• 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.

Conventional Treatments

  • Conventional treatments include anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, beta-blockers, diuretics, oral contraceptives, and other hormonally-active formulations.
Principal Natural Treatments
  • Calcium: May Improve All Symptoms of PMS

  • 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 cravings. 
    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 IU daily.
  • Magnesium:

  • 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 Tenderness

  • 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.
Stress Management
  • 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.
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