A new randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine reveals an easy way to reduce bothersome pre-period symptoms:
Take a supplement containing 100 mg. of the spice curcumin (the compound in turmeric that gives curry and mustard their yellow color) twice daily–12 hours apart–on the seven days preceding your period and on the first three days of your period.
In the study, 32 women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) who received curcumin supplements on these days for three consecutive cycles experienced a nearly 60% reduction in premenstrual symptoms. Compare that to the 31 women in the placebo group who experienced just a 14.45% improvement.
What makes curcumin effective at battling so many different types of premenstrual problems? Compounds in the spice limit the body’s output of prostaglandins–chemicals behind the many unpleasant physical effects leading up to and during your period. And, they balance out mood-regulating brain chemicals, including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, according to the study authors.
While this study was small, if you struggle with PMS and want to avoid problems associated with over-the-counter pain pills, curcumin supplements certainly seem worth trying.
You can find curcumin supplements in health food stores and Amazon.com.
[Note: Do not take curcumin if you have diabetes or a bleeding disorder. Visit WebMD for more information about this supplement.]
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[Photo: Anant Nath Sharma]