All-Natural Cures for PMS

As hormones rise and fall, some women and people who menstruate experience PMS, a group of physical and emotional symptoms such as abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, changes in appetite, fatigue, depression, and anxiety in the week or two before their menstrual period.

Menstruation makes life possible. “That time of the month” is a beautiful thing, but for most women, it can come with unpleasant side effects – cramps, cravings, moodiness (you know the drill). Rather than popping a couple of Advil or Midol to control pain and discomfort levels, we encourage you to explore some all-natural remedies. We at Flourish Health want to share a few alternative ways to combat PMS symptoms – keep these tips in mind the next time you want to raid your medicine cabinet for a quick fix.

We at Flourish Health want to share a few alternative ways to combat PMS symptoms.

Tips and Tricks for PMS Alleviation

  1. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea – You may have heard of this tea because it’s mainly known for its benefits during pregnancy, but it’s nutrient profile and hormone-balancing powers make it a great natural source to ease PMS symptoms, too. It’s high vitamin and mineral content helps balance hormones, and it’s also thought to strengthen the walls of the uterus. We recommend steeping a large pot of it and drinking one or two cups a day before and during your period.
  2. Balance Your Blood Sugar – When we’re PMS-ing, a lot of us tend to reach impulsively for all things chocolatey or sugary, but sometimes giving in to your cravings makes the situation worse. When you’re expecting cramps, mood swings, and acne, eating poorly will only cause your hormones to become even more imbalanced, so try sticking to clean protein, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables to calm your hormones and help with your PMS. You can still satisfy your cravings in a clean way.
  3. Reduce or Eliminate Caffeine Consumption – Considerable evidence suggests that caffeine consumption is strongly related to the presence and severity of PMS. Therefore, caffeine must also be avoided by women with PMS. The effect of caffeine is particularly significant in the psychological symptoms associated with PMS, such as anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and depression. Caffeine also has an adverse effect on the way estrogen stimulates breast tissue, which may contribute to breast tenderness.
  4. Cut Back on Salt – Excessive salt consumption, coupled with diminished dietary potassium, greatly stresses the kidneys’ ability to maintain proper fluid volume. As a result, some people are “salt-sensitive,” in that high salt intake cause high blood pressure or, in other cases, water retention. In general, it is a good idea to avoid salt if you have PMS. If you tend to notice more water retention during the latter part of menstrual cycle, reducing your salt intake is an absolute must.
  5. Supplement the Diet with Key Nutrients – Vitamin B6 is critical to maintaining hormonal balance. Vitamin B6 supplementation has shown to exert positive effects on all PMS symptoms (particularly depression) in many women. The improvement is achieved via a combined reduction in mid-luteal estrogen levels and an increase in mid-luteal progesterone levels.

    Magnesium –  Magensium deficiency is strongly implicated as a causative factor in premenstrual syndrome. Red blood cell magnesium levels in PMS patients have been shown to be significantly lower than in subjects without PMS. As magnesium plays such an integral part in normal cell function, magnesium deficiency may account for the wide range of symptoms attributed to PMS.

    Calcium – It is theorized, that calcium improves the altered hormonal patterns, neurotransmitter levels, smooth muscle responsiveness noted in PMS. Further support for the importance of calcium supplementation in soothing PMS symptoms was the finding that women with PMS have reduced bone mineral density.

    Zinc – Has been shown to be lower in women who have PMS. Zinc is required for proper action of many body hormones, including sex hormones, as well as in the control of the secretion of hormones.

  6. Add in herbs – Certain herbs, like chasteberry, may help lessen PMS symptoms. Several studies have shown that women who have used chasteberry extract reported less breast pain, and it’s been shown to help with swelling, cramps, and food cravings.
  7. Exercise – Sticking to a regular routine may help improve PMS symptoms. Regular aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin (chemical messengers that can boost mood) and has positive benefits on energy and sleep.
  8. Stress Management – Breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga are some natural ways to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Many women feel more assertive and attend to their needs in the weeks before menses. This can be used constructively by allowing for personal time to relax, expressing emotions, and giving priority to your needs and what nourishes you.
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