- Many women experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms
in the week or two before menstruating. These include
irritability, anger, headaches, anxiety, depression, fatigue,
fluid retention, and breast tenderness. These
symptoms result from hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle.
Principal Natural Treatments
- Conventional treatments include anti-depressants, anti-anxiety
drugs, beta-blockers, diuretics, oral contraceptives, and
other hormonally-active formulations.
- Calcium: May Improve All Symptoms
A recent study found positive results with
calcium for the treatment of PMS symptoms. Participants took
300 mg of calcium 4 times daily. It significantly reduced
mood swings, pain, bloating, depression, back pain, and food
For healthy women, calcium is safe when taken at this dosage.
However, if you have cancer, hyperparathyroidism, or sarcoidosis,
you should only take calcium under the supervision of a physician.
- Chasteberry: Especially Effective
for Breast Tenderness
Reportedly, chasteberry can reduce many of
the symptoms of PMS, but it is dramatically effective against
breast tenderness. This is probably because chasteberry suppresses
the release of prolactin, a hormone that affects the breasts.
Research has shown that chasteberry does not contain any chemicals
that act like estrogen or progesterone.
The typical dose of dry chasteberry extract is 20 to 40 mg
a day. Chasteberry is often sold as a liquid extract to be
taken at a dosage of 40 drops each morning. Chasteberry is
not an appropriate treatment for pregnant or nursing mothers.
- Vitamin B6:
The maximum safe dosage of vitamin B6 is 50
mg twice daily. Higher doses should be used only under
a physician's supervision.
- Vitamin E:
Weak evidence suggests that vitamin E may be
helpful against PMS. A typical dosage of vitamin E is 400
Studies suggest that magnesium may be helpful
in PMS. For PMS, it is sometimes given at a dosage of 500
to 1,000 mg daily, starting on day 15 of the menstrual cycle
and continuing through the beginning of menstruation. This
dosage should be safe in healthy women, but if you suffer
from any medical problems, you should check with a physician
before trying it.
- GLA: Primarily for Cyclic Breast
Evening primrose oil, a source of GLA, is used
for the breast pain, called cyclic mastalgia, that often occurs
with PMS .
A typical dosage of Evening primrose oil is 3 g daily. It
must be taken for at least 4 to 6 weeks for a noticeable effect,
and maximum benefit may require 4 to 8 months to develop.
Evening Primrose oil appears to be safe and non-toxic.
- Ginkgo: For Breast Tenderness
and Perhaps Other Symptoms
A recent study suggests that the herb Ginkgo
can reduce breast tenderness and other symptoms of PMS.
- Regular exercise has several beneficial effects. It is
an excellent means of reducing stress, anxiety and depression.
It will help you to take your mind off worries and frustration,
boost your self-esteem and make it easier for you to relax.
Exercise has been shown to reduce breast tenderness, swelling
and fluid retention. Aerobic exercise (fast walking, cycling,
swimming, jogging, cross-country skiing) three or more times
a week will do wonders for your physical and emotional shape.
Increase exercise frequency during the premenstrual period.
- Try to reduce your workload and the demands you make
on yourself and others in the premenstrual period. Practice
letting go and overlook certain things. Try relaxation exercises,
take more time off for yourself and your hobbies and get
enough sleep to prevent fatigue. Learn to identify the things
that tick you off during the premenstrual period, and learn
to exercise better control over your responses in such situations.
The information contained in this web site is strictly intended
for educational purposes. It is not intended for use as a diagnostic
tool, prescription or as a medical advice. Consult your physician
for professional advice.
© 2001 NATURAL REMEDIES COMPANY. All