Do you tend to get irritable, anxious, blue or tired during your premenstrual week? Not surprising–these are all common side effects of plunging estrogen. Depending on your sensitivity to fluctuating hormones and how healthy your lifestyle is (how well you’re eating, how much you’re sleeping, how much stress you’re under, etc.), you may experience a lot of these side effects or get hit with just a few.
But, no matter how many of these annoying symptoms you get, new research suggests an easy way to ease them: Inhale yuzu–an essential oil made from a Japanese citrus fruit.
Yuzu has one benefit over lavender
Previous research has already shown that taking whiffs of lavender can reduce mood-related premenstrual symptoms. But, what if you’re not fond of lavender or you’re looking for a scent that provides a quick pick-me-up over one that’s shown to lull you to sleep even more, which is one of lavender’s main selling points?
That’s where yuzu steps in.
In a small study of 17 women published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers compared the effects of breathing in a yuzu scent (which is like a cross between grapefruit and mandarin orange) for 10 minutes with breathing in a lavender aroma–and they found the effects were essentially the same for reducing premenstrual anxiety and anger. But, yuzu had an edge over lavender by also reducing low estrogen-related fatigue.
What make yuzu a powerful PMS-buster?
The researchers believe that yuzu’s aroma reduces stress, which then improves parasympathetic nervous system activity, leading to greater relaxation. This is how lavender works to improve pre-period moods, too.
However, unlike the subduing scent of lavender, yuzu’s citrusy aroma prompts greater alertness.
Where to go from here
It’s important to keep in mind that this was a small study, that members of this same research team conducted a similar small study examining yuzu’s effects on premenstrual moods and they all happen to be from Japan where yuzu fruit is grown, so there may be a greater interest in having yuzu push aside lavender in the premenstrual treatment market.
That said, yuzu has a pleasant aroma and if you’re looking to try a new pre-period remedy to usher in a better mood and more pep, then it’s worth trying.
You can find yuzu essential oil at health food stores, aromatherapy websites and Amazon.com