A Fertile Interview with Ayurvedic Practitioner Lauryn Bellafiore
One amazing thing about the work that I do, is that I am constantly connecting with amazing women. Women that inspire me, and also hold a similar vision when it comes to femininity, health, and healing.
Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to connect with an Ayurvedic Practitioner by the name of Lauryn Bellafiore of Surya Chandra Ayurveda.
If you’re not familiar with Ayurveda, it is a Hindu system of medicine which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing to achieve it.
The two main guiding principles of Ayurveda are:
- the mind and the body are inextricably connected, and
- Nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind. Freedom from illness depends upon expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body. (Source)
I discovered Ayurveda years ago while on my own journey to heal. Finding out that I am very Vata in Constitution ( Find out yours here), truly changed my life. I know without a doubt that Ayurvedic rituals helped me out of a really depressive slump two years ago, and because of this, I was very curious how Ayurveda views fertility.
Thankfully, Lauryn was kind of enough to answers questions about both and I am so happy to share them with you.
Please tell me more about yourself and what you do?
My name is Lauryn, I’m a wellness mama, plant alchemizer, and beauty curator.
I like to say i’m a beauty curator as I see life as a foundation to create and make beauty around all the existing beauty in front of us. From preparing your food, putting away the laundry, sweeping the floor, dressing yourself, oiling your body, to alchemizing oils, photographing women, flowers, or herbs- all is our platform to express as an act of self care and love.
I’m an Ayurvedic practitioner + Entrepreneur based out of upstate NY/ and soon to be LA. My practice was manifested out of my home where I see clients, do panchakarma treatments, curate formula’s, grow + forage my herbs, and formulate my Ayurvedic self-care products now available online.
You mentioned that you studied fertility in India, please share how Ayurveda views fertility.
Yes, it was very important to hear similar concerns as well as joys that women were having there as well as here in the U.S. You may hear me say this a few times within our interview on more general questions for women; The first fundamental principle is understanding one constitution (body type) to tune accordingly to a women’s fertility. Each person is a unique balance of physical, emotional, spiritual and mental traits that govern the body, called doshas, expressed in three elements: Vata (air), Pitta (fire), Kapha (Earth/water).
Once the physician and women understand their predominant dosha type then one can go forward with a fertility plan.
Ayurvedic fertility health starts then with discerning the right partner. This entails honoring + channeling your inner energy for a proper life partner. One whom spiritually and energetically calibrates and balances each persons prakruti (Constitution). Ayurveda encourages partnering with someone who has the opposite energetic traits as you. A healthy child is believed in part to be the result of a balanced dosha pairing in the parents. Thus, your health at the time of conception is thought to determine your child’s lifetime health. There are also traditional rituals, mantras, and altar’s to create for calling in the right partner.
How do you recommend a woman prepare her body to conceive?
Full body-mind integration, timing (Rtu), free of toxins or a cleansed body, connection, and self care. The pillars are; her mind, body, and attitude.
- Your mind: Get plenty rest, especially during menstruation (for women) and learn have at your ready tools to help you manage anxiety, depression and poor sleep because these are damaging to fertility health.
- Your body: Wearing loose clothing as well as white clothing, use cooling techniques. Restrictive clothing overheats the reproductive organs and can damage the sperm and ovum. Avoid excessive heat and use cooling techniques like moon bathing (laying under a full moon), showers, or sprays with rose water to bring the body temperature down as well as drinking aloe juice + rose tea.
- Your attitude: In the Ayurvedic view, an attitude of contentment and harmony in both partners will pass on to the child and bring forth a platform for conception.
One can do a six-month preconception process—> The first phase is a three-month cleanse period, followed by a three-month rejuvenation period. The culmination is conception. It’s best to see an Ayurvedic practitioner whom can tune into any subtle nuances and imbalances that may counter act with conception.
Are there in special herbs or spices you would recommend for a preconception/ fertility diet?
Yes most definitely // This will be crucial to the women’s Ojas (Vitality)
The highly honored best female tonic herb; Shatavari (Asparagus Raceamosus)
This queen herb is highly effective for conception and is a rasyana, meaning it rejuvenates and replenishes the body. It’s anti-inflammatory, adaptogenic, lactation promoting sexual tonic is also a natural pre-cursor of Estrogen.
Another known herb to support fertility health is Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera).
This potent adaptogenic boost’s the bodies healthy stress response, increases antioxidant levels, boosting the immune system and supports hormonal balance.
A luscious fertility provision the womyn can make; medicated nut milk or spiced nut milk before bed. This will support the aspiring mother to be with strong digestion and easeful sleep.
Take 30 minutes before bed
- 1 cup nut milk (almond, hemp or cashew) Homemade /fresh is best for nutrient value.
Add a pinch:
- 1/2 tsp of Ashwagandha and/or Shatavari
Simmer on low to medium heat for 10 minutes —> Then add the tsp of Ashwagandha/Shatavari—> Transfer all into a blender for a frothy, curated latte. Add a little maple syrup to taste. Take before bed, following oiling/massaging your feet with unrefined organic sesame oil.
In regards to diet—> An Ayurvedic fertility diet is gentle and strengthening, and can be customized to balance the doshas. Yet, some rules are universally followed. Both partners are recommended to switch to an organic, sattvic diet meaning the diet is filled with fresh, light and nutritious foods that are easily digested and not too spicy or heavy
I am a very Vata in constitution, what would you recommend I do to enhance my fertility specifically.
- Absolutely-often times many womyn are working with Vata aggravation, or high Vata imbalance- you are indeed not alone! Balancing Vata after delivery is crucial as well- As so much Ojas (Vitality) is lost from the body after delivering a child.
- I recommend Ashwagandha Bala Oil for your self-oil massage (abhyanga) to bring strength to the body and all tissues. This will especially serve the woman well so that she has the necessary strength to carry her through pregnancy.
- Build the plasma and blood. These are the life-giving and nutrient-giving tissues of your body, so much so that the blood volume increases by 50 percent during pregnancy. Ensure plenty of hydration, foods rich in nutrients, and, for women, supplementation with calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. An organic multivitamin is the easiest source.
- Cool down the body (if there is excessive internal heat) for a proper internal body temperature for conception.
- Follow a Vata pacifying diet.
Massage the feet, ears, and top of the head with organic unrefined sesame oil at night before bed to keep the body at ease and calm.
The above would be a general self care for Vata vitiation- Though each Vata type is working with and responding to the aggravation differently—> So seeing you personally would be the next step to alchemize particular Vata herbs for a formula etc.
After Vata has been cleansed and pacified—> then one can go forward with fertile promoting herbs, foods, and excersices.
If a woman is struggling with issues like PCOS, Endometriosis, and Uterine fibroids, what would you recommend she do?
Treatment of PCOS, Endometriosis, and Uterine fibroids needs individualistic approach due to not all the symptoms being seen in all the patients.
It depends on the their individual constiutuon (Prakruti) and Vikruti (present imbalance), presenting symptoms, like menstrual abnormalities, infertility, obesity, or combined symptoms.
Treatment modalities mainly aim at providing comprehensive care by correcting the ama (toxic buildup) dosha and regularizing tridoshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha)
For all three challenges-> compatible and timely intake of balanced diet, regular physical exercises and healthy lifestyle will build up therapeutic measures to curb the vitiation.
To name a few; These are some herbs useful for PCOS;
- Varuna- Crataeva nurvala– helps to clear the channels and reduces the size of the cyst.
- Hareetaki- Terminalia chebula –Due to laxative effect it reduces the body morbidity and contributes significantly.
- Pippali- Long pepper-Piper longum –Being a potent rejuvenator,carminative and free radical scavenging agent curbs the pathology in a significant manner.
- Punarnava- Boerrhavia diffusa-diuretic benefits and smoothening effect reduces the size of the growths.
Ayurvedic medicines specific to an individual’s body type is used in Endometriosis treatment to reduce pain and abnormal vata movements.
Kapha pacifying medicines are used to reduce growth, lysis, adhesion and to maintain fertility and Pitta pacifying medicines to reduce excessive bleeding.
For Uterine Fibroids the above lifestyle recommendations are followed while the focus is to follow a Kapha pacifying diet to clear ama (toxic buildup) then pacifying vata and pitta dosha.
Herbs such as Asoka, Guggul, Kanchanara, and Aloe Vera have a very good impact on uterine fiborids. These herbs individually or in combination can be taken in an appropriate vehicle such as milk, ghee or honey.
Please share any morning or night time rituals you do that support your fertility;
Ashwagandha is and will continue to be my endocrine stabilizer, calming my nervous system, mind, and strengthening my body before bed. I drink a medicated herbal nut mylk before my night routine consisting of Ashwagandha + Lucuma and sweetened with one date + a pinch of sea salt. This replenishes my Ojas after a full day.
Lifestyle, diet, ease, and balance of internal temperatures in my body are the pillars of preventative infertility, because I am clear + knowing that I would like to bear children one day; every day is an action to keep my body clean, harmonized and balanced for fertility to be achieved.
A focus on my Ojas (Vitality) is also crucial as well—> for this I do a teaspoon of Chyvanprash (Herbal Ayurvedic nutritive jam) followed with a glass of warmed nut mylk in the morning daily.
I send my love to all the incredible Sundari's, Sanskrit for beautiful women- whom are reclaiming ancient wisdom + nourishing their bodies to heal our matrilineal lines and future of wellness. My warmth to you all.
Find out more about Lauryn and her offerings here.