Most women experience some sort of PMS, and certain symptoms can be easier to treat than others. Ibuprofen is great for cramps, and Midol can help with bloating, but battling PMS-related irritability or depression is more of a challenge.
I've been on the hunt for natural remedies, including vitamins and herbal supplements, that might help relieve my monthly moodiness. Of course, there's always good, old-fashioned exercise, but I've also found some other natural solutions that sound promising. To see the list, keep reading.
Of course, you should consult your doctor before taking any new vitamins and supplements, but here are some I plan to talk to my OB/GYN about:
- Magnesium and B-6: Recent studies have found that this vitamin cocktail can help with bloating and moodiness. WebMD recommends 200 mg per day of magnesium combined with 50 mg of vitamin B-6.
- Vitamin E: In his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil writes that vitamin E supplements can treat both PMS and painful or heavy periods. He recommends a supplement with 80 mg of vitamin E complex, taken once a day with your largest meal. Again, please talk to your doctor before starting any supplement program; vitamin E should not be taken if you have heart disease or diabetes.
- Dong quai: Another of Dr. Weil's suggestions, this Chinese herb, made from the root of a carrot-like plant, is sometimes called "female ginseng," since it treats irregular periods, PMS, and menopausal symptoms. Weil recommends a two-month trial taking it two to three times a day.
- Chaste tree berry: I've seen this recommended on several sites. According to an article on About.com: "a study published in the British Medical Journal involving 178 women with PMS found that chaste tree berry significantly reduced PMS symptoms over three menstrual cycles." It was especially effective treating irritability and depression.
Have any of you tried one of these natural remedies? If so, I'd love to hear if they worked, so please share in the comments below.