Premenstrual syndrome is a common affliction in many women. According to Ayurveda having PMS is not a ‘normal’ occurrence – it usually implies that there is an imbalance in the body. A ‘normal’ menses experience should be without pain and mood swings. However, in today’s society of high pressure and activity it has become inevitable that most women are experiencing all kinds of symptoms. There are some home remedies that can help reduce the symptoms and pain associated with PMS. Some of the recommendations will differ according to the signs and symptoms, but there are some general guidelines one can follow to help prevent and manage some of the discomfort during the cycle.
6 Practical Tips For Managing PMS ~ An Ayurvedic Perspective
1. Following a light diet the week before (and during) your cycle can help to ease the body into the purification process it is going through. Eating cold and heavy foods can exacerbate the painful symptoms during the cycle. A diet of fresh vegtables, soups and broths is much more favorable at this time.
2. One tablespoon of Aloe vera gel twice a day is extremely effective especially if taken a week before the onset of menses. Aloe vera is very cooling without aggravating the body and can help with some of the heat thatis generated during the cycle.
3. If there is abdominal cramps and bloating a warm castor oil pack placed on the lower abdomen can also relieve some of these symptoms. Castor oil produces a slow sustained heat that is soothing and healing. It can also help relieve congestion and discomfort of endometriosis. Pour 3 tablespoons of warm castor oil onto a soft cloth and place this compress over the abdomen. A hot water bottle can be placed on top to keep warm.
4. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these are diuretics and can worsen PMS symptoms. Likewise, avoid chocolates, cookies and sodas as these are refined sugars and can also worsen PMS symptoms.
5. Eating vitamin (A-E) and calcium rich food can also help to prevent premenstrual cramps and pain. Foods such as leafy greens, milk, beans, peas and spinach as well as vitamin rich food such as carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, oranges and sunflower oil can also help to keep anxiety and mood swings at bay.
6. Gentle yoga exercise can also be great for prevention of PMS before the onset of menses. However during the cycle, resting as much as possible is recommended.
More Specific Signs & Symptoms of PMS
“VATA-TYPE P.M.S.” is often associated with:
– mood swings
– low back pain
– feeling edgy
Simple Considerations for “Vata-Type P.M.S.”
– 1 tablespoon of aloe vera with a pinch of black pepper three times a day a week before menses.
– Consume 10 cherries daily a week before menses
“PITTA-TYPE P.M.S.” is often associated with:
– hot flashes
– breast tenderness
Simple Considerations for “Pitta-Type P.M.S.”
– 1 tablespoon of aloe vera three times a day with a pinch of cumin a week before menses.
– Consume rose hibiscus tea and rose petal jam
“KAPHA-TYPE P.M.S.” is often associated with:
– weight gain
– poor appetitite
Simple Considerations for “Kapha-Type P.M.S.”
– 1 tablespoon of aloe vera three times a day with a pinch of trikatu a week before menses.
– Ginger and hibiscus tea and using castor oil packs
This is for educational purposes only and not to be considered medical advice.
These are general considerations and for a more detailed assessment, one should consider a professional ayurvedic provider.
1. Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies. New York: Three Rivers Press.
2. Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
3. Lad, V. (2012). Ayurvedic perspectives on selected pathologies: An anthology of essential reading from ayurveda today (2nd ed.). Albuquerque, NM: Ayurvedic Press.
4. Svoboda, R. (1999). Ayurveda for women: A guide to vitality and health. Devon: David & Charles.
5. Lonsdorf, N. (2004). The ageless woman: Natural health and beauty after forty with Maharishi Ayurveda. Ann Arbor, MI: MCD Century Publications.