I have had a few women recently complain about a variety of symptoms associated with PMS and it has prompted me to write this entry. It might seem that this is another post for the girls but not necessarily as I know a lot of guys are effected by their partners when they are suffering from uncontrollable hormones, pain, discomfort and a general lack of peacefulness within themselves. So this is for all the girls and guys out there who suffer in one way or another.
There is a lot that can be done to help women to have a more comfortable monthly experience. Here are some things that you can try:
- Yoga. This is a wonderful way to help your body deal with the hardships of PMS. Firstly, it helps to calm the mind and the nervous system, especially if done on a regular basis. It is also great for the reproductive system too.
- Meditation. It goes without saying that calming the mind and quieting yourself is going to help relieve stress and tension in your mind and body. Done regularly it will greatly improve your mental balance and help you deal with situations in a more calming and rational manner.
- Parsley. This herb is great as it relieves cramping and headaches, reduces water retention from not only the belly but also the legs and the breasts. Also if you are having problems regulating your cycle it will help to promote menstruation too.
- Dandelion is a great herb for helping relieve breast pains, lumps, swelling and general discomfort around this time. You can read about it and it's other therapeutic uses in my earlier post about dandelion.
- Saffron is good for menstrual pain and irregularity.
- Cherries. Apparently if you eat these delicious little stone fruits for the week leading up to the start of menstruation they will relieve PMS and also help with menstrual flow.
- Lavender is very relaxing and it is no surprise that it is used in the treatment of PMS. It clams the emotions and nervous system and is also good for headaches. You can use the oil in a burner, in the bath or on your pillow, let the scent do it's job and just lay back and relax. Better still mix it with some massage oil and hand it to your partner for some TLC. If that is not an option then rub your feet, head, shoulders and enjoys some self pampering. Or go have a massage from a qualified therapist you deserve it after all.
When we look at the symptoms women experience during and leading up to menstruation we can see a very clear relationship to the doshas. Each dosha has it's own symptoms and therefore can be treated as any other doshic imbalance - reduce the qualities of that dosha and increase the other elements to bring balance and wellbeing.
Vata symptoms include the anxiety, depression and rapid mood swings that PMS is famous for. The airy quality of vata will also contribute to dizziness, cramping, constipation, spacieness and even dry skin.
Turmeric, saffron, fennel are specifically recommended if you suffer from any of the above conditions. It is also recommended that you follow a vata pacifying diet, so reduce light, dry and cold foods leading up to and during menstruation. As always if you want to reduce a doshic imbalance have the opposite, so heavy, warming, moist foods are great at this time. It is also advised to avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and other drugs or stimulants as this will only further increase the dosha and therefore the symptoms.
Pitta being made of fire and water result in symptoms of anger, irritability, fever, rashes, acne, diarrhea, sweating, as well as a heavy flow and clots.
Specific herbs for pitta symptoms are turmeric, saffron and aloe vera. Follow a pitta pacifying diet so avoid all things hot, spicy, acidic, sour, pungent and alcohol. Also doing things that are relaxing and cooling is highly recommended.
Kapha is made of earth and water and that creates the heaviness and fatigue that often accompanies menstruation. Mucus, colds, swollen breasts, clots and edema are all kapaha symptoms. The earth element also is responsible for feelings of sadness, crying and sentimentality. Give her a big hug and tell her you love her and it will work wonders.
Herbal remedies specific to kapha at this time include aloe vera, turmeric, cinnamon and ginger. Avoiding kapha increasing foods such as dairy, and anything heavy or fried. Stick to light, dry foods as see how it helps.
Follow this link to a full list of foods that reduce and aggravate each dosha
I hope this is useful and helps you to find some relief from the symptoms that many women suffer though month after month. There are healthy, natural ways to deal with all problems. With knowledge and awareness we can start to take care of ourselves in ways that are better for our bodies. We also take the healing and prevention of our conditions into our own hands and that is a truely powerful thing. Nature provides we just have to know how to use it.