Despite the fact many women experience PMS symptoms during their “time of the month,” Traditional Chinese Medicine would argue this should not be viewed as “normal.” A woman’s journey through the menstrual cycle should be free of any emotional changes and physical discomfort. The symptoms of PMS are signs that the woman’s body is out of balance.
Here are some natural and effective ways to eliminate PMS from your life. I realize that some of these things might be hard to do and make you feel deprived of all that’s good in life (wink, wink)… but I encourage you to give it a try for one month to see how it can improve the way you feel before and during your cycle.
- Stop eating refined flour, sugar, and processed foods.
- Cut out caffeine and stop drinking alcohol. Balance your blood sugar by eating protein, such as a protein shake, eggs and nut butters, for breakfast.
- Eat evenly throughout the day and don’t skip meals.
- Cut out all dairy and consider eliminating other common allergens for a few months, especially gluten.
- Increase fiber in your diet from vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds. Two tablespoons of ground hemp seeds a day are especially helpful in correcting constipation and balancing hormones. Eat them first thing in morning before consuming any other foods.
- Increase omega-3 fats by taking fermented Cod Liver Oil. (see my notes below on helpful supplements)
- Eat organic food, especially animal products, to avoid environmental estrogens from pesticides.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep! Lack of sleep will throw your hormones out of balance. If you’re having trouble with sleep research some ways to improve it or talk to me. Acupuncture works well for insomnia.
- Exercise, need I say more?!
- Vitex/Chaste Tree Berry. This is great for boosting progesterone and supporting the luteal phase of your cycle.
- We take this every night in our house. It promotes better sleep and supports hundreds of cellular reactions in the body.
- Vitamin D. This is a precursor to many hormones and therefore supportive of hormone production. Be sure to get your levels checked before supplementation.
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Provides building blocks for hormone production and is a great source of Omega 3’s.
- Chinese Herbal Formulas. Xiao Yao San is one of the most commonly used formulas in Chinese Medicine for PMS. You should see a licensed practitioner and obtain a prescription because it’s not the most suitable formula for all women.
- Replacing healthy gut bacteria can help to normalize estrogen metabolism. I recommend 10-15 billion bacteria per day.