Premenstrual Syndrome driving you nuts each month? Ayurveda can help you take control
Nearly every woman has experienced the dark side of the hormonal rage each month before her periods. The surge of hormones can make you moody, cranky, irritable, bloated and simply tired sometimes. This premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a complex phenomenon that comprises of multiple and repeated physical and emotional symptoms experienced by women a few days prior to their monthly period. About 80% women in their reproductive age go through this at some stage of their life. These changes may also include mild to severe physical pain, backache, stomach ache, headaches, and so on.
Ayurveda is a great side-effect free solution for PMS. It helps women combat changes happening in their body every month and improves their physical, mental, emotional, and socio-economical health. Ayurveda doesn’t see premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as a disease but as an imbalance of the doshas.
Ayurveda for PMS
Ayurveda prescribes the following medicines for the treatment of PMS:
- Shatavari: This commonly known Ayurvedic remedy acts as a uterine tonic. It nourishes the reproductive system of women, working on the multiple symptoms women face prior to and during the time of menstruation. It also acts on the Majjavaha strotas (CNS), providing relief from mental and emotional symptoms such as mood swings, irritation, and so on.
Shatavari is recommended to be taken orally in the form of 1-3 grams powder with warm water for women who want to shed some weight along with PMS. Alternatively, 1 tsp Shatavari Kalpa can be taken with warm milk for women who are underweight.
It can also be used for multiple other problems such as infertility, white discharge, heavy bleeding, pain during periods, and so on.
- Ashoka: This acts as a Garbhashaya Rasayana (uterine tonic). It acts specifically on the innermost layer of the uterus (endometrium) and ovaries. It provides strength to the reproductive system; hence, it's useful even in heavy bleeding and white discharge along with PMS.
Ashoka can be taken in the form of 10 ml Ashokarishta twice a day with an equal quantity of water. 1-3 grams Ashoka powder can be taken with rice water.
- Dashmool: Dashmool is tridoshaghn (balancing all three doshas) in nature and vatagh (balancing the Vata dosha) in action. Vata is mainly responsible for different physical and psychological diseases in the body as well as for hormonal imbalances. As Dashmool balances the Vata dosha, it gives wonderful results for complaints of PMS.
10 ml Dashmoolarishta can be taken twice a day with an equal quantity of water during PMS until menstrual bleeding starts.
Treatments to combat PMS
Ayurveda advises the following treatments to combat PMS:
- Basti: This is a treatment in which different medicated oils or decoctions are administered to the patient, such as enema. It is considered as the first line of treatment for Vata diseases in Ayurveda. Hormonal imbalance is considered as the primary cause of PMS, which is Vata disease according to Ayurveda. Hence, it is advisable to take a cycle of Basti prior to menstruation.
- Shirodhara: This is a procedure in which the medicated oil or decoction is poured on the forehead of a person for a specific period of time. It acts on the pituitary gland, which is the master gland that's responsible for the entire hormonal balancing of the body. Also, it helps reduce mental stress; hence, it's very useful for today’s multitasking women.
Dietary recommendations to prevent PMS
Ayurveda offers the following dietary recommendations to prevent PMS:
- Avoid abhishyandi aahar (one that occludes fine meridians) such as curd, lassi, fermented food, paneer, ice cream, especially a week prior to periods.
- Avoid lavan (salty), tikta (bitter), and Katu (spicy) food.
- Avoid sprouts a week prior to menstruation.
- Avoid excessive drinking of caffeinated and aerated drinks such as tea, coffee, and cold drinks.
- Ensure clear bowels to prevent PMS. Lots of fibre needs to be included in the diet to ensure this.
- Drinking enough water (2-3 litres each day) and having a sound sleep cycle is important too.
Physical exercises to help with PMS
The following physical exercises can help in cases of PMS:
- Everyday walking in sunlight for at least 20-30 minutes is recommended.
- Yogasanas such as Suryanamaskar, Padmasana, Vrikshasaana, and Pavanmuktasana are recommended.
- Anulom Vilom and Kapal Bhati Pranayama are very useful if practised regularly.
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