Herbs, Roots & Vitamins: An Alternative Approach To PMS

If you are a PMS sufferer, you might like to consider an alternative or complementary treatment to either replace or supplement your over-the-counter or prescription medication. While it is difficult to prove the effectiveness of these natural remedies, some women say alternative medicine has helped them to control their PMS and enjoy life.

How Do I Choose A Natural PMS Remedy?

You may have to shop around for a complementary PMS remedy that works for you. Your treatment should depend on the type and severity of your symptoms. Remember that alternative PMS treatments are not necessarily 'better' for you or more effective than ordinary medicine. You should always consult a medical professional before beginning any of the alternative treatments listed below. This is especially important if you take medication for an existing medical condition.

Vitamins for PMS

  • Vitamin B6 - Studies have shown that vitamin B6 may ease general PMS symptoms. Medical experts recommend you never take more than 50 -100 mg per day. 
  • Vitamin E - Research suggests that vitamin E reduces stomach cramps and breast tenderness associated with PMS. The recommended maximum dose is 400 IU (international units) per day.

Minerals for PMS

  • Calcium - Studies have found low calcium levels in women with PMS. Try increasing your calcium intake by eating more diary products and/or taking supplements. This may help you to combat cravings, bloating, pain, depression and mood swings.
  • Magnesium - Available as supplements and in foods such as broccoli, peanuts and some shellfish, magnesium is thought to ease weight gain, breast tenderness and bloating. However, magnesium can have unpleasant side affects and should not be combined with some medications. Medical professionals recommend you never take more than 400 mg per day. 

Roots And Herbs for PMS

  • Roots and herbs - Some women find that roots such as ginger and herbal remedies such as Evening Primrose Oil, chasteberry, black cohosh, raspberry leaf and dandelion alleviate premenstrual symptoms; however, this has not been scientifically proven.
  • St. John's Wort - St. John's Wort is traditionally used to treat mild to moderate depression and some women find it effective against mild PMS blues. It is not a recommended treatment for serious depression. It may also have side affects and can hinder the effectiveness of other drugs, including the contraceptive pill.

Is My Alternative PMS Treatment Working?

Only ever take one course of alternative treatment at a time. If you see no change in your PMS symptoms after three months, go back and see your health care provider. And remember, whether or not alternative treatments work out for you, good communication between you and your doctor will nearly always lead to a solution. Don't give up and don't suffer alone.

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