Does aroma work for PMS? Introducing recommended aroma types
Before your period, do you feel irritable, depressed, or have trouble concentrating?
PMS (premenstrual syndrome) is a physical and mental disorder that occurs one to two weeks before the onset of menstruation.
There are individual differences in the symptoms of PMS, and while some people do not mind it at all, others experience problems in their daily lives and visit a hospital.
When treating PMS at a hospital, medicine is prescribed, but there are cases where you have to give up treatment because you are worried about the side effects or it does not suit your constitution.
Also, there may be some people who do not have time to go to the hospital, or who are patient with these symptoms.
Aromatherapy is recommended for such people.
Is Aroma Effective? what kind do you have? I do not know how to use! I wrote this article to help answer those questions.
Find out in this article
- Effect of aroma on PMS
- Types of aroma oils recommended for PMS
- Main uses of aroma
Effect of Aroma on PMS
The effect of aroma on PMS has been proven experimentally.
Seventeen Japanese women with an average age of 20.6 were divided into two groups, and one group was asked to smell lavender for 10 minutes one week before the expected start of menstruation.
As a result, it was reported that the group who smelled lavender had improved PMS-induced neurological symptoms (such as depression and confusion) compared to the group who did not.
At this time, it was suggested that the heart rate was decreasing due to the action of the parasympathetic nerve, which suggested that the patient was actually relaxing.
In other words, the effect of the aroma promoted relaxation and improved the painful neurological symptoms of PMS.
Why aroma is recommended for PMS
The scent of aroma oil is important for relieving the symptoms of PMS.
Our senses include “sight” to see things, “hearing” to hear sounds, “tactile” senses to feel with our skin, “taste” to taste, and “olfactory” senses to smell.
Information other than the sense of smell is transmitted via the "cerebral neocortex" that controls reason, but only the sense of smell is transmitted directly to the "limbic system" that controls instinct and emotion.
And since the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones, and the hypothalamus, which controls the autonomic nerves, are located near the limbic system, it is possible to act immediately.
Have you ever smelled tatami mats and felt nostalgic, or felt relieved by the scent of tea?
This feeling of nostalgia, and the phenomenon of feeling relieved by scents, occurs when the information of scents is transmitted to the brain and instantly acts on hormones and autonomic nerves.
In other words, when the scent of aroma oil is transmitted to the brain through the sense of smell, it works on hormones, emotions, and autonomic nerves, so it can be expected to alleviate PMS symptoms quickly.
Also read the following articles
Are herbal teas effective for PMS? What is a relaxing scent?
Types of aroma oils recommended for PMS
Now, let's take a look at what types of aroma oils are available and what PMS symptoms can be expected to be effective.
The effect varies depending on the aroma oil, such as an aroma oil that has both mental and neurological symptoms, physical symptoms, or both .
MUJI and Nitori have a wide variety of aroma oils, so let's find the aroma oil that suits you.
You can expect a relaxing effect due to its anti-anxiety and sedative effects .
Recommended for those who are irritated by little things, suffer from menstrual pain, or have trouble falling asleep at night.
Lavender can promote relaxation by adjusting the autonomic nervous system, so it is recommended in medical settings to relieve patient anxiety1).
Anti-inflammatory, sedative, and relaxing effects can be expected.
Recommended for those who have menstrual pain and are irritated, and those who are depressed and unmotivated.
Ylang-ylang has been proven to have a calming effect, with blood pressure and heart rate decreasing after inhaling the scent.
Its sedative effect makes you feel calmer, so you can expect relief from depression and stress2).
It can be expected to be effective in improving mood disorders such as irritated feelings and emotional instability .
Recommended for those who are depressed and whiny, and those who want to lift their spirits.
The main component of bergamot contains linalool, which is also the main component of lavender, so it has a calming effect on the autonomic nerves.
It is also expected to be effective in improving depression, and research is underway3).
It can be expected to have an anti-anxiety effect and relieve swelling of the whole body .
It is recommended for those who feel depressed and unable to touch anything, or for those who tend to swell in their hands, feet, or face.
Although it is still at the level of animal experiments, it has been reported that oral administration of lemongrass components to mice produced the same effects as the use of anti-anxiety drugs4).
It can be expected to be effective in relieving stress and alleviating swelling of the whole body .
Recommended for those who can't control their frustration, or who tend to swell in their hands, feet, or face.
In a clinical trial of aroma massage using geranium, it was reported that it improved depression, restored metabolic balance, and improved physical symptoms such as headache, chest pain, abdominal distension, and swelling of limbs5).
It can be expected to have a sedative effect, control the autonomic nervous system, and relieve stress .
It is recommended for those who have painful menstruation or those who are easily depressed and are reluctant to do anything.
It has been reported that physical symptoms such as swelling, fatigue, and strong drowsiness, as well as mental symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and depression, were improved6).
It can be expected to have an anti-anxiety effect and relieve swelling of the whole body .
Recommended for those who want to relieve anxiety and tension, and those who are concerned about swelling in their hands, feet, or face.
Although it is still at the level of animal experiments, anxiolytic effects have been confirmed when intraperitoneally administered to mice 7).
It is also good to blend aroma
When blending aroma oils, there are methods of blending focusing on effects, and methods of blending to create your own special scent .
[Example of blending effects]
When menstrual pain is painful and you are concerned about swelling,
- ylang ylang and lemongrass
- lavender and juniper
[Example of blending fragrance]
- Loves citrus: bergamot and lemongrass
- I like florals: lavender and geranium
The combination of blends is free.
However, there are some things that you have to be careful about when blending.
[Precautions when blending]
- Store in a light-tight bottle
- Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight
- Tightly close the lid of the jar and keep it out of reach of children and pets.
- Strong scents are blended with balance in mind
Aroma oils do not contain preservatives, so use citrus fruits within six months to one year after opening, and other oils within one to two years.
Main uses of aroma
Once you've found your favorite aroma oil or blended it to your liking, let's start enjoying the scent.
We will introduce how to use recommended aroma oils that even beginners of aromatherapy can easily enjoy .
First of all, what is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a natural therapy that uses essential oils (essential oils) extracted and concentrated from plants to promote health and beauty .
Promoting relaxation is expected to promote health and enhance the human body's inherent healing power, so aromatherapy has been adopted in various places such as hospitals, clinics, sports, and preventive medicine. .
Recommended for those who want to refresh their mood, balance their mind and body, and improve their health management.
Aroma bath is a method of dropping 3 to 5 drops of oil into the bathtub and stirring it well before bathing.
Along with the steam, the aroma rises up, and the aroma ingredients can be absorbed through the nose, mouth, and skin.
It is recommended for those who want to enrich their bath time, as you can experience highly effective aromatherapy with the relaxing effect of bathing and the action of the aromatic oils volatilized in the hot water .
Aroma diffusers include ultrasonic and heating types.
- The ultrasonic type uses electricity to turn oil into a mist using ultrasonic waves.
- A heating type is one that heats up with a candle and evaporates the oil.
Both the ultrasonic and heating methods use a few drops of oil in water.
It is recommended for those who want to create their own space, as the air flow allows the scent to spread throughout the room .
Aroma stones are stones made of unglazed pottery or gypsum that are impregnated with oil to enjoy the scent.
It does not use electricity or fire, so it can be placed anywhere, and it is also attracting attention as an interior decoration.
Recommended for those who are interested in aromatherapy but find it too troublesome, or for those who have pets or small children and have not been able to try it before .
Aroma spray is a spray made by adding purified water or anhydrous ethanol to oil extracted from plants.
You can easily enjoy the scent by simply spraying it on pillows, cushions, clothing, masks, etc.
The appeal of aroma spray is the convenience of being able to carry it around.
It is recommended for those who want to enjoy the aroma even when they are on the go, and for those who want to be easily wrapped in the aroma .
Improving the internal environment with herbal medicine
Chinese herbal medicines may be prescribed to improve or prevent PMS symptoms. Chinese herbal medicine gradually improves the malfunction of the body. Therefore, the effect is not so immediate, and it takes time for the internal environment to be adjusted. On the other hand, it is also good that you can easily incorporate it into your daily life because it will be effective just by taking Chinese herbal medicine at a fixed timing . Here are some recommended herbal remedies for PMS symptoms.
- Toki Shakuyakusan: Those who feel heavy in the body and head
- Keishibukuryogan: Stiff shoulders, abdominal pain, and hot flashes
- Kamishoyosan: Feeling irritated and depressed
Let the herbal medicine be prescribed for your constitution and symptoms. If you don't know about herbal medicine, or if you're curious but don't have time to go to the hospital, there are shops where you can consult a pharmacist online, so it's recommended to consult with them.
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There are individual differences in PMS symptoms, but if you think about it every month, it's physically and mentally painful.
Even so, you may be reluctant to rely on medicine or hesitate to go to the hospital.
Aromatherapy is a natural remedy derived from plants .
Controlling hormone secretion and autonomic nerves is expected to improve PMS.
Many studies have shown that aromatherapy alleviates the symptoms of PMS, and it is also used in medical settings to promote health and enhance the natural healing power.
Don't put up with painful symptoms, let's take care of the type and use of aroma that suits you.
1) Kang HJ, et al. :How Strong is the Evidence for the Anxiolytic Efficacy of Lavender?: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, 2019 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31743795/
2) Tan LT, et al.: Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, and Bioactivities of Cananga odorata (Ylang-Ylang), 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4534619/
3) Lv XN, et al Aromatherapy and the central nerve system (CNS): therapeutic mechanism and its associated genes. 2013 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23531112/
4) Umukoro S, t al.: Evaluation of the anticonvulsant and anxiolytic-like activities of aqueous leaf extract of Cymbopogon citratus in mice, 2019 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31730523/
5) Seyede Maryam Lotfipur-Rafsanjani et al.: Effects of Geranium Aromatherapy Massage on Premenstrual Syndrome: A Clinical Trial, 2018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6238350//
6) Kaori Matsuda, Mie Shiraishi: A systematic review of the effects of aromatherapy on women with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome -focusing on mental symptoms, physical symptoms, and autonomic nerve activity-, 2021 https://www.jstage .jst.go.jp/article/jjam/advpub/0/advpub_JJAM-2021-0019/_article/-char/ja/
7) Zhang K, et al.: The anxiolytic effect of Juniperus virginiana L. essential oil and determination of its active constituents, 2018 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938418300106?via%3Dihub