Do you feel a sudden emotional outburst accompanied by irritability just before your menstrual cycle is to begin? Do you suffer from mild cramps, constipation and headaches during these days? Chances are you are nodding in agreement. Fret not because you are not alone. These are some of the most common symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). But instead of popping painkillers to find relief, we suggest that you give Ayurveda a chance. This ancient holistic healing system has a treasure trove of natural remedies and yoga asanas that can help you sail through that uncomfortable time of the month with ease.
Ayurveda and PMS
PMS is a common occurrence for most women after ovulation and before the beginning of the menstrual period. Women can suffer from mild to severe physical and emotional symptoms during this time such as headaches, sore breasts, cramps, insomnia, mood swings, anxiety and crying spells amongst others. Understanding PMS and managing it through natural methods is the best way to minimise its impact on your life. “Yoga postures and Ayurvedic rasayanas can play a vital role in PMS relief as they help alleviate the symptoms,” explains Dr. Kriti Soni, Head of R&D, Kapiva.
Take PMS by the horns with yoga asanas
Research shows that 90% of women in the reproductive stage experience mild to severe PMS symptoms. During this time, most of you would like to pop a pain killer and curl up in bed with a hot water bag. Try easy yoga postures instead. It will help relieve premenstrual pain and calm the hormonal roller coaster you might experience during this time. Panna Paranjpe, a certified Jason Crandell Yoga instructor with 20 years of experience, suggests the following asanas and breathing techniques that can lessen your PMS pain.
“Besides asanas, you must also do yoga nidra and some gentle pranayama such as Brahmari (humming bee breath), Ujjayi (victorious breath), Anulom-Vilom (alternate nostril breath), and deep breathing. Pranayama balances the autonomic nervous system, stops sympathetic nervous system activity, reduces energy consumption and enhances theta and delta brain waves, all of which reduce stress and anxiety and calm the mind. It also improves sleep quality,” explains Paranjpe.
Ayurvedic ingestibles to handle PMS symptoms
Ayurvedic rasayanas or nutrition also help in PMS relief. They are specially formulated with natural plant extracts, raw herbs and essential oils to make products that help fight mood swings and reduce pain experienced during this time. Dr. Soni recommends incorporating the goodness of Ayurvedic herbs and ingredients such as mulethi, shatavari, Ashoka, lodhra and noni to make period care juices for a smoother menstrual cycle.
Make a Shatavari Smoothie with shatavari powder, almond milk, dates, and saffron for hormonal balance, or a Turmeric Latte with turmeric and nutmeg to reduce pain and enjoy a sense of well-being.
“Ayurveda offers a vibrant tapestry of remedies that honour the uniqueness of each woman. By weaving these Ayurvedic threads into your lifestyle, you can transform your PMS experience into a time of self-celebration and empowerment,” notes Dr. Soni.
Shweta Dravid is a self-confessed explorer who writes on travel, health, wellness, mindfulness and life truths.