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Understand & Managment Of PMS In Ayurveda

PMS or pre menstrual syndrome defines the set of symptoms that occur in female body a few days prior to the start of menstrual bleeding. It is seen pretty common in teenagers these days but it is fairly common in menstruating females of all ages. Major symptoms include :

  • Anxiety
  • Depressed mood & severe mood swings / Irritability
  • Breast tenderness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Low back pain
  • Bloating and gas
  • Swelling in hands and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden change in appetite
  • Food cravings and binge eating
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty in falling asleep or change in sleeping patterns

The symptoms vary from person to person but according to a survey found on, over 31.31 million women in America reported either menstrual pain or PMS in 2020 alone.

PMS - Pre Menstrual Syndrome
PMS – Pre Menstrual Syndrome

In Ayurveda, PMS is defined to be of three types, Vata type, Pitta type and Kapha type. All three types have different symptoms associated with them. Have a look at the table below for details:

Type Of PMS



Low back ache,
Pricking and spasmodic lower abdominal pain,
Stiffness in lower limbs,
Mood Swings,
Frothy thin dark menses,
Sensation of creeping ants


Breast tenderness,


Hot flashes,

Burning sensation,

Anger & Irritability,

Eventual burning sensation while passing urine,




Reddish hot profuse menses with foul smell


Water retention in the breast area (breasts become enlarged and tender),
Drowsiness and excessive sleepiness,

Dull discomfort and itching,

Depression and emotional eating,



Unctuous heavier longer blood flow

Diet And Lifestyle Recommendations For PMS

As Ayurveda believes in prevention better than cure, it recommends making some diet and lifestyle changes to minimise the possibility of getting affected by pre menstrual symptoms. 

  • Wake up early and go to bed on time. Do mild exercise everyday. If you too much vata dominant person, don’t exercise everyday or too much as overexercising can further vitiate vata.
  • Do not smoke, drink alcohol and caffeine preferably from two weeks before menstruation.
  • Try to avoid being constipated.
  • Take fresh air everyday and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning to get appropriate Vitamin D. Studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency has a direct relation with pain during menstruation. It is not recommended to go too much under noon hot sun.

Dietary Recommendations:

  • Include flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sardines and salmon in your diet. Flax seeds is great for increasing oestrogen level of female body. You can also use hemp and chia seeds (no classical references are found for hemp and chia)
  • Don’t count calories (increases stress on body). Avoid too much fried food and increase number of fibre rich foods on your plate.  Increase intake of vegetables and reduce grains (eg. bread, rice, roti).
  • To improve the oestrogen metabolism, include kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips in your diet. (too much of these can create hypothyroidism so restrict to once a week).
  • To increase energy and uplift mood, you can eat pineapples, banana, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes.
  • Try to include horse gram (kulathi dal) in your diet. It is amazing for regulating menstrual cycle. It is hot in nature so should be avoided in case of menorrhagia (excessive bleeding due to high pitta). If you are not suffering from menorrhagia, it is great to include horse gram in your daily diet. It is a wonder bean that helps in PCOS, amenorrhea, obesity.

Warm ghee nasya with 5 drops in each nostril everyday helps regulate female hormones and brings balance in the system.

Management Of Vata-type PMS

Vata type PMS is considered most difficult for female body as vata itself is considered the cause of all aches and pains in the body. There are some specific dietary & lifestyle recommendations and common remedies that are recommended for vata type PMS.

  • Eat only warm and mushy foods and cook food in warm spices like black pepper, cinnamon, big cardamom. Cook using ghee, as it is the best form of healthy fat recommended in Ayurveda.
  • Eat foods that are sweet, sour or salty in taste with smooth textures.
  • Don’t eat raw or cold foods.
  • Include flax seeds in your diet.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid caffeine (coffee and tea).

Recommended Pranayam: Anulom Vilom (alternate breathing), Nadi shodhana.

Yogasanas: Pavanamuktasana, Bhujangasana, Gomukhasana, Ushtrasana

Ayurvedic Home Remedies:

  1. Drink Dashamoola (click to read the ingredient herbs used) Tea.  Steep 1/2 teaspoon of dashmoola in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. You can add honey for taste. Drink twice a day.
  2. You can also drink fresh ginger tea. Grate a small piece of fresh ginger in 1 cup of water. Boil to reduce to 3/4th. You can have it once or twice a day for relief.
  3. You can take shatavari / ashwagandha / kaishore guggulu / yograj guggulu (either one) tablets twice a day.
  4. If you feeling emotional or having mood disorders, you can take a mixture of brahmi, ashwagandha, jatamamsi and guduchi.
  5. You can also take 1 tbsp of aloe vera gel with a pinch of black pepper powder. Take thrice a day before food.
  6. If cherries are in season, eat 10 cherries daily on empty stomach starting a week before onset of period date.
  7. You can make castor oil packs (check how to make these at bottom) and apply on lower back and abdomen.

Management of Pitta-type PMS

Dietary & lifestyle recommendations and common remedies:

  • Avoid eating too much spicy food and stay away from overuse of warm spices like big cardamom, pippali, black pepper, cinnamon.
  • Eat foods that are sweet, bitter and astringent in taste. Avoid spicy, salty and sour tasting foods.

Recommended Pranayam: Sheetali Pranayama

Yogasanas: Dhanurasana, Naukasana

Ayurvedic Home Remedies:

  • You can make coconut oil packs and apply on pain affected area.
  • Make a mixture of following herbs
    • Shatavari 2 parts
    • Brahmi 1 part
    • Musta 1 part

Take 1/2 tsp of this mixture twice a day with warm water.

  • Take 1 tablespoon of Aloe vera gel mixed with a pinch of cumin powder for relief.
  • You can take Ashoka herb tablets (2 per day after meals) or Ashokarishta (twice a day after meals).

Management of Kapha-type PMS

Dietary & lifestyle recommendations and common remedies:

  • Wake up early and do not sleep in the afternoon. Try to stay active the entire day.
  • Try to do light exercise everyday.
  • Add warm spices like ginger and cinnamon in your diet.
  • Consume foods which are dry, warm, spicy, astringent, bitter and light. Do not consume oily, sweet, salty and sour foods.

Recommended Pranayam: Bhastrika Pranayama, Kapalbhati Pranayama

Yogasanas: Suryanamaskaras

Ayurvedic Home Remedies:

  • Make a herbal mixture of
    • Punarnava 2 parts
    • Kutki 1 part
    • Musta 1 part

Take 1/2 tsp of the mixture twice a day with warm water.

  • If cherries are in season, eat 10 cherries daily on empty stomach starting a week before onset of period date.
  • Take 1 pinch of trikatu powder with 1 tbsp of Aloe vera gel.
  • You can make fresh ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper tea or tulasi tea and have it twice a day.
  • You can make castor oil packs and apply on lower back and abdomen.

Note: It is not recommended to exercise of exert the body during menstruation.

Some Common Remedies For Everyone:

For Mood swings & lack of sleep:

Soak few strands (very little) of saffron threads in 1 cup water for 1 hour and drink it everyday for 10 days before your periods start. 

For Breast Tenderness & Pain:

For a few days before periods, make a paste of fever nut and apply on breast for 10-15 minutes everyday.

How to make a castor oil pack at home?

Castor oil packs can be used in all vata, pitta and kapha type PMS. It is useful in controlling bloating and cramps experience during PMS and menstruation. Castor oil has the property to provide slow and sustained heat which gives a soothing feeling. Castor oil supports a healthy menstrual flow and releases toxins from the reproductive channels. A warm castor oil compress also relieves congestion and discomfort of endometriosis.


  1. Warm 3 tablespoons of pure castor oil and pour it on a soft towel or handkerchief.
  2. Spread the oil over the towel evenly.
  3. Place the towel on the lower abdomen and place a hot water bottle over it to produce heat.
  4. Do not use electric heating pads and bottles.


Avoid castor oil packs if you are menstruating, pregnant, breastfeeding, or in case of diarrhea or any infections in the pelvic region.

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Understand & Managment Of PMS In Ayurveda
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