Blog 38: Aromatherapy – A natural treatment for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual Syndrome is estimated to affect around 20 to 40% of menstruating women and it is most common amongst women in their 30s & 40s.1 However, the symptoms can be severe to relatively mild depending on different factors. Medications are often prescribed for dealing with pms but the hunt for pms natural treatment is increasing steeply worldwide. PMS is a recurrent disorder; hence the treatments need to be safe & free from side effects. Aromatherapy, the age old holistic healing procedure, can be an effective & simple way to ease the various symptoms of PMS. Let us take a look at how it can help.
What is PMS?
Premenstrual syndrome can be defined as a group of physical & psychological changes that occur in women, 2-14 days before menstruation and eases as the menstrual flow starts.2
The symptoms of pms & their severity both can vary widely from person to person and even from time to time depending on more than one factor. The most common pms symptoms include depression, tiredness, headache, bloating, tenderness of breasts & tension. Lowered general performance, constipation, insomnia, distended stomach & decreased libido are some of the other symptoms commonly related with PMS.
The cause of PMS
The exact cause of PMS is still uncertain. Some of the proposed causes of PMS are excess production of prostaglandin, deficiency of pyridoxine and increased production of aldosterone in the body.2 It has also been observed that different PMS symptoms might be caused due to different reasons.
Aromatherapy for treating PMS
Different essential oil blends can effectively ease different symptoms of PMS. Checkout some of the most effective aromatherapy treatments for different PMS symptoms,
Aromatherapy for depression & mood swings
Adding calming & anti-depressive essential oils in your bathing water or using these oils in inhalators or vaporizers can be helpful for treating depression & mood swings related to PMS. Bergamot, Roman Chamomile & rose essential oils can be used for reducing depression & mood swings.3
Essential oils for sleep disturbances & headache
For sleepless nights, irritability & headache prepare an essential oil blend with Roman Chamomile, Melissa & Lavender essential oils.4 Inhale the oil blend or use it in a diffuser to feel relieved. Massaging a little of the oil blend added with a carrier oil onto the temples can also be helpful. Sweet Dreams can also be an effective solution to fight sleep disturbances & symptoms related to it.
Treatment for tender breasts
If you suffer from tender breasts before your periods, massage with essential oil blends can be helpful. Blend Eucalyptus essential oil & Geranium essential oil with evening primrose carrier oil & massage onto the breasts with light but steady hands for 10-15 minutes & follow with hot water compress. Take this treatment twice a day for best results.
Treatment for fluid retention
For minimizing fluid retention in the body using Sweet Fennel, Juniper berry & Geranium essential oils in a massage oil base can be effective. Using the oil blend for lymphatic drainage massage minimizes fluid retention. 3
Aromatherapy treatment for PMS
Hormonal imbalance in the body is considered as a primary reason for PMS symptoms. Some essential oils are known to have a tendency to normalize the hormonal levels in the body. Cypress essential oil can be used for any problems related to the ovary. In case of unstable estrogen levels clary sage & niaouli essential oils can be useful. To balance the hormonal levels, these essential oils should be used in baths, for massage & inhalation for 10 to 12 days before the expected date of menstruation.4
Evening Primrose Oil for treating PMS
gamma-Linolenic acid or GLA is an essential fatty acid which is known to be vital in menstrual regulation. Evening Primrose Oil contains natural GLA. The results of studies performed with evening primrose oil have found that more than 60% of women with PMS experience reduced depression, bloating, mood swings & breast pain.1
Other treatments for PMS
- Proper eating habits along with aromatherapy can be most helpful for treating the symptoms of PMS. The right nutrients taken at regular intervals can effectively assist in rebalancing the hormonal levels in the body.
- Increase the intake of complex carbohydrates like vegetables, whole grains fruits & legumes.2
- Reducing consumption of caffeine, salt, sugar, red meat, alcohol and tobacco can be helpful to control the pms symptoms.2
- Gentle exercise & staying active during the period can also be helpful to ease the symptoms.
Apsara, one of the best sellers from the Medicure range of Keya Seth brand is an effective remedy for PMS problems. This uterine tonic has been formulated with herbal extracts that have proven effect in normalizing ovarian function & menstrual cycle. Consumption of 10ml of the tonic twice daily for at least 3 months or as suggested by the physician can give you the best results.References
- Pizzorno J, Murray M. A text book of natural medicine. 2nd edn, Churchill Livingstone, UK, 1999.
- Murtagh J. General practice. 2nd edn, The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc, Australia 1998.
- Salvatore Battaglia. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edn, The International Center of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003.
- Shirley price. Aromatherapy for women. Lorenz Books, USA, 2001.
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