More and more women are turning their backs on pharmaceuticals for relief from the symptoms of PMS. For some they simply don’t do the trick, while others simply want a more holistic and natural approach to help them deal with their discomfort.
For a lot of women this means an integrative approach which includes making changes in their diet, reducing stress, exercise as well as herbal remedies and supplements. When certain herbs are combined with a healthy diet made up of lots of fruit and veggies combined with eliminating refined carbs and moderate workouts, it can give your body the boost it needs to deal with the worst of your PMS.
But it’s important to remember that we are all different and their is no one-size-fits-all herbal remedy that will work for everyone. Speak to an herbalist or integrative practitioner to help you work out a treatment plan for you. And it’s okay to experiment with different herbs to figure out what works best for you and your symptoms.
If you you’re ready to give herbs a chance the next time you have PMS, read on and explore the herbs that can really make a difference according to the science.
7 HERBS FOR PMS
1. Herbs for PMS: Chasteberry
Chasteberry is a powerhouse can become your best friend when it comes to reducing the symptoms of PMS. Chasteberry seems to reduce PMS symptoms by boosting the production of progesterone (which decrease dramatically after ovulation) while simultaneously lowering levels of prolactin, a hormone that helps prepare the body for childbirth.
Research shows that 93% of women experienced a decrease in PMS symptoms such as fluid retention, cravings and breast tenderness after using it for as little as three menstrual cycles. They also found that chasteberry helped reduce hormonal symptoms including anxiety, mild depression and irritability.
Traditionally chasteberry is used through days 14-21 of your menstrual cycle, but many people find benefits using it all month long.
Caution: Chasteberry can interact with several medications including birth control pills and other forms of hormone therapy. Consult your doctor before adding it to your regimen.
2. Herbs for PMS: Red Raspberry Leaf
Red Raspberry Leaf is probably the most famous of the “women’s” herbs and as a tonic for the uterus, treatment for menstrual cramps, excessive menstrual bleeding, preparation for labor, and for female infertility. Raspberry leaf is thought to help strengthen the uterus, relieve cramps, and and act as a uterine sedative.
3. Herbs for PMS: St. John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is well known as being an effective treatment for mild depression. And although more research needs to be done to be definitive, that benefit could also include PMS-related mood disorders.
Caution: When used as recommended, St. John’s Wort generally does not have side effects. However, St. John’s Wort does contain compounds which can interact with antidepressants, birth control pills, and blood thinners, as well as several other types of medications. Talk to your doctor before using St John’s Wort
4. Herbs for PMS: Dandelion Root & Leaves
Growing wild in your back yard, this common weed can help you with fluid retention during your period. There is promising research showing that dandelion roots and leaves is a powerful diuretic which helps increase urination. Dandelion has the added benefit of being rich in minerals such as potassium which are often depleted when using prescription diuretics.
Dandelion root is also traditionally used to stimulate and detoxify the liver, in turn helping to promote the elimination of excess estrogen and promoting estrogen metabolism which is often the underlying cause of many of the symptoms of PMS.
Caution: Dandelion root is high in polysaccharides, so it should be avoided if you are sensitive to FODMAPs (carbohydrates that can cause digestive problems).
5. Herbs for PMS: Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is most well-known for its sedative properties, often being used to fight anxiety and as a gentle, calming sleep aid, making it ideal if you’re having trouble with sleep during your period.
But lemon balm is also a powerful memory booster which can help you concentrate better. Research from the University of Northumbria has shown that lemon balm can boost cognitive performance as well as your mood helping to improve the annoying brain-fog and mood swings which is often part of the PMS symptoms we have to deal with.
6. Herbs for PMS: Mimosa
This pretty shrub – not the cocktail – may help boost your mood. Research shows the potential of mimosa extracts as being an effective treatment of depression and anxiety actually elevating your mood instead of just stopping bad feelings.
Caution: If you do take any antidepressant or anti-anxiety medications, talk to your doctor before switching to or supplementing your treatment with mimosa.
7. Herbs for PMS: White Peony
Traditional Chinese medicine has long thought of white peony as an important ingredient in a medicinal formula called Si Wu Tang commonly used for treating female diseases, such as relief of menstrual discomfort and PMS. White peony, at least for some women, show potential to help with menstrual cramps, irregular bleeding, brain fog, and hormone-induced headaches.
DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult with a physician if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A doctor’s advice should always be sought before before embarking on any new treatment.