Your period is about to become much more manageable…
This post comes to you from HUM Nutrition.
Being a woman is something to celebrate. We’re strong, fierce, smart goddesses, born with the power to literally give life. But try telling all that to yourself when you’re in the throes of PMS and your skin is freaking out, your uterine wall feels like a fortress of pain, and you’re prone to Kristen-Bell-with-a-sloth levels of sobbing in public.
Yes, hormones are super fun.
The hormones in your body work together in harmony to keep your mind and body running smoothly — but normal fluctuations in your hormones, which happen throughout your menstrual cycle, can cause things like bloating, acne and mood swings. The week before your period — when you’re PMS-ing — your progesterone levels rise. This causes an imbalance in your estrogen and progesterone levels, which can cause anxiety, irritability and the aforementioned sobbing. (It can also decrease your serotonin levels, which can translate to cravings.)
Enter: Chaste Berry Tree Extract and Dong Quai
These ancient Chinese herbs have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries to help with menstrual cycle-related issues.
Chaste berry tree extract (or vitex, as it is also called) is a tiny brown berry that helps your body balance your hormones by working with your hypothalamus and pituitary glands to balance out the ratio of progesterone to estrogen in your body. Clinical studies have found that ingesting this herb can help reduce irritability, headache and breast pain that are results of PMS. Research also suggests that it can help clear up PMS-induced acne, because of its hormone balancing abilities.
Dong quai has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, and to possess pain-relieving qualities (good news for those of us who get horrendous cramps). Like vitex, it can help balance estrogen levels. In TCM, dong quai is used to help with conditions like absent periods, menopausal symptoms, irregular periods, and PMS. It is also thought to increase blood flow and act like a blood purifier.