Herbs And Other Nutrients For PMS
Derived from pine bark or grape seeds, this plant chemical helps
reduce bloating, fluid retention, and breast tenderness.
Recommended PMS dosage: 50 mg once or twice daily
These plant-based estrogens, including genistein and daidzein, help
modulate the effects of the more powerful estrogens your body makes,
reducing mood swings, fluid retention, and headaches.
Recommended daily intake for PMS: 50-100 mg per day
There are three main herbal mixtures I recommend:
1. Vitex agnus castus (chasteberry), 40-225 mg of standardized
extract. This herb helps bring estrogen and progesterone back into
balance and promote ovulation.
2. Peppermint and cramp bark. These herbs help normalize your menstrual
cycle and relieve menstrual pain.
3. Kava root and chamomile tea, St. John’s wort, peppermint. These
herbs are helpful for maintaining a healthy, balanced mood.
Other helpful herbs for PMS symptoms include:
For insomnia: valerian root, hops, and passion flower
For fatigue and lassitude: ginger root
For bloating: Uva ursi and parsley tea
Women with PMS may have an imbalance in EFAs, leading to increased
inflammation in the breast as well as some of the other symptoms
of PMS. In one study of Danish women, those who had with lower levels
of omega-3 fatty acids had more
cramps. Another study in teenaged girls found those taking fish
nutrients saw their PMS symptoms, including cramps, headaches, diarrhea,
and acne, decrease by 30-40 percent. EFAs work by balancing your
body’s production of prostaglandins, hormone-like chemicals that
have anti-inflammatory actions, much like aspirin or ibuprofen.
The EFAs important for PMS are found primarily
in evening primrose oil. Other less expensive, yet still good sources,
include borage or black currant oil. Flaxseed oil and pumpkin seed
oil also contain omega-3 fatty acids, including beneficial EFAs.
An excellent combination of essential fatty acids
for women with PMS includes a combination of flaxseed oil, borage
oil, and vitamin E (to prevent rancidity).
Amino Acids for PMS
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan). This amino
acid can be converted within your body to serotonin, the brain chemical
that helps regulate the mood swings, sleep disturbances, and food
cravings of PMS.
Recommended daily intake for PMS: 50-100
mg daily and, if necessary, before bedtime.
Tyrosine. This amino acid is a natural mood
elevator and antidepressant. It helps women who tend towards PMS
Recommended daily intake for PMS: 1,000
mg per day as L-tyrosine, with a B-complex and either on an empty
stomach or with a small carbohydrate snack.
For more on PMS, read on:
The Women’s Diet: Conquering PMS