Can spikenard be used to treat PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, headaches, and fatigue – all of which affect more than 90 percent of menstruating women every month. Luckily, there are natural remedies to relieve these monthly symptoms. Recent research suggests taking spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi) supplements 15 days before your period. The study found that this natural remedy appeared to reduce the severity of PMS symptoms.

Published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine, the study looked at the efficacy and safety of spikenard in reducing PMS symptoms. The study’s researchers, who were from India, evaluated the efficacy and safety of spikenard in reducing PMS symptoms in women.

For the study, the Indian researchers recruited 60 women aged between 18 and 45 years. The participants were randomly assigned to take either four grams (g) of spikenard or placebo 15 days before menstruation for two consecutive menstrual cycles. The Indian researchers assessed the severity of the symptoms of PMS using different scales, such as premenstrual tension syndrome observer-rating scale (PMTS-O), premenstrual tension syndrome self-rating scale (PMTS-SR) and visual analog scale (VAS). They also conducted a follow-up with the participants one month after the last treatment.

After two months of treatment, the researchers found that spikenard supplementation significantly reduced the severity of PMS symptoms. Participants who received spikenard treatment also exhibited a significant reduction in all VAS domains aside from swelling of extremities. These findings suggest that taking spikenard is safe and effective for improving the symptoms of PMS.

In addition to taking spikenard supplements, making healthy lifestyle changes can help ease the symptoms of PMS. Drinking lots of water, eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down your intake of alcohol, caffeine, salt, and sugar, sleeping at least eight hours every night, and being physically active can help. You can also try taking supplements, such as vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium to reduce cramps and mood swings. (Related: Women’s pain and discomfort from premenstrual syndrome may be lessened by diet changes and natural health remedies.)

The essential oil from spikenard plant

Aside from taking spikenard as a supplement, an essential oil can be extracted from the plant. Spikenard essential oil can be used as a/an:

  • Deodorant: Spikenard essential oil has a strong, earthy scent. It also has antibacterial properties, which is why it is also used as a deodorant.
  • Immune system booster: Spikenard essential oil also helps strengthen the immune system, helping to protect the body from diseases.
  • Treatment for fungal infections: Spikenard essential oil is said to have antifungal properties. It can be used to treat fungal infections on the skin and inside the body, such as dermatitis, itching, food poisoning by a fungus, and psoriasis.
  • Treatment for bacterial infections: The essential oil can also be used to treat skin problems caused by the infection of the bacteria. It prevents and addresses bacteria growth, preventing bacterial infections in the urinary bladder, urethra, and kidney, and athlete’s foot. It can also be applied to minor wounds and cuts to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Remedy for stress, anxiety, and depression: Spikenard essential oil is believed to have a beneficial effect on mental health. It has a calming effect on the mind and body that helps ease stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also be used to enhance sleep.

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