Natural Remedies for PMS: Cramps, Bloating, Mood Swings and Cravings
The first discovery in my research for natural remedies for PMS was this astonishing fact: There are no less than 150 PMS symptoms that can strike the week before your period.
I should be happy, I guess, that I don’t get all of them, but I definitely know that my period is coming when:
- Everyone around me (except me of course) has an attitude problem.
- I’m adding chocolate chips to my breakfast.
- My heating pad (for the cramps) is burnt out and I bought it yesterday.
- I’m not bloated! The dryer has shrunk my favorite jeans.
As you see, I’m trying to not take my PMS so seriously, but that’s probably because it’s not that time of the month right now.
Not Every Woman Suffers from PMS – Why Do You?
No matter what the average man will claim, not every woman suffers from PMS symptoms (headaches, cramps, mood swings, depression, fatigue bloating, irritability, food cravings, nausea and vomiting and more stuff that makes you look forward to menopause).
These awful symptoms can be influenced by genetics, nutrition and stress, but they are largely controlled by hormonal imbalance. Women who have a proper balance of these hormones experience little to no discomfort before their period. Can you imagine that?
For those of us with no such luck, improving the estrogen-progesterone balance naturally is the best way to say peace out, PMS.
Natural Remedies for PMS – Do They Work?
I was happy to discover, in the weeks of research I’ve put into this, that a few dietary and lifestyle changes can go a long way in reducing PMS symptoms – Without any medication. I can’t promise that all of these remedies will work for everyone but combining a few of them is almost guaranteed to work.
PMS Busting Nutrition
1. Don’t eat fats like Vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, shortening or other chemically altered fats. Instead, Choose fats like coconut oil, real butter, olive oil (don’t heat!) and animal fats (tallow, lard) from healthy sources instead and eat lots of high Omega-3 fish. (Source)
2. Coconut oil is an amazing natural remedy for PMS. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production. It has dozens of other benefits, such as weight loss, anti-inflammation, and even antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
You can start with 1/8 cup of added coconut oil a day. Add it to your coffee or tea, it tastes great.
3. Try to avoid inflammatory foods, such as dairy, meat and grains as much as you can. I have personally heard about two people who solved hormonal imbalance with a grain-and-dairy-free diet.
PMS Busting Supplements
1. Magnesium often greatly helps both PMS symptoms and menstrual cramping. Magnesium supports hundreds of reactions in the body and often contributes to better sleep (which is essential for hormonal balance!).
There are several effective forms of Magnesium: You can try it in powder form with a product like Natural Calm so you can work up your dose slowly or in a transdermal form by using magnesium oil applied to the skin.
2. Fermented Cod Liver Oil – It has many of the building blocks for hormone production and a great source for Omega 3s and beneficial fats.
3. Vitamin D – It’s best to obtain Vitamin D from the sun, but if you can’t you can take a D3 supplement. Make sure to not take too much and get your levels checked once in a while.
4. Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) has gained the most traction with scientists for easing PMS-related breast pain. Another small study showed that chaste berry, combined with St. Johns’ Wort, lowered levels of depression, anxiety, and food cravings. (Source)
5. Maca - A tuber in the radish family that has a history of boosting hormone production and libido. Many women notice less PMS, increased fertility, and improved skin after this high-mineral-and-essential fatty-acids food.
Maca takes time to work, give it at least 3-5 weeks before you expect results. It is available in powder form or in capsules, but should be discontinued in pregnancy.
PMS Busting Lifestyle Changes
1. Avoid Toxins – For women with hormonal imbalance, it’s very important to avoid toxins found in processed foods, pesticides, plastics, household chemicals and even mattresses. These toxins have hormone disrupting chemicals, which mimic hormones in the body and keep the body from producing real hormones.
Do not cook or microwave in plastic, try to eat organic food and use natural cleaners to reduce your indoor air pollution as much as possible.
2. Natural Feminine Hygiene options – Some of us do not react well with the chemicals in pads and tampons (there’s also a risk of toxic shock syndrome with tampons). I’ve heard about several women that using cloth pads or the Diva Cup has made the headaches and cramps completely disappear.
3. Mild exercise – Intense exercise can actually make things worse if you have hormonal balance. Mild exercise and stretching, walking and swimming are best, so claim many naturopaths. Hip and back stretches increase blood flow to the abdominal and lower back muscles, easing the tension that leads to cramps.
4. Last but most important – Sleep. One of the best natural remedies for PMS is proper sleep I can’t stress this enough.
What about you? Have you tried and tested any natural remedies for PMS? Share your knowledge with me in the comments below.