That “time of the month” is a right of passage for all ladies from a young age. Every woman will deal with it during their life, but some have a tougher time than others. It can be uncomfortable, it can take a toll on you physically and emotionally, and it can downright just leave you feeling… blah. That’s right. We’re talking about menstruation. But more specifically, we are talking about PMS or premenstrual syndrome. It affects millions of women and can last up to two weeks before menstruation. Fortunately, there are some remedies that can help us get through the un-delight of PMS.
Calcium as a PMS Remedy
In this study, 66 female college students, the average age of 21, diagnosed with PMS, took a placebo or 500 mg of calcium per day. Doctors measured symptoms beforehand and then one and two months after taking the calcium. Symptoms were similar in both groups before taking calcium, but after one and two monthly cycles, anxiety, depression, emotional changes, water retention, and other body changes improved for the women taking calcium. Doctors concluded calcium is a low-cost, effective remedy for reducing symptoms of PMS.
Reference: Obstetrics & Gynecology Science; 2017, Vol. 60, No. 1, 100-5
Make Some Lifestyle Changes
Bloating is one of the most prominent and certainly uncomfortable symptoms of PMS. Making some slight changes to the way you eat may help to reduce these symptoms. Try eating smaller meals more frequently to alleviate the feeling of bloat or feeling over-full. Also, try limiting your salt intake. This will also relieve bloating as well as fluid retention. Lastly, choose foods high in complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. The fiber will keep your digestive tract moving, and the complex carbohydrates can give you a little boost of energy.
When we sleep, the body goes to work to repair and rejuvenate itself. This process is especially helpful for those experiencing PMS. Of course, we always feel much better when we get adequate shut-eye, but resting during times our bodies are under additional stress is a real gamechanger.
Aim to engage in 30 minutes of physical activity every single day. Not only will movement help with the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome like unhappy feelings and sluggishness, but regular exercise benefits overall health too. PMS can be painful for some, so this movement does not need to be strenuous. Any intentional movement can make a difference, whether it be going for a walk, doing some gentle yoga, or taking a cycling class.
PMS is hard enough on its own. Thus, eliminating any additional stressors is so helpful. We know this is easier said than done. However, if you can, try to keep stress levels low with some deep breathing techniques or getting a massage. Additionally, all the lifestyle changes listed above will inadvertently help with stress too.
Herbal Remedies for PMS
Chasteberry, or Vitex agnus castus fruit, has been studied for relief of premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Those symptoms include irritability, mood changes, anger, headache, breast fullness, and other menstrual symptoms like bloating. The study found chasteberry extract to be an effective and well-tolerated treatment for the relief of premenstrual symptoms.
Adaptogens are aptly named herbs that help with the adaptation to stress and promotion of homeostasis. In other words, promoting the balance and optimal functioning of our bodies. Adaptogens are known to combat any stressors, whether they be mental, emotional, or physical, making them great remedies for PMS. Since the symptoms of stress are so similar to PMS symptoms, they are said to assist both. That’s a win-win! Examples of adaptogens that may be helpful for premenstrual syndrome are holy basil, ashwagandha, and rhodiola.
- The medicinal properties of holy basil or tulsi have been studied in hundreds of scientific studies. Regular consumption of tulsi tea may be compared with the effects of the regular practice of yoga—a nurturing and nourishing of the body-mind-spirit connection and fostering a sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
- Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that not only enhances the body’s resilience to stress but also enhances the function of the brain and nervous system and improves memory.
- Rhodiola has been used traditionally in Europe and Asia to treat fatigue and weakness and to increase energy. Since then, additional benefits include improved mental stamina and overall resistance to the effects of stress.
Visit our Supplements department and speak to one of our supplement specialists about these remedies for PMS and more.
Reference: The Mayo Clinic: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.