Looking for alternative natural treatments for PMDD, or Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder? Do you suffer from 1-2 weeks per month of uncontrollable mood swings that seem to coincide with your menstrual cycle? If so, you are not alone, and you could have PMDD. Statistics show as many as 10% of women may currently suffer from PMDD while only 40% of those suffering know about PMDD. If you think you have PMDD but you aren’t sure, consider the following.
PMDD Symptoms are hormonal in nature, so pay attention to the calendar. Mark your expected ovulation days, your expected menstruation days and determine if your symptoms revolve around those dates.Typically women experience mood changes during ovulation and for about a week before their period begins.
Most women experience an immense relief of symptoms as soon as their menstruation begins. It seems when the hormones change, the mood changes. This is not something easily controllable, and many people, including partners and spouses, tend not to even begin to understand.
Our desire is to provide information that may help those who suffer from PMDD and their families so they may have options to try and treat the symptoms effectively. At Get Balanced Naturally, we don’t believe in fighting chemical imbalances with chemicals. So we have put together a list of tested, tried-and-true natural remedies for PMDD.
Try these remedies, they work and they’re typically considered safe. (We say typically because Black Cohosh and Vitex really shouldn’t be taken for long periods of uninterrupted time). But as always, talk to your healthcare professional before changing your regimen, especially if you currently take medication.
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa). Be sure to watch out for how many milligrams per capsule you buy—some brands can be misleadingly sparse.
Known widely for its relief of menopausal symptoms, black cohosh is a wonderful herb for PMDD, especially when it comes to treating irritability and sleeplessness. Bonus: Black Cohosh helps with acne! However, it does come with some warnings. Taking Black Cohosh for more than one year can affect your liver. PMDD Girl says, “I took black cohosh every day for 6 months and noticed a discernible difference in mood and tiredness when not taking it. ”
Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgophyta). We all know it supports a healthy memory, but did you know Ginkgo has also been shown to be helpful for PMDD symptoms? Particularly when it comes to fluid retention and breast tenderness, Ginkgo is a great solution that really works. Ginkgo Biloba is also shown to have beneficial effects on mood. The warning on this one is serious, though: Taking Ginkgo Biloba with SSRI’s like Prozac or consistently taking it with St. John’s Wort can cause mania in some people. Talk to your doctor, especially if you have a history of manic episodes.
St. John’s Wort has been used successfully to treat mild depression and the moodiness that sometimes accompanies PMS/PMDD for decades. It can interact with certain medications and with Ginkgo Biloba. Personally, I chose to use one or the other, but not both together for long-term use.
Vitex Angus Castus (Chasteberry). Vitex has a great reputation for helping with infertility, menopause, PMS and PMDD symptoms such as headaches, irritability and mood. It has also been shown to help regulate cycles by affecting progesterone levels. 750mg is recommended daily. Research has shown thousands of women who have responsibly used the following herbal remedies for PMDD have found significant relief without the need for medication. Consult your doctor as this is not medical advice. The FDA has not reviewed the contents of this site, which are not intended to cure or treat any disease.
Dong Quai, A centuries-old method known to help PMS and PMDD symptoms, like cramping and bloating, Dong Quai is a traditional eastern herbal medicine. Dong Quai has been called “female ginseng,” based on its use for gynecological disorders (such as painful menstruation or pelvic pain), recovery from childbirth or illness, and fatigue or feeling overtired. It is thought to be more effective when used with Black Cohosh. Dong Quai is incredible for cramps. It works after about 30 minutes and completely relieves cramps for many women for up to 4 hours at a time. Women who are sensitive to the caffeine in many cramp medications use Dong Quai as a natural alternative.
Evening Primrose Oil can be very effective in treating breast tenderness and fluid retention. It is also known to combat hair loss associated with hormonal imbalances. This is typically taken the week before menstruation and the week of menstruation for maximum effectiveness. Be wary of milligram dosage when purchasing Evening Primrose Oil. Some sellers like to sell low milligram dosages for the same price as the more concentrated versions.