How often have you had to cancel big plans because
you were suffering from PMS? Not only does premenstrual syndrome impact your life,
but there’s also a certain stigma attached to it, as if it isn’t really
a legitimate reason to stay home from work or alter your schedule. Yet for many
women with PMS, the irritability, cravings,
cramps, headaches, moodiness, anxiety and more can be debilitating, and
So what can you do?
Common symptoms of PMS
- Irritability and angry outbursts
- Breast tenderness
- Sleep disturbances
- Blood sugar shifts
- Loss of sexual desire
- Anxiety and moodiness
Get relief from your symptoms with our PMS Program.
At Women's Health Network, we know that if you have PMS, you’re looking both
for solutions that really work and that address the imbalances in your body head-on.
But if you’ve tried antidepressants, birth control pills, and products on
the shelf at the drug store, like Midol, Motrin, and Aleve, you haven’t been
targeting the root cause of your PMS. These options may work for the short-term,
but they won’t, and can’t, stop your symptoms from returning again next
We’ve got good news for you: Mother Nature has some natural ways to relieve
and even prevent premenstrual syndrome so you can keep doing the things you love
— without monthly interruptions.
The root causes of PMS
It’s true that your hormones are the primary reason for PMS symptoms, but
you may not have realized these include more than estrogen and progesterone. Our
endocrine (hormone) system has its hub in the brain. The hypothalamus and pituitary
glands work together in the brain to send messages to the rest of the body about
hormone release. This includes signaling the release of progesterone and estrogen,
adrenal hormones (such as cortisol), insulin, and more. So it makes sense that when
one hormonal loop is off track, others can be affected.
For example, high stress levels can lead to high cortisol, which can throw off progesterone
levels and/or insulin regulation, leading to irritability, anxiety, and cravings.
The primary root causes of PMS are:
- High estrogen-to-progesterone ratio
- Abnormal neurotransmitter response (in the brain)
- Disrupted salt metabolism (causing bloating)
- Stress (causing high cortisol)
- Carbohydrate metabolism
- Nutritional deficiencies
The sooner you can understand the root cause for your PMS, the faster you can
uncover the underlying issue and resolve it. Sadly, common medical treatment is
set up to treat only symptoms rather than root causes. But the wonderful advantage
to using herbs, vitamins, and minerals — all from nature — is that we
can quell symptoms and re-balance the body which allows us to feel better and get
to the root of the issue.
Nature’s PMS solutions
When we say Mother Nature has real solutions for PMS, we mean it! There are plenty
of natural offerings to help smooth out the bumpy road PMS often presents. Take
a look at how each of the following ingredients can help specific PMS symptoms.
The herbs listed below are known as “adaptogenic,” meaning they communicate
with the cells in your body to give you the precise amount to bring your body back
into its ideal balance. This is much better than pharmaceutical and over-the-counter
medications that sometimes can overwhelm your system.
Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus). Chasteberry
contains compounds that have been shown to affect receptors for estrogen and dopamine
(one of our feel-good neurotransmitters). It can help with
menstrual cycle irregularity, cramps, bloating, and breast tenderness.
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis). Originally
used in China, dong quai was introduced to Western medicine in 1899 for treating
menstrual disorders. It has been shown to help relieve cramps and other PMS symptoms
like headache, insomnia, and moodiness. It is thought to be more effective in combination
with black cohosh.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii). Traditionally
maca was used by native Peruvians to enhance fertility. But more recent studies
have shown that it can help with stress, anxiety, mood, and low sex drive —
all symptoms common with PMS.
Specially formulated to quell the most bothersome PMS symptoms, PMSolution is a
natural alternative you can count on.
Our herbal PMS remedy includes:
- Black cohosh
- Wild yam
- Lemon balm
- Don quai
Learn more about PMS Solution and our PMS Program.
Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa). Though
widely used for menopause symptoms, black cohosh is also an excellent herb for PMS,
especially when it comes to irritability and sleep disturbances.
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis). Lemon
balm is known for its calming properties and can help with PMS-related anxiety and
Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa). Wild yam
was traditionally used for intestinal problems as well as labor pains and menstrual
issues. There is debate about whether wild yam can act as a precursor to sex hormones
like estrogen and progesterone, but we’ve found it helpful for our patients
who have high estrogen levels.
Burdock. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effect,
burdock is a powerful diuretic, so it can help reduce excess fluid and bloating
associated with PMS.
St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort can
be useful for mild depression and the moodiness that sometimes accompanies PMS.
But beware that it can interfere with birth control pills in some women, so be sure
to discuss your plan with your doctor.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba). Primarily known
for its benefit to memory, ginkgo has also proven helpful for PMS symptoms, particularly
when it comes to fluid retention and breast tenderness.
Chromium. Chromium is a mineral that has been shown
to help regulate insulin and blood sugar. This regulation can prevent cravings and
support appetite regulation.
Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin B6. This power combination
can do wonders for PMS. All have been researched extensively and offer positive
effects on pain, mood, and general PMS symptoms. Magnesium is especially good to
take if you have chocolate cravings!
In our experience, herbs, vitamins, and minerals, along with a
healthy diet and regular exercise make up the best and most effective PMS
protocol. We’ve found conclusively that many adaptogenic herbs work best in
combination formulas, which is why we created our herbal PMSolution (see
the box above for details).
We take PMS seriously
Though it sometimes seems like the rest of the world doesn’t take premenstrual
syndrome seriously, we know better than most that PMS symptoms can have a significant
impact on your life. If you’re ready to try an approach that is totally safe,
natural, and that gets at the root of the issue, herbs, vitamins and minerals offer
a surprisingly satisfying and effective solution.
PMS symptoms today