It’s that time of the month – you don’t know it’s happening, but everyone else does. And you don’t get why the people you usually like are really annoying you or why that pimple on your face suddenly popped up or that headache just won’t go away. And then you look at your menstrual cycle tracker. Oh, yeah…it’s that time of the month. It’s your period and what happened before was called…premenstrual symptoms (PMS). Which by the way...there's a lot of magic that happens during PMS. I'll write about that soon.
So what is a woman to do? Well thankfully Mother Nature lovingly gives us natural remedies.
Remember how when pregnant it was better to eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of large meals three times a day? That still applies postpartum as well. Eat balanced meals that include complex carbohydrates, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. As much as possible avoid sugars, alcohol, red meat, stimulants such as caffeine. Adding evening primrose oil has been proven to reduce PMS symptoms by over 50%.
Many herbalists will start treating PMS by first treating the liver. Why? Because the liver is responsible for breaking down progesterone and estrogen and if the liver is not functioning properly there is an imbalance that can happen that can result in PMS. Herbs such as red clover, fenugreek, burdock root, dandelion root, ginger root, licorice root and raspberry leaf are herbs used to create hormonal balance. These can be used in teas, infusions, tinctures to use throughout the month.
Did you say cramps? Oh yes cramps! What a pain they are in more way than one. For cramps there’s this fabulous herb called Cramp Bark which I love for it’s function but also for the name – how very fitting! An infusion with Cramp Bark and Yarrow would relax your uterine muscles and reduce cramping.
Essential oils either diffused, steams, massage, inhaled (a drop or two in a napkin and breathed in deeply) can help create balance by lifting your spirits, reducing tension, reducing cramps, easing headaches and reducing mood swings. These oils include –
- Chamomile (both Roman and German)
- Clary Sage
- Rose Absolute
- Ylang Ylang
- Carrot Seed
Balance hormones using both herbs and aromatherapy and living a healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition. And top it off with a healthy hearty walk, fresh air and reminding yourself what a goddess you are.
While all of the herbs listed are safe to use while nursing, Bergamot essential oil should not be used while nursing. You don’t get a period when pregnant, but just wanted to mention that before taking any herbs or using essential oils during pregnancy please consult with your care giver as not all are safe to use when pregnant.