As a woman, consider yourself incredibly lucky if you've never had to deal with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). This usually happens during the second half of the cycle (though it does differ for each individual) and can cause symptoms such as cramps which are very common, hormonal imbalance, breast tenderness, nausea and vomiting, fatigue and headaches as well as other uncomfortable problems.
Imagine having to go through this on a monthly basis, especially during working days which means you have to still get out of bed and make it to work when all you want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep in.
Although you can get some remedies from your local pharmacy, natural remedies work just as well too and contain no chemicals.
A toughie when in the office, but do make it a point to get enough rest (and we mean proper sleep!). Chances are the lack of sleep is causing more hormonal imbalances which further aggravates your body. Use a hot water bottle and place it against your stomach where it hurts, to help soothe the pain as well as to help the muscles and your body relax. Sleep will definitely do your body good.
Packed with healthy fats, coconut oil is great for hormonal health. Just add a little bit of it into your daily diet as it has tons of other benefits too. With its antibacterial properties and ability to provide building blocks for hormone production, it's no wonder that coconut oil is the go-to remedy for many. It also works great for weight loss which is an added bonus, especially when you’re feeling bloated and heavy.
Grain- & Dairy-Free Diet
Truth be told, sometimes PMS comes with intense hunger pangs and specific food cravings. You should avoid foods that are inflammatory such as meat, grain and dairy products (or at least try to!). These foods can cause hormonal imbalance and other symptoms that can easily be avoided. Look for food with healthy fats that help rebuild and restore your body, making you feel better.
Add magnesium into your diet, and the best way to do so is with supplements. Do however look for the tablets that are natural as it definitely makes a difference long-term. Magnesium not only helps with menstrual cramps, but also enables better sleep. You can find magnesium in many forms, but we recommend tablets as they work fast, effectively and won't leave a yucky taste in your mouth. You'll need 800mg intake to make you feel better during your PMS, not more as it'll make you feel more nauseous.
Evening Primrose Oil is also something you should add into your list of supplements as it works wonders to regulate the hormones and reduce breast tenderness. Its essential fatty acid content, omega-6, is shown to support overall hormonal function within the body, thus alleviating the symptoms of PMS.
High in minerals and essential fatty acids, maca is known for boosting hormone production. Although it’s a natural remedy, maca has fairly strong properties which makes it a substance that shouldn't be consumed during pregnancy in order to avoid complications as it works with your hormones. Do keep in mind that maca takes a longer period of time to work, so it should be taken three to five weeks prior, in order to obtain maximum results.
Exercise is a great way to reduce PMS and we're talking about mild exercises here, nothing too strenuous and over the top. Light exercises help release blood flow, which in turn helps your body get sufficient energy and allow it to work out tired muscles. Plus, you tire yourself out and that makes it easier for a good sleep.
Ginger Molasses Tea
Tea is definitely the way to go to warm up your tummy but this combination of ginger and molasses does wonders for the circulation as well as energy levels too. You should however take this regularly before and during your period for maximum benefits. You can buy yourself some ginger tea or make your own fresh ginger drink. Just grate two teaspoons of ginger and add some molasses or brown sugar (to taste) to a teapot. Add hot water and let steep for a few minutes. Drink it while it’s still hot for its soothing effects.
Essential oils can be great natural remedies for PMS. Oils such as lavender and ylang ylang have soothing properties and can reduce tension, stress and cramping. Just apply the two oils to your abdomen and to the back of your neck (base of the skull) for relief. You can also apply peppermint oil and use it together with a hot water bottle to relieve pain on the stomach and other areas that may be aching.
St John’s Wort
This is a herbal medicine that is known to improve the mood and sleep too. Originally used as a remedy for depression, it has been discovered to help with PMS symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety and irritability too. However this is considered a fairly strong herbal extract and may have some side effects, so do consult your doctor if you plan on taking it or are currently on other medication.