07 Sep Cycle Scent Series 5/5: Ease PMS with rose
All this week, I’m sharing tips about how to use aromatherapy to treat certain issues related to your monthly cycle. If you missed any of these tips, you can find them here.
Today, we’ll be talking about how to use a certain flowery scent to ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Why do you get PMS?
PMS is a condition that means you’re experiencing one or more challenging issues that are caused primarily by plunging estrogen and progesterone in the final six days of your cycle.
Let me start off by stating that PMS is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Not every woman experiences PMS. And for those who do, symptoms can be frequent or infrequent, and they can be mild, moderate or severe in intensity. What’s more, they can vary in frequency and intensity from cycle to cycle.
That’s because many PMS symptoms are impacted by lifestyle factors, such as how nutritious your diet is, how much sleep you’re getting, if you exercise regularly and how much stress you’re under. Generally speaking, a healthier lifestyle is usually associated with less bothersome PMS.
But, genetics can play a role here, too, which can impact your frequency and severity of premenstrual symptoms.
In my blog, I’ve written about many study-backed methods for easing premenstrual woes, such as using supplements, relaxation techniques and dietary tweaks.
Now you have another tool in your PMS-busting arsenal: Inhale Damask rose.
Ease PMS symptoms with Damask rose
In a 2018 study in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, one group of women with moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome was asked to inhale a pad soaked with 10 drops of essential oil made from the fragrant Damask rose (Rosa Damascena) for five minutes, twice daily, on every day in their premenstrual phase. Another group was instructed to inhale a pad soaked with a neutral-scented almond oil. (1)
The result: The women who breathed in the Damask rose scent experienced a significant reduction in sadness, anxiety, pain and overall premenstrual symptoms while the women inhaling almond oil experienced only a slight reduction.
The researchers believe Damask rose can improve so many facets of your premenstrual experience because it works on your brain and body in multiple ways: It increases activity in the parasympathetic nervous system (which helps you relax) and reduces activity in the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for your stressful fight-or-flight response). It increases soothing, mood-lifting gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. Plus, it decreases stress hormones, such as cortisol, which can hamper mood and intensify discomfort. And, it prompts a greater output of endorphins, which increase positivity and mask pain.
If you want to try Damask rose for your premenstrual symptoms, you can find the essential oil at your local health food stores and on Amazon.com.
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(1) “Evaluation of aromatherapy with essential oils of Rosa damascena for the management of premenstrual syndrome”, International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, May 22, 2018, obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ijgo.12534