When looking to relieve your PMS, you‘ll find an overabundance of pharmaceutical and natural remedies that promise to help ease the discomfort. From hormone pills to acupuncture, health experts have been searching for a PMS cure for years. In the process, they have come up with some truly effective remedies.
It‘s All About Fats ...
According to Dr. Josh Axe, you need to become friends with evening primrose oil, which comes from the evening primrose plant. It wasn’t until recently that this oil was used for its amazing health benefits, so you may be surprised to learn about the power it can have on your hormone health, which is what PMS is so hugely about.
The oil is rich in essential fatty acids, which provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances. These acids are necessary for human health, but our body can’t make them—we have to get them through food. Along with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a vital role in brain function, normal growth and development.
Your body needs a healthy balance of essential fatty acids, as consuming fats slows down absorption: it‘s nature‘s way to help us go longer without feeling hungry. Fats also carry about important fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. Consuming essential fatty acids creates a healthy environment for conception. They also help you lose weight.
...And Those Hormones
Any of us who have looked into natural remedies for PMS has probably stumbled on this one. Evening primrose oil is one of the most commonly prescribed and recommended remedies by traditional doctors. Evening primrose is a yellow wildflower growing in North America, originating from the Willow herb family. The oil comes from the seed of the flower, and is used, among all, as a mild sedative.
In traditional medicine, evening primrose is commonly used to treat skin diseases and stimulate wound healing – and also widely used to reduce the pains and aches associated with premenstrual syndrome. There are many theories about what causes PMS. One of them relates to higher than normal levels of the hormone prolactin (produced by a gland at the base of the brain). Evening primrose oil contains a fat (gamma-linolenic acid) that can be converted into a substance (prostaglandin E1), which, experts believe, helps control the effects of excess prolactin.
When not actually suffering from PMS, you can consume evening primrose oil during the whole month in order to help with common PMS symptoms: headaches, emotional sensitivity, bloating, insomnia, abdominal pain, breast tenderness...and even cravings. Dr. Axe recommends taking the oil from the beginning on the first day of your menstrual cycle, until ovulation.
And, though not a PMS related benefit, it’s worth mentioning that this oil can make your skin radiant and increase its elasticity!
A Slow Remedy
You can find the oil in the form of capsules online or at any drugstore. Health food stores and organic cosmetic stores have it available in bottles as well, to be used in massages and in homemade cosmetics. Due to the way evening primrose oil works, it is unlikely to provide instant relief. If you decide to start taking this oil, you should consume it for several months to feel the effect.
Evening primrose oil supplements are generally considered as safe. The side effects reported in clinical trials – including stomach and intestine issues, nausea and headache – are mild and easily resolved.
However, if you are pregnant, the use of evening primrose oil is not recommended. Numerous experts advise pregnant women to avoid evening primrose oil, as this oil is believed to trigger uterine contractions and may induce labor. If you are trying to conceive, you should know that doctors recommend not taking evening primrose oil during the cycle from ovulation to menstruation. If you are taking any prescription medications, check with your physician that they are safe to take in combination with evening primrose oil.