Using Aromatherapy to Help Reduce PMS Symptoms

Some Essential Oils May Help Reduce the Symptoms of PMS

Many of the uncomfortable symptoms of premenstrual syndrome may be reduced by the use of some essential oils. Here are five symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS that could potentially be relieved by the use of aromatherapy. Ever thought of using your nose to help ease your pain? Volatiles in essential oils can easily enter your body via your olfactory system and adjust brain electrical activity to alter your perception of pain. Clinical aromatherapists commonly use lavender, peppermint, chamomile, and damask rose for pain relief and relaxation. A report from Nursing Clinics of North America says that massage with lavender relieves pain and enhances the effect of orthodox pain medication. Lavender and chamomile oils are gentle enough to be used with children and, in blends, have relieved children’s pain from HIV, encephalopathy-induced muscle spasm and nerve pain. Both oils contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic chemicals, and exert sedative, calming action. Rose essential oil contains pain-reducing eugenol, cinnamaldehyde and geraniol; but the report’s author suggests it may also alter perception of pain because it embodies the soothing aromas of the garden.

Using Aromatherapy to Help Reduce These PMS Symptoms

1) Bloating

Bloating is an uncomfortable symptom of PMS. To help reduce bloating, try a compress using essential oils of cypress or juniper. Both cypress and juniper are believed to have diuretic properties. An aromatherapy treatment using either of these essential oils may help reduce the uncomfortable feeling of fluid retention.

2) Headaches

Headaches can result from the physical and emotional tension that can come with PMS. For tension headaches, inhaling the aroma of chamomile and lavender essential oils can help to calm a stressed mind and relax tense muscles.

Migraines are another type of headache that may present as a PMS symptom due to hormonal changes. Peppermint and rosemary are two essential oils that are specifically recommended for helping to alleviate the symptoms of a migraine headache.

3) Irritability

A common symptom of PMS is irritability. Setting aside a few moments to relax in a warm aromatherapy bath may help alleviate feelings of stress, anxiety, and mood swings. Prepare the aromatherapy bath with a few drops of chamomile and rose essential oils.

Both the chamomile and rose essential oils have calming properties which are especially helpful to reduce the irritability symptom of PMS.

4) Digestive Upset

Many women suffer from digestive upset with the onset of PMS. Ginger and mandarin essential oils are recommended to help relieve constipation, while peppermint and geranium essential oils may be helpful in alleviating the effects of diarrhea. Depending on the symptom, choose the appropriate essential oil and apply with a warm compress to the abdomen.

5) Tender Breast Tissue

One of the more painful symptoms of PMS is tender breast tissue. To help reduce the pain from swollen breasts, try applying a cool compress of eucalyptus and geranium essential oils. Both essential oils contain pain-relieving and decongestant properties that may help reduce the pain and swelling of tender breast tissue.

Using Aromatherapy Safely to Help Reduce PMS Symptoms

Aromatherapy can be very beneficial for relieving symptoms of PMS. However, aromatherapy may not be recommended for everyone. Only your licensed health care provider can decide whether aromatherapy is safe for your particular situation.

Concentrations of essential oils may vary depending on the products you use: always follow the application and usage instructions provided with the specific product you purchase. Make sure to pay attention to the requirements for base or carrier oils and other particular usage instructions before attempting to use an essential oil aromatherapy product.

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