Natural or genius, we’ve compiled 14 remedies that may be the best advice you’ve gotten in a long time. Let’s all nip our PMS right in the bud without hitting the medicine cabinet and instead using some of these alternative ideas. According to Women’s Health, more than 150 symptoms can strike the week before your period even arrives due to some wonky hormone levels. Who wants to deal with this imbalance without any help at all? Check out the ideas below and see if any can make your cycle more of a tolerable experience.
14 Cup of Tea
Next time you feel a bout of cramps coming on make yourself a nice cup of green tea which will help to soothe those tummy troubles. You can even get a decaffeinated version if you are trying to stay away from caffeine. Also, the great thing about going green is that it truly tastes good whether iced or warmed within your favorite mug!
If you’re feeling spontaneous or even a little gutsy (for those that haven’t tried it before), acupuncture can help curb those nasty mood swings that flow along with your monthly gift. In fact, according to Women’s Health magazine, a study showed that it helped quell the symptoms of PMS in 76% of participating women. The technique is said to release endorphins and enhance your mood naturally.
A dose of Vitamin E and essential fatty acids everyday may help take away those PMS-induced mood swings and nasty cramping says WHM. All you need is to grab a multivitamin to get the right amount of E that you need and some fish oil capsules will take care of the rest. If it’s really this easy to make your cycle more bearable for you and your loved ones, why not at least give it a try?
11 Grab Dark Chocolate
To be more specific, it’s actually dark chocolate that will do the trick. And even more specifically, you’ll want to stick with the kind made with 70 percent pure cacao as to reduce your sugar intake (which can set off cramping). A lot of women claim to crave chocolate around the time of their periods, and having a bite of the good stuff can reduce anxiety and lighten your mood.
10 Heating Pad
You may already know about this one. You may already swear by it. Or you may hate the idea of applying heat (and sweat) to an area that hurts so bad. But applying a heating pad to your cramping tummy will relax the muscles and stop the tightening – which is what causes the cramps in the first place. So sit back, relax, plug it in and let it warm up!
Yes, exercise will also help to relieve those cramps. But it will also lift your mood. As we’ve all learned from the classic movie, Legally Blonde, exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy, so you can say goodbye to those nasty attitudes that tend to set in before Aunt Flo comes knocking on your door. Even though your period can kick fatigue into high gear, this is really the best time to get in a new fitness routine.
8 Quit Caffeine
Okay, so you don’t have to drop every caffeinated item you love but you should limit your intake, especially if you experience more severe cramps. Soda, coffee, tea, chocolate and the like should be toned down or expelled from the diet because caffeine is known to constrict blood vessels – which cause cramps. Even if you don’t want to quit your weekly Starbucks run completely, it’s advised that you stay away at least during “that” time of the month.
7 Snack on Hummus
Sometimes a snack is all you need for a little PMS relief. And hummus could be your “Hallelujah” moment. A boost in B vitamins (which is all over a bout of hummus) can kick your irritability to the curb. In fact, according to Prevention, women who eat a Vitamin B-rich diet are 25 percent less likely to experience pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms.
Although giving yourself a massage may seem like work rather than relaxation, it may help you more than you think. According to Women’s Health, any kind of rub down increases blood flow and eases muscle and mental tension. So, this “DIY” massaging can help to lessen your PMS attitude and cramping stomach woes. You can even grab some fancy oils to make the experience a bit more enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a holistic approach, you may want to check out some herbs. Although there isn’t too much proof or research concerning their role in curing health issues, some absolutely swear by these remedies. For example, some evening primrose oils may be your ticket to alleviating the crampiest of cramps and anxiety-ridden attitude during your monthly cycle. Or go for some chaste berry which may cut your irritability in half – according to WHM.
4 Increase Magnesium Intake
Start popping those pumpkin seeds! You can increase your magnesium by supplementing or snacking but either way this little remedy can really help your PMS woes. Magnesium can lift your spirits but also lessen your water retention, which means you can say goodbye to all of that nasty bloating that comes a few days before your period kicks into gear.
3 Foot Reflexology
According to Fitness magazine, foot reflexology has also been shown to help remedy cramps and mood swings. In fact, a study found that women who had reflexology – focusing on massaging specific pressure points – experienced a 46 percent reduction in the symptoms of PMS. This idea goes hand-in-hand with both self-massage and acupuncture.
2 Drink Water
Increasing your water intake throughout your PMS days can also help to decrease cramping and help with bloating too – which is an added bonus don’t you think? Although some believe that drinking too much water will induce cramping, that’s just a myth. More intake will lessen the chances of water retention and that retention will cause more painful cramping – according to She Knows.
1 Reject Junk
Even if you’ve got the major munchies and you’re craving all sorts of sugary and salty snacks, try to steer clear away from the junk food. Saturated fat will also induce symptoms of PMS and piles of sugar can induce cramps – neither are fun. Salty foods will increase the likelihood for water retention (bloating) which makes cramps hurt even more. Fitness magazine suggests keeping your sodium intake at 2,300 mg per day and paying better attention to nutritional labels.