If you’re a longtime Hormonology reader, then you may remember that a few months ago, I was touting the benefits of ginger–this delicious spicy root that’s proven to make menstrual cramps go away as effectively (and sometimes more effectively) than an over-the-counter pain pill.
Now there’s more good news to report about ginger:
Taking 250 mg. of a ginger supplement every 12 hours during your premenstrual week may slash the severity of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) by more than half, according to a new seven-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 66 women published in the journal ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The proof it works: In the study, women with PMS who received daily ginger supplements premenstrually experienced a greater than 50% reduction in physical and psychological premenstrual symptoms.
Compare that to the women who received a placebo pill and saw no change.
So, how does this zingy spice ease PMS?
Ginger blocks the production of prostaglandins–hormone-like chemicals that trigger inflammation and pain. As a result, it can reduce the severity of headaches, migraines, back pain and other physical discomforts that can arise in your premenstrual phase.
It has also been shown to work like an anti-nausea medication at easing a queasy stomach–another common pre-period symptom.
So, the researchers theorize that this decrease in pain and discomfort in your premenstrual week reduces feelings of depression, anxiety and frustration that would normally arise from experiencing so much physical discomfort.
As a result, your premenstrual week is more comfortable and happier.
Want to try it for yourself? You can find ginger powder supplements in health stores and online at Vitacost.com. You can also brew ginger as a tea, eat it as a condiment or nibble it as candy.
Note: Talk to your doctor before taking ginger if you have diabetes, a heart condition or bleeding disorder. Check drug interactions and side effects at WebMD.com.
Let me know if ginger helps you have a happier premenstrual week!
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