Is your monthly cycle controlling your life? Does it make you feel “out of control” and emotional?
Many women accept premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as a normal part of life that they just have to deal with. This monthly mayhem does not have to be a part of life though!
These monthly changes in mood, appetite, energy and sleep patterns are an annoying part of life and should not be considered “normal”.
Snappy, teary, tender and bloated?
In Australia, it is estimated that up to 70% of women experience PMS at some point in their life, with 18% of women suffering the most severe form of PMS; premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMS encompasses a broad collection of symptoms commonly experienced in the last week or two of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. Common symptoms include:
- breast soreness
- food cravings
- increased appetite
- fluid retention
- poor concentration
- skin breakouts and headaches.
Would you like to live your life with a balanced monthly cycle? Would you like to be the same person for all four weeks of every month? Creating a balanced monthly cycle can be achieved with simple diet and lifestyle changes and by using natural medicines that can help get your cycle into balance and keep it in balance. People have used herbs and natural medicines for thousands of years to help maintain a healthy hormonal balance and reduce the severity of their PMS symptoms.
Thankfully herbal help is at hand! An imbalance in hormone levels causes undesirable changes in moods, behaviour and physical symptoms. However, every woman will have her own individual response to these hormonal imbalances.
For example some women may experience PMS symptoms such as:
Mood swings and irritability, anger and frustration
Irregular periods (when stressed)
Prone to premenstrual headaches or migraines Prone to digestive symptoms such as excessive bloating, discomfort, flatulence
Shoulder and neck pain
Women who experience these symptoms may find relief from herbal remedies that contain Bupleurum and Paeonia.
Bupleurum: Bupleurum falcatum may help to relieve menstrual irregularity related to stress. It has a mild sedative action, helping with emotional instability and mood swings. Paeonia: Paeonia lactiflora (white peony) is commonly used for women’s disorders, regulating the menstrual cycle and reducing PMS symptoms.
Other women may experience PMS symptoms such as:
- Fluid retention
- Painful periods that are relieved by warmth and pressure
- Dull abdominal pain and distension with downward dragging sensation
- Lower back pain, worse following menstruation or when tired
- Exhaustion after period with extremely pale complexion
- Prolonged bleeding (5-7 days)
- Premenstrual breast swelling and tenderness
Vitex agnus-castus: Vitex agnus-castus, also known as chaste tree, is one of the most important herbs for regulating female hormones. Vitex may help with many of those symptoms of PMS, such as bloating, breast swelling and tenderness, irritability and depression. The herb helps to regulate irregular periods, tending to shorten a long cycle and lengthen a short one.
Dong quai: Dong quai has been traditionally used for regulating the menstrual cycle, and for absent or painful periods with abdominal pain.
All these herbs are now available in an easy to swallow capsule that you can take to help relieve symptoms of PMS and the associated stress, unrest and tension. Food and fitness for a healthy balance as well as these great natural supplements, the following dietary and lifestyle changes will also help you achieve a healthy hormonal balance:
- Avoid caffeine, salt, alcohol, chocolate, saturated fats and sugar.
- A diet high in fresh fruit, vegetables, essential fatty acids and lean protein sources provides essential phytonutrients, antioxidants and magnesium.
- Eliminate foods that can contribute to hormone imbalances. These include non-organic poultry, dairy, red meats, sugar, white flour and refined foods.
- Include detoxifying foods such as beets, carrot, yams, garlic, dark leafy greens, lemons and apples.
- Increase fibre in the diet.
- Stress management techniques, such as yoga, meditation and exercise are advised.