I’ve spent a lot of time around hippies and natural, earthy women, and I love the mentality, but I can’t relate to the many women who look forward to their menstrual cycle. I recognize the beauty and power of the monthly feminine cycle, but each time it arrived — inevitably with headaches, back pain, sudden bouts of depression, and cramps so painful I’d find myself writhing on the floor (sometimes in the middle of a crowded campus) – I just couldn’t celebrate it.
Many people attribute women’s longer lifespans to the regular detox of their monthly cycle. According to Ayurveda, menstruation is a period of natural detox because it’s the time when toxins are flushed from our blood and liver.
PMS symptoms range in severity from woman to woman. They take form both in both physical and emotional pain and complications.
- Joint or muscle pain
- Lower abdominal cramps and lower back pain
- Weight gain related to fluid retention
- Abdominal bloating
- Breast tenderness
- Acne flare-ups
- Constipation or diarrhea
Emotional and behavioral symptoms
- Tension or anxiety
- Depressed mood
- Crying spells
- Mood swings and irritability or anger
- Appetite changes and food cravings
- Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
- Social withdrawal
- Poor concentration
“PMS symptoms are our bodies’ way of telling us we may have some mineral deficiencies,” says naturopath, Talia Mansdorf. “They are also a result of various types of hormonal imbalances.”
Women can regulate their hormones and get the minerals they need by getting proper exercise and nutrition, reducing stress, and staying away from dangerous toxins. But sometimes, it’s just not enough. Modern lifestyles are inundated by toxins, and it’s almost impossible to get all the nutrients you need from a regular diet. What’s more, certain health conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, make it harder for some to properly absorb minerals. That’s when it’s time to take action and make your life a little easier with natural supplements and herbal remedies.
Here are 8 natural ways to cures PMS!
This mineral is a natural detoxifier that helps release stress from the body. It relaxes muscles and helps with constipation and painful cramps. Since mainstream agriculture and food processing procedures have depleted our soils of magnesium, it is an essential supplement in our diets.
A recent study shows that PMS symptoms are dramatically decreased with the use of magnesium with vitamin B6. Another study shows how magnesium alleviates nausea and constipation symptoms, along with anxiety and depression. It has also been shown to raise serotonin activity, reducing PMS-related depression.
In order to absorb the maximum amount of magnesium, make sure you take capsules with SRT (sustained release technology).
Make sure to take 400 to 600 mg a day, especially before and during your cycle. And if you find your muscles sore and achy during the period, get a good soak with these magnesium bath crystals.
2. Cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol is one of more than 60 compounds found in the cannabis plant that belongs to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. The most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in marijuana that creates a “high.”
The human body contains its own endocannabinoid system (ECS),with receptors all over the body that regulate the functioning of many systems including the nervous system, the immune system, the digestive system, and the endocrine system (regulates hormones). CBD naturally acts on the ECS system’s signals to increase receptor function and flow, with no psychoactive reactions in the body.
“CBD provides…hormonal balancing effects for women with PMS symptoms.” adds Dr. Emily Earlenbaugh, PhD. Co-Founder & Cannabis Patient Consultant.
Incidentally, the cannabis plant itself has been shown to support muscle health during menses.
3. Activated Charcoal
You can alleviate painful symptoms such as cramps, if you make sure to detox before your period. One of the easiest ways to ease your body’s natural menstrual detoxis to take two capsules of activated charcoal a day, the week before your cycle begins.
You can also absorb charcoal topically by using certain charcoal detox soaps.
I personally notice that my cramps are extremely alleviated when I remember to take the activated charcoal.
According to David Hoffman, a well-known herbalist, “Vitex will always enable what is appropriate to occur.”
This extract, made from the fruit of the chasteberry tree, is the perfect hormone regulator. Studies show that Vitex helps balance hormones released by the pituitary gland, which regulate the balance of estrogen and progesterone as well as all hormonal functions. Such hormonal balance leads to reduced PMS symptoms.
Hormone regulation doesn’t happen overnight. For women with serious PMS symptoms, herbalists recommend a three-month course of 100 mg twice a day of a 10:1 extract.. No negative side effects have ever been reported.
Mansdorf attests that Vitex can help reduce all the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, such as excessive or unwanted hair. “If a woman experiences facial, neck, or chin hair growing, taking Vitex regularly for several months could very well be the cure.”
5. Cramp bark
The root and bark of this specific bush was used to reduce period pain in the 19th century by Eclectic medicine practitioners. Research studies show that the extract of this bark makes a powerful anti-spasmodic tincture, reducing spasms and seizures of the uterus.
The US Pharmacopoeia made cramp bark an official botanic for period pain and fluid retention in 1894. In 1916, the National Formulator added it to their books. It not only causes the uterus to relax, but it is an astringent effective in slowing down heavy or excessive bleeding during one’s menstrual flow.
The recommended dosage is two teaspoons of cramp bark tincture three to four times per day while you’re experiencing PMS or menstrual cramps.
6. Vitamin D (and Calcium)
Calcium is an essential mineral to fight off PMS. It alleviates cramps, pain, fatigue, and mood swings. However, if a person is deficient in vitamin D, calcium simply can’t do its job. Vitamin D is required for the body to absorb calcium. Vitamin D is also essential for magnesium absorption, another mineral that alleviates PMS.
A study published by the University of Michigan analyzed over 2,000 women over a period of 10 years. They found that women who had the highest intake of vitamin D (around 700 IU) were 41 percent less likely to have PMS symptoms. An Italian-based study shows that high doses of vitamin D reduces inflammation-related PMS cramps, mood swings and depression.
There are several ways to increase vitamin D levels. One of the most effective ways is to get a good dose of Sport-Certified Omega 3 Wild Salmon Oil + Vitamin D3 Softgels. Buy now!
According to herbalist Jessica Sutton, “This herb is called motherwort, because it soothes women in their feminine pain, the way a mother would.”
This herb is best taken in tincture-form to strengthen the uterine muscles against cramping, as well as to alleviate cramps when they strike. If you suffer from late periods due to stress or anxiety, Motherwort can also help regulate your cycle.
Motherwort should not be used when one is bleeding very heavily.
A favorite superfood and tuber in the radish family, maca is high in minerals and essential fatty acids, making it a great boost for hormone production. Many women report that it reduces painful PMS symptoms, increases fertility and improves skin.
Maca can be taken in many forms. It’s a slow-working herb, so use consistently for three to five weeks for best results..
For an added boost, try this chocolate maca sauce. Cacao beans are a great natural source of magnesium – so with this tasty treat, you get two PMS-busting supplements in one! Buy now!