Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – Symptoms, Causes and Natural Remedies

premenstrual syndrome remedies

What Is Premenstrual Syndrome?

  • Premenstrual syndrome is a condition that is associated with the onset of a woman’s menstrual cycle. A woman’s physical health, emotions, and even behavior may be affected during certain days of her menstrual cycle, i.e., just before the onset of her periods. These changes are collectively termed premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome often surface 5 to 11 days prior to menstruation and typically subside once menstruation begins.
  • A more severe and disabling form of premenstrual syndrome that is known to affect 3-8 % of menstruating women is called the premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
  • Although the exact cause of premenstrual syndrome is yet to be determined, many researchers are of the opinion that it is related to changes in the sex hormone as well as the serotonin levels at the beginning of the menstrual cycle.

Causes and Risk Factors for Premenstrual Syndrome

Let us now look at the causes and risk factors for premenstrual syndrome.

  • Just before the onset of your periods, the levels of the female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, increase in your body. An increase in these hormones can result in mood swings, irritability, and symptoms of anxiety.
  • Serotonin is another chemical (neurotransmitter) present in your brain and gut that can affect your mood, emotions, and thoughts. A decrease in the levels of this chemical is also attributed to mood changes.
  • Premenstrual syndrome is believed to be caused by the changes in the levels of these sex hormones and chemicals.
  • A family history of premenstrual syndrome
  • A family history of depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Emotional or physical abuse or trauma.
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Major depressive disorder

But it doesn’t mean that if you have PMS, you will also develop these conditions. It’s more likely that women who have these conditions suffer more from PMS because they are already feeling off balance.

The symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome can be mild to moderate. Also, the severity of the symptoms varies from individual to individual.

Signs and Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome

Some of the most common symptoms that surface due to premenstrual syndrome are listed below.

  • Soreness of breasts
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Muscle/joint ache
  • Headache
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Mood swings that lead to irritability or anger
  • Changes in appetite
  • Insomnia or trouble in falling asleep

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10 Natural Home Remedies for PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

PMS or premenstrual syndrome is no joke. I am sure most of you girls out there know what I am talking about. Those days when all you feel like is either crying your heart out or simply indulging in a bucket full of chocolate ice cream for no apparent reason – you know for a fact that your monthly guest is right next door.

Most women tend to resort to painkillers to get relief from the symptoms of PMS. However, Premenstrual syndrome can often be managed naturally, especially if the symptoms are mild to moderate. Any of the remedies listed below can help you in the treatment and management of premenstrual syndrome successfully.

1. Omega-3

Premenstrual syndrome can also be treated by supplementing omega-3 fatty acids in affected women. In a study published in The Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, omega-3 was shown to reduce the symptoms of PMS while also improving the affected individual’s quality of life.

Process:

  • Take250-500 mg omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Incorporate omega-3s into your diet.
  • You can either consume natural sources of omega-3s like fatty fish, green leafy veggies, walnuts, and flax seeds or take supplements.
  • You must do this on a daily basis.

2. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are great for reducing inflammation and muscle spasms that often surface with premenstrual syndrome. This is due to their powerful anti-inflammatory activities.

Process:

  • Take 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
  • Roast two tablespoons of sesame seeds and add it to your favorite salads or smoothies.
  • You can consume these seeds 1 to 2 times daily until your symptoms get better.

3. Green Tea

Green tea will not only keep you hydrated throughout the day but also prevent water retention due to its diuretic effects. Its anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce muscle cramps, pain, acne outbreaks, and anxiety associated with PMS.

Process:

  • Take ½ teaspoon of green tea and 1 cup of hot water
  • Add half a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of hot water.
  • Steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain. Consume the green tea.
  • You can do this twice daily.

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4. Lavender oil

Lavender oil is undoubtedly the best essential oil for treating premenstrual syndrome. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of lavender oil help relieve pain and cramps while its other actions alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Process:

  • Take 6 drops of lavender oil and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or any other carrier oil.
  • Add lavender oil to coconut or any other carrier oil.
  • Mix well and apply it to your lower abdomen and behind your neck.
  • Massage gently for a few minutes and leave it on.
  • Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

5. Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is popular for its use as a pain blocking agent to reduce pain and cramping associated with premenstrual syndrome with its analgesic properties. It is also a phytoestrogen that can help balance estrogen in the body.

Process:

  • Take 1 teaspoon of black cohosh root and 1 cup of water
  • Add black cohosh root to a cup of water.
  • Bring it to a boil in a saucepan. Simmer for about 5 minutes and strain.
  • You can add some honey to the tea to enhance its flavor. Drink it.
  • Drink this tea at least twice daily.

6. Vitamins

Vitamins B6, D, and E help in relieving symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. These vitamins proved to be effective in treating the overall PMS symptoms such as anxiety, breast tenderness, etc.

Vitamin B6 is a natural diuretic and helps reduce the fluid retention that builds up the week before the period. If you use Vitamin D, make sure you don’t take more than 2,000 IU per day and take it with magnesium. Vitamin E can be especially useful for premenstrual breast pain.

Hence, it is important that you incorporate more of these vitamins into your diet by consuming foods like fish, poultry, eggs, soy products, mushroom, dairy, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. You can take additional supplements for any of these vitamins but only after consulting your doctor.

7. Ginger

Ginger has proven to help treat symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness. Although the etiology behind this is not clear, ginger also helps reduce physical and behavioral symptoms that surface with premenstrual syndrome.

Process:

  • Take 2 inches of ginger and 1 cup of water.
  • Add the ginger to a cup of hot water.
  • Steep for 10 minutes and strain. Drink the tea.
  • Drink this tea twice daily for best results.

8. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is another excellent remedy for premenstrual syndrome. According to an article published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, ginkgo biloba was found to decrease the severity of the overall physical and psychological symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.

Process:

  • Take 1 tablespoon of ginkgo biloba dried leaves and 1 cup of water
  • Add a tablespoon of ginkgo biloba dried leaves to a cup of hot water.
  • Steep for 5 to 10 minutes and strain.
  • Consume the hot tea.
  • Have 1 to 2 cups of this tea daily.

9. Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry leaf tea is a rich source of certain flavonoids, tannins, and nutrients like magnesium and calcium, all of which collectively help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as cramps. It also helps balance the hormones preventing symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Process:

  • Take 1 teaspoon of raspberry leaf tea and 1 cup of hot water.
  • Steep a teaspoon of raspberry leaf tea in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes.
  • Strain and allow it to cool for a while.
  • Drink the warm tea.
  • You can drink this tea twice daily.

10. Ylang Ylang oil

Ylang ylang oil has sedative properties that induce relaxation and promote sleep. The oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce symptoms of pain that occur with premenstrual syndrome.

Process:

  • Take 6 drops of ylang ylang oil and 1 teaspoon of coconut or any other carrier oil.
  • Add ylang ylang oil to any carrier oil.
  • Mix well and apply it to your lower abdomen, behind your ears, and your temples.
  • Gently massage for a minute and leave it on.
  • You can do this 2 to 3 times daily.

All these remedies are quite effective in alleviating PMS symptoms. You must also be aware of the foods that can alleviate or worsen your symptoms to help you deal with the condition better. If you have been facing issues with PMS symptoms that show no improvement despite availing natural treatment or making changes to your lifestyle, it is best to visit your doctor and seek medical advice for your condition.

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