Monday, December 15, 2008

Premenstrual Syndrome - Medical Treaments Versus Natural Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies

Once you have been diagnosed with PreMenstrual Syndrome (PMS) there should be a discussion between you and your doctor regarding how to best relieve your symptoms. There are several options of care including self-care at home; medical treatments including medications, and alternative care techniques.

All of these options have had success in relieving many PMS symptoms. It is best to experiment with several different methods until you find what works for you, or you may decide on a combination from each of the options.

Medical Treatments:

Your doctor may prescribe medications to bring relief from symptoms of PMS. Some of these may include an anti-inflammatory which can be used to reduce the amount of prostaglandins in a woman's body which, in turn, reduces symptoms such as headaches, breast tenderness and welling - all of which are caused by inflammatory reactions.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the new type of NSAID with Cox-2 inhibitors which are available by prescription only. These Cox-2 inhibitors do cause as much stomach discomfort or aggravate stomach ulcers like the NSAIDs have. There is always a risk of potentially dangerous side effects when using any prescription medication.

Other medications which may be prescribed include hormones such as Synarel and Lupron, or Danazol or anti-anxiety drugs such as Benzodiazepines and Xanax. Benzodiazepines can be addictive, so discuss the use of this drug thoroughly with your doctor before beginning this treatment. Anti-anxiety and antidepressants are also used in the treatment of PMS as are diuretics.

Self-Care at Home:

There are many home remedies to try which have been successful at relieving symptoms of PMS. Dietary changes to lessen the effects of bloating and water retention can include avoiding foods which contain salt, limiting salt used as seasoning, avoiding candy and other sweets, and avoiding sodas (especially the sugary ones).

Vitamin and mineral supplements have been shown to be effective in reducing several symptoms of PMS. These include taking Vitamin E (300 - 400 IU) per day, calcium (1,200 mg) per day, magnesium (200 mg per day) and Vitamin B6 (50 mg per day) to reduce anxiety and moodiness. You can also find good sources of Vitamin B6 in foods such as dark green, leafy vegetables, seafood such as oysters, meats, legumes, nuts, and whole grains.

Exercise has also proven to be beneficial in relaxing taut muscles with the added benefit of improving your mood. Muscle relaxation techniques such as progressive relaxation and massage therapy can also be beneficial.

A soothing cup of chamomile tea, a soak in a warm tub and a heating pad can also do wonders. Just be careful not to use high heat and don't fall asleep with the heating pad on. It's also important not to use Ben Gay muscle rub along with a heating pad.

Here are several natural remedies using herbs and essential oils which can help naturally alleviate many of the most aggravating symptoms of PMS:

Menstrual Cramps Blend

* 1 ounce Carrier Oil such as sweet Almond
* 15 drops Peppermint
* 10 drops Cypress
* 5 drops Lavender


Mix oils well in a clean, dark-colored glass container. Gently message a small amount into the abdominal area.

PMS Bath

* 3 d. Lavender oil
* 3 d. Clary Sage oil.

Add to 1/4 C epsom salts or baking soda; add to bath with water running; soak 15-20 mins.

Tea for Bloating


* 1 cup boiled water
* 1 tablespoon ground Cinnamon


Combine ingredients and drink while still warm. You can sweeten with a little honey.

PMS Symptoms Blend

Fennel can help with those horrible menstrual cramps. has been shown to reduce the emotional impact of PMS that leaves us apathetic, tired & listless. Fortunately, Aromatherapy offers a safe, natural and effective solution for a wide variety of PMS symptoms with the following blend.


* 8 drops Chamomile
* 7 drops Clary Sage
* 7 drops Fennel
* 2 tablespoons Carrier Oil

Massage the blend in a V pattern up from the vaginal area, over the lower abdomen & hips, back towards the buttock and end right at the V above the butt. The research on this suggests that to gain the greatest benefit you should massage every day of the month. It takes between two and three months of continual use to notice a substantial effect.

Another PMS Bath

* Grapefruit 4 drops
* Clary Sage 4 drops
* Ylang-Ylang 4 drops
* Geranium 3 drops
* Massage oil 1 teaspoons (5 ml)

Swirl mixture in bath to disperse oil evenly. Relax & enjoy for at least 30 minutes. (This Recipe is From "500 Formulas for Aromatherapy" by Carol & David Schiller)

Dee Braun, a single mom of 6, is a Cert. Aromatherapist and natural health practitioner. Click now to visit Mom's Blog at where you'll find articles and information on natural ways of improving the health of yourself, your family and your childrens health.

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