I fully support the use of whatever medication a person needs or wants to use to help get through their periods – be it birth control, midol or something stronger. However, I know a lot of people want to use something natural in addition or even in place of actual medication for a variety of entirely valid reasons. So I wanted to share some of my favorite natural methods for dealing with PMS!
1. Heating pads or a heated blanket are awesome but not everyone has one or wants to use one (especially if it’s the middle of summer and it’s already too hot!). I like to use this flat metal water bottle I got four years ago. The metal holds heat without melting like a plastic water bottle might and stays warm longer. I also think the slight weight on my abdomen is comforting. It can be a little too hot a first so wrap it in a dish towel or blanket to use while its cooling down. I’d recommend trying something like this:
2. I also love baths for treating cramps and other forms of PMS pain. I like to add a cup of Epsom salts because the magnesium helps relax my muscles and relieve cramps then I add some essential oils for some additional relief. I add 2-3 drops of rose, 2-3 drops of lavender and 2-3 drops of clary sage. These oils help with pain, balancing hormones (especially clary sage) and relaxing (in particular lavender). If you don’t want to take a bath, you can also add a few drops of these oils to a carrier oil, such as coconut or almond oil. You can then use the concoction you made to rub on your belly, chest, back or give yourself a light massage. If you are suffering from a headache, you could also mix peppermint with a carrier oil and apply to your temples!
3. Finally, I love a good relaxing tea. Chamomile is great for relaxing, but peppermint is also wonderful for digestive issues and headaches (as previously mentioned). And if you don’t like hot tea, you can brew it, put it on a jar to leave in the fridge for a while and drink once cold (and/or add some ice cubes!). I don’t necessarily recommend adding any sugar as that isn’t great for PMS…unless you really want it. You can also always stevia which is 100% vegan (normal sugar isn’t always vegan as the process to make it can involve things like bone chard.) any flavor that helps you relax should help in managing PMS related symptoms.
Above all, it’s important to listen to your body. If your hungry, eat. Your body requires more energy while menstruating than it does normally. Drink water to help with bloating. If you’re tired, rest more. Try to get some light exercise as it helps relieve pain and lift your mood. Do things that make you happy and feel relaxed. Take this time as an excuse to take care of yourself and pay attention to what your body needs-even if that need is chocolate!