Ladies, you already know this: PMS is no fun. But whether you bloat and cramp or have mood swings and crave every type of food, GET ON TOP author Meika Hollender shares some tips to help make those days a little less miserable. Chinese medicine and the help of Dr. Jill Blakeway offer ways help you smooth out your hormonal transitions.
Chinese medicine has been used to treat menstrual problems for thousands of years—everything from irregular cycle to no cycle to midcycle bleeding to migraines to cramps. Dr. Jill Blakeway, a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and a clinical herbalist who founded the awesome YinOva Center in New York City, calls PMS a “poor response to a hormonal transition.” Some women feel like they have “dropped off a cliff ” when their progesterone decreases. She works with patients to smooth out these hormonal transitions. “There are a lot of imbalances that are subtle but have profound effects that do well with Chinese herbs. We get great results,” she says.
Here are six things she suggests for anyone with PMS.
1. GET REGULAR EXERCISE. It moves the chi and blood and smooths transition.
2. EAT CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES. Broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and all their cousins contain an active compound called DIM, which helps with estrogen imbalance.
3. PRIORITIZE HEALTHY FATS. is means olive and coconut oils, omega-3s, and the like.
4. TAKE XIAO YAO WAN. is herbal formula has been used for hundreds of years to treat PMS, and it’s widely available for purchase. It helps with the hormonal transition and supports the liver as it confronts estrogen. Blakeway calls it “miraculous.”
5. TROUBLESHOOT SYMPTOMS WITH VITAMINS. Irritable? Take B6. Sore breasts? Try vitamin E. For bloating you want magnesium. If you’re feeling weepy, try calcium. One quick word of caution when it comes to vitamins: always make sure to take the appropriate amount. Many vitamins (e.g., B6 and E) and elements (e.g., magnesium and calcium) have a threshold above which toxicity can occur, so be careful not to take too much.
6. TRY SEED CYCLING. is involves taking ground pumpkin and ax seed daily during the follicular phase of your cycle until you ovulate; the theory here is that they help you metabolize estrogen, which rules this phase. After ovulation you switch to sesame and sun flower seeds. Blakeway says they have nutrient precursors to the progesterone, which dominates this phase.
It’s always cheat week during you period. Try this yummy hot chocolate recipe.