When looking to alleviate your PMS symptoms, you will find a plethora of pharmaceutical and natural remedies that promise to help ease the discomfort. From hormone pills to acupuncture, from natural herb and plant supplements to yoga and meditation, experts and laypeople alike, have been searching for a PMS cure for years, looking into every possible health modality. In the process they have come up with some very interesting results, including truly effective remedies, some not so effective, and some that are completely ridiculous by today’s standards.
Nature vs. Chemistry
Most of us when confronted with the need to take medication find ourselves in the face of a modern-day dilemma: Should we go for a chemical pharmaceutical solution or should we try something natural? What we seem to forget is that even chemical solutions come from natural ingredients or from chemicals mimicking the properties of particular natural ingredients like plants and herbs. Therefore, we should base our choice on effectiveness and on what remedy has less side-effects.
For the purposes of this article we are going to start with the presentation of a very common natural remedy.
Evening Primrose Oil
Anyone who has 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, even by traditional doctors. The oil comes from the seed of the flower, and it is among other things a mild sedative. Evening Primrose is a yellow wildflower that comes from the Onagraceae family, (more commonly known as the Willow herb family), and not the Primrose family of flowers, as its name suggests.
Evening Primrose Oil is used to regulate menstruation in cases where bleeding doesn’t always happen every month, or when the cycle is not stable. It adjusts the hormonal fluctuations during the cycle providing a steadier emotional balance and a more relaxed mood. It also diminishes the symptoms of PMS and dysmenorrhea (painful periods). Specifically, Evening Primrose Oil can be used during the whole month in order to help with the following PMS symptoms:
Headaches and Migraines
Though not a PMS related benefit, it’s worth mentioning that Evening Primrose Oil can give radiant skin and increased skin elasticity! My favorite is Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Intensive Repairing Serum with Pomegranate, Borage & Evening Primrose Oils.
Ways to Use
You can use the Evening Primrose oil in the capsule form, or the Evening Primrose Oil in the liquid form, which can be used in massages and in homemade cosmetics. You can also eat the unprocessed Evening Primrose plant, though the oil is concentrated in the seeds and not the leafy parts, so it is harder to consume the required amount in this way.
Other than taking the capsules orally you can also opt for taking the oil in liquid form. The liquid form works great as massage oil, although its high cost can deter people from using it in that way.
An excellent way of cutting down the cost, but still getting all the benefits, is mixing one tablespoon of Evening Primrose Oil with the massage oil of your choice and giving yourself a full body massage. This can work great during PMS, and it takes full advantage of the sedative properties of the oil. Massaging yourself with the oil helps you get its benefits much faster than taking the capsules, because of the rapid absorption of the nutrients by your skin. It will not only calm you down and fight insomnia, but you will almost immediately notice relief from headache and abdominal pain.
If you don’t have the time needed for a full body massage, you can still massage the oil straight on the abdominal and hip area to relieve cramping, and on the chest to help relax you.
Remember to always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new supplements in order to take into account your individual needs and requirements. If your doctor gives the OK to use supplements, but you notice side effects, make sure you stop taking them immediately. Pregnant women or women who take hormonal supplements, should not take Evening Primrose Oil.