Women have always known to be moody, and this moodiness starts during their teenage years. They easily get irritated by small things and even cry for the pettiest reasons. They become repulsive to the people around them who do not understand them, but there is actually good reason why they are being intolerable sometimes—PMS.
It is usually during one’s teenage years that a woman starts having her monthly periods. But aside from these periods, around 75% of women all over the world also experience premenstrual syndrome or PMS, a set of physical and emotional symptoms that they experience 2-14 days before their period. These symptoms usually stop once their period begins. But for some people, PMS is so bad that it sometimes interferes with their daily activities and even makes them unable to function.
Although no one knows the exact cause of PMS, there are several theories that try to explain this phenomenon. Some say it is because of the hormonal imbalance during this time, as women have too much estrogen and not enough progesterone just before menstruation. Some also say that it is because of low levels of vitamin B6, abnormal metabolism of hormones like prostaglandin, and low levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood.
Aside from mood swings, women with PMS also experience a plethora of other symptoms like bloating, anxiety, depression, acne breakouts, food cravings, libido changes, headaches, and fatigue. But perhaps another one of the most common symptoms is menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea, in which the woman feels pain on the lower part of her abdomen right before having her monthly period.
Although you mostly cannot do anything about your mood changes, there is something that you can do for your menstrual cramps. For some women, menstrual cramps are severe, so they take painkillers to get rid of the cramps. But if you want a natural treatment, you can try applying a hot castor oil pack on the affected area to soothe it.
Cold-pressed castor oil has the ability to penetrate the skin and works right into the muscles to stop the pain. It increases circulation on the affected area and also promotes elimination of dead tissues and healing of tissues and organs underneath. Simply pressing a hot castor oil pack on your lower abdomen has a beneficial effect on all your hollow organs like the blood and lymph vessels, fallopian tubes, uterus, gall bladder, bowels, and liver.
To apply a castor oil pack, here are the steps:
- Fold a flannel three times, making sure that it fits your whole abdomen.
- Cut a piece of plastic twice as large as the folded flannel.
- Saturate the flannel with gently heated oil and squeeze excess oil.
- Place the plastic and old towel over the flannel to prevent staining on your sheets.
- Lie down and place the flannel over your abdomen and the plastic over the flannel.
- Wrap the towel under you and around your torso and secure with safety pins.
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on top of the towel.
- Rest for 30-60 minutes before removing. You can also apply the castor oil pack overnight.
- After use, store the pack in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate it. You can reuse it until it starts to smell.
Remember that you can also use castor oil packs to relieve other kinds of pain, such as headaches and arthritis.