Premenstrual syndrome: What is it and How Herbal Medicine Can Help?
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects an estimated 90% of women at some point in their lives. PMS refers to a collection of physical and emotional symptoms that occur in a week or two leading up to a woman's period. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can significantly impact daily life. Fortunately, there are many herbal remedies that can help to mitigate PMS symptoms. In this post, we will explore some of the best herbs for managing some of the common symptoms of PMS which include bloating, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, headaches, acne and breast tenderness.
How can herbal medicine help alleviate PMS symptoms?
Passionflower and chamomile are beautiful herbs to assist with stabilising moods and decreasing anxiety in the lead up to a period. Both these herbs have calming effects on the nervous system to reduce feelings of anxiety and irritability. Chamomile also has anti- inflammatory and antispasmodic actions, which can assist with alleviating premenstrual cramping, bloating and premenstrual bowel changes. You can find both these herbs in our Serenity blend.
Raw cacao is rich in antioxidants and minerals like magnesium that can help to balance moods and increase energy throughout the day. Magnesium also assists in the reduction of PMS and period cramping and works on the nervous system to reduce stress. You can find Cacao in our Cacao Cinnamon Spice blend and our delicious Drinking Chocolate.
Liquorice, peppermint and fennel are all beautiful herbs to decrease digestive discomfort and bloating associated with PMS. Fennel and liquorice both also help to curb premenstrual sugar cravings by balancing blood sugar levels and providing a sweeter taste to herbal teas. You can find these herbs in our Digest blend.
Ginger is another herb that can be beneficial for PMS symptoms. This common kitchen spice has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce cramps and headaches. Additionally, ginger can help to alleviate nausea and improve digestion, which can be especially helpful during the bloating that often accompanies PMS. You can find ginger in our Energise blend, which also contains cinnamon which can assist with digestive discomfort associated with PMS.
Ashwaganda and Nettle leaf are beautiful tonifying herbs that assist with helping to store iron in the body and building blood and vitality. It’s important to have healthy stores of iron as a menstruating person as iron is necessary for energy production, reducing fatigue, managing healthy bleeds and supporting moods. You can find both these herbs in our Adapt blend.
Acne outbreaks are another common symptom of PMS due to an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone hormones which can be associated with blood sugar imbalance and high stress. Sipping on the above calming and blood sugar balancing herbal teas mentioned, will help to alleviate acne outbreaks pre period as well as blood cleansing and anti- inflammatory herbs like Calendula which can be found in our Cleanse blend.
How to use herbal medicine for PMS symptom relief?
Using herbal medicine in the form of teas is a great way to gently support your menstrual cycle and decrease PMS. We recommend drinking herbal teas throughout the cycle and sipping on the main herbs that you need (depending on your symptoms) about 2 weeks before you expect to bleed.
Herbal medicine can also be taken in other forms, including tinctures, capsules, and creams. For more potent therapeutic herbal medicine in the form of liquid extracts it is best to consult with a qualified Naturopath/ herbalist, who can get to the root cause of your symptoms and recommend a personalised treatment plan to begin to reclaim control of your menstrual cycle and manage symptoms long term.