Women often wonder if they will be interrupted by mood swings, severe cramps, heavy flow, hot flashes every month for most of their lives. Since all of the above are all to do with hormones, we have some good news for you. It doesn't have to be that way. Hormonal imbalances can be balanced by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The biggest culprit when it comes to hormonal imbalances is - stress. It causes our reproductive system to take a back seat to fight-or-flight survival responses not allowing for the other bodily processes to function as normal. However, the good news is that - you can control the amount you stress with a personalized diet, exercise, enough sleep, stress management and other home remedies.
Resort to meditation, practice deep breathing techniques, indulge in relaxing night time routines, wake up to a yoga session and devote time towards finding inner peace. This will help you keep your stress levels low which in return will replenish your energy and mood.
The following are some herbs and supplements you can resort to - to calm your nerves.
Taking 1200 mg of Calcium at bedtime can do wonders to help you balance your hormones. The mineral not only strengthens bones but also reduces headaches, mood swings, and muscle cramps. Since it can also make you feel sleepy - taking a good dose of it just before bed - can ensure a good night's sleep which is beneficial for an early, active and pain-free morning.
A dose of 800 mg of Magnesium can help alleviate your PMS symptoms. Many women are deficient in the mineral which in return causes stress aches and cramps. The mineral works with calcium to control muscular activity in return calming your nerves and easing your symptoms.
3. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is vital for everybody every day, but most, unfortunately, both men and women complain of being deficient in it. Taking a 50 to 100 mg dose of vitamin B6 just before your menstrual cycle is about to start - may reduce irritability and depression by controlling your mood. It helps to calm jittery nerves by increasing the supply of serotonin - a mood-regulating chemical in the brain.
4. Primrose Oil
Consuming 500 - 1000 mg of evening primrose oil every day for a month - can work miracles towards balancing your hormones. It contains vital fatty acids that help reducing breast tenderness, bloating and irritability. You can find the oil in doses and supplements in health-food stores.
5. Chasteberry Supplements
These herbs work in a unique way. They are known for their power to bring back hormones to their initial and normal balanced state. It is recommended to take one or two 225 mg capsules every day throughout the month. However, it takes approximately six months before you start feeling a difference. One must stop with the dosage once the symptoms subside.
6. Black Cohosh
Consuming the black cohosh two weeks before you get on your monthly cycle can help bring your estrogen to a balanced level - by bringing it down if it's too high or pumping it up if it's missing. The recommended dose is two 20-milligram capsules of extract daily or 2-4 droppers of tincture in water thrice a day.
Essential oils are also known to be the magic that has the power to bridge the gap from imbalance to balance while you work to recharge your system. The following are five essential oils that can be used at home to reduce PMSing and any other effects of hormonal imbalance.
1. Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
Also known as the "the best oil for your worst time of the month," Clary Sage should be a must-have ingredient in every woman's bag. If your stress levels ever run high, reach out for its bottle because it has the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36% simply by inhaling it from its bottle. You can also use it to give yourself an abdominal massage to get relief from menstrual cramps. If you have enough time to treat yourself - prepare a hot water bath with Epsom salt and clary sage and witness its healing powers.
2. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender is an all-rounder essential oil because of its several health benefits, versatility and immediate results. Inhaling it can calm the mind and body immediately and most importantly can help you fall asleep if you're fighting for it and can't get enough of it. Like the Clary Sage, it can be used in a hot water bath to alleviate pain caused by the menstrual cycle. Use it to bid goodbye to your stress and anxiety for a while.
3. Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata)
The Ylang-ylang has been used in religious and wedding ceremonies for decades for a reason. It's intense aroma calms and uplifts the mind and body helping you forget about your daily stresses for a while. It is also powerful enough to reduce blood pressure allowing the body to relax - often having a sedative effect. Many women also use this oil to boost libido in addition to find relief from the effects of menstruation.
4. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Bergamot can be diffused or applied externally to alleviate stress and anxiety levels by reducing the heart rate and blood pressure. However, it is important to remember that since Bergamot is a citrus oil - it can be highly phototoxic. Hence, it must always be diluted to 1:1 before topical application. Moreover, the skin should be exposed to direct sunlight for at least 72 hours after its application.
5. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme stands out as an essential oil due to its ability to help in the balancing of progesterone levels due to its phytoestrogen content. It helps ease menstrual pains because progesterone plays an important role in our monthly cycle since it prepares the lining of the uterus for possible implantation by a fertilized egg. The balancing properties of this oil reduces our stress levels, mood swings, insomnia and weight gain. Surprisingly it also supports and enables a healthy immune system. However, it is another one of those essential oils that should be used after consulting a doctor especially if you have a problem with estrogen dominance or any similar such condition.
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