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What is PMS?
Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, is the combination of symptoms women experience a week or two prior to their menstrual period. It is a disorder that takes place during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, characterized by physical and behavioral disturbances. While these symptoms vary from woman to woman and from period to period, it can and usually does affect your daily life. But here’s good news! You can get help from herbs for PMS.
There are physical and emotional symptoms alerting you to the fact that you are experiencing PMS.
Physical PMS symptoms include swollen or tender breasts, headache, backache, fluid retention and weight gain, acne, palpitations, dizziness, bloating, appetite changes, low tolerance for noise or light, and cramps. Emotional or mental PMS symptoms include hostile behavior or irritability, too much or too little sleep, feeling tired, tension, feelings of sadness, changes in sexual desire, and mood swings.
Causes of PMS
Researchers are uncertain as to the cause of PMS. The most popular explanation is that PMS symptoms are related to hormonal changes. After ovulation, when the corpus luteum begins to disintegrate, progesterone levels decline toward the end of the menstrual cycle. This affects various chemicals in the brain and the signalling of release of hormones such as serotonin (happy hormone), cortisol (stress hormone), insulin, estrogen, and progesterone. Psychological and social well-being greatly influence the degree to which these processes affect a woman with PMS.
What are Natural Remedies for PMS?
PMS symptoms can be agonizing, and inconvenient. But wait! You don’t want to pull out the painkiller just yet. Consider first these natural remedies for PMS.
- Incorporate aerobic exercise and light stretching into your routine. They can help you sleep better and relieve period pains.
- Break up your meal routine. With 6 meals instead of 3, the blood sugar stabilizes.
- Choose complex carbohydrates. Whole grains, beans, brown rice or lentils and calcium-rich foods are good sources, salmon and spinach included.
- Reduce saturated fat, sugar, salt and caffeine intake. This way, you cut down the bloated feeling and inflammation..
- Reduce stress. As stress can trigger PMS symptoms, get enough hours of sleep and apply relaxation techniques or a melatonin sleep cream lotion. Take power naps during mid-day.
- Take vitamin supplements and herbal remedies for PMS. Calcium, magnesium supplements, Vitamin B-6 and vitamin E to name a few.
What Herbs are Good for PMS?
The herbs for PMS listed below are “adaptogenic.” They communicate with the cells in your body to re-balance your body. What makes it superior to pharmaceuticals is that they do not overwhelm your system. So, what herbs are good for PMS?
- Vitex (chaste tree berry). Chaste tree is a hormone-balancing herb. It raises the LH hormone and decreases breast tenderness caused by high levels of prolactin— the hormone involved in producing milk.
- Ginkgo biloba can reduce symptoms of PMS.
Dong quai. It was introduced to Western medicine in 1899 from China. It can help relieve cramps and other PMS symptoms such as headache, insomnia, and moodiness. It is more effective when combined with black cohosh.
- Natural progesterone helps lessen the occurrence of acne caused by hormonal imbalance.
Herbs for PMS Cramps
Menstrual cramps can cause disruption to daily living. It forces you to lie down or just stay home. To relieve the pain, consider these herbs for PMS cramps.
- Peppermint oil relieves PMS cramps or headache, and its energizing power can get you through a PMS slump.
- Cramp bark fruit extracts help relax muscles and blood vessels, which can relieve pain. It is an herbal supplement made from the shrub’s dried bark and has been traditionally used to treat pain from muscle cramps, especially period cramps.
- Ginger. Studies suggest that ginger may be effective and safe for relieving dysmenorrhea in women if administered 3 days prior to the menstrual period or even at the onset.
- Chamomile. It is a flower with anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, sedative, and anti-anxiety properties that have a significant impact on painful menstruation, anxiety and psychological disturbances in women with PMS.
Natural Remedies for Mood Swings
Natural remedies for mood swings include phytoestrogens such as soya, phytoestrogen cream natural progesterone, Vitamins B5, B6, B12, and C, foods that aid liver function to balance estrogen levels., and relaxation exercises such as yoga. There are also herbs for PMS mood swings.
What Herbs are Good for PMS Mood Swings?
Mood swings are one of the most obvious symptoms of PMS. Sometimes it can lead to deeper conditions such as anxiety and depression. Some herbs have proven to be helpful. What herbs are good for PMS mood swings?
- St. John’s Wort. Instead of prescription antidepressants, research considers St. John’s wort to be an herbal alternative. It targets the two neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, that affect your mood.
- Kava root. This has been used for hundreds of years by South Pacific Islanders as a calming nectar. In addition to soothing anxiety, women suffering from menstrual cramps sometimes find relief by taking kava root for its antispasmodic and pain relieving effect.
- Ginger, Gingko biloba, chaste tree berry also help improve mood swings.
- CBD oil. This is naturally occurring and found in Cannabis. It relieves pain and reduces inflammation and the tenderness in the lower abdomen, controls hormone imbalance, thus taking care of the stress, anxiety, and mood swings in your period and PMS times.
Progesterone Cream for PMS
Research shows that natural progesterone cream for PMS can help painful menstruation (painful periods – dysmenorrhea), mood swings, irritability, bloating, breast tenderness and many of the other symptoms of PMS.
It is safe to say that herbs for PMS are helpful in alleviating PMS symptoms. So next time, when you’re tempted to pop that pill to relieve pain and behavioral dysfunction, think again. Let nature do its wonderful work in your body!