Premenstrual Tension (PMT/PMS) - in Australia

Premenstrual symptoms are a common complaint for many women; 85% of women will experience some form of premenstrual symptoms between menarche & menopause. Symptoms vary from physical pain, cramping and breast tenderness to fatigue, moodiness and sugar cravings.  Many women notice they are more ‘cranky’ or ‘teary’ at this time of month.

There are five categories that premenstrual syndrome is divided into & depending on the category of symptoms, treatment options will vary accordingly:

Category Symptoms Treatment
PMT - A (Anxiety) Irritability
Nervous Tension
Vitamin B6
Liver Support
Increase Dietary Fibre
Passion Flower, Scullcap, St John's Wort, Withania
PMT - C (Cravings) Increases Appetite
Cravings for sweet foods
Light headedness or dizziness
Protein at regular intervals throughout the day
Alpha Lipoic Acid
PMT - D (Depression) Depression
Insomnia or sleep disturbances
Confusion or forgetfulness

St John's Wort
Passion Flower

PMT - P (Pain) Crampy Pains
Decreased pain tolerance
Cramp Bark
Evening Primrose Oil
PMT - H (Hyperhydration) Fluid retention
Weight Gain
Breast Tenderness
Vitamin B6
Chaste Tree
Vitamin E
Avoid Coffee
Liver support

Research Updates - June 2011

Fukui, H et al (2011), ‘Psychological and neuroendocrinological effects of odor of saffron (Crocus sativus)’, Phytomedicine, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 15 January 2011.

The scent of the exotic spice saffron is used extensively in European, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. It has long been used in Persian medicine for depression, menstrual disorder, difficult labour, inflammation, vomiting, and throat diseases. However, this is the first scientific study to show use in PMS.

In the women in the trial, short-term exposure to the scent of saffron reduced cortisol and increased oestrogen levels. Lower cortisol, a stress hormone, suggests less stress and anxiety. As oestrogen drops are suggested as one contributor to PMS, higher levels of this hormone may partly counter this. The women also showed less anxiety on psychological testing.

This provides good evidence for the use of Saffron as a treatment for PMS, particularly the mood symptoms.  Your Naturopath should be able to prescribe a good supplement with high quality Saffron extract.

Vive Health Naturopaths recommend the following products for PMT:

Products Suggested Dosage
1. Herbs of Gold Glucoplex (60 Tabs) 1 cap x 3 daily.
2. Nutra LIfe Tyrosine 500 (50 Caps) 2 Caps daily.
3. Fusion Sleep (30 Tabs, 60 Tabs) 1-2 tabs 1hour before bed
4. Blooms Celery Seed and Juniper (70 Tabs) Take 1 tab x 2 daily during the time of fluid retention.
5. Thompson's Evening Primrose Oil (300 Caps) 1 cap x 3 daily (with food).
6. Herbs of Gold Omega 3 Concentrate (100 Caps, 200 Caps)
3 caps x 2 daily.
7. Ethical Nutrients Hi-Strength Fish Oil (170ml, 280ml) 1 tsp x 2 daily

NOTE: Consideration should always be given to individual requirements.  Please consider seeing a qualified practitioner before commencing a new treatment protocol or when combining supplements with pharmaceutical medication.

For more information on PMS or to ask a Qualified Naturopath a question Click Here.

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