Photo by Getty Images/AndrisTkachenko
PMS (+ Menstrual Issues!)
I’ve always had the kind of blitzkrieg PMS that seems to assault every organ in my body at the same time. Maybe you also have this problem.
To counter act a number of different symptoms, make a tea blend with the following and drink 2-3 cups a day:
- 2 tablespoons dandelion root
- 2 tablespoons chamomile
- 2 tablespoons lemon balm
- 2 teaspoons raspberry leaf
- 2 teaspoons cramp bark
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger
Valerian is also excellent for stopping cramps — since it’s also a sedative, it’s best used to treat nighttime cramps, or cramps you have when you know you aren’t going to do anything productive. You can also take cramp bark tincture, which is also quite effective.
If you’re bloated and uncomfortable, make sure to drink lots of water and herbal tea. If you can find young dandelion greens to eat, they are super nutritious and will help flush out retained fluid. Avoid coffee — even though it makes you pee it doesn’t help with water retention. Ain’t that a kick in the ass?
If you have ongoing menstrual troubles like erratic, painful periods or especially heavy bleeding, try drinking red raspberry leaf tea as a uterine tonic. Drink a cup or two a day, and add an extra cup when you’re menstruating, to help with cramps.
Emmenagogues are herbs that stimulate menstruation — which, by the way, is different than inducing miscarriage or abortion. Emmenagogues are what you use if your period is just being pokey because you’re stressed, overworked, underweight, or you have a hormonal or metabolic imbalance.
Parsley is a well-known emmenagogue, and is super-nutritious and tasty. Take parsley as an infusion, 2-3 times a day, or eat fresh parsley salad until your period comes. Other emmenagogues include ginger, yarrow, sage, rosemary, blue cohosh root, and motherwort. You can take these herbs as infusions, 1-3 times a day, for up to a week. Don’t use these if you’re pregnant.
If your flow is super heavy, try tinctures of yarrow, vitex berry, and red raspberry leaf. Up your intake of iron until you feel better.
More from Make Your Place:
- Herbal Infusions for Skin Conditions
- Herbal Kitchen Cleaners
- Herbal Recipes for Ear, Nose, and Eye Health
Cover courtesy of Microcosm Publishing
Excerpted with permission from Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs, published by Microcosm Publishing, 2nd ed. 2018.