Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is something that affects many women every month.
Cramps, bloating, headaches, mood swings, depression. The symptoms are different for each person, but none of them are fun.
Medical experts still don't know the exact cause or causes of PMS, but it's likely related to hormone fluctuations, specifically estrogen and progesterone.
If you dread that time of the month and are looking for some natural relief, here are some herbs and other natural remedies for PMS.
Herbs and Herbal Tea For PMS
Also known as Vitex, chasteberry is an herb that's often used to balance female hormones and relieve PMS symptoms.
It comes from the fruit of the chaste tree and has been used for centuries to help with menstrual problems.
A 2013 review of different studies published on chasteberry found that it has benefits for the treatment of PMS and PMDD (a more severe premenstrual disorder). (1)
Chasteberry is available in capsules, tablets, and liquid form. It's best to consult a qualified health practitioner for the correct dosage that will help you. Chasteberry may interact with certain medications and decrease the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives, so be sure to speak with your midwife before taking it.
Adaptogenic herbs are a unique class of herbs that work with our bodies to support the adrenals, balance hormones, and reduce stress. These properties give adaptogenic herbs a lot of potential as natural remedies for PMS.
Stress, fatigue, and mood swings can all increase as part of PMS. Taking a combination of adaptogenic herbs can help you body to cope better and return to balance.
Adaptogens like ashwagandha, holy basil, cordyceps, and rhodiola can be taken in combination with each other or with other herbs for PMS relief.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is often used by herbalists as a natural antidepressant. However, it also has promise for treating both emotional and physical symptoms of PMS.
One study found that women who took St. John's wort in tablet form reported relief from depression, anxiety, and pain-related symptoms of PMS. (2)
You can try it yourself in this PMS tonic.
St. John's wort can interact with medications like birth control, heart medication, and antidepressants. Be sure to speak with your doctor before using if you take any kind of medication or supplements.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red raspberry leaf is a very beneficial herb for women's health in general and can especially help with PMS.
It contains a compound called fragarine, which helps to tone uterine and pelvic muscles. (3) Red raspberry tea can therefore help with both excessive bleeding as well as menstrual cramping.
Red raspberry leaf also contains easily assimilated calcium and magnesium, which in themselves are natural remedies for PMS symptoms.
Herbal Tea For PMS
There are many other herbs that can help to relieve PMS symptoms.
Shepherd's purse can help with cramps as well as heavy bleeding during your cycle. Nettle leaf contains nutrients and compounds that support your body through PMS.
Ginger root contains compounds that reduce inflammation and is a traditional remedy for cramping. Several studies indicate that ginger powder can reduce pain associated with PMS. (4)
While all of these herbs can be tried on their own, they are more powerful at bringing relief when used in combination.
For a ready-made natural remedy for PMS and irregular cycles, try this herbal Menstrual Melody Tea.
It combines shepherd's purse, nettle leaf, and ginger with red raspberry leaf and other herbs that bring PMS relief.
All you have to do is start drinking the tea a few days before your cycle is due to start and continue drinking it daily throughout your cycle.
Try it for yourself here and stop dreading your time of the month!
Other Natural Remedies for PMS
Not enough calcium in the diet is a common reason women get PMS symptoms.
Calcium has a large role to play in regulating hormones. Getting enough calcium can help with symptoms like mood swings, bloating, fatigue, and psychological symptoms. (5)
You can get more calcium by adding extra calcium-rich foods to your diet. Leafy green vegetables, plain or fermented dairy, seeds, almonds, and sardines are all good calcium sources.
A natural calcium supplement is another option. You may wish to also increase your vitamin D intake as it is needed for your body to actually absorb the calcium.
Low levels of magnesium could be another reason for troublesome PMS symptoms.
A study done in 2010 indicates that supplementing with magnesium can help to decrease the severity of physical and emotional symptoms. (6)
Foods rich in magnesium include leafy greens, bananas, dark chocolate, avocados, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
You can also try a magnesium supplement or drink an herbal tea that's rich in both magnesium and calcium.
Vitamin B-6 is a water soluble-vitamin that plays many important roles in the body. It's involved in estrogen metabolism as well as the production of neurotransmitters, which affect your mood.
It's also one of the natural remedies for PMS that can help with symptoms like mood swings, anxiety, and irritability.
Especially when taken with magnesium, a B-6 supplement can be effective at reducing symptoms. (6)
You can also get more of this vitamin from foods like eggs, milk, chickpeas, avocados, salmon, and beef.
If you try vitamin B-6 to help with PMS, it's important to get a high enough dose every day since the body doesn't store B-6.
CBD oil (derived from the Hemp plant) has many potential benefits for relieving PMS symptoms.
It helps to relax the uterine muscles, relieving cramps and can also help with lower back pain and headaches that can accompany PMS. There are a few studies documenting the positive effects of cannabinoids (CBD) on chronic pain. (7)
CBD oil has also been shown to have an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect, which can help with mood swings and psychological symptoms. (8)
While research is still ongoing, CBD oil is showing a lot of promise for treating PMS.
You can use the pure oil or buy a CBD-infused cream or salve to apply topically. We highly recommend Bluebird Botanicals.
Side Effects and Precautions
Because many of the herbs and natural remedies for PMS affect hormones and mood, you will want to check with your health care provider before using if you take any kind of hormonal treatment or birth control. Some remedies may also interact with other medications, and you will want to ask your doctor before using.
It's also a good idea to talk with a natural health practitioner to determine the correct dosages and how often you should use different remedies.
Try These Natural Remedies for PMS Relief
If you are tired of feeling sick and tired every month, why not give one of these natural PMS remedies a try?
Relief could be as simple as drinking this herbal tea blend, increasing your calcium and magnesium intake, or using CBD oil.
Finding what works for your body will make that time of the month much less unpleasant!
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and should not be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your health care provider, herbalist, midwife, or naturopathic physician before taking herbs, supplements, etc. Here's the link to our full disclaimer.