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Alternative Medicines for Premenstrual Syndrome

Homeopathy for Premenstrual Syndrome

Homeopathic treatments work to stimulate the body into righting any emotional or physical upsets that produce PMS symptoms. It uses highly diluted doses of natural substances that would cause PMS symptoms if given in full strength to a healthy person. The substances are from plant, mineral, and animal sources (including snakes). A remedy is individualized to each patient and depends on her particular mix of emotional and physical symptoms, as well as her general state of emotional and physical health. For example, if a woman with PMS easily becomes weepy, she may be prescribed one of several remedies, including:

  • pulsatilla nigricans, a perennial plant, if the weepiness is accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, a lack of thirst, desire for open air, desire for company, and cravings for creamy foods.
  • sepia, a cuttlefish ink, if the tearfulness is matched with exhaustion, constipation, a sensitivity to cold, irritability, lack of joy, indifference or aversion to one's family, and cravings for sour foods.

Other common PMS remedies include ignatia amara, lachesis, lycopodium, and nux vomica.

Yoga for Premenstrual Syndrome

Emotional stress can amplify any premenstrual fluctuations of hormone levels and the resulting PMS symptoms. Yoga seeks to clear the mind, induce deep breathing, and ease muscle tension and stiffness. It also satisfies the body's need for a good, regular workout. The yoga poses and breathing exercises should be done throughout the month, with less vigorous ones performed during the time of menstrual bleeding. The sessions are most beneficial if they last from 20 to 60 minutes and are performed three to seven times a week.

Here's a sample yoga pose, often called the butterfly or diamond pose, that can be performed while you are experiencing PMS:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent pointing out to your sides and the bottoms of your feet flat against each other. Keep your spine straight while clasping your toes.
  • Pull your feet as close to your groin as possible.
  • Take several slow, deep breaths.
  • Then, exhale and slowly lean forward from the hips, still clasping your toes and keeping the spine straight.
  • Inhale and slowly lean back to your original position.
  • Repeat this gentle rocking and breathing for one minute.

Aromatherapy for Premenstrual Syndrome

The essential oils of several herbs can relieve the symptoms of PMS gently and with fewer, if any, side effects. The typical treatments for PMS call for mixing several drops of an oil into a warm bath or into a carrier oil (such as almond or grape seed oil) that can be massaged into the skin, often around the abdomen or breasts. The oils are used by themselves or together to take advantage of their potentially synergistic qualities.

Depending on the symptoms, different oils are recommended. Here are some suggestions:

  • For water retention, use grapefruit, fennel, or juniper.
  • For stress and tension, use clary sage or lavender.
  • For depression, use bergamot, chamomile, or geranium.

An herbalist may recommend soaking in a tub of water spiked a specific amount of essential oils. (Tip: Keep the bathroom door closed to retain the aromas in the room).

Other Premenstrual Syndrome Therapies

  • Ayurvedic Medicine for Premenstrual Syndrome -- Treatment can involve dietary changes, herbal therapy, and meditation.
  • Bodywork for Premenstrual Syndrome -- Reflexology and massage can be effective in relieving emotional and physical tension.
  • Herbal Medicine for Premenstrual Syndrome -- Herbs can be used to control water retention (dandelion and parsley), stabilize hormone levels (dong quai), and perform other helpful functions.
  • Meditation for Premenstrual Syndrome -- Daily exercises can reduce the stress and tension that exacerbate PMS.
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine for Premenstrual Syndrome -- Acupuncture, herbal therapy, and lifestyle changes are part of the treatment program.

For more information on premenstrual syndrome and alternative medicine, see:

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