Other Proposed Natural Treatments
Probably Ineffective Treatments
Many women experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms in the week or two before menstruating. These include irritability, anger, headaches, anxiety, depression, fatigue, fluid retention, and breast tenderness. When emotional symptoms related to depression predominate in PMS, the condition is sometimes called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). These symptoms undoubtedly result from hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, but apart from that general statement, medical researchers do not know the cause of PMS or how to treat it.
Conventional treatments for PMS and PMDD include antidepressants, beta-blockers, diuretics, oral contraceptives, and other hormonally active formulations. Of all these, antidepressants in the SSRI family (such as Prozac) are perhaps the most effective.
Principal Proposed Natural Treatments
There is fairly good evidence that calcium supplements can significantly reduce all the major symptoms of PMS. There is also some evidence for the herbs chasteberry and ginkgo . Vitamin B 6 is widely recommended as well, but its scientific record is mixed at best.
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Calcium article.
The herb chasteberry is widely used in Europe as a treatment for PMS symptoms. More than most herbs, chasteberry is frequently called by its Latin names: Vitex or Vitex agnus-castus .
Even better evidence indicates that chasteberry can help the cyclic breast tenderness often, but not necessarily, connected with PMS.
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Chasteberry article.
Other Proposed Treatments for PMS
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Ginkgo article.
For more information, including dosage and safety issues, see the full Magnesium article.
For a discussion of homeopathic approaches to PMS, see the Homeopathy Database .
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 10/00/2013 -