Our Indian medicine guru Dr Deepa Apté on natural remedies for PMS
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collection of physical, psychological,and emotional symptoms that appear in the two weeks before a woman’s menstrual period. According to ayurveda, symptoms vary based on the doshas involved.
In vata (excess air) related PMS, women suffer from symptoms like loss of sleep, insomnia, constipation, excess dryness, nervous tension, depression, mood swings, bloating of abdomen, cramps in abdomen and tiredness.
- These can be very well managed by following a food diet favouring more natural sweets, moderately sour and small amounts of salty foods.
- Dryness and constipation are best managed by regular warm oil massages with sesame seed oil at least a week before the periods start.
- Soothing teas containing orange, fennel, ginger, lemon and cloves will help to relievebloating and cramps.
- A combination of triphala and ashwagandha are best for the emotional symptoms ofdepression and grief.
- Hot castor oil packs to the lower abdomen will help relieve symptoms of severe crampsand discomfort.
- Plenty of breathing exercises and relaxing yoga like the shavasana and half spinal twists are beneficial.
Pitta (excess fire) related PMS usually shows symptoms of increased body temperature,irritability, anger, dizziness, increased appetite, diarrhea, excess sweating, increased acidity, burning headache and acne.
- Foot massages with warm coconut oil helps to get rid of excess heat from the body along with any signs of irritability and fevers.
- Steamed green vegetables are best for any skin-related symptoms of acne, rashes and burning sensation.
- Refreshing herbal teas containing saffron, cardamom, mint or basil alleviate acidity, hunger pangs and dizziness.
- Herbs like shatavari (Indian asparagus) and aloe vera are best for this type of PMS.
- Warm oil massages with oil of sandalwood and rose are refreshing.
- Moon salutations at least a week before the periods start and cooling breathing exercises like left nostril breathing or shitali pranayama will be effective.
Kapha (excess water) related PMS comes with signs and symptoms of increased weight, fluid retentions, enlargement of breasts, tiredness, low digestion, sluggishness, and heaviness.
- Foods that are generally spicy, bitter and astringent will help to get rid of any swellings.
- Body treatments like udvartana (ayurvedic herbal scrub) massage are best for fluid retentions and weight gains.
- Triphala along with a resin called guggulu helps to stimulate digestion and beats lethargy.
- Re-energizing sun salutations and stimulating kapalabhati (cleansing breath exercise) work wonders for this kind of PMS.