The use of medicinal herbs can be helpful in relieving many of the symptoms associated with PMS; as herbal PMS remedies can naturally balance hormonal fluctuations in the woman’s monthly cycle.
Most women at some time during their reproductive life will experience the discomfort associated with premenstrual syndrome. The medical term, premenstrual syndrome, incorporates a variety of symptoms that usually start to occur two weeks before a woman has her monthly period.
Medicinal herbs for PMS essentially act as hormonal balancers. And in addition to using herbs, diet and nutrition can help ease the severity of PMS. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and Vitamin E combined with a quality multi-vitamin that includes magnesium and chromium may help combat fluctuations in blood sugar.
Essential fatty acids can also be added to the diet by using flax seed (linseed) oil and by taking star flower oil or evening primrose oil capsules. A good natural treatment for PMS remedy will consist of vitamins, herbs and minerals that act together to assist with relieving the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.
Medicinal Herbs for PMS Relief
Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus castus)
Chaste tree is widely considered the most important herb in treating PMS. Since the days of Hippocrates, 2500 years ago, chaste tree has been used to treat a variety of gynaecological complaints in women. Many herbalists today prescribe the chaste tree to relieve symptoms of PMS, specifically painful breasts prior to menses, oedema, depression, diarrhoea/constipation and headache associated with PMS. Studies into this plant’s safety and effectiveness have been numerous in recent years, where chaste tree has shown itself again and again to be a safe, effective treatment for PMS. One recent German study of over 1600 women experiencing PMS, showed 93% had a reduction or cessation of their PMS symptoms, after taking chaste tree. The principal action of chaste tree is in regulating ovarian hormones by stimulating the pituitary gland.
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Black cohosh is well documented and is becoming increasingly popular as an herbal treatment for PMS when combined with chaste tree to act as a hormonal balancer. The anti spasmodic action of black cohosh is helpful in relieving menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhoea).
Borage/Star Flower Oil (Borago officinalis)
Star flower oil is not as well-known as evening primrose, but it has significantly higher concentrations of gamma linoleic acid (GLA).
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)
For centuries dong quai has been prescribed for hormonal imbalance. In traditional Chinese medicine(TCM), dong quai is called “Women’s Ginseng”, and is considered to be an overall tonic for women’s sexual health. In relieving symptoms of PMS, dong quai is often helpful in relieving pre menstrual migraine.
Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa)
The phytosterols found in wild yam also help precursors to oestrogen and progesterone in the body. It is thought that some of the symptoms of PMS are associated with a dominance of oestrogen in the second half (luteal phase) of the menstrual cycle. In treating PMS, the progesterone in wild yam is helpful in addressing this imbalance.
St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
The small yellow flowers of this ancient herb reflect the mild action of this antidepressant. St John’s wort is also a gentle sedative that assists with moderate depression, anxiety and insomnia. The St John’s wort’s flowers contain hypericin, and hyperforin both considered to be vital components in this herbs mood lifting action.
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Evening primrose oil (EPO) is high in an essential fatty acid, called gamma linoleic acid (GLA).
Women who are low in GLA are known to be more sensitive to the hormone, prolactin, which is believed to cause breast tenderness (mastalgia).
Supplementing with EPO is effective in reducing the symptoms of PMS, however, it is advised that symptoms may reduce gradually for some women over two to three cycles.
Other natural herbs that have been used for PMS relief.
- Buchu – (Agathosma betulina)
- Anise – (Pimpinella anisum)
- Hyssop – (Hyssopus officinalis)
- Flaxseed – (Linum usitatissimum)