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For most women, a monthly period — along with the dreaded week or two that precedes it — is just an unfortunate fact of life that we’ve learned to live with. Sure, there are some blessed souls who somehow remain consistently unscathed by their flow, but most women suffer from some cocktail of assorted symptoms during that time of the month. Cramps, tender breasts, seemingly out-the-blue moods swings that require major damage control, and of course an insatiable appetite matched with endless cravings and belly bloat are just a few of many common side effects that we get to experience as a woman with a cycle.
As if that weren’t enough, some women also experience more severe behavioral and physiological symptoms around their cycle that can significantly impact multiple facets of daily life, from relationships to performance at work. Depression, anxiety, insomnia and loss of energy are also common PMS symptoms, and while they may only last for a week or two, they can be downright crippling when your just trying to live. If your period and PMS symptoms are impacting significantly interfering with your life and overall sense of well-being, you may be suffering from a fairly uncommon disorder called PMDD (Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder).
Of course, if you think you might have PMDD, it’s important to speak to your doctor about possible treatments and lifestyle changes may help you feel more like yourself during the time of the month. However, if you’re looking for an over-the-counter fix to help put you out of your misery (besides wine and chocolate), there are a few natural supplements, herbs and vitamins that have been clinically shown help make the time of the month suck a little bit less. See below for some of our favorite natural supplements to help you stay sane and ache-free pre-period.
1. HUM Nutrition Moody Bird
HUM’s Moody Bird supplement contains an assortment of PMS-soothing ingredients and herbal remedies, including Dong Quai, which has been found to help clean blood and promote balanced levels of estrogen, and Chaste Berry (a.k.a “the women’s herb”).
2. Go With The Flow Hormonal Balance & Relief
This vegan supplement contains a blend of herbal ingredients linked with improving symptoms of PMS and promoting balanced levels of hormones. It contains Chasteberry, Gelatinized Maca Root, Black Cohosh Root, and Dong Quai, which are have all been shown to help reduce bloating, mood swings, cramps, low-energy and hot flashes.
3. Balanced Femme Liquid Herbal Formula
This liquid supplement is a great alternative to capsules and chewables if they’re not really your thing. It uses a blend of six herbs including Vitex, Dong Quai, Black Cohosh, Wild Yam, Maca Root, and Red Raspberry Leaf to help soothe cramps, boost energy and even balance estrogen levels in the endocrine system. Because it’s a liquid formula, the body is able to better absorb the ingredients (therefore making it more effective than capsules) according to the manufacturer.