8 nutrients and herbs that are study-proven to ease PMS

My Hormonology

8 nutrients and herbs that are study-proven to ease PMS


I get a lot of emails every day–which is why sometimes it can take a little while for me to reply if you’ve sent one in.

The reason I mention this steady influx of emails is because there are times that I’ll get a whole batch asking a similar question–and they’re from Hormonology readers who have absolutely no connection to one another. It’s just sheer coincidence.

So, during the past couple of weeks, one specific question has popped up again and again in my inbox. To curb the flow of more emails asking the same question, I’ll address it here. Here’s the question:

“I dread the down moods, irritation, anxiety, aches, breast tenderness and other problems that occur during the second half of my cycle. Is there an estrogen supplement you can recommend to prevent them?”

Here’s the thing: There aren’t any over-the-counter estrogen supplements you can take. At least none that are proven safe or legal.

In fact, I’m no fan of over-the-counter hormonal anything.

Hormones are powerful chemicals. And, if you’re a longtime Hormonology reader, you already know hormones affect your body and brain in a multitude of ways. Tinkering with hormones is definitely best left to medical professionals.

And, to be perfectly honest and transparent here, I’m no fan of so-called experts who claim they can “balance” your hormones either. If you think your hormones are seriously out of whack, you need to get your levels checked by a medical doctor–not rely on a list of “symptoms” on a website that’s trying to sell you supplements, herbs or enrollment into an expensive hormone-balancing program.

That’s because you could actually have a condition that needs real medical attention–and, perhaps, doesn’t involve your hormones at all. Only a medical professional–who’s not in the business of selling you potions and programs (yes, they’re out there, too)–can tell you for sure.

All that said, I am a health journalist who specializes in reporting on natural remedies. And hormones, obviously. And I can tell you that there are a multitude of studies that prove certain vitamins and supplements can significantly slash premenstrual woes, so you’re happier, calmer, less achy, more energetic and have a better Week 3 and Week 4 overall.

How do they work? According to the researchers who’ve led these studies, these nutrients impact brain chemicals and certain processes in the body that have an effect on your moods and sensitivity to fluctuating hormones.

So, here’s my round-up of vitamins and supplements that can curb premenstrual problems–with links to the studies that show how they work:

* 500 mg. of calcium twice daily

* 800 IU of vitamin D daily

* 1000 mg. of omega-3 fatty acids containing DHA and EPA daily. (If you’re a vegetarian like me, there are omega-3 plant sources available, like this one.)

* Multivitamin that contains minerals, including iron daily

* 40 mg. of ginkgo biloba three times daily from Day 16 to Day 5 of your cycle

* Foods containing the B vitamins thiamin (such as sunflower seeds, peas and oats) and riboflavin (such as soybeans, spinach, tempeh, yogurt and mushrooms) daily

* For severe PMS, 200 mcg. of chromium twice daily during the second half of your cycle

I recommend trying one at a time to pinpoint which ones work best for you.

Please bear in mind that it can take up to three cycles for the full effects to kick in, so having patience will pay off.

As with all supplements, look up possible interactions they can have with over-the-counter or prescription medications you are currently taking at Drugs.com or ask your pharmacist.

In addition to these vitamins and supplements, I’ve also reported on dozens of other natural, study-proven methods that ease premenstrual woes, including aromatherapy, self-massage and more. Take a look at them here–and find the ones that work best for you!

Follow me
Latest posts by Gabrielle Lichterman (see all)