Premenstrual syndrome is a fact of life for almost every woman around the world. It can be a painful and even embarrassing time and cause you to miss out on important meetings or events. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to it.
Most people will recognize at least some, if not all of the following symptoms of PMS:
- Tender breasts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of sexual desire
- Irritable, anxious or prone to mood swings.
There are a variety of treatments which can be used to help reduce or even eliminate the effects of PMS. However, before they are taken it is advisable to establish the cause of your PMS; not just treat the symptoms.
The brain controls the endocrine system; this is the part of your body which deals with hormones. It is a sensitive system and the brain will react to changes in levels of estrogen, progesterone and cortisol, as well as other hormones. The brain needs to keep all these hormones balanced; however, additional stress will trigger the release of cortisol which affects the balance; often causing mood issues.
The most common reasons for PMS are:
- High estrogen and low progesterone levels.
- Fluid retention and bloating through a disrupted sodium metabolism
- Neurotransmitter issue; when the brain does not transmit the correct message.
- Deficiency in certain or all nutrients. This is often through a lack of a balanced diet.
There are a wide range of natural solutions available which have been shown to be extremely effective at dealing with PMS issues. The following herbs are ‘adaptogenic’. It doesn’t matter how much of them you consume your body will just use what it needs.
- Chasteberry has been shown to be particularly effective at reducing breast tenderness, constipation, irritability, mood swings and even headaches!
- Dong Quai is part of the ancient Chinese medicinal techniques. It is also known as Chinese Angelica. It is still a popular and effective part of Chinese medicine today, particularly for women. It helps to restore vitality and combat fatigue whilst reducing the pain associated with PMS.
- Maca has been used to help female fertility for hundreds of years by the Peruvians; it helps to correct hormone imbalances and is very effective at relieving the symptoms of PMS. It has also been used with some success in treating weak bones, depression, some forms of cancer and erectile dysfunction. It is known to boost the immune system and even improve your sexual desire.
- Black Cohosh has become an established option to treat irritability and help develop regular sleep patterns. It is excellent at relieving the symptoms of PMS.
- Lemon Balm has been used for many years to help sooth and calm the mind. IT can help to calm the irritability felt when suffering with PMS.
- Wild Yam has been shown to help reduce pains during labor and alleviate menstrual pain. It has also been lined with increased sexual desire. Research shows it is exceptionally effective in patients with high estrogen levels.
- Burdock contains a small amount of plant steroids and these help the liver to metabolize hormones quickly. This helps to keep your body balanced.
- John’s Wort is often used to reduce moodiness and has even been known to help alleviate mid cases of depression. It can affect the birth control pill and medical advice should be sought before adding this to your diet.
- Ginkgo is often thought of as a memory improving herb but it has also been shown to have a positive effect on the effects of fluid retention and tender breasts; helping PMS sufferers.
- Chromium works to stabilize your insulin and blood sugar levels, regulating your appetite and prevent cravings. This can help regulate your body and reduce the effects of PMS.
- Borage oil – made of a leafy green herb, borage oil is extracted from the plant’s seeds. It has been used in alternative medicine for any years, and it is best known from treating bacterial eruptions, acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Borage oil supplements may also be alleviate PMS symptoms and arthritis due to its inflammatory properties
There are a variety of prescription medicines which can assist with reducing the symptoms of PMS but it is best to try the natural alternative first.