Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is the name given to a number of unpleasant symptoms ladies may experience two weeks before their period. These include changes to a woman’s psychological and physical well-being, and can include:
- Food cravings (Did someone say chocolate?)
- Breast tenderness
Eating a balanced diet, avoiding too much stress, and getting sufficient sleep and exercise are important in tackling PMS. If you are still experiencing symptoms, here are ten natural remedies which may help:
Although often now disregarded as a common weed, yarrow has been used for centuries for various medicinal purposes. It can help to regulate menstrual cycles, ease cramping and
The delicious aromatic spice cinnamon can help reduce cramp pain and bring on tardy periods. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, and so reduces cravings and mood-swings. A ginger and cinnamon tea is a delicious way to quell stomach cramps.
Ginger is another tasty herb that helps tackle cramping. You can make a simple ginger tea by combining a spoonful of grated ginger, honey, hot water and lemon juice. Combine this with a ginger poultice and say farewell to cramps.
Otherwise known as Vitex Agnus-Castus and the ‘Woman’s Herb’, chasteberry has been shown to be effective for relieving certain symptoms of PMS in several clinical studies. It is thought to help regulate hormones. You may need to take the supplements for a couple of months before feeling the benefits.
Dandelion tea can help reduce the bloating that often accompanies periods, acting as a diuretic. Unlike artificial diuretics which can leach the body’s stores of potassium, dandelion leaf replaces it.
Although more frequently thought of a sleep-aid, valerian can help relieve stress, irritability and nervousness. Valerian also helps to relax muscles, which in turn lessens menstrual cramping.
7. Evening Primrose Oil
Containing a fatty acid called GLA, Evening Primrose Oil has long been known to help alleviate moodiness which can precede periods. These fatty acids are also beneficial to the skin, and can help offset hormonal breakouts.
8. Wild Yam
Wild Yam is a mainstay in traditional Chinese medicine, is another herb which helps balance out hormones. It is also known to combat menstrual cramps.
While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the effectiveness of these remedies, money has not been invested in large clinical studies. What one woman finds helpful might not be the same for another. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you are using one of these remedies to ensure that it does not interfere with any other medications you may be taking.
If your PMS symptoms are causing you such distress that you are unable to go about your daily life, seek medical advice. They will be able to identify whether there are any underlying hormonal issues and provide an appropriate solution.