Essential Oils And PMS
PMS is very common in people who menstruare AKA women, according to studies, 3 out of 4 women has it at least to some degree. Short for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome. As a woman myself, I must say I do not get the Pre part of PMS. Many woman have those symptoms also while they are bleeding.
What is PMS?
PMS is a syndrome. That means it’s a collection of symptoms that appear almost every month before and many times into the period. If they appear at any other time, it’s not PMS.
The symptoms are usually one or some of the following: stomachache, back pain, bloating, breast sensitivity, headache, craving sweets, muscles and joint pain, acne and mood swings like sadness, anger, confusion, fatigue, anxiety and nervousness.
Like many things in modern medicine, there is no explanation for PMS. We do know that hormone levels are changing throughout the monthly cycle but no correlation was found between hormone levels and PMS severeness or existence.
Modern medicine treatment of PMS
Treatment today is mostly symptomatic: Painkillers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Some doctors will prescribe the pill – oral contraceptive. This does help sometimes, but a woman has to take it regularly and not every woman is interested in that.
Some doctors will recommend a healthier lifestyle which is always good, but not every woman will maintain it for long and it does not always help specifically for PMS (But it is definitely worth a try and will improve the quality of life in other ways).
Hollistic treatment of PMS
First and foremost, and I saw it so many times, helping many women is the simple understanding that you should rest when you have your period.
I know, it’s not always 100% possible. And I hope I won’t catch too much fire because of this, but just try. This simple awareness can do a lot, if you let your household know that they can support you in many ways and even if not, you can find ways to help yourself. Like preparing food in advance, takeaways etc.
It’s not for nothing that our ancestors gave women some rest while menstruating:
Maori – No gardening
Christians, Muslims and Jews – No sex
Hindu – You shouldn’t go to the temple
Many ancient cultures have the red tent where women have a rest during menstruation.
I found this lovely video about menstruation in the Maori culture. It’s a bit long but worth every minute for people who menstruate and the people who love them. You don’t even have to be Maori. As they say in the video: What’s good for Maori is good for everyone:)
Essential oils for PMS
You can use essential oils in your period. As part of self indulgence and for their medical properties. These are all recommendations you can try and see if you like it. Not medical recommendations.
Relaxes muscles and mind. Dilute in some base oil and massage it onto your stomach or back. You can also add it to the diffuser or add it to a hot bathtub. Hot showers offer a great relief too. Lavender will also help you sleep if you need some rest.
Balances hormones and mood swings. Can be used as lavender oil – Massage diluted onto your belly or diffused.
Calming and reduces stress and anxiety. You can blend with Ylang Ylang in the diffuser. Both these oils are very relaxing, feminine and simply nice.
An energetic mood lifter if you feel exhausted and can’t go to sleep for any reason, maybe you have to work, or take care of babies etc. It’s also good for nausea and bloating. Dilute in a base oil and massage your stomach. In case of nausea, just smell it straight from the bottle or add to the diffuser.
Anti-inflammatory. Many menstrual symptoms can be related to inflammation, so this one is worth a try. Dilute and massage your stomach or diffuse. You can also massage your back if the pain is there.
Clove and Wintergreen Essential Oils
Together or alone. Great painkillers. Dilute and massage the painful area. More suitable for back or muscle pain. Less for abdominal cramps.
Chamomile oil – Anti inflammatory.
Always remember, menstruation time is a time for you. If you feel like you want to smell an oil, which is not on this list. It’s probably the right one for you. The main thing is to indulge yourself and give yourself a rest. This alone can bring so much relief. Jasmine, Rosewood, Fennel, geranium or any other oil you like is absolutely great.
When nothing else helps, try this
Magnesium is great for muscle pain, try magnesium cream and massage to your back or any painful area or massage to the sole of your feet for good sleep.
Vitex agnus cactus – A miracle plant for women. Hormone stabilizer. Take every morning, the relief will came on the second period usually after you start taking this plant. Especially good for heavy periods, makes them lighter. Did miracles for me. Good also for endometriosis, menopause, polyps etc.
Do consult a doctor especially if symptoms are severe because sometimes these symptoms can be signs of another medical condition which may need a different treatment.