Could premenstrual syndrome be cured by herbal remedies?

Herbal medicines represent an option that cannot be ignored. Especially in a situation where conventional drugs are not always of help. Not forgetting about the side effect they come along with. Premenstrual syndrome is made of a combination of symptoms that occur in a woman before she has her menstruation. All the woman may have experienced it at a point in time in their life. In most cases it is not permanent. Unfortunately, about 5% of the women population may have to deal with it every month. These types of women definitely require medication to ease up their month. But nobody enjoys swallowing pills throughout the month. That is where herbal medicine and supplement can help.

A study has shown that about 4% of the women that buy supplements do so in order to ease their menstrual pain. They usually would rely on extract like chasteberry, evening primrose oil, St John’s Wort and black cohosh. It helps them avoid the menstrual discomfort.

What Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) really is

PMS is a combination of psychological and physical symptoms that will usually affect a woman some few days before the start of her menstruation and may even last throughout the period. The characteristic psychological symptoms are mood swing, sadness and sleep problems. The physiological symptoms include headache, bloating, cramps, carb craving, indigestion, breast tenderness and pain.

Even though medicine has not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of this syndrome, most believe it must be due to an imbalance in the secretion of hormones related to menstruation. There is a much more severe case of this condition referred to as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Conventional medicine will usually treat this one with antidepressant or oral contraceptive.

Herbal supplement that could help

Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) is a shrub found in the regions of Central Asia and Southern Europe. More and more scientists are starting to recognize it as a good supplement to relieve from breast pain caused by PMS. A few studies done with chasteberry extract on women show that treated women had less breast pain. Based on that some scientists have hypothesized that chasteberry may be involved in the suppression of prolactin which is a hormone involved in the production of milk.

Another small research reported that when combined with St Johns’ wort, chasteberry lowered the levels of craving, depression and anxiety.

Another natural supplement believed to be an antidote to breast pain is the evening primrose oil. It contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which could play a role in reducing the pain in the breast.

Other herbal plant that can be used to ease up PMS are dandelion leaf to fight bloating and Gingko bilobia that reduces breast tenderness and neuropsychological symptoms.

A professor of obstetrics of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Joseph Sanfilippo, MD, recognized that a lot of his patients did mention chasteberry as a plant to help deal with breast pain. He said he is not against the usage of that plant.

You still need to be careful though

If you are considering using any herbal product to fight any condition, it is still preferable to let your doctor know about it. That is even more important if you are already on any conventional drug. Some herbal products don’t work well when in combination with conventional drugs. Use them wisely.