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What are Some Home Remedies for Premenstrual Syndrome?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can often cause discomfort of varying kinds. Women may find themselves more easily stressed, may have more acne breakouts, may retain fluid, or suffer from painful cramping. Premenstrual syndrome is something of a misnomer, as many find that symptoms of PMS extend into the first few days of a period.

When one has extremely painful premenstrual syndrome, or suffers from very significant changes in mood, this may indicate that one requires something more than home remedies. In these cases, one may wish to speak to one’s gynecologist about medical treatments that may help make premenstrual syndrome more bearable.

For mild to moderate premenstrual syndrome, a few things can help alleviate some of the symptoms. Some things one can do to alleviate particularly cramping and to help with mood regulation is to maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan. Most women find that exercising regularly helps to make cramping less painful or shorter in duration.

Additionally regular exercise can aid in mood, since exercise stimulates the production of endorphins. Endorphins tend to make one feel better, and possibly less susceptible to sudden mood changes.

Diet is thought to be helpful in reducing mood changes as well. Nutritionists recommend a diet rich in whole grains and protein. They also recommend avoiding high salt, and high fat items, which can make one feel sluggish and contribute to water retention. For moodiness, taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids from fish oil or flax seed is thought to be helpful. One might also want to increase lean cuts of fish in the diet to cut down on mood changes from premenstrual syndrome.

Excess stress during premenstrual syndrome is best avoided. When possible, try altering one’s schedule so that one doesn’t have to endure very stressful events during the first few days before a period begins, or when a period starts. If one has to visit the ever-critical Aunt Mabel sometime during the month, plan the visit for several days after one’s period has begun.

Cramping during premenstrual syndrome is often aided by over the counter medications like Pamprin, ibuprofen, or aspirin. One can also try non-medicated approaches like warm cloths applied on the site of the cramps, or using a heating pad over the stomach. The new portable heating pads made by Therma-Care are particularly helpful in alleviating strong cramps without resorting to medication.

Acne breakouts are clearly not always avoidable when associated with premenstrual syndrome. In fact some women time their periods by the way their skin responds. Using healthful skin washing practices throughout the month may help reduce some breakouts. Products with salicylic acid seem to help reduce breakout time, but may also dry the skin. If one uses daily make-up, be certain to remove make-up at night, as it can clog pores if left on the skin.

Introducing a little caffeine into the system may relieve bloating and water retention. Most PMS medicines like Pamprin have a large dose of caffeine that can help with pain and reduce water retention. One can also get caffeine more naturally by drinking green tea, but it is advised to also drink plenty of water during premenstrual syndrome to reduce bloating.

Some experts believe that premenstrual syndrome is a natural sign that the body should slow down and take a rest. This does not mean that women are not fully capable of performing in any capacity during menstruation. But when possible, taking some time to relax during premenstrual syndrome can reduce stress, and help the body recharge as it begins to cycle into the next month. If possible, schedule some personal time to do something relaxing and fun during the first few days of a period. This “me-time,” can be enough to help cope with the sometimes uncomfortable and annoying side effects of menstruation.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By anon28321 — On Mar 14, 2009

My partner suffers extreme PMS and we swear by agnus castus. She takes it pure, in tablet form and it makes a huge difference! It also goes by the names Chaste Tree, Chasteberry, or Monk's Pepper.

My partner takes one tablet every evening at bedtime and I can say that it has definitely improved her mood! It isn´t expensive and has no side-effects.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
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