If you're among the 85 percent of women who suffer from PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, take heart. These remedies will soothe your symptoms.
: Check with your doctor before taking any herb or dietary supplement.
Step 1: Keep track of symptoms Record your symptoms in a journal over the course of a few months to identify when symptoms appear and possible triggers.
Step 2: Eat well, sleep, and exercise Avoid salt, sugar, alcohol, and caffeine around the time you tend to experience symptoms. Get plenty of sleep, and engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.
TIP: Yoga, massage, and deep-breathing exercises can help reduce stress and relieve symptoms such as insomnia and headaches.
Step 3: Take NSAIDs Take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, before or at the onset of your period if you experience joint or muscle pain, cramps, or headaches.
Step 4: Take vitamins Take a daily multivitamin with at least 50 to 100 milligrams of vitamin B-6 and 400 international units of vitamin E to reduce cramps and breast tenderness.
Step 5: Magnesium and calcium Take 400 milligrams of magnesium to reduce bloating and fluid retention. Add 1200 milligrams of calcium and a vitamin D supplement to ease physical and psychological symptoms.
TIP: A severe form of PMS, called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), may require treatment with prescription antidepressants.
Step 6: Consider herbal remedies Use herbal remedies. Although scientifically unproven, some women find relief from black cohosh, ginger, red raspberry leaf tea, and evening primrose oil.
FACT: The first medical paper on PMS was published in Britain in 1953.