marks, sagging and breast tightening.7

2. Sausage Tree (Kigelia Africana)

The fruit of the sausage tree have active principles such as isoflavones and steroid saponosides that are known to induce a firming effect on the dermis and its musculature. Isoflavones are phytoestrogens acting on tissues in a way similar to that of human estrogens.

Saponosides induce skin drainage and exert restitution. They help restore elasticity and firmness of the dermis and so are useful in breast tightening.18

3. Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa)

Wild yam is rich in diosgenin which helps in breast enlargement. Research studies show it increases the adipocyte volume which results in an increase of breast turgor, and so it is used for breast cosmetic lifting.19

4. Thai Kudzu (Pueraria mirifica)

Pueraria mirifica has a very high concentration of phytoestrogens which help in breast enlargement.20

5. Pomegranate (Punica granatum)

Pomegranate is a phytoestrogen rich and nutraceutical fruit. Pomegranate seed oil is rich in phytonutrients that can lead to firmness of the breasts.21

6. Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

Panax ginseng promotes collagen production in human dermal fibroblast cells, helping to reduce wrinkles. On topical application, it may be useful in sagging breasts.22

Foods For Healthy Breasts

Freshly prepared lentil soups or dals, organic vegetables prepared with fresh spices and whole grains are ideal. Healthy foods which promote healthy skin are best.

Drink plenty of fluids. Consume at least six 8 oz glasses of water, green tea or a glass of juice a day to keep the connective tissue and skin healthy. This may help slow down the signs of breast sagging.

Foods rich in antioxidants, phytoestrogens, vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, iron and calcium are all helpful in promoting a healthy body and firm breasts.

Whole Grains: wheat, red rice, rice harvested in 60 days or short grain rice, basmati rice, barley, amaranth, oats
Spices: fennel, fenugreek, turmeric, ginger
Legumes: split beans, red beans, soybeans, chickpeas
Fruits: apples, papaya, dates, cherries, pomegranates, avocados
Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, alfalfa, romaine, lettuce, carrots, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, radish, garlic, pumpkin, soy, squash, eggplant, peas, carrots, beets and more.
Nuts + Seeds: almonds, cashew, walnuts, pecan, peanuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
Meat: lean meat, chicken, seafood, cold water fish, crabs, oysters, prawns, shellfish, oily fish (sardines, herring, tuna)
Oil: coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, hemp oil.

Avoid foods that create undigested material (ama) in the body. That includes leftovers, packaged, canned, frozen foods, food tainted with chemical additives and preservatives, foods grown with chemicals, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Yoga For Stress And Breast Shape

Breasts are principally composed of connective tissue.

Psycho-social-spiritual stress can play an important role in influencing breast health. Intense and prolonged stress can cause pronounced changes in connective tissues. When combined with genetic, environmental, social and nutritional factors, it can affect several body channels including the breasts.23

Studies have shown that regular practice of yoga postures, breath control techniques and meditation is beneficial for both mental and physical health. It helps in managing stress.

Yoga asanas particularly have a positive effect on fitness and flexibility with a secondary effect on the mental state. Breathing practices, relaxation and meditation techniques may result in greater awareness, less stress, greater well-being and quality of life.24

Certain yoga poses may help improve the shape of the breasts along with the volume of the lungs, making you feel strong, healthy and confidant.

  • Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Camel pose (Ustrasana)
  • Warrior pose (Virabhadrasana)
  • Triangle pose (Trikonasana)
  • Bow pose (Dhanurasana)
  • Wheel pose (Chakrasana)

READ MORE: Yoga For Anxiety Relief

More Tips To Prevent Sagging Breasts

Moisturize

Keep the breasts well moisturized. Aloe vera gel is a good option for this. A research study on breast appearance in identical twins with the same genetic dispositions found that the twin who moisturized regularly had fewer wrinkles and less loose skin than the twin who didn’t.25

Quit Smoking

Some research indicates that smoking may stimulate the degradation of collagen, a protein responsible for keeping skin strong and elastic.26

Restrict the intake of alcoholic beverages of all kinds.

Get regular and adequate sleep.

Avoid frequent loss or gain of weight. Try to maintain a constant weight.

Always wear the correct size bra.

Wear a correct fitting bra according to shape, size especially before running, jogging or other physical activity. Avoid underwire bras as they may even put you at risk of developing cancer.

Apply sunscreen before stepping into the sun. Always use sunscreen when you are exposed to the sun. Sun can make the skin lose its elasticity.

READ MORE: What Happens To Your Body When You Quit Smoking

When To See A Health Practitioner

The Ayurvedic remedies mentioned in this article have shown effective and safe results.

It’s best, however, to consult an expert Ayurvedic practitioner for the most appropriate course of treatment for you.

Questions or comments? Leave your message in the comments below!

References
1. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Sharira sthana. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006, chapter 10, verse 12.
2. Vaidya Harishchandra Singh Kushwaha, Ayurveddeepika Hindi commentary, Charaksamhita, Chaukhambha Orientalia, Varanasi Charaka, Sutra 21, verse 7.
3. Murthy Shrikantha K.R., editor, (reprint edition.) Sushruta Samhita of Sushruta, Sutra Sthana; Dosha dhatu mala kshaya vriddhi, Adhyaya: chapter 15, verse 18.
4. Sushruta, Sushruta Samhita, Nibandha Samgraha commentary of Sri Dalhana acharya edited by Acharya Yadavji Trikamji, Choukhamba Surabha Prakashan Varanasi 2008, Nidana Stana 10th Chapter, Verse 21-22, Sutra Sthana 15th chapter, verse 16.
5. Vaidya Harishchandra Singh Kushwaha, Ayurveddeepika Hindi commentary, Charaksamhita, Chaukhambha Orientalia, Varanasi Charaka Sutrasthana, chapter 4.
6. Albert- Puleo M, Fennel and anise as estrogenic agents, J Ethnopharmacol. 1980 Dec;2(4):337-44.
7. Sreeja S1, In vitro estrogenic activities of fenugreek Trigonella foenum graecum seeds. Indian J Med Res. 2010 Jun;131:814-9.
8. Soyun Cho, M.D., Ph.D, Dietary Aloe Vera Supplementation Improves Facial Wrinkles and Elasticity and It Increases the Type I Procollagen Gene Expression in Human Skin in vivo, Ann Dermatol. 2009 Feb; 21(1): 6–11.PMCID: PMC2883372,PMID: 20548848S.
9. Gene Bruno, MS, MHS – Dean of Academics, Huntington College of Health Sciences, Literature Education Series on Dietary Supplements Breast Enlargement Botanicals©2005, Huntington College of Health Sciences.
10. (Ernst, E., 2002) Ernst, E. (2002). The Risk-Benefit Profile of Commonly Used Herbal Therapies: Ginkgo,  St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Kava. Annals of Internal Medicine, Jan;136(1), 42-53.
11. Vaidya Harishchandra Singh Kushwaha, Ayurveddeepika Hindi commentary, Charaksamhita, Chaukhambha Orientalia, Varanasi, Charaka Chikitsa sthana, chapter 1, verse 70.
12. Milind Parle, Traditional Medicinal formulation- Chyawanprash A review, Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Volume 5(4), October, 2006, pp 484-488.
13. Dr. Darasing Govind Rathod,COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF MARMA (VITAL POINTS IN AYURVEDA) IN HANDS, ACUPUNCTURE AND ACUPRESSURE- A REVIEW Indian Journal of Medical Research and Pharmaceutical Sciences August 2016 3(8) ISSN: ISSN: 2349-5340 DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.59822.
14. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Sharira sthana. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006, chapter 6.
15. Dr. David Frawley, Dr. Subhash Ranade, Dr. Avinash ‘Ayurveda and Marma Therapy: Energy Points in Yogic Healing’ Lotus Press, Twin Lake WI.
16. Ivana Binic Skin Ageing: Natural Weapons and Strategies, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 827248.PMCID: PMC3569896 PMID: 23431351.
17. Pharmacognostic and pharmacological profile of Humulus lupulus L. Zanoli P, Zavatti M J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Mar 28; 116(3):383-96.
18. Tada Y, Kanda N  Novel effects of diosgenin on skin aging, Steroids. 2009 Jun; 74(6):504-11.
19. Novel effects of diosgenin on skin aging.Tada Y, Kanda N, Haratake A, Tobiishi M, Uchiwa H, Watanabe S Steroids. 2009 Jun; 74(6):504-11.
20. Anna Kakehashi ,Pueraria mirifica Exerts Estrogenic Effects in the Mammary Gland and Uterus and Promotes Mammary Carcinogenesis in Donryu Rats, Toxins (Basel). 2016 Nov; 8(11): 275.8110275,PMCID: PMC5127102, PMID: 27827907.
21. Sreeja Sreekuma Pomegranate Fruit as a Rich Source of Biologically Active Compounds Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 686921.Apr 10. doi:  10.1155/2014/686921 PMCID: PMC4000966PMID: 24818149.
22. Lee J, Jung E, Lee J, et al. Panax ginseng induces human Type I collagen synthesis through activation of Smad signalling. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2007;109(1):29.
23. Aviakosm Ekolog [Connective tissue under emotional stress]. Med. 2000;34(3):27-33.
24. Arndt Büssing, Effects of Yoga on Mental and Physical Health: A Short Summary of Reviews Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 165410.PMCID: PMC3447533PMID: 23008738.
25. Soltanian. “Determinants of breast appearance and aging in identical twins.” Aesthetic surgery journal 32, no. 7 (2012): 846-860.
26. Sela, B. A. “Dermatological manifestations of smoking.” Harefuah 141, no. 8 (2002): 736-40.

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Mallika Varma, holds a bachelor’s degree, B.A.M.S. from State  Ayurvedic college and Hospital, Lucknow and a postgraduate degree M.S. in Kshara Sutra Avum Anushastra Karma from Sri Venkateswara Ayurvedic College, Tirupathi. She brings more than 7 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda.  She is specialized in Ayurvedic general surgery, parasurgical procedures (Kshara Jalauka, Siravedhyan, Agni Karma) and in the treatment of anorectal disorders. She is also experienced in the treatment of gastro, respiratory, genitourinary, skin and lifestyle disorders through natural herbal medicine, Yoga and Panchkarma. She has participated in many national and international seminars in the field of Ayurveda and has also presented best awarded papers on Ayurveda.

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