Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is no joke. During that sensitive period – around 14 to 10 days prior your period you can suffer from the following symptoms:
- Breasts that feel heavy and tender
- Exceptional pain in your womb
- Unstoppable cravings – especially for sweet things, as well as carbohydrates
- Pimples may appear on the skin
- Bloated stomach – sometimes so bloated you can appear to look pregnant
- Constipation as well as diarrhea
- Headaches or migraines
- Sleep disorders
- Depression & anxiety
- Emotional outbursts
- Sensitivity to light
- Aggression & rage
You truly can go a bit haywire and act a bit crazy while going through PMS. But fear not, there are ways to treat PMS. Ideally, you want to look at medication last. It’s always great to keep painkillers around for times when the pain is too unbearable to take, but looking to natural remedies really helps. Firstly, let’s look at teas that help during this sensitive time of the month:
1. Soothing Teas
1. Ginger Tea
It has been found that ginger works very well to help alleviate symptoms of nausea during PMS. It also works well as an anti-inflammatory and can really help alleviate pain. For ginger tea to work effectively, as much as four cups (250 ml) should be drunk per day during your PMS period.
2. Raspberry Leaf
Raspberry Leaf is quite a rich and soothing tea. Scientific data has shown that red raspberry leaf helps relax muscle spasms that occur with PMS and the menstrual cycle. As this tea doesn’t actually taste similar to raspberry, you may want to add some raw honey or organic cranberry juice.
3. Green Tea
Green Tea is a firm favorite among many. It has been used for health reasons for a very long time and is an exceptionally healing tea when it comes to alleviating the symptoms of PMS. Within green tea you will find theanine. Theanine helps to give you relaxation and in turn, lifts your mood. There are also many polyphenols, specifically catechins, found in green tea which act as an anti-inflammatory and have an antimicrobial effect. Green tea actually helps with symptoms of period cramp pain and the catechins antimicrobial effects help with any outbreaks of the skin that may occur.
4. Cramp Bark Tea
This tea has the perfect name as it does indeed relieve period pain. There is collected data that indicates that cramp bark tea is possibly very good to consume for an anti-spasm effect on the uterus as it helps it to relax and helps with any sort of cramps you may feel.
5. Ginkgo Biloba Tea
Ginkgo Biloba tea has been proven to really help with breast tenderness as well as psychological and physiological effects of PMS. The main reason for this is its phytoestrogen content and its miraculous ability to make a huge improvement to the progesterone and estrogen ratio during this time.
6. Dandelion Tea
One of the most inconvenient symptoms of PMS is bloating as well as water retention. It makes us women feel fat, uncomfortable – and worse of all, none of our clothes fit properly, which can be a real hassle. Dandelion tea is actually fantastic as it helps with these uncomfortable symptoms. Dandelion is a diuretic which forces the body to release more urine. Inside dandelion tea are also phenylpropanoids and lactones, which helps towards anti-inflammation of the body. Certain studies indicate that dandelion can help with fatigue too.
7. Chasteberry (Vitex Agnus Castus) Tea
One of the key indications of PMS is swelling and tenderness of the breasts. Nipples become sore to the touch and even squeezing gently hurts. It’s not always easy being a woman. Luckily, chasteberry tea is known to help with breast pain, as it regulates hormones. It is also very high in phytochemicals which helps towards anti-inflammation. There have been studies shown that this amazing herb helped with over a 70% reduction in overall PMS symptoms. These symptoms include mood swings, backaches, aggression and breast pain.
8. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is well known for its calming effect. It is a popular tea to drink if you have insomnia as it helps the body relax and helps you fall asleep easier. The flavonoid apigenin inside the tea has a slight tranquilizing effect. Studies also show that chamomile tea helps with problems of anxiety. Chamomile is a staple in many kitchen cupboards as it is an overall great calming tea to have around not only in times of PMS but great stress too!
As well as tea, it is important to look at nutrition too during this period. It’s all too easy – and common – to reach for a bag of potato chips, buttered popcorn, chocolate, cola and caramel! We think that’s what the body wants as that’s what we feel like we are craving but, if we ingest natural alternatives our bodies, and minds, will feel a whole lot better!
2. Best Food to Eat During PMS – Vegan Options Included
Calcium & Vitamin D
Studies have been shown to prove that calcium and vitamin D really help to ease PMS symptoms. The studies surprisingly showed that it was calcium dense food (rather than supplements) that provided the most benefit.
The reason calcium and vitamin D help with the symptoms of PMS is that they effect the brain positively to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety and help with mood swings. As a woman, you should get around 1,000 mg of calcium a day and 600IU of vitamin D.
It’s therefore important during this sensitive time to get your calcium intake through food such as low-fat milk, cheese, fortified orange juice as well as yogurt. If you are a vegan, calcium rich foods include fortified, unsweetened soya, rice and oat milk, broccoli, cabbage, okra, calcium-set tofu, sesame seeds and tahini, pulses and dried fruit like raisins, dried apricots, dried figs, as well as prunes.
If you are vegan you can get vitamin D from the sunlight as well as fortified fat spreads, unsweetened soya drinks, mushrooms, and fortified breakfast cereals. If you are not vegan you can get vitamin D from delicious salmon as well as fortified milk, herring, sardines, canned tuna, shrimp and oysters.
Eating Out Options
If you are out with family or friends and you want a nice intake of calcium and vitamin D, opt for an Asian restaurant where you can order a salmon or tofu dish and remember to ask the waiter to add a lot of broccoli and cabbage to your portion. For starters, you can order miso soup which contains calcium as well as other important vitamins and nutrients.
Alternatively, go and eat out at a fish restaurant where you can have a starter portion of oysters followed by a plate of shrimps or, if vegan, order a mushroom dish with a vegetable salad.
B Vitamins are important in the fight against PMS symptoms. Whole grains are important as they have a LOW GI and release sugar slowly into the blood. Options to go for are rye bread, oatmeal, wild and brown rice. These foods have vitamin B including thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (Vitamin B2). They really lower the symptoms of PMS.
Thiamine and riboflavin help with stress. Other food sources of thiamine include oranges, eggs, pork, liver, beef, yeast, peas, legumes, seeds and dried milk. Riboflavin is found in quinoa, spinach, cheese, kidney beans, salmon, cod, tomatoes and many more delicious options to choose from.
You also want to look at food like chicken which is rich in niacin (vitamin B3). People downplay the benefits of chicken which includes aiding towards depression. Chicken also contains magnesium, potassium, zinc as well as phosphorus.
Eating Out Options
Go to a steak house if you want to increase your B1 , B2 and B3 vitamin intake. Order a nice big dish of chicken livers, beef steak or pork. If you are a vegan, order a healthy quinoa salad that includes tomatoes from a health restaurant.
3. Alternative Treatments
Acupuncture may improve the physical and psychological symptoms of PMS. Apparently, acupuncture helps with hormonal imbalances. There’s nothing to be afraid of during these sessions. You will be asked certain questions during your session with and afterwards you will lie down while needles are stuck into you. There are people that report that this kind of treatment really helps with things such as breast swelling and nipple tenderness and it helps alleviate emotional outbursts as well.
Most women get caught up in their daily lives living in cities where there is a lot of pollution and everything rushes at a fast pace. If you actually get out into the fresh air and walk on the green grass you naturally start to feel better. That and a sunny day and your PMS will naturally start to feel better.
If your body is feeling very tender, go for a gentle aromatherapy massage and tell your massage therapist that you require a gentle massage (as sometimes they can be too hard on your muscles). Try opt for a spa that is out in nature. The best aromatherapy oils to use during PMS are:
- Ylang Ylang
- Holy Basil
- Clary Sage
So yes, the symptoms of PMS are never nice but there are ways of alleviating the symptoms without trips to your doctor, that can really help!
Making Periods Hassle Free
After PMS, when your period starts, you don’t want to worry about it. Tampons and pads can be uncomfortable, so using a menstrual cup will help. Also, who needs the stress involved in having to carry tampons and pads around in your purse all day, changing them continuously in the bathroom at work?
The Venus Menstrual Cup is everything you need and more when searching for the perfect menstrual cup. It is safe to use and made out of silicone and is completely reusable. Menstrual cups are all the rage these days with even top athletes opting for them. If you have never used one before but are curious this guide will show you exactly what you need to know about how to use one of these. If you are not sure which is the best menstrual cup for you, just take this quick quiz and it will easily give you all the answers you need. Why make life harder when menstrual cups provide such an easy choice for period control!