Premenstrual Syndrome

Natural remedies for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Most women of childbearing age will have some symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), to some extent or other, a week or so before menstruation.

Although premenstrual syndrome is associated with numerous concerns which vary in different women, some of the most common symptoms of PMS include stomach cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, depression, anxiety, irritability, water retention, acne and low energy.

The cause of PMS symptoms is not fully understood but it is thought that fluctuating hormones contribute to many of the symptoms. The female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, are at their highest level during premenstrual period and it is the relative balance between these two hormones that causes the variation in the symptoms and their intensity. Because all hormonal glands communicate with each other using hormones as chemical messengers, any imbalance in any hormone can have an impact on all other hormonal glands which is why PMS symptoms can be highly variable and widespread. 

What supplements help PMS?

There are many herbal and natural remedies for PMS to choose from which include:

Vitamin B6 for PMS is widely recommended and may be of benefit in regulating PMS mood swings since it is required for the manufacture of serotonin, the mood elevating hormone within the brain.

Magnesium is often recommended as a supplement for PMS anxiety and best combined with vitamin B6, because magnesium displays muscle relaxing properties along with calming properties and this combination can help with many symptoms of PMS such as irritability, premenstrual tension, bloating, stomach cramps and headaches.

Evening Primrose Oil and Starflower Oil are often recommended for the relief of PMS symptoms. They may both balance PMS hormones and contain an omega 6 fatty acid, gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), which appears to alleviate breast tenderness and stomach cramps due to its anti-inflammatory effects on prostaglandins. 

St John’s Wort, 5-HTP and Magnolia Rhodiola are herbal remedies often recommended to alleviate the symptoms of low mood, mood swings and anxiety that are often present before and during a period.