How to Reduce PMS symptoms

You probably know the feeling. If you are female, you may well remember your adolescent years when menstruation began. And often it is accompanied by intense pain, discomfort, emotional distress and even back pain.

For some women, PMS – or premenstrual syndrome – often lessens with time. But for others it remains a constant monthly difficulty throughout life and can be painful, debilitating and can also impinge on work, commitments, outdoor activities and the ability to function.

Symptoms of PMS

The specific symptoms of PMS are many and varied. Some of the most commonly cited include

  • Irritability
  • Tension
  • Unhappiness (dysphoria)[1]

However, as a naturopath who frequently helps women to realign their menstrual cycle and reproductive issues, it is also important to acknowledge the following additional symptoms

  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Crying
  • Bloating
  • Fluid retention
  • Pimples
  • Swollen breasts
  • Headache
  • Lethargy
  • “doughy” feeling in the lower abdomen
  • Muscle pains, joint pains


While some people languish in a fatalistic attitude about their PMS, and resign themselves to ongoing pain and discomfort, others seek out qualified advice from a naturopath or a nutritionist. There are many treatments available and it is important you educate yourselves about the various natural products and natural remedies that can help alleviate your PMS.

Some of the dietary and lifestyle changes you can make include

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Reduce chocolate and sugar intake
  • Reduce coffee intake
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Exercise at least 3 times a week. A brisk walk is a good way to start then build more activity into your life as your fitness gradually increases

There are also many specific herbal and natural remedies and supplements that can help you. Some of these include

  • Chaste Tree Berry – which was used in ancient Egypt
  • Amino acid taurine
  • Black kohosh
  • Blessed thistle
  • Dong quai
  • False unicorn root
  • Cramp bark
  • Kava
  • Black haw
  • Fennel seed

You may need to speak to your naturopath who can tailor the treatment plan to your requirements. He or she will help you formulate a strategy that can alleviate symptoms while treating all aspects of you holistically.