If you suffer from PMS, most likely you are willing to try anything to relieve your symptoms. These symptoms may include pain, depression, insomnia, tension, bloating, cramping, breast tenderness, craving sweets, water retention and irritability. Whether you have found that over the counter or prescription drugs do not work well, or you prefer to use more natural methods, trying herbal remedies may provide relief. Here is a list of ten herbs for PMS treatment:
1. Chaste Tree Berry
Chaste Tree Berry is also known as Vitex, agnus castus, hemp tree and monk’s pepper. Many say this is the most important herb to try for PMS relief. This herb treats irregular and painful periods, breast pain, irritability and headaches. The way it works is by regulating the production of hormones. Some say this herb increases progesterone, which alleviates a buildup of estrogen that can cause PMS. Vitex is available in capsule form. It is available alone and mixed with some of the other herbs on this list.
2. Evening Primrose Oil
Evening Primrose Oil or EPO is also called Oenothera biennis. This herb comes from the seed of the plant. Some PMS is caused by problems converting linoleic acid to gamma-linoleic acid or GLA. This herb contains both substances and helps regulate the levels of each. Although, it may take several cycles to work, it has been reported to work well. EPO comes in gel capsules. This oil comes alone or mixed with other essential oils.
3. Wild Yams
Wild Yams contain natural progesterone, which is identical to the progesterone found in our bodies. This form of progesterone is better than the synthetic form in this respect. Wild yams have antispasmodic properties which relax the muscles and help cramping. Wild yam root comes in capsule form. It comes alone and in multivitamin formulas.
4. Dong Quai
The Chinese medicinal herb, Dong Quai is also known as Dang Gui and Angelica sinensis. This herb is used for cramps, irregularity, lack of flow, weakness and menopausal symptoms. The herb helps keep the blood moving, which helps the organs thrive. Dong Quai comes in capsules and tea.
Licorice is also called Glycyrrhiza glabra. This common substance raises the progesterone levels and reduces inflammation. Licorice comes in soft chews, tea, bars and capsules.
6. Black Cohosh
Black Cohosh is also known as Cimicifuga racemosa. This herb has a substance that is a precursor to progesterone. This helps regulate the hormone levels. Black Cohosh is a mild sedative and helps reduce pain. Black Cohosh comes in capsules by itself or mixed with other herbs, such as Vitex.
7. Kava Kava
Kava Kava is also known as Piper methysticum. Kava Kava has sedative properties, which help with tension and cramping. Kava Kava comes in a stress relief tea and in anxiety relief tablets.
Valerian or Valeriana officinalis is an herb that helps relaxation with antispasmodic properties. These properties also help with cramping. Valerian comes in tablets, capsules and supplement drops. Sometimes Valerian is the only herb and sometimes it is mixed with other herbs in a relaxation or sleep formula.
9. Reishi mushroom
Reishi mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum, strengthens the immune system and regulates blood sugar. This herb counters fatigue or weakness. This herb is an ingredient in multi-vitamin formulas.
10. Dandelion root and leaf
Dandelion root helps to keep the liver clean. This is important because the liver has to process the hormones in your body. Keeping the liver in good health helps to regulate the hormone levels. Dandelion root comes in a tea and in capsule form.
Dandelion leaf is a natural diuretic that helps with bloating. This herb contains natural potassium, so it does not affect the potassium levels like synthetic diuretics. Dandelion leaf comes in capsule form.
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries by many different cultures. Holistic medicine practitioners and Chinese medicine experts have used the herbs listed above to treat PMS. While some of these herbs can be found in your local drugstore’s nutritional supplement section, they are not difficult to find in your local health food stores and natural food co-ops. In addition, you can find these herbs from online retailers. Remember to consult your doctor before starting a new herbal medicine regimen.