From a happy, efficient and lively woman you turn into a raging monster every month for a few days, all thanks to Pre-menstrual Syndrome or PMS! The hormonal ups and downs before and during your menstrual cycle can turn you into a different person altogether. The emotional, physical and mental signs and symptoms of PMS make it a recurring nightmare for many.
Let us understand the common symptoms of PMS and the natural ways to counter them:
Physical symptoms of PMS
Fatigue, headache, tenderness in breasts, bloating especially in the abdominal area, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, water retention, back ache, outburst of acne, muscular cramps etc.
Emotional and mental symptoms of PMS
Irritability or mood swings, anger, feelings of depression and anxiety, frequent crying, low concentration levels, insomnia etc.
These symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe. If they are too severe for you to function normally, then it is best to seek medical help. However, most symptoms disappear within 3-4 days of the start of the menstrual cycle.
A few minutes of deep breathing techniques, a hot water bath, or just listening to your favourite tracks can help calm you down and alleviate PMS.
Home Remedies to beat PMS
Here are some natural remedies that can help you counter the various signs and symptoms of PMS. Find out which remedy suits your condition and try it out the next time PMS troubles you.
For mood swing, anxiety and depression:
- Eat foods like avocado, pineapple, figs, and dates, etc. before and during your period. These foods are loaded with a mood enhancing substance called serotonin. When the serotonin levels are high, you stop feeling the blues and your anxiety and tension vanish instantly.
- Gorge on foods high in Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 increases the serotonin levels in your body. This alleviates depression and emotional lows like crying spells. Whole grains, brown rice, fish, beans, milk, walnut, leafy greens like broccoli, kale, spinach etc. are foods that have high levels of Vitamin B6. Eat your way to a happy you!
- Do deep breathing exercises or pranayama with gentle breathing like alternate nostril breathing for five to ten minutes twice a day. Listen to light music, take a walk amidst nature and spend some quality time with your family and friends. Meditate for a few minutes daily. These activities will help calm you down and keep stress at bay, which will help you cope with PMS symptoms.
For muscular cramps:
- Boil 10 grams each of carom seeds, aniseed, cardamom and mint leaves in a glass of water. Strain the liquid and store it. Drink 50 ml of this decoction to relieve menstrual cramps.
- Drink a glass of milk or green tea.
- Take freshly squeezed grape juice or pineapple juice.
- Apply a few drops of lavender oil extract around your navel region and stomach. It will alleviate abdominal cramps in a few minutes.
- Drink half a cup of fresh parsley juice to avert too much pain due to menstrual cramps. You may take parsley juice twice a day. It also regulates irregular periods.
- You may add three to five basil leaves to your food or tea.
- Take root of neem tree, crush them into a paste and apply it on your pimples or acne. It will dry them out without leaving a scar.
- Make a paste of crushed neem leaves, two tablespoons fuller’s earth (multani mitti) and some rose water. Apply this paste on your face to treat acne.
- Take half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and add some water to make a fine paste. Apply this paste on your forehead and temples three to four times a day to relieve headaches. It saves you from popping painkillers unnecessarily.
- Take a cup of lukewarm water with a few drops of ginger juice and lemon juice to ease the headache.
For water retention and bloating:
- Eat foods rich in potassium. This will help you get rid of bloating and water retention due to PMS. You can relish bananas, potatoes, figs, onions, tomatoes, leafy greens etc. to load up on potassium.
- Limit salt intake and exercise regularly throughout the month to prevent water retention during PMS. Even a twenty minute walk will make a great difference in preventing water retention.
- Brew cinnamon tea or chamomile tea at bedtime to induce good night’s sleep. You may sweeten it with a few drops of honey.
- Take fresh juice of grapes and apple to get restful sleep and relieve insomnia.
- Take a pinch of pepper powder with a teaspoon of aloe vera gel. Take it thrice a day after every meal to relieve backache due to PMS.
- Take extract of pineapple many times a day. Its anti inflammatory nature will alleviate backache.
- Heat mustard seeds, tie them up in a soft muslin cloth and place it on your aching back as a homemade heat pad. Make sure to keep it for less than ten minutes.
For nausea,diarrhoea and constipation:
- Drink mint tea two to three times a day to take care of nausea due to PMS.
- Eat a banana with curd to relieve diarrhoea.
- Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Take it twice a day to relieve diarrhea.
- Eat papaya after dinner to relieve constipation naturally and to improve your digestion.
- Take a teaspoon of flaxseeds with water twice a day to relieve constipation.
General remedies for PMS:
- Eat 250 grams ripe papaya daily to relieve symptoms of PMS. It helps alleviate the menstrual pain and regulates menstrual cycle.
- Take a handful of sesame seeds daily two to three days before menstrual cycle to counter signs of PMS. You can soak them in water before eating or just eat them dry.
- Drink a glass of fresh carrot juice to ease off the symptoms of PMS.
- Eat eight to ten cherries daily on an empty stomach seven to ten days before your periods start. It will help dispel the symptoms of PMS.
Take medical advice from your doctor before starting with any remedy. This will help you find the remedy best suited to your body constitution and health history. Keep a positive outlook and bid adieu to those PMS blues!