9 Ways to Remedy PMS Naturally

Remedy PMS Naturally

It’s our favorite time of the month again, where the running list of premenstrual symptoms (PMS) come knocking at the door to let you know your period is on its way. You may experience cramps, headaches, gassiness, mood swings, breast tenderness, and so much more. In short: PMS can be a real pain and you may be looking for remedies to help.

Conventional methods of period pain relief may work for you. But if you are looking to treat PMS naturally and without over-the-counter medications, there are several steps you can take to work with your body’s menstrual cycle….

Read about natural PMS relief

Foods to embrace

Food choices make a big difference in managing PMS symptoms. Focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy ones and others rich in antioxidants (think: spinach, lettuce, kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, and bananas). Bananas, for example, are a great source of potassium and vitamin B6, which can reduce bloating. Potassium is also necessary to help stop muscle cramping.

These foods can help fight fatigue and bloating. Unsalted, raw nuts are a great addition as well because they provide inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Complex carbs (think: unprocessed oats, legumes, squash) can help stabilize your mood and control food/sugar cravings.

Foods to avoid

As a general recommendation, avoid processed and fast foods because they contain additives, salt, and/or added sugars that can contribute to PMS symptoms. Fresh food is best! Salt can be especially problematic if you are experiencing bloating, swollen hands, and tender breasts. Also, avoid or significantly limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine. Both can have a detrimental effect on sleep, energy levels, bloating, and gas.

Natural supplements

One of the first natural supplements to consider for PMS is magnesium. This mineral has been found to be effective in relieving PMS symptoms, including anxiety, both alone and when taken along with vitamin B6. Another mineral that improves PMS symptoms is zinc. One study, for example, reported that PMS symptoms decreased significantly among women who took zinc supplements, as this mineral can increase oxygen flow through the body.

Also consider B1 (thiamine), B6, and B12. Vitamin B1 can ease cramping, vitamin B6 helps produce happy hormones (i.e., dopamine, serotonin), and vitamin B12 can improve energy levels and pain.

Don’t forget calcium. Research shows that calcium supplements can reduce PMS symptoms by nearly half when compared with placebo. Other research has shown that women who had a high intake of calcium from food sources had a significantly lower risk of PMS than those who had a low intake.

On the herbal side, chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus-castus) may improve PMS symptoms. In a recent systematic review, the authors found that the herb was effective and safe in the treatment of PMS. It’s reported that chaste tree berry may reduce cramps, food cravings, breast pain, and swelling.

Exercise

Generally, movement helps ease cramps, improves blood flow, and can help with mood. Even if you don’t feel in the mood to exercise, regular aerobic activity can make you feel so much better because it releases endorphins and neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine, serotonin) that improve energy, mood, and sleep. Change up your exercise routines by doing walking, spinning, yoga, tai chi, swimming, or racket sports on PMS days.

Heat therapy

Two types of heat therapy can ease PMS symptoms, especially pelvic pain and cramping.

  • Use a hot water bottle or heating pad placed on the abdominal area.
  • Soaking in a warm tub with or without essential oils or Epsom salts (rich in magnesium). Add calming essential oils to the bath like lavender, clary sage, rose, and sandalwood. Use 5 to 10 drops in the tub. Epsom salts (magnesium) can help relieve cramping and pain. Use 1 ½ to 2 cups of Epsom salts and soak for at least 10 minutes.

Healing teas

Relaxing with a hot cup of healing tea one or more times a day can provide some relief. Three teas to consider:

  • Chamomile, which contains antioxidants that may ease stomach and pelvic discomfort, help with mood swings, and reducing cramping.
  • Dong Quai, a traditional Chinese tea that can ease uterine contractions and thus reduce menstrual cramps.
  • Ginger, which can help with nausea or stomach distress.

Read about 8 ways to calm down and decrease stress levels

Essential oils

Applying essential oils to your skin or inhaling their aroma can help ease PMS symptoms. Be sure to use a carrier oil (e.g., almond, coconut, jojoba) before you massage them into your skin. Here are four to consider:

  • Clary sage: This oil is best known for its ability to reduce stress, cramping, and mood swings.
  • Geranium: This oil reportedly can balance your mood. It also works great when combined with lavender and peppermint essential oils.
  • Lavender oil: You can expect results similar to those offered by clary sage essential oil.
  • Peppermint oil: If you are experiencing tummy upset and digestion problems, massage on this oil before and after eating.

Acupressure

Once you learn a few acupressure points, you will be able to help control your PMS symptoms anytime, anywhere. Pressure applied to specific points can increase the flow of chi (flow of life energy). Pictures are worth a thousand words, so check out some of the best acupressure points for relieving bloating, abdominal cramps, headache, and more.

One easy point to explain is on your hand: Using your thumb and index finger of one hand, apply pressure to the fleshy joint between your thumb and index finger on your other hand. This can calm your uterine muscles as well as relieve headaches, abdominal pain, and constipation.

Meditation

Can you meditate your way away from PMS symptoms? Some studies say yes. In the journal Mindfulness, the authors noted that “mindfulness [meditation] is predictive of improved symptomatology.” Meditation can be especially helpful during PMS times because it can help you be calmer and sleep better, assist in resisting food cravings, and work to better balance your moods.

Bottom line

You don’t have to suffer every month or take conventional medications—there are ways to remedy PMS naturally. These natural techniques work best if you adopt two or more into your lifestyle. We bet you’ll be glad you did!

[Editor's Note: Another item to consider is choosing 100% Organic Cotton Period Products from Natracare. By choosing organic you are limiting the burden and exposure to unnecessary chemicals through your vagina. Some conventional liners and other feminine hygiene products contain fragrance which is a known endocrine disruptor which means it messes with your hormones. And when you are PMSing who needs that.]

Natracare 728 x 90 gif

Read this next: How Does My Period Impact the Environment?

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Boyle NB et al. The effects of magnesium supplementation on subjective anxiety and stress: a systematic review. Nutrients 2017 Apr 26; 9(5)
Cerqueira RO et al. Vitex agnus castus for premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: a systematic review. Archives of Women’s Mental Health 2017 Dec; 20(6): 713-19
Eby GA. Zinc treatment prevents dysmenorrhea. Medical Hypotheses 2007; 69(2): 297-301
Edgar J. Herbal remedies for PMS. WebMD
Fathizadeh N et al. Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research 2010 Dec; 15 (Suppl 1): 401-5
Lustyk MKB et al. Relationships among premenstrual symptom reports, menstrual attitudes, and mindfulness. Mindfulness 2011 Mar; 2(1): 37-48
Mukherjee B. Top 9 acupressure points to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Modern Reflexology
Orenstein BW. 8 foods that help fight PMS. Everyday Health 2013 Jan 2
Siahbazi S et al. Effect of zinc sulfate supplementation on premenstrual syndrome and health-related quality of life. Clinical randomized controlled trial. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research 2017 May; 43(5): 887-894
Thys-Jacobs S et al. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Premenstrual Syndrome Study Group. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 1998 Aug; 179(2): 444-52
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Lisa Roth Collins is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and is the Marketing Manager at NaturallySavvy.com. She is passionate about health and wellness and tries her best to make healthier choices every day for herself and her family. Her journey to natural health was driven by her own struggles with digestive discomfort, depression, and anxiety. Lisa returned to school in 2014 to study nutrition at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition. She threw herself into her studies so she could learn as much as she could to help herself feel better and thrive. Upon completing the program and being certified as an RHN, Lisa began her work at Naturally Savvy where she has been able to help so many people learn to make healthier choices for themselves. Through her work, she has connected with so many incredible people in the industry whether other authors, influencers, or brands. Plus, she is affectionately known as "Techie Spice" because of her ability to wrap her head around technology. Every day she gets up with a renewed sense of energy and ready to make a difference. You can read all of Lisa's content here. In her spare time, Lisa loves to try new recipes, make delicious and nourishing meals, and she is an avid reader. For more information about Lisa, check out her profile on here.