Menstruation makes life possible. “That time of the month” is a beautiful thing, but for most women, it can come with unpleasant side effects—cramps, cravings, moodiness (you know the drill). Rather than popping a couple Advil or Midol to control pain levels and discomfort, we encourage you to explore all-natural remedies. Which is why we reached out to Dr. Mona Vand, a pharmacist who specializes in wellness for body and mind, using natural solutions. Below, she shares five alternative ways to combat PMS symptoms—keep these tips in mind the next time you want to raid your medicine cabinet.
“Right off the bat, this may sound a little scary or out there, but doctors have successfully used pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMF), a non-invasive treatment for chronic pain and injuries, for 60+ years. Now, research has shown that magnets have the power to help PMS. A study showed that women who wore small magnetic devices attached to the sides of their underwear two days before and also during their periods saw their PMS symptoms improve significantly. If you’re someone who experiences unbearable pain, I highly recommend looking into this treatment.”
“I feel like it’s easy to forget the power of herbs, but in this case, we absolutely shouldn’t. Certain herbs, like chasteberry, may help lessen PMS symptoms. Several studies have shown that women who have used chasteberry extract reported less breast pain, and it’s also been shown to help with swelling, cramps, and food cravings. Other herbs that may help are ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort (for depression), and dandelion leaf (for bloating).”
“Hopefully you’re already getting tons of fiber in your diet, but during that time of the month, you definitely want to make sure you’re eating things like fresh fruit, steamed vegetables, leafy greens, oats, and high-fiber grains like quinoa. It’s known that high-fiber foods help to naturally escort extra estrogen out of your body, which will ultimately help to ease the symptoms.”
4. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
“You may have heard of this tea because it’s mainly known for its benefits during pregnancy, but its nutrient profile and hormone-balancing powers make it a great natural source to ease PMS symptoms, too. Its high vitamin and mineral content helps balance hormones, and it’s also thought to strengthen the walls of the uterus. I recommend steeping a large pot of it and drinking one or two cups a day before and during your period.”
5. Balance Your Blood Sugar
“When we’re PMS-ing, a lot of us tend to reach impulsively for all things chocolatey or sugary, but sometimes giving in to your cravings makes the situation worse. When you’re experiencing cramps, mood swings, and acne, eating poorly will only cause your hormones to become even more imbalanced, so try sticking to clean protein, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables to calm your hormones and help with your PMS. You can still satisfy your cravings in a clean way. For example, instead of eating a processed chocolate bar, go for a clean, healthy alternative (my chocolate breakfast quinoa or chocolate mousse is perfect). Another recipe that’s great for this time of month is my banana nice cream because of how satisfying it is and because the ingredients are so clean that they actually support the hormone balance.”
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