Pre-menstrual Syndrome or (PMS) is a group of symptoms that women suffer a week prior to the onset of their menstrual cycle. For many women, PMS is not of serious concern, and they do not experience any significant change in their body. But, some go through a really rough phase, which brings about various changes, which could be physical, emotional or behavioural. The changes present themselves a week or two before the commencement of menstrual cycle, and will phase out once you hit your period.
Some of the often associated symptoms include bloating, tender breasts, abdominal pain, cramps, anxiety, irritability, depression, vomiting and diarrhea, among others. In case you experience any such symptoms a week before your periods, these Ayurvedic tips and guidelines can help you relieve it to a great extent.
Ayurveda believes that the three fundamental doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha should be in a state of balance to remain in good health. According to Ayurveda, PMS is not a disease, but, a symptom of doshic imbalance, and it will vary from one woman to another. PMS can be classified based on the imbalance of these doshas:
Vata types: The vata type PMS, which is associated with low back ache, low abdominal pain, mood swings, anxiety, headache and sleep disorders, may also appear as irregular menstrual flow and irregularity in bowels.
Pitta type: An imbalance of pitta can cause symptoms like irritability, mood swings, lower abdominal cramp, burning sensation when passing urine, and sometimes hives. Cool and sweet foods like pears, sweet melons etc., can help counter the effects of imbalance.
Kapha type: Symptoms associated with kapha imbalance may include bloating, weight gain, water retention, drowsiness and sluggishness.
- 1. ‘Dashamoola Tea’ (half-teaspoon of dashamoola, steeped in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes), with a little honey added for taste, can be taken twice a day every week prior to your periods.
- 2. Try having 10 cherries daily on empty stomach a week before onset of menstruation.
- 3. Take half a teaspoon of the herbal mixture made with 2 parts shatavari, 1 part brahmi, and 1 part musta, twice a day with warm water.
- 4. Add a pinch of cumin powder to aloe vera gel, and consume, which can help ease symptoms to a great extent. Else, take one tbsp of aloe vera gel with a pinch of black pepper, thrice a day.
- 5. Mix a tablespoon of aloevera gel with half a teaspoon of Trikatu (an ancient ayurvedic concoction made by using equal parts of black pepper, and ginger), which can help immensely.
- 6. Shatavari is a soothing traditional Ayurvedic herb, helpful to relieve irritability and excessive heat. It also improves health of female reproductive tissue. About 500 to 1000mg of the herb can be taken twice daily.
- 7. Keep your meals light while you experience symptoms. Avoid foods that make you feel heavy. Primary focus should be vegetables and fruits. Eat food which is warm, or atleast at room temperature.
- 8. Warm oil (choose the one that suit your body type) massages with coconut oil / sesame seed oil /rose / sandalwood oil a week prior to onset of menstruation, can help.
- 9. Hot oil packs to the lower abdomen can help relieve symptoms of severe cramps and discomfort.
- 10. Aim for atleast 30 minutes of exercise daily, as it helps in balancing hormone levels and improving mood swings. However, during your menstrual period, you may rest if needed.
- 11. Breathing exercises and relaxing yoga poses like Shavasana and half-spinal twists are beneficial. Vajrasana and sun-salutations are also beneficial.
- 12. Drink enough water, and have lots of fibre foods to keep your digestion healthy. Ayurveda believes that digestion is the cornerstone of health. If your body stores toxins, the PMS symptoms that you experience may be more severe.
PMS is a natural phenomenon, and not a disease, but, when it begins to disrupt your daily life, it can be a cause of concern. In such a case, discuss with your doctor about more effective ways of tackling it.