It's that time of the month again. If you are one of the three quarters of women who suffer from PMS or period pain, then we have good news for you: We've been on the lookout for herbal remedies that can alleviate your symptoms and improve your well-being.
What is PMS (premenstrual syndrome) again?
As we have already shown you in our Blog post about the luteal phase you may experience premenstrual syndrome in the second half of your cycle. "This is due to the drop in oestrogen levels after you ovulate and the regression of the corpus luteum and the associated progesterone fluctuations. PMS symptoms occur relatively frequently, it is assumed that about 3 out of 4 women are more or less affected by some symptoms.
Did you know? A distinction is made between physical and psychological PMS symptoms:
Physical symptoms can be
- Lack of energy
- Mood swings
- Sensitive breasts
- Water retention
- Weight gain
- Cramps in the abdomen
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Headaches and back pain
You may not have realised it, but PMS can also trigger psychological symptoms. After ovulation, your serotonin levels in the brain also drop. As a reminder, serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is also known as the "happy hormone", as it influences your emotions as well as many other functions. Unfortunately, this fluctuating serotonin level can also lead to symptoms such as irritability or depressive moods.
Psychological symptoms can be
- Mood swings
- Lack of drive
- Crying for no reason
PMS Hello! General tips for more well-being
Of course, we don't want to wag our finger at you, but before we take a closer look at herbal remedies for PMS, we would first like to give you a few general tips that can help to alleviate PMS symptoms:
There are certain PMS symptoms that can be exacerbated by poor eating habits. These include water retention, which is encouraged by a high-salt diet. If you tend to be easily irritated or oversensitive in your second cycle phase, it is a good idea to reduce your coffee or tea consumption, at least temporarily. Psychological symptoms such as anxiety or aggression are exacerbated by alcohol, so you should also avoid alcohol at the end of your cycle if you suffer from these or similar psychological symptoms. It's probably not news to you that nicotine is not healthy, so we won't go into too much detail here, but just this much: smoking has a direct impact on your hormone balance and deprives your body of important vitamins and minerals. Nicotine also impairs blood circulation and this can exacerbate symptoms such as headaches.
Help from nature
Herbal remedies are available in many different forms, as teas, capsules, ointments, flavours and many more. The advantage of purely herbal active ingredients for PMS is that they are usually well tolerated and cause few to no side effects. We have picked out our favourites for you:
1. monk's pepper
Is probably the "king" among the herbal weapons against PMS. It has an oestrogen-like effect, stabilises the hormone balance, restores hormonal equilibrium and can therefore alleviate PMS symptoms. In addition, monk's pepper also has antispasmodic effects, stabilises inner well-being and is very well tolerated. The fact that monk's pepper helps against PMS is considered proven on the basis of corresponding clinical studies. But beware, monk's pepper does not immediately alleviate PMS symptoms. To achieve an effect, you should take monk's pepper extract for at least 3 months.
2. evening primrose oil
The evening primrose is a yellow-flowering and completely edible plant. Its seeds contain a very special oil that is rich in a specific omega-6 fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid. This has also been shown in various studies to have a soothing effect on PMS symptoms.
3. St John's wort
St John's wort is known for its antidepressant effect and has a positive impact on mood. It alleviates depressive moods, anxiety and nervous restlessness. Caution: St John's wort interacts with numerous medications and can increase/decrease their effect, so it is better to check with your doctor before taking St John's wort if you regularly take medication.
Isoflavones are also said to have a soothing effect against PMS and menopausal symptoms. These are secondary plant substances that are structurally similar to the hormone oestrogen and are mainly found in soya and red clover. However, it is not yet entirely clear whether they are really that effective: although some studies have shown that isolated soya isoflavones can balance out cycle-dependent oestrogen fluctuations, there is not (yet) enough data to provide clear scientific proof.
5. lady's mantle
Lady's mantle is a traditional remedy in gynaecology. It is said to have an anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effect and the plant hormones it contains are said to regulate the female hormone balance and reduce premenstrual disorders. As with isoflavones, there are already some promising scientific studies on lady's mantle, but not all of the effects for which reports are available have been sufficiently investigated.
Yarrow is another traditional medicinal plant that has also been used in gynaecology for centuries. It contains active ingredients that have an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and analgesic effect. It therefore has a wide range of uses, from indigestion and loss of appetite to menstrual cramps. The effect of yarrow herb was also confirmed in a clinical study in which young female students with painful periods experienced significant symptom relief after taking yarrow herb over two menstrual cycles.
7. our secret weapon against period struggles: braVe care period cream
The plants just mentioned help holistically against PMS and taking them can also make your period more pleasant and have a preventative effect against cramps. Unfortunately, you may still experience menstrual pain. These are triggered by the increased secretion of certain prostaglandins in the uterus, which cause cramps.
If you suffer from acute cramps and none of the herbal remedies mentioned in the form of teas, tablets etc. help, then we now have another little insider tip from 100% herbal ingredients for you:
Have you ever heard of braVe care heard? The cool female-owned business has launched a period cream for greater well-being. The key ingredient is concentrated Copaíba oil from the Brazilian rainforest, which can have a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect. Other ingredients include yarrow oil (we know that from where), ginger oil, feverfew oil and magnesium.
You can apply the pleasantly scented cream, which warms your body, wherever you feel uncomfortable during your period: Your stomach, back, chest or even your inner thighs. Plus: it is also suitable for sensitive skin. The cream is the only period cream on the market with confirmed effectiveness. 85% of the testers felt more relaxed during their period and 65% even felt an improvement in their symptoms within the first 10 minutes. So it's definitely worth giving braVe Care a try.
Finally, we want to let you know that these are all just recommendations and that you always know best what is good for you. We don't want to demonise conventional medicine or anything like that and if you suffer from extreme period pain, there is of course nothing to stop you from taking conventional painkillers. However, always discuss this with your gynaecologist and make sure that your period pain is not caused by conditions such as endometriosis or fibroids.
But perhaps we have been able to give you new ideas on how you can try to increase your well-being during the second half of your cycle and your period on a purely herbal basis. We would be delighted if you tried out one or two of these tips.
Do you have any other good tips for herbal remedies for PMS or period pain? Then let us know on our Instagram know.
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Uhlig (20.11.2023), Häufige PMS Symptome
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Pinkerton (20.11.2023), Prämenstruelles Syndrom (PMS)
Rudolf-Müller (20.11.2023), Serotonin