Our Top 3 Natural Period Remedies
It’s that time of the month again. Your gift from Mother Nature is here to stir up a fuss. Your period is a normal, healthy part of womanhood, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a bed of roses.
Trying to deal with breakouts, fatigue, cramps, mood swings, irritability and cravings can be really draining and stressful.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say that “as many as 85% of menstruating women report one or more premenstrual symptoms.”
According to WomensHealth.gov, premenstrual symptoms or PMS can occur one to two weeks before your period. For some, these symptoms are merely annoying, while for others they can be unbearable, making it difficult to even function.
So, what’s the best way to deal with it all?
We’ve got three terrific period remedies that can help combat a number of period symptoms.
Red raspberry leaf
According to Phyllis Balch’s book Prescription for Herbal Healing, “raspberry leaf has been used in folk medicine for hundreds of years. It has astringent and stimulant properties and is a popular remedy for many ailments. The most common use of raspberry leaves is as a uterine tonic.”
Balch also says that the leaf contains ferulic acid, a uterine relaxant, which can help relieve menstrual cramps. Relaxing the uterus also allows for easier menstrual flow.
Jessica Stamm of Stamm Nutrition, says raspberry leaf helps your body “detoxify extra hormones.”
According to WebMD, the red raspberry leaf theory suggests that the chemicals in the leaf act as an antioxidant, relaxing the blood vessels, which helps in terms of a healthy flow during your period.
In general, red raspberry leaf supports the female reproductive system.
How to take it
The most popular way to take red raspberry leaf is as a tea. It’s pretty easy to find red raspberry tea at any health food store and you can even make it yourself with dried or fresh raspberry leaves. It tastes great, and can be enjoyed on its own or blended with other herbs or juices. Enjoy it hot or iced, the benefits are the same.
Want to use red raspberry leaf to help lessen period symptoms?Start taking it at least one to two weeks before your period is expected. Drinking red raspberry leaf tea on a more or less daily basis all through the month is the best way to improve your period experience.
According to the book Smart Medicine for Healthier Living, “milk thistle stimulates and protects the liver, which in turn promotes the proper regulation of the body’s hormonal balance.”
Milk thistle is well known for supporting a healthy liver, but you may not know how important a healthy liver is for relieving PMS symptoms.
“If your liver is all gunked up from the excess toxins it is exposed to then it is unable to function optimally and thus cannot remove estrogen at its normal rate. Estrogen is not metabolized properly and can be reabsorbed back into the body,” says Nicole Jardim, a women’s health and functional nutrition coach.
She explains further that when this process occurs, the estrogen that wasn’t metabolized goes into the bloodstream. This causes PMS symptoms and a heavier period.
How to take it
Taking milk thistle can help keep your liver doing its job of detoxing the body, which in turn allows your skin to become clearer and your period to become lighter. This will also alleviate some of your general PMS symptoms.
You can ingest milk thistle by eating the plant itself, or by taking the concentrated oil. Check out our Perfect Press® Milk Thistle Oil, Perfectly Pressed using organic, non-GMO milk thistle seeds.
Evening primrose oil
EPO, or evening primrose oil, is another friend of the menstruating human. It helps alleviate many period symptoms both when ingested and applied topically.
Evening primrose oil is so effective because it contains gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid.
Unlike most omega–6s, GLA is actually an anti-inflammatory. It is often referred to as “the beneficial omega–6” because it actually counteracts the detriments that can be caused by eating too many omega–6s in general (a common problem for many Americans… read more here).
WholeHealth Chicago says that “by interfering with the production of inflammatory prostaglandins released during menstruation, the GLA in evening primrose oil can help to lessen menstrual cramps. It may also minimize premenstrual breast tenderness, irritable bowel flare-ups, and carbohydrate cravings, and help to control endometriosis-associated inflammation.”
Getting enough GLA into your system goes hand-in-hand with having balanced hormones.
How to take it
You can also apply evening primrose oil to your skin to promote clear skin. Once your body’s hormones begin to become more balanced, acne will be less likely to return.
Before taking evening primrose oil, it’s best to check in with your doctor. Make sure ingesting it won’t interfere with any existing medications. And to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
Don’t forget general nutrition
Getting the right nutrients into your body on a regular basis has a big impact on your menstrual cycle. While these three remedies are great options, it’s important to find the one that works right for you.
You should also make sure that you take care of your body both during your period and leading up to it. Eating right can help ease PMS symptoms, too. Kotex suggests eating foods rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin E, B6, C and zinc. They also recommend staying hydrated to keep yourself feeling good.
Keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself and giving yourself time to relax, both on and off your period. Mental health is just as important as your physical state.
Let us know which remedy works best for you!
Don’t forget — to discover more about the best milk thistle oil you can buy, check out Perfect Press® Milk Thistle Oil.
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