Are you experiencing mood swings & irritability, bloating, abdominal cramping, acne, fatigue, or back pain the days or weeks before your period? Rather than putting a bandaid on the symptoms, we could benefit from a deeper understanding of the root causes of PMS. Just remember that everybody is different and what works for me might not work for you. To find and work with the root cause means you need to practice qualities like patience and curiosity in order to get to know yourself and understand your specific needs.
Symptom vs Root Cause Identification
The Medical System is great at having tunnelled vision to fix the pain, but typically not the underlying root cause. Birth control pills and painkillers may provide some short-term relief, but may also contribute to infertility, heart disease, depression, and low libido. This is why all women with PMS would benefit from starting to search for their root cause.
Premenstrual syndrome is multifaceted. It’s complex and affects every woman uniquely. Very few established doctors or GPs actually look outside their medical box to help women find relief for PMS.
When you’re on the pill, your menstrual cycle is regulated by the exogenous hormones in the birth control instead of the hormones that your body normally produces. When you stop taking the pill, your cycle may stop altogether, or it may take months to become regular again. With herbs, we never actually take away your body’s own mechanism for cycle regulation. We just help guide it back into the right rhythm. And just like with training wheels, when you’re ready to ride on your own, we just stop treatment and your momentum keeps you on the right path.
Herbs that Can Relieve the Most Common PMS Symptoms
1. Raspberry Leaf for Cramping
Cramps are muscle spasms of the uterus with pain in the pelvic, abdominal, and low back areas. There are ways to relax your pelvic area while specifically with PMS, blood moving herbs such as Ginger and Cayenne tend to work quite well. You can make ginger tea or add the spices to a soup or stew if you wish.
Raspberry leaf tea is often referred to as “The Woman’s Herb” because it’s safe to use during all our women’s cycles. For PMS it can ease cramping, nausea, and other discomforts. Ginger tea can relieve pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties and it can also help decrease heavy bleeding.
Fragarine and tannins are two components in raspberry leaves. They can help treat cramping, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Fragarine, an alkaloid in raspberries, and tannins, a naturally occurring polyphenol, can helping treat cramping, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhoea. Fragarine can help tone and tighten muscles in the pelvic region, thereby assisting with cramps caused by the spasms of these muscles.
Meanwhile, tannins can strengthen the uterus, mitigating heavy and irregular bleeding during the menstrual cycle. Two additional ingredients that come into play are calcium and magnesium. These two minerals are also a factor in preventing muscle spasms and therefore preventing PMS cramping.
2. PMS Herbs for Mood Swings & Irritability
Your liver does some magic work. It is the organ associated with irritability and anger. The liver is the organ that should break down estrogen and other hormones. Since most women suffer from excessive estrogen production leading to a deficit in progesterone, anything that can help the liver do its job better ought to help.
According to Dr. Hobbs, herbs that help with getting the liver back on track are:
- Fringe tree bark regulates liver
- Dandelion root cools and cleanses the liver
- Artichoke leaf promotes bile production, opens liver)
- Centaury herb cooling to the liver activates digestion
- Orange peel harmonizes’ digestion, enhances the flavor
- Licorice reduces inflammation, enhances the flavor
Lavender & Clary Sage as essential oils are a good start. You can either inhale them directly from the bottle or use a humidifier or diffuser. You can also dilute the oil with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and apply it directly to your skin.
3. Dandelion Root for Bloating
The feeling of bloating is related to water retention in your body. Water retention happens when your body cannot move the water to the kidneys and the bladder to be excreted. Magnesium tends to help women that are severely affected by bloating.
Sticking to the subject of herbs to help with bloating, Dandelion root cools and cleanses the liver remarkably well. This simple herb found in most yards has healing properties that are simply put, quite amazing. Not only does this root help the liver it also helps you with fluid retention and supplies your body with vital minerals like Potassium. If you are taking diuretics or Cipro, however, this herb might not be for you.
Complex Issues Require Patience
At the end of the day, PMS is complex and affects every woman uniquely. To heal PMS, it’s critical to have a deep understanding of the body, to chart symptoms, make lifestyle changes, and explore the emotional and psychological connections that affect our endocrine system, and ultimately our sacred womb. Combining herbs with diet changes and more to have a more long-lasting benefit.
Articles Worth Reading around PMS & Natural Herb-Based Remedies
- Kitchn Grocery Tea Herb that changed my life
- Raspberry leaf for PMS
- Goop interview on herbs for PMS
- Menstrual Migraine treatments