PMS Relief

Premenstrual Syndrome, aka PMS. For many women these three little letters are representative of a lot of misery and source of dread. I want to let you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. I have some great suggestions for improving symptoms and turning that unhappy week into a much more manageable one.

Many moons ago the magazine Delicious Living asked me to contribute to some content on what women could do for PMS, you can see that article here.  There was a lot more information that I wanted to share, though and I thought I’d do that today. (Questions from the journalist are in blue.)

I would like to get an herbalist’s perspective on the most effective ways to fight symptoms of PMS. What do you recommend to your patients?
It really depends on the picture that the patient presents with. There are several different things that can go into PMS. For a tailored treatment regimen I would highly suggest contacting a licensed naturopathic doctor or herbalist. *If you have any special
considerations such as nursing, prescription drug use, liver disease or other health issues it is of the utmost importance that you consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before taking any herbs or supplements.

A few of the herbs I would suggest are:
Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinalis), Chaste Tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus),  Licorice root (Glyccyrhiza glabra), St John’s Wort (Hypericum spp.), Schisandra berry (Schisandra chinensis), Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) and Lavender (Lavandula spp).*Please use herbal medications with care, if you have a sensitivity or allergy to any of these herbs do not use them.

One of my favorite formulations is by GreenStar Herbs out of Austin, Texas; it includes some of the herbs I’ve written of above and is named PMS MizzerEaze.

Are there any beneficial supplements?

B vitamins: B6 is particularly helpful, it is important to also supplement a B-complex along with the B6, magnesium (magnesium may lead to loosened stools and you may need less if you experience diarrhea), calcium: I prefer calcium citrate for its absorbability, zinc: I prefer zinc picolinate; Vitamin D: 2,000 IUs/day (more may be needed but consult a licensed healthcare professional regarding your Vitamin D levels before supplementing large amounts of Vitamin D).

Often a high quality multivitamin with sufficient B6 and magnesium is all you
will need in regards to a supplement for PMS.

Are there any lifestyle choices that can positively or negatively affect the symptoms of PMS?
Getting 8-9 hours of restful sleep a night, exercise (aerobic and strength training, try to get at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week), stress reduction (this may include meditation, yoga, lifestyle restructuring, counseling, listening to music, etc)
VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Are there any foods you recommend to help the symptoms?

One of the best food changes to instate is eating about a pound a day of
Cruciferous vegetables (in the Broccoli family): broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens etc.  If you have thyroid issues, consult with your naturopathic doctor beforehand as Cruciferous vegetables may be contraindicated for those people.   Start adding the Cruciferous veggies S L O W L Y if you don’t normally consume them as too much all at once can lead to tummy upset. I also suggest: fruits, vegetables (specifically garlic, onions, green leafy vegetables, beets, carrots and artichokes), legumes, nuts, fish, grass fed beef (for the good omega 3 oil content), flax and olive oils.
Are there any foods you recommend to avoid?

Known food intolerances (you may want to do a food elimination/challenge diet under the care of a naturopathic doctor to discover your food intolerances), processed foods, sugar,  highly processed grains, reduce intake of: alcohol, caffeine and salt. I also highly suggest avoiding non-organic meat and dairy products.

*The information I have included here or elsewhere on my website is not to be considered treatment or diagnosis or any particular disease or condition. Always consult your health care practitioner before undertaking any new health regimen.