Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do YOU Have PMS?

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (also called PMT or premenstrual tension) is a collection of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms related to a woman's menstrual cycle. While most women of child-bearing age (up to 85%) report having experienced physical symptoms related to normal ovulatory function, such as bloating or breast tenderness, medical definitions of PMS are limited to a consistent pattern of emotional and physical symptoms occurring only during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle that are of "sufficient severity to interfere with some aspects of life".[1] These symptoms are usually predictable and occur regularly during the ten days prior to menses. Generally, symptoms may vanish either shortly before or after the start of menstrual flow. ~Wikipedia

I took my daughter to see The Last Song yesterday. There was a part in the movie where Miley's character is being moody and little nasty to her father who is sitting with her little brother. The brother (about10 years old) says, "She must have PMS." The father smiles and looks at  his son and says, "Do you know what that means?" The boy says,"Dad, of course, I'm not a little kid anymore. It means, pissed at men syndrome." Well, I don't have to tell you that there was a movie theatre full of laughs.:)

It got me thinking this morning about my own issues with PMS. I can be a bear when it comes to that time of the month. I especially get the bloating and moodiness. I also want to eat ALL day long. I'm going to do a little experiment this month and try some herbal remedies. Plus, maybe three days before I start, I will do a green smoothie fast. To me, greens are the ultimate superfood (that's a post for another day!).

Here are some of the herbal remedies I found:

1. Chasteberry ( vitex agnus-castus)- These small fruits have been used for menstrual disorders since the Greco-Roman times. Researchers have found that chasteberry helps relieve PMS because of its effect on female sex hormones. During a woman's monthly cycle, it increases the production of lutenizing hormon and inhibits the release of follicle-stimulating hormone. This leads to a shift in the estrogen-progesterone ratio, resulting in less estrogen to cause or aggravate PMS. The only caveat is women who have PMS with depression should steer clear of chasteberry.Some studies show that pms with depression is caused by excess progesterone, and chasteberry is said to raise progesterone levels.

2. Chinese Angelica (dang-quai)- used primarily in chinese medicine as a womens tonic for PMS and menstrual cramps.(do not use if you are pregnant)

3. Evening primrose oil- This has been used for centuries by the American Indian women for premenstrual and menstrual complaints. They take it in by chewing the seeds.
This is also apporved in Great Britain as a treatment for PMS.

3. Sting Nettles (urtica dioica)- This is a known liver tonic. It is recommended for flushing out the liver of all its toxins. When the liver is sluggish it processes estrogen slowly, contributing to high levels of estrogen in the body. This causes or aggravates PMS symptoms. Nettle Tea is also known to  reduce bloating and breast tenderness.

4. Burdock (Arctium lappa)- burbock is also a liver tonic and mild diuretic. It helps to alleviate the symptoms of PMS.

5. Raspberry-this herb is best known as a pregnancy tonic that quiets an irritable uterus. But it has been used to treat PMS wih success.

6. Skullcap and Valerian- Both of these herbs are sedative/tranquilizers that help relieve nervous tension and irritability of PMS.

So these are a few herbs to work with for relieving PMS. I was happy to find that I have five of these in my herbals stash already. All of these herbs are available at your local Health Store. It's so easy to take these herbs and make a tea or a tincture. I'm actually looking forward to putting these herbs to good use ths month. Let me know if try any of these remedies. I love the feeling of taking my health in my own hands. Knowledge is power!

Have a beautiful day!

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