Tips for Premenstrual tension (PMT) or Premenstural Syndrome (PMS)

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PMS includes recurrent signs and symptoms that develop during the seven to fourteen days prior to menstruation. This condition occurs in most women 3-7 days before the flow starts or in some women it can begin at the time of ovulation and last for 14 days until the flow starts. Usually the symptoms are mild in most of the cases, but in few cases they can be severe when it is known as "Premenstrual dystrophic disorder".

The undealt with emotions of self loathing and/or a lack of self worth experienced by most women is the underlying emotional hurts which is the cause of oestrogen dominance. To protect yourself from these hurts women disconnect from their natural nurturing and gentle way of being, often described as a stillness, beingness or femaleness, opting for a more protective hardness which is a doing, driving and achieving male energy. This causes women to lose their ability to self nurture as they operate from a more male (doing) energy which is a harder way of being than that which comes naturally for a women. These emotional hurts are buried in the etheric ovaries creating a stagnation in the corresponding physical glands which results in suppressed ovarian function. This causes a decline in progesterone production by the ovaries creating a hormone imbalance in the physical body which ultimately causes estrogen dominance and its corresponding illness.

Those women who excessively live life from the hardness (male energy) often have this reflected back to them with elevated testosterone levels. If this is the case you need to let go of the hardness and reconnect to the gentle, nurturing loveliness it is being a women. Low progesterone levels reflect you have lost connection with your natural nurturing aspect. Self love, self acceptance and self nurturing will help heal the hurts of self loathing and lack of self worth and thus overcome these imbalances.

Symptoms and signs:

◦   Nervousness, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, anger, depression; Abdominal bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation, Food craving - for sugar, chocolate, starch, carbohydrates and salts; Tender and enlarged breasts; Uterine cramping; Changing in libido, Weight gain due to fluid retention: Headache, backache, acne, fatigue, lethargy..

Causes of PMS/PMT

◦   Oestrogen excess, Progesterone deficiency, increased prolactin levels, Hypothyroidism Stress, adrenal dysfunction, endogenous opioid deficiency, Depression, Nutritional factors. There is imbalance of hormones, due to excess oestrogen in the second half of the menstrual cycle. When progesterone and LH should be dominant, oestrogen remains high. Imbalance in pituitary FSH&LH can also lead to excess oestrogen & lack of progesterone.

Hormones & Metaphysics:

“From an metaphysical perspective, through menstruation, each month we internally die and are reborn.

The uterus sheds its lining as the snake sheds its skin and we are released from the past and set free into the future.

During this phase of death and rebirth we all experience premenstrual days, some of us more than others. It is a time when deeply repressed and ignored emotions from the past month are bought to the surface and into consciousness so we can acknowledge, express and let them go.

Throughout the months, if we are constantly disregarding or ignoring feelings of anger, sadness or simply not giving ourselves enough time to switch off and reconnect, our hormonal activity can be affected and premenstrual symptoms are likely to be heightened as these deep rooted feelings bubble up to the surface.

Sometimes PMS may resemble grief, this is because the emotions that come to the surface are ready to pass on, to release us from their tension and this can be a confronting time.

Whilst this can be a painful process of letting go, it enables us start new and afresh and this is why during menstruation it is important to take time off to reflect and take time out to rest and be kind to ourselves.

Females are granted the gift of menstruation each month to not only physically shed through bleeding but to release and express feelings that have been imbedded deep within the body and psyche. We become more intuitive and therefore more sensitive during menstruation.”


Naturopathic treatment:

The main aim is to detoxify the body, support emotions.

Nutritional supps:

◦   Vit E

◦   EPO or Flax oil(evening primrose oil) 2000-4000/day to start, usually works better with Vit B6

◦   Vit B6

◦   MagPhos - magnesium (Mg) works together with Vit B6


◦   Vitex (main herbs) - to correct imbalance between FSH & LH; stimulates progesterone - can use daily or from 14th day to 28th day.

◦   Cramp bark - antispasmodic

◦   Wild yam - antispasmodic

◦   Black haw - antispasmodic

◦   Buchu - diuretic

◦   Dandelion leaves - diuretic

◦   Ginger

◦   Liver herbs - are very important

◦   Dandelion root

◦   Blue flag - if congested

◦   Bupleurum - if inflammation associated

◦    Turmeric - Anti inflamatory, antioxidant

Homeopathic remedies:

Best to treat constitutionally, but the leading remedies are:

Thuja 30 Calc carb, Medorrhinum (for Sychotic type), lachesis 200, Puls 200, Sepia 200, Nat Mur 30, Folliculinum 30 - to balance FSH level for 10 days before periods.

Diet and lifestyle:

There appears to be quite a strong dietary association with PMS. Women whose diets are higher in refined carbohydrates, sugar, dairy and sodium are more likely to experience PMS. Their diets are also comparatively lower in minerals such as iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium and chromium.

The ideal treatment for any of the conditions mentioned above would include addressing the underlying emotional issue responsible for creating the imbalance in the physiology to begin with, in addition to rectifying the hormone imbalance itself to ensure that the whole being is being treated and not just a part of it. This is a true holistic healing and not just a temporal relief of symptoms in order to simply function without any physical discomfort which is often the treatment sort by many.

◦   Diet should be high in fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrain, legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, water, fresh juices and complex/low GI carbohydrate foods

◦   Increase the consumption of food containing good amounts of magnesium, zinc, tryptophan, iodine, tyrosine and vit B6

◦   Use flaxseed oil and LSA in the diet.

◦   Several small meals containing complex carbohydrates may help to alleviate symptoms and maintain blood glucose levels.

The diet should be low in salt, red meat, processed and refined foods, dairy, refined sugar, caffeine, stimulants and alcohol. Reducing salt intake and in some cases the use of diuretics may relieve the symptoms related to fluid retention. Smoking should be avoided.

Need support?

Book appointment & customised herbal support at OrchardSt clinic Bronte or Nimbus & Co Byron Bay.


(Christina Scalone 2007, lectures;  Kate Jefferay 2003, Nutrition as Therapy)

(* by Shannon Chafkin)

Megan McPhailComment