There are many natural remedies that treat various symptoms associated with Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Herbs can be used in teas, tinctures, and baths. Vitamin supplements are sometimes useful for treating deficiencies that cause symptoms. Many women discover that natural remedies work better than over-the-counter medication to lessen bloating and to get rid of headaches, cramps, and other symptoms that occur in the week prior to menstruation. A few herbal remedies can even induce menstruation when necessary. Severe symptoms or excessive bleeding should always be checked out by a healthcare professional, but for regular PMS symptoms, the following remedies are helpful.
Fluctuations in hormone levels cause many of the symptoms women suffer from. Black cohosh helps to balance estrogen and progesterone, which gets rid of the discomfort associated with hormone imbalance. It relaxes muscles and eases back pain, tension headaches, and cramping. Midwives use it to induce labor, so use only if you are not hoping to be pregnant. It’s also an effective remedy for menopause symptoms. Take 1000mg three times a day in capsule or tincture.
Chamomile is used to help relieve anxiety, but also has antispasmodic qualities that make it useful for reducing cramps. Drink a cup of chamomile tea three or more times a day. Chamomile tea is also used to induce menstruation, so caution is advised for women who wish to become pregnant as it could cause an early miscarriage. People allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums or other plants in the daisy and aster families can have a reaction to chamomile.
Dandelions are nutritious and high in vitamin C, potassium and calcium. It’s an effective diuretic that helps relieve bloating caused by water retention. It also helps relieve breast tenderness. Make a tea with 2 cups of fresh dandelion leaves and 4 cups of water, or 3 teaspoons dried roots and 2 cups water. Tinctures are also available. 10-30 drops a day is the usual recommended dose. You can also add fresh dandelion leaves to salads and other dishes.
Dong Quai is used to relieve menstrual cramps and regulate irregular cycles. It has a calming effect on the nervous system which makes it useful for those who suffer from anxiety prior to menstruation. It comes in a tincture and extract and should be taken for the week preceding your period and then stopped when menstruation begins. The recommended dose is 600mg daily, split into two or three doses.
Milk Thistle helps support liver function, which is important when trying to control PMS symptoms as the liver breaks down old estrogen and helps eliminate it from the body. Milk thistle also increases glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant. It’s available in capsules, and the recommended dose is one 140mg capsule three times a day during the week before menstruation.
Nettles are nutritious, containing vitamins A, C, D, and K as well as calcium and iron. Nettle tea has been used for centuries to combat PMS, and excessive bleeding during menstruation. It is also effective as a diuretic, which makes it great for relieving water retention and bloating. Drink 2-3 cups of nettle tea a day until symptoms subside.
Many women who suffer from severe PMS symptoms are deficient in magnesium. Taking 800 milligrams of magnesium a day can help alleviate symptoms significantly.
Evening Primrose Oil
Taking 500 to 1000 milligrams of evening primrose oil throughout the month helps reduce bloating, irritability and breast tenderness. Aside from treating premenstrual complaints, it’s also effective at lowering blood pressure and cholesterol which makes it a great supplement to use all month.
Essential Oils for Headaches
Lemon balm, peppermint, lavender and rosemary essential oils all help relieve headaches. Rub a few drops of any of these oils on your temples and forehead. Lemon balm and lavender oil can also help with menstrual cramps. Either add the oils to a warm bath or massage the lower abdomen with either oil.
Sage Tea for Anxiety
This tea works quickly to ease the anxiety associated with PMS. Add one teaspoon of dried sage to one cup of boiled water and let steep for 15 minutes. Sweeten to taste with honey or sugar.
Shredded Lettuce for Insomnia
Shredded lettuce tea is a strange but effective remedy for anxiety and insomnia. Steep a cup of shredded lettuce in 1 cup boiled water for 30 minutes. Strain and drink 30 minutes before you want to sleep.
Raspberry Leaf Tea for Cramps
This is one of the most well-known plants for treating female problems, and for good reason. Red raspberry leaf is a uterine tonic that is so effective it’s also used after birth to help women recover. Pour 1 cup boiled water over 1 tablespoon dried raspberry leaves and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and sweeten if desired. Drink 3 cups a day.
Parsley is effective at inducing menstruation, as well as reducing bloating. Drink three cups of parsley tea per day, made with 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons of dried parsley added to one cup of boiled water and steeped for 10 minutes. Do not use if you’re hoping to get pregnant, as parsley tea has also been used as an abortifacient.
Women have been using and sharing remedies to safely reduce premenstrual pain and suffering for centuries, but natural remedies can also have negative side effects or interact with other medications. Speak to your physician or a pharmacist before trying any of the above remedies, especially if you have multiple health concerns or are on any prescribed medications.