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Harness your hormones

The contraceptive pill doesn't need to be the only solution for PMS symptoms. We've packed in 24 essential nutrients and natural ingredients to nourish and support your body, while celebrating its ebbs and flows.

Angelica Sinensis

Angelica Sinensis, also known as Dong Quai, is an antispasmodic (which is a fancy way of saying it relieves cramps), balances oestrogen levels, and supports your nervous system to ease anxiety and boost energy. Angelica root also contains ferulic acid, a natural anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory that can help to further relieve PMS symptoms like bloating and muscle pain. Less cramps = less feeling like an energy-zapped zombie when that time of the month rolls around.

Traditionally used to support
+ Hormonal imbalances
+ Cramps
+ Bloating

What the science says
Dong quai may have some efficacy for PMS when used in traditional Chinese multiple-herb formulas

Resources
There are currently 40 studies related to Angelica Sinensis and women's health.

Myo-Inositol

PCOS, a common but treatable cause of infertility, affects 10-15% of menstruators. There are a few different types of inositol, but one form, myo-inositol, found naturally in citrus fruits, seems particularly effective in treating some of the symptoms of PCOS. It does this by supporting the regulation of a number of hormones and also acts as an insulin sensitiser. This is similar to the action of the drug metformin, which is often used in the treatment of PCOS. There is promising evidence that 2-4g/day appears to be effective for improving fertility, insulin sensitivity and improving cutaneous symptoms.

Traditionally used to support
+ Hormone balance
+ PCOS

What the science says
Inositols - myo-inositol (MI) and D-chiro-inositol (DCI) - have shown to be an efficient and safe alternative in PCOS management

Resources
There are over 202 studies related to Inositol and PCOS

Magnesium

Magnesium’s effectiveness in supporting PMS, PCOS and perimenopause has been widely studied. A 2017 literature review called “Magnesium in the gynecological practice” found that magnesium has a number of benefits for menstrual health. Magnesium calms the nervous system and reduces the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which basically means that it reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. By relaxing the smooth muscles in the uterus and reducing prostaglandins, magnesium helps to prevent cramps. Magnesium also supports COMT enzyme (catechol-o-methyltransferase) in the liver, promoting the healthy excretion of oestrogen.

Traditionally used to support
+ Cramps
+ Hormone balance
+ Stress and anxiety
+ Mood-swings
+ Bloating

What the science says
Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes

Resources
There are currently 39 studies linking magnesium and PMS symptoms

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb classified as an adaptogen, which means that it helps your body to manage stress. Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing. Research has shown that Ashwagandha can reduce chronic stress and anxiety by blocking the stress pathway to the brain. Studies also support that Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol levels. 

Traditionally used to support
+ Stress and anxiety
+ Hormone balance

What the science says
In a 60-day study in 64 people with chronic stress, those in the group that supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% reduction in anxiety and insomnia, on average, compared with 11% in the placebo group

Resources
There are 282 studies related to Ashwagandha and stress

Acerola Cherry

Full of antioxidants and vitamin C, Acerola Cherry eliminates free radicals and boosts collagen production for skin that retains firmness and elasticity. Also said to enhance capillary strength, it protects and repairs skin. Acerola Cherry gives your skin a healthy glow, and more even tone, by fighting off infections and free radicals that lead to sunspots, age spots, and redness. The antimicrobial properties of the Acerola Cherry protect your skin from breakouts and blemishes.

Traditionally used to support
+ Immunity
+ Skin repair & Acne
+ Bloating

What the science says
Vitamin C supplementation helped to alleviate depression, anxiety, perceived stress and aggressions symptoms associated with PMS

Resources
There are currently over 2,100 studies related to vitamin C and women's health.

Vitamin B Complex

B6, B12, THIAMIN, RIBOFLAVIN, BIOTIN, FOLATE. This group of water-soluble vitamins incorporates thiamine (B1) and riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12). The Bs play various roles in body functioning, but many, especially B6, B9 and B12, are crucial in the production of neurotransmitters, which aid cognitive function and help regulate your moods. Vitamin B6 has shown to reduce a broad range of PMS symptoms, but one of the more notable ones is premenstrual depression.

Traditionally used to support
+ Depression and anxiety
+ Mood-swings
+ Bloating
+ Low energy
+ Fertility

What the science says
A combination of calcium and vitamin B6 leads to better control of premenstrual syndrome symptoms

Resources
There are 23 studies related to B6 and PMS
There are 15 studies related to thiamine (B1) & riboflavin (B2) and PMS
There are 22 studies related to B vitamins and PMS
There are 363 studies related to Biotin and women's health

Ginger Root

Research suggests that ginger’s ability to help suppress the production of prostaglandins, which trigger the muscle contractions that cause the uterus to shed its lining, giving it anti-inflammatory properties. Period pain is linked to an excess production in prostaglandins, making ginger a hero ingredient. Ginger can also help to reduce nausea brought on by severe period pain.

Traditionally used to support
+ Cramps
+ Nausea

What the science says
Ginger is effective in the reduction of severity of mood and physical and behavioural symptoms of PMS

Resources
There are currently 6 studies linking Ginger and PMS symptoms

Zinc

Zinc reduces inflammation and prostaglandins, which is how it relieves period pain. It’s also an important part of the immune-modulating protocol for endometriosis. Zinc is one of several natural androgen blockers that can improve androgen symptoms such as acne. It ability to kill bacteria and reduce keratin production also helps the skin to heal. Zinc also supports the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that dials down the stress response.

Traditionally used to support
+ Cramps
+ Acne
+ Stress and anxiety

What the science says
Zinc supplementation for 12 weeks among women with premenstrual syndrome had beneficial effects on physical and psychological symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, total antioxidant capacity, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor

Resources
There are currently 29 studies linking Zinc and PMS symptoms

Turmeric

Curcumin, the bioactive compound found in turmeric, has demonstrated both anti-inflammatory and neurologic effects in studies which may help treat PMS. In a study of 70 women, researchers gave them either curcumin or a placebo for the seven days leading up to and three days after the onset of menstruation. The study followed the women for three cycles. Compared to the placebo group, the curcumin group saw a significant reduction in physical, behavioural and emotional PMS symptoms.

Traditionally used to support
+ Cramps
+ Cravings
+ Stress and anxiety
+ Mood-swings
+ Bloating
+ Low energy

What the science says
Results showed a potential advantageous effect of curcumin in attenuating severity of PMS symptoms, which were probably mediated by modulation of neurotransmitters and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin

Resources
There are 18 studies linking curcumin and PMS symptoms

Iodine

Iodine is necessary to support the production of regular levels of thyroid hormone. Research has shown that iodine deficiency has been linked to an increase in oestrogen, but not a balance in other hormones. Iodine has also been shown to help with heavy or irregular periods, as well as breast tenderness. 

Traditionally used to support
+ Breast tenderness
+ Hormone balance
+ Irregular periods

What the science says
The most recent studies would suggest otherwise and a greater emphasis must be placed on ensuring that women, especially, of childbearing ages, 18–44, receive sufficient iodine

Resources
There are over 3,100 studies related to Iodine and women's health

Broccoli Powder

Broccoli Powder creates a compound called diindolylmethane (DIM ) when digested. DIM plus its critical co-factor Glutathione (one of the most important molecules in detoxification) is a powerful duo for detoxification on a cellular level. Improved elimination of toxins and hormones are beneficial for hormone-related breakouts and acne. Some research has shown that DIM can help to balance oestrogen levels in the body by stimulating the production of a less potent form of oestrogen known as 2-hydroxyestrone and reducing the effects of the stronger form called 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone, which has been linked to weight gain and increased risk of some cancers, including breast and uterine cancer. 

Traditionally used to support
+ Acne
+ Hormone balance

What the science says
Chemopreventive properties of 3,3′-diindolylmethane in breast cancer: evidence from experimental and human studies

Resources
There are 29 studies related to Diindolylmethane and women's health

Calcium

Several randomized trials have shown that calcium supplementation significantly reduces premenstrual symptom occurrence and severity. These have shown that calcium reduced anxiety, depression, emotional changes, water retention in the group of women that took calcium compared with placebo group. Studies have also shown that calcium plays an important role in supporting pre-menstrual acne. In another study on the effect of vitamin D and calcium on premenstrual migraines, researchers demonstrated that with daily calcium and vitamin D resulted in a significant decrease in the severity of premenstrual migraines.

Traditionally used to alleviate
+ Anxiety and depression
+ Water retention
+ Acne
+ Pre-menstrual migraines

What the science says
Treatment with calcium supplements is an effective method for reducing mood disorders during PMS

Resources
There are 91 studies related to calcium and PMS

Vitamin D

Studies have shown that vitamin D fluctuates during the menstrual cycle. The vitamin D level of women with PMS in luteal phase is lower than that in women without PMS. Another study found that women who absorb vitamin D and calcium equivalent of four servings per day have a significantly lower risk of having PMS. Vitamin D is both essential to the absorption of calcium but is also a hero ingredient in its own right. Alongside reducing inflammation, low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression and low mood. If that isn't enough, calcium and vitamin D may also reduce the risk of osteoporosis and some cancers.

Traditionally used to support
+ Cramps
+ Low energy
+ Stress and anxiety
+ Mood-swings

What the science says
High dose vitamin D supplementation can improve menstrual problems, dysmenorrhea, and premenstrual syndrome in adolescents

Resources
There are currently 30 studies related to vitamin-D and PMS

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps support your immune system and maintains cell membrane integrity, which basically means it's great from your skin. Vitamin E is missing from 90% of Western diets. Studies have shown that Vitamin E caused a significant reduction in the mood symptoms of PMS as well as reduced irritability, stress, and low social activities.

Traditionally used to support
+ Immunity
+ Acne
+ Mood-swings

What the science says
Supplemental therapy with vitamins D and E is an effective treatment for PMS

Resources
There are 22 studies related to Vitamin E and PMS

Prebiotics

The gut acts as a gatekeeper to our bodies. Prebiotics feed Probiotics, the live bacteria in your gut. Probiotics help prevent harmful bacteria from taking over and disrupting our internal balance, while strengthening the immune system and keeping the digestive system stable. A gut lined with probiotics prevents inflammatory toxins from leaking through into the bloodstream, supporting the reduction of the inflammation that causes acne, while at the same time restoring the skin's moisture barrier. Some research has also found that probiotics help boost mood and cognitive function and lower stress and anxiety.

Traditionally used to support
+ Stress and anxiety
+ Acne
+ Mood-swings
+ Recurrent UTIs

What the science says
Probiotics have inhibitory impact on P. acnes, mediating by antibacterial proteins and bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances, and their immunomodulatory effects onkeratinocytes and epithelial cells

Resources
There are 49 studies related to probiotics and acne

There are are 133 studies related to probiotics and UTIs

There are 132 studies related to probiotics and mood

Selenium

Selenium is a trace mineral that helps the body make optimal amounts of thyroid hormone. Selenium is found in abundance in Brazil nuts. Unless you can have a Brazil nut a day, this mineral may be difficult to get from diet alone. Selenium has a number of benefits, including being essential to thyroid hormone metabolism, activating vitamin C in the body, acting as an antioxidant and immune system support.

Traditionally used to support
+ Thyroid hormone balance
+ Immunity
+ Stress and anxiety

What the science says
Probiotic and selenium co-supplementation resulted in a significant improvement in depression and anxiety compared with the placebo. Furthermore, probiotic and selenium co-supplementation significantly reduced total testosterone 

Resources
There are over 1,400 studies related to selenium and women's health

Cramp Bark

Cramp bark, also known as Viburnum Opulus, has traditionally been used as a pain treatment for cramps, particularly menstrual cramps. It has also been known to help soothe even severe cramping that is associated with nausea, vomiting, and sweaty chills. A study found that a herbal supplement containing cramp bark, among other ingredients, helped reduce symptoms of PMS. Cramp bark contains a substance called methyl salicylate, which is known to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects by blocking the spasms of smooth muscle.

Traditionally used to support
+ Cramps
+ Nausea

What the science says
Cramp Bark is one of the most effective herbs for reducing uterine spasm and cramping

Resources
There are 2 studies related to Cramp Bark and women's health