Natural PMS Remedies
Has your period got you feeling zany? Do you think the only way out of this angsty state of crises is ten bars of Godiva chocolate stat or popping prescription painkillers? If any of these situations applies to you, well we’ve got you covered. Here’s a new kind of remedy that doesn’t involve swallowing milligrams of anything. Yes, we’re talking natural therapy.
Heat It Up
Expose your abdomen to some heat. Whether it’s a warm shower, extra blankets, or an electric heat pad, your abdominal pains/cramps will feel much better after being exposed to warmth. The heat helps increase blood flow providing additional oxygen and nutrients to help heal your shedding uterine lining. The heat also helps stimulate sensation in the skin, and therefore distracting the amount of pain being signaled and sent to your brain from your uterus. Also, our tendency is to tighten and tense up our muscles when we’re in pain; the heat will help relax those tightened muscles.
Minerals and Supplements
There are some minerals in the form of pills/supplements that we highly recommend to help reduce those PMS Pains. Magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Calcium are our top three picks. Here’s why:
- Magnesium: Magnesium supplementation is best known for helping with balancing blood sugar levels, balancing mood through managing cortisol levels, and acts as an anti-inflammatory by producing thyroid hormone. It has been found that 360 mg three times a day, starting from day 15 to the start of the menstrual period significantly improves PMS mood changes.
- Vitamin B6: If the magnesium can’t cure your mood, maybe the recommended daily dose of 100mg of Vitamin B6 will help with your premenstrual blues. The body needs B6 to make serotonin out of the amino acid tryptophan, and many people may be low in B6 because of high levels of stress that deplete your body of B6.
- Calcium: Studies correlate the levels of calcium found in women with stronger symptoms of PMS are lower than those women who do not experience PMS. It is suggested that 300 mg of calcium carbonate four times a day can help reduce bloating, depression, pain, mood swings and food cravings.
Monitor the Types of Food You Eat
Menstruation is a biological process and food is the fuel that can invigorate it if you’re eating healthy or hinder it if you’re not. Here’s a list of diet recommendations that can soothe and enhance the experience of healthy menstruation.
- Get the benefits of magnesium described in the previous section by eating these magnesium enriched foods – dark chocolate (no wonder most women crave this food during their periods, your body is naturally telling you what it needs), sunflower seeds, fish, and leafy greens.
- We learned about the benefits of calcium supplements in the previous section. Most people automatically think milk is the best source of calcium, but you might be surprised to find out that green leafy vegetables, almonds, oatmeal, oranges, sardines and seeds are also a good source of calcium, so if you’re not a cookies and milk kind of girl, break out your recipe for sautéed spinach.
- Sugar and salt are big no nos, especially if you’re trying to reduce that overwhelming amount of bloating and swelling of the hands and feet.
- Forget that morning coffee; any caffeine can sometimes aggravate anxiety and depression that comes along with that time of month. Tea, specifically chamomile and peppermint, on the other hand, although it contains caffeine, can make for a good alternative.
Although there’s contradicting evidence about the benefits of using herbal remedies to help ease your PMS symptoms, it’s still worth a shot. Here some age old herbal treatments:
- Chasteberry – this fruit coming from a small shrub-like tree has been used by women for thousands of years. It has been linked to balancing hormone levels created by the pituitary gland.
- Evening Primrose Oil – Some research has shown that a dietary deficiency in fatty acids may contribute to PMS. Evening primrose oil is rich in essential fatty acids; taking a 500 mg supplement per day can help improve mood swings, irritability, cramps and inflammation and swelling in the body.
- Tea – This is a great way to combine the previously offered tip for using heat to ease PMS symptoms, with this ones to create a soothing tea. Here are some of our favorites that have been known to have calming effects on PMS – chamomile, quai tea, guilder rose, and feverfew.
Think of how much energy your body’s got to be producing during your period just for the sake of renewing one of your organs. Your body’s focus is on creating hormones, distributing hormones to the right places, expanding and contracting, and generally conserving all other stores of energy for this process. That’s why you might be feeling so drowsy and tired. Your body wants to feel balance, but menstruation is a gruesome and tiring process that demands a lot of energy. Yoga can help you put those hormones in check and balance your body out. Not all yoga positions are made to be done during your menstrual cycle. In fact, some are strictly forbidden.
Writing in Red
It’s easy to think that you look ugly with all that bloating or blotchy pale skin. And it’s even easier to feel like you should just take it easy for however many days it takes your period to run its course, but you know what’s even better than giving up? - Knowing, understanding, and believing in your strength as a woman. We all go through this. And there is no concrete reason to do nothing for a half-a-week. Mind over matter! Cease the day! This is your life, for crying out loud! Use your hormones, PMS pain, and that extra sensitivity that every woman is blessed with to write it out! Turn all that pent up intellect and emotion into words.
Here are two suggested topics and exercises that will help you get that pen to paper and the creative juices flowing:
- For When You’re Feeling Angry or Emotional - Let it go. Let it out. Reason with yourself. Is what you’re feeling rational? If you’re just fuming or pissed and you don’t have the patience to reason it out. Just put your pen down on the page. Seriously, just date it and then let yourself go. Say anything at all, even if you know it makes zero sense to think this way. And when you feel ready, read what you wrote and answer these questions: Who and what got me so worked up? Why did I react the way I did? If there really is a problem, how can I make this better?
- For A Fun Twist - Getting your period doesn’t always mean getting angry…there can be funny and embarrassing moments too! We want to see your writing in the form of funny stories about your first period or any other period related story. What better way to cheer up your “angry reds” then to laugh about it. It might not have been funny at the time it happened, but let’s find a way to laugh about it now or maybe give others an opportunity to take comfort in the fact that they’re not the only ones with embarrassing period moments. Email us with your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll write you back if we we’re interested in posting it write here on our website. Of course we can keep it anonymous if you’d like.