If you have a menstrual cycle, you have probably dealt with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which relates to certain symptoms that occur a week or two before you have your menstrual cycle and usually disappear once your period starts. It is not fun dealing with PMS but there are some things you can do to alleviate the symptoms including using certain herbs for PMS relief. The following are the top most popular herbal remedies for PMS relief.
These symptoms vary from one woman to another and include but are not limited to;
- Swollen or tender breasts
- Unexplained fatigue
- Upset stomach or bloating,
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Food cravings or changes in your appetite
- Muscle or joint pain
- Mood swings
- Crying fits
1. Chaste tree (vitex) – Vitex agnus-castus
(The fruits or berries are the parts used for natural healing)
Chaste tree which is also known as vitex is probably the top herbal remedy for PMS and is considered the premier herb for women because it can help with many gynecological issues besides PMS.
Several research studies around the world support the use of chaste tree for PMS relief and it is particularly effective for relieving bloating and breast tenderness which results from PMS. This herb can also help with irritability, fluid retention and the other symptoms of PMS.
It works because it is able to shift the estrogen-progesterone balance because this herb is a rich source of phyroestrogens which are similar to the natural estrogen produced naturally in the body but are slightly weaker than the latter.
If you are suffering from irregular menstruation, vitex can also help to regulate your menstrual flow because of its hormonal effects. Try vitex if you are dealing with mid-cycle spotting, menstrual cramps, heavy flow, scant flow, etc.
2. Celery – Apium graveolens
(The stalks and fruits or seeds are the parts used)
Celery is one of the best herbal remedies for PMS related bloating and fluid retention. This is also why it is recommended for fast weight loss (but not permanent weight loss) due to its diuretic ability (water weight elimination).
3. Black cohosh – Actea racemosa or Macrotys actaeoides
(The rhizomes which are the underground stems as well as the roots are the parts used)
This is another of the top female herbs and is also one of the top herbal remedies for PMS relief. Make sure that you use black cohosh and not blue cohosh. Most women can’t use the latter.
Like vitex, many research studies have shown that black cohosh can help relieve many PMS symptoms and can also help treat menstrual cramps and other menstrual discomforts.
4. Dandelion – Taraxacum officinale
(Mainly the roots are used but the leaves can also be used as well)
Dandelion like celery has been shown to have diuretic action making it an effective remedy for PMS-related bloating and water retention.
5. Nettle – Urtica dioica
(The leaves, stems and roots are used)
Using these herbs
The easiest way to take these herbs is by making an herbal infusion (tea) with the dried herb. Add one to two teaspoons of the dried herbs to a cup of boiling water and steep for about 10 minutes and then strain. Drink up to 3 cups of this per day.
There are also tinctures, tablets and capsules made from these herbs that you can use for relief from PMS symptoms. Simply follow manufacturer’s guidelines on usage.
Most of these herbs are generally safe but as with everything, some people may be allergic to these herbs. If an allergy develops, reduce the dosage or stop using.
Many of these herbs should not be given to children younger than two and for the elderly, start with a low dosage and build up as necessary.
If you are taking other medication, talk to your doctor before using any herbs because there may be problematic herb/drug interactions.
Do not use herbs with diuretic action for too long because they may deplete your body of potassium which is an essential nutrient. Your body will also get used to the diuretic action and adjust itself the longer you use diuretics.
Pregnant and nursing women should also avoid these herbs.
Chaste tree should not be given to girls who have not reached puberty.
The above five are just a few of the many herbal remedies for PMS relief. If you are struggling with PMS, you may want to give these natural herbal remedies a try. They may be able to help you.