Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a term used to refer to a collection of psychological and physical characteristics and symptoms that a woman experiences before or during her monthly periods. For some, these symptoms start just two to three days before their periods while for others, they might start at the time of ovulation (14 days before their periods). All the symptoms go away with the onset of menses.
The symptoms include anxiety, swelling of breasts, breast tenderness, headaches, feeling bloated or water retention, muscle aches, insomnia, and craving for certain foods or changes in appetite, weight gain, lack of energy, constipation, and acnes. Some women go through mood swings /behavioral changes like depression, irritation, lack of concentration and reduce sex drive.
There is a strong link between nutritional deficiencies and estrogen dominance. Hormonal imbalance is the primary cause of PMS. A little change in lifestyle and diet can help in managing Premenstrual symptoms in a natural way. Some very effective home remedies to treat PMS are listed below:
A very simple and most effective home remedy to over PMS is using a heating pad over the lower abdomen to help relax the contracting muscles in the uterus. It is advised to sip warm water or warm fluids and take a hot shower to relieve pain.
The best remedy recommended by most doctors to overcome PMS symptoms is to consume a handful of cherries on an empty stomach, a week before the onset of periods.
Herbal Teas like Ginger tea, Black Pepper tea, Cumin Tea, Chamomile Tea, and Cinnamon tea
- Dried ginger and black pepper used together as an herbal tea is very helpful in PMS. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and an effective pain reliever. It helps in lowering the prostaglandins.
- The tea helps in fighting fatigue and brings regularity in periods.
- Cumin has a relaxing effect and is well known for its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that makes it very useful in getting rid of abdominal cramps.
- Chamomile is known for its pain-relieving properties. It helps to relax the uterus and also decreases the production of prostaglandins.
- Cinnamon Tea before bedtime helps in good night sleep which is very important to treat PMS.
How To Make
- One may add a pinch of black pepper to a spoon of aloe vera gel and take it three times a day to relieve symptoms like backaches and abdominal pain associated with PMS. A pinch of cumin with aloe vera gel may also be taken.
Effective Home Remedies to Treat Premenstrual Syndrome
- A very quick, simple and effective remedy to overcome PMS is eating oatmeal. Oats breaks down slowly and gradually releases sugar into the blood stream. This helps with the sugar craving symptom associated with PMS. The same effect is produced when one eats rye bread, fruits, and rice.
Massage with Sesame oil:
- Sesame oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is rich in linoleic acid and helps a lot in relieving PMS symptoms. One may massage the lower abdomen with sesame oil before and during the periods to help with abdominal cramps and bloating.
Flaxseeds and Sunflower Seeds
- Both flax seeds and sunflower seeds are rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Flaxseeds helps promote healthy estrogen metabolism. Seeds like pumpkin seeds may also be taken to help with PMS. Consuming foods rich in omega 3 fats helps with overcoming symptoms like depression, nervousness, anxiety, lack of focus, bloating, headaches, breakouts, and breast tenderness. Other sources of omega 3 fats are fish oil or krill oil.
- Fenugreek seeds not only facilitate weight loss but are also very useful in managing PMS. They help to reduce period pain. Fenugreek seeds must be soaked in water overnight and then one should drink that water.
Potassium Rich foods<
- Bananas, figs, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, broccoli are very helpful with PMS. They help in relieving bloating, swelling, or water retention associated with PMS.
Magnesium rich foods
- Magnesium rich foods should be consumed as lack of magnesium causes muscle cramps. It is advised to consume green vegetables, pasta, potatoes, and breakfast cereals. A good supply of magnesium supports our hormones which affects menstruation and PMS.
Foods rich in Vitamin B6
- Foods rich in Vitamin B6 helps in relieving depression by raising levels of serotonin which is a mood enhancer. Such foods include chicken, soybeans, fish, milk, brown rice, whole grains, beans, walnuts, and green leafy vegetables.
Fiber- rich foods
- Fiber- rich foods should be taken like barley, oats, whole grain breads, beans, vegetables and lots of water should be taken to accommodate the extra fiber. This helps with constipation symptom associated with PMS. High fiber also helps to flush out surplus estrogen out of the body. By consuming extra water, the salt gets flushed out in urine, that helps to stop swelling and bloating.
- Calcium is very important in the body. It helps reduce headaches and muscle cramps. It also helps with mood swings and makes one sleep better. A glass of warm milk before bedtime is a good habit. Foods high in calcium include almonds, dairy products, sesame seeds, and green leafy vegetables.
It is advised to limit sugar intake, limit salt intake and increase the consumption of carbohydrates. Caffeine restriction is also advised to lessen symptoms like insomnia and irritability.
- Exercise till perspiration is a great way to keep PMS symptoms at bay. It is good to have at least 30 minutes of exercise daily throughout the month to lower the level of free circulation estrogen in your body. Exercise is a stress reliever and mood enhancer too as it boosts the body’s natural painkilling endorphins that counteract the prostaglandins and relaxes the muscles at the same time. Exercise also increases the circulation to the pelvic area.
- Yoga asanas like Shavasana or corpse pose are very beneficial during menstruation as it eases the pain and helps the body to relax. Pranayam or breathing techniques also helps a lot with PMS.
- Meditation is also very helpful in overcoming PMS. It reduces stress and makes one feel happier.
- Little precautions, simple lifestyle changes and home remedies helps in reducing the negative effects of PMS.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.