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How to manage PMS symptoms naturally

Jacinta is a freelance writer and public relations consultant. She has a passion for health and wellness communications but also regularly writes about entertainment news and lifestyle topics ranging from travel, parenting, crafts and fo...

banish pms blues the natural way

From SheKnows Australia
Don't suffer through PMS symptoms when natural remedies are readily available.
woman with cramps

The ups and downs of a menstrual cycle can be exhausting, but not more so than when suffering from symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). If the thought of your monthly cycle makes you cringe in fear, consider some natural remedies to help you get through it.

What is PMS?

The Better Health Channel (VIC) says that around 70 per cent of women suffer from mild PMS symptoms, however, another 20–30 per cent of women live with severe symptoms. The Better Health Channel defines PMS as a "range of physical and emotional symptoms that many women experience in the lead up to a period (menstruation). Symptoms resolve once the woman’s period begins and there is usually at least one symptom-free week before the symptoms return."

Symptoms vary among women and can include (but are not limited to): 

  • Acne
  • Bloating (fluid retention)
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Headaches
  • Hot flushes
  • Mood swings and weepiness
  • Swollen, sore or tender breasts

Causes

There is a lot of discussion about what causes PMS, ranging from high oestrogen or low progesterone to nutritional deficiencies. It is best that a woman works with a medical or health professional to determine what might be behind her specific PMS symptoms.

Natural aid

Nutritionist and naturopath based on the Gold Coast, Sam Beau Patrick, believes there are natural therapies that can help ease PMS symptoms and other hormone-related conditions.

In her book, Beauty and The Beast Within, she recommends a commonly-used herb, chaste tree (also known as vitex agnus-castus, chaste berry and monk's pepper).

"Chaste tree may help your body increase progresterone levels and therefore help narrow the ratio between high oestrogen and progesterone," Patrick said.

She also goes on to recommend that women suffering from what she terms "Female Hormone Disorder" try a gut and liver detoxification program as a clean out makes sure these organs are able to expel and metabolise hormones adequately.

The team at YourHealth, a medical integrative centre (in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania), says chaste tree (vitex) is "perhaps the most widely used herb for female reproductive problems."

"Vitex does not contain hormones itself, however it has a unique ability to affect the regulation of human hormones via actions upon the pituitary gland. It has been shown to regulate the production and release of luteinizing hormone and prolactin in particular, which in turn affects ovarian follicle function and increases progesterone production," they said.

Other lifestyle and dietary changes are also believed to assist with PMS symptoms, including:

  • Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake two weeks before your period is due
  • Managing stress levels
  • Reducing salt consumption
  • Increasing dairy intake

This article should in no way be viewed as a diagnosis or treatment recommendation. If you are concerned about your health, consult a medical practitioner.

More about women's health

Vitamin D: Are you getting enough?
How to banish bloating once and for all
Bras to fit your active life

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