Most women know what PMS is all about. After all, it is the butt of many jokes. Men don’t understand it as PMS is sort of like a rite of passage among the “sisterhood” of females and unfortunately for many, this rite of passage is traveled many times! There are some traditional remedies that do alleviate PMS symptoms but what if you need something to enhance the results of these traditional methods?
Traditional PMS Treatments
Over the counter medications, especially NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) help reduce cramping and the aches and pains of a period and ovulation. Doctors sometimes prescribe a birth control pill like Yasmin which not only helps to regulate the estrogen in your body to reduce the PMS symptoms like cramping and breast tenderness but also acts as a diuretic to reduce water retention as well.
Traditional treatments only go so far though. If you have regular PMS but perhaps not as severe as PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), an intense form of PMS, you might need a bit of a boost herbally to help. Here are some popular herbs used for PMS symptoms:
1. Chamomile This flowery herb is not only an antioxidant; it is also an anti-inflammatory, a tension tamer and a muscle relaxant. Chamomile is best consumed in tea form.
2. Peppermint This herb has a cool, soothing effect and is best consumed by tea although lotions and creams may work for application outside the body. Peppermint reduces menstrual cramping, soothes tension and anxious nerves, and lowers gas and bloating and even headache pain.
3. Black cohosh Found in supplement as well as tincture form, this herb has been used for years for overall female health. PMS-wise, it reduces the overall tension and stress of the syndrome and helps balance out hormones for fewer symptom incidences.
4. Raspberry leaf This leafy herb can be best found in teas and is good at relaxing the female organs, especially when it comes to cramps.
5. Dong quai This herb has been around for a while and not only has mild laxative effects but it is also an anti-spasmodic. Basically, if constipation is a problem during PMS, dong quai can help as well as reduce cramping. This herb can be found in supplements and teas for the most part.
6. Fennel This herb is often used for cooking, at least the seeds are. Fennel not only reduces cramping as part of its anti-spasmodic properties, it also is an analgesic, meaning it reduces pain. The diuretic properties help reduce bloating and fluid retention that leads to weight gain.
7. Lemon balm A popular ingredient in teas and even skin lotions and creams, this herb helps relieve emotional issues associated with PMS like depression, irritability and anxiety. Somehow, lemon balm also helps regulate your menstrual cycle as well.
A number of other herbal remedies exist that can help with PMS symptoms. If you are feeling adventurous, head to your whole foods store or natural herbal store; browse through the aisles. People for centuries have used herbs for healing and restorative effects and so can you.