It’s safe to say that if you’re cranky, achey, bloated and breaking out, PMS just might be the culprit. Studies on the topic vary, but it’s thought that 80% of women suffer from at least one PMS symptom every month. In fact it’s so common that we’re often led to believe that PMS is normal—an inevitable part of our monthly cycles. And while we’re told that we must turn to over-the-counter remedies to ease the pain, that’s not always the case. PMS is sometimes a result of diet, lifestyle and environmental factors that trigger a hormonal imbalance. Here are nine ways to get your hormones in check and cure PMS, once and for all.
9 Natural PMS Remedies
1. Clean up your diet
A lot of things can cause hormonal imbalances, but one of the main culprits is a poor diet—mainly one that’s high in sugar, dairy products, alcohol and caffeine. While it might seem like a lot, avoiding inflammatory foods and potential allergens may be the missing link when it comes to balancing your hormones once and for all. But don’t stress about it (that’s another PMS trigger!). Start small and eliminate just one thing from the list (I recommend dairy because it’s a common food allergen) for at least 2 weeks and see if it makes a difference.
A good sweat session can fix almost anything, and PMS is no different. Regular aerobic exercise may help to ease PMS by increasing endorphins, the natural painkilling chemicals in your body. In addition, exercise increases the cleansing action of your lymph system, helping to rid your body of excess hormones. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of light cardio or weightlifting to get your blood moving without stressing your thyroid or further disrupting your hormones.
3. Drink Raspberry Leaf Tea
Vitamin B has long been recommended to help ease PMS symptoms, and red raspberry leaf just happens to be a rich source of B-complex vitamins–we like The Republic of Tea’s Organic Raspberry Leaf Superherb Tea. The tannins in the tea also help to relax your muscles, soothe stomach aches and calm stressed nerves.
4. Eat More Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is amazing for hormone health. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production, and can also reduce inflammation and help you lose weight. As an added bonus, it even has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which may help boost your immune system.
5. Deal with Stress
Stress is major player when it comes to hormonal imbalances. When you feel stressed, your body increases cortisol production. But in order to make more cortisol, your body first has to “steal” pregnenolone (a building block of estrogen and progesterone), leaving you depleted of sex hormones. To help combat stress, take a hot bath, get a massage, try yoga, learn deep breathing or incorporate meditation into your daily life.
6. Try Rhodiola
Rhodiola rosea is an herb that’s been used for centuries to help cure hormone-related issues. It’s said to help reduce fatigue, irritability, and depression that often come with PMS. And since rhodiola is also an adaptogen, it can help lower cortisol production and encourage your body to better deal with stress.
7. Take Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Fermented cod liver oil provides many of the necessary building blocks for hormone production including Vitamins A, D, and K. It is also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which help counterbalance the excessive Omega-6s found in our western diet. If you’d prefer, you can get your Omega-3s from a high-quality fish oil instead.
8. Incorporate Essential Oils
Clary sage oil helps naturally balance hormones while cypress oil improves circulation and can ease cramps. To use, rub 2-3 drops of oil on the lower abdomen, then apply warm compress for 2-5 minutes.
9. Use Flax Seeds
Estrogen dominance is the most common form of hormone imbalance in women. Flax seeds contain lignans which help break down estrogens and remove them from the body. Eat one tablespoon of flax seeds daily during the first two weeks of your cycle to help decrease excess estrogen, and improve your estrogen-to-progesterone ratio.13