Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
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What is PMS?

Ayurveda takes a holistic therapy approach to prevent and manage premenstrual symptoms at each stage of the cycle. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is recognizable to over 95% percent of females. Most individuals think of the emotional symptoms, including irritability, depression, and stress during the last week of the female menstrual cycle. Many physical symptoms can also occur in some women. These symptoms may include abdominal discomfort, bloating, mastalgia (tender breasts), lack of energy, and fatigue. Appetite changes and food cravings, change in libido, low concentration, intense food craving, social withdrawal, and trouble falling asleep (insomnia) are common PMS symptoms.

See: Anxiety, Depression, Hairloss, PMS, & Wrist pain with Bisoma & Tetrasoma Acupuncture, Sasang Herbs

How does Ayurveda view PMS?

Ayurveda views PMS as a Vata dosha imbalance. Vata dosha is made from ether and air and is the moving force for doshas. Hormonal ace related to menses, irritability, and anger is Vata's wind pushing Pitta's flames. Pitta provides the conversion energy, made from fire and water. The low energy, weight gain, and liquid retention are Vata interacting with Kapha, made from earth and water. Stress, bloating, and fatigue are indications of high Vata through this section of their menstrual cycle. Fortunately, women everywhere can use simple steps to decrease PMS symptoms, reduce Vata, and bring more days of bliss to each month.

A healthy menstrual cycle operates like a machine. This precise cycle can only occur if, primarily, the pitta energy is beneficial as it is the energy that generally influences the menstrual cycle. Ayurveda states the nutrition that the female body receives is split between two secondary cells --breast and breast --until reaching the rest of the body. When a woman is reproductively active, both of these cells are nourished according to her conception or non-conception.

When a woman conceives, more nutrition material in the kind of plasma and lymph is directed into the breast and breast tissues. When a woman is breastfeeding, the majority of the nourishment goes to her breasts for milk production. When the breastfeeding stops, the body resumes sending the majority of the nourishment to the uterine tissue.  The nourishment converts into the blood and moves from the body through menstrual flow at the end of the cycle. Pitta governs this entire transformation process, while Vata is responsible for moving out the blood in the uterus. Many PMS symptoms are due to aggravation of Pitta and Vata.


See: Does lavender aromatherapy alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms?: a randomized crossover trial.

Ayurvedic remedies for PMS

Ayurveda looks at menstruation as a natural detox procedure for the female body. It says that a woman ought to ease the process of letting go of all the menstrual blood to a degree where no physical strain is exerted. That is why if you look in Ashtanga yoga, during the women's menstruation days, there is no yoga practiced. The reason is that they do not want women to exert any physical energy once the body is undergoing a detox procedure.

Pranayama:

To ease the process, you may just do pranayamas and incredibly light stretching rather than extreme yoga. This notion applies similarly to all facets of life, from physical exercise into your job. Ideally, you would have some reduce stress days on the job during menstruation to facilitate detox. In summary, psychological stress and physical strain should be avoided when menstruating, if at all possible.

Diet:

Having a diet consisting of nutrient-dense whole foods is a step towards overall health improvements. Many processed foods contain ingredients that directly influence hormone reactions. Reducing these substances can significantly reduce PMS symptoms.

- Cooked veggies like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli with spices allow for simple digestion and comprise the chemical formulations that the body has to decrease PMS symptoms.

- Legumes contain nutrients such as lignans and phytoestrogens that help in nitric oxide. Avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine intake can considerably reduce PMS. Managing PMS requires a good diet and exercise throughout the entire month. A woman must reduce her workout regime during the week of menses. The additional movement disrupts the flow of Vata. Throughout the week of menses, light walking and yoga will keep the body healthy. Through the remainder of the month, exercise at regular intensity is essential.

Herbal Tea:

- Drinking tulsi, anise, or fennel tea during the first week of the luteal phase of the menstruation cycle can decrease PMS symptoms before they happen. Dill seed tea in the second week of this phase will keep different symptoms from cropping up.

- Removing beauty products that have toxic substances is another way to encourage the management of PMS. One specific example is face cleansers. They contain compounds that do really deep cleanse the skin and soak in through the pores and include a chemical load that affects the female organs and hormonal equilibrium. Utilizing natural cleansers with no synthetic parabens, sulfates, and ethanol is ideal for keeping hormone shifting molecules from your body.

Ayurvedic herbs are another way of reducing PMS symptoms:

- Aloe vera was used as a curative agent for the female reproductive system for centuries. It's useful during all stages of the menstruation cycle.

- Vitamin B6 has been shown in a variety of studies to decrease PMS symptoms. It's believed that through PMS, energy levels plummet as a result of the body preparing for menses. Mitochondria are stressed. B6 supports mitochondria and provides building materials for energy molecules.

- Bamboo manna is used to reduce Pitta throughout the luteal phase and during menses. 

- Saraca indica is the reliever of despair. Not only is this herb perfect for mental health, but it also has an affinity for female reproduction. It directs Vata to be healthy and enhances the general detoxification function. 

- Centella asiatica enhances cognition but also aids in providing better energy into the mind. Like diet, these herbs balance various body areas during multiple areas of the cycle, providing stability through the changing body. 

- Symplocos racemosa reduces heavy bleeding during menses but also has been shown to reduce abdominal distress before and during menses.

The best way to deal with PMS is by regulating your cycle. It is more beneficial to tackle the matter throughout your daily routine than only when you are experiencing the symptoms--such as bloating, digestive problems, skin breakouts, and mood swings--related to PMS. Living a healthy lifestyle daily using a well-regulated diet, quality sleep, and consistent exercise habits are the best plan to treat, or even better, bypass these symptoms entirely.

It's also consoling for some women to know that the detox method is not always straightforward and can sometimes be painful. This detoxification process is the reason why menstrual cramps can occur and be uncomfortable. From time to time, knowing and accepting a little bit of pain is normal during puberty may lessen its effect.


See: Implantation Cramps vs PMS Cramps Difference

Should you take painkillers for PMS?

Many women reach for over-the-counter pain medication so quickly to relieve the pain. OTC painkillers, in the long run, aren't incredibly healthy as they have a substantial quantity of unwanted side effects, such as a heightened risk of heart attack, reports a new study published in the British Medical Journal in May. An individual should avoid taking them as far as possible. Needless to say, if the pain isn't tolerable, then it is fair to use OTC medications sparingly. Just be sure that you're taking the appropriate steps to mitigate these symptoms more obviously before your next cycle.

See: Neck pain, period cramp, PMS, leukorrhea, Raynauds and hyperhidrosis with Tetrasoma acupuncture and Sasang herbs

References

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See: Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention.

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