When I consider how many menstruating women there are in the world, I think we could probably be having a lot more conversations about the natural ways to help us all feel comforted, pain-free and supported during our bleeds. I’m well up for these conversations, so here are 10 natural PMS remedies that I use to help manage my period.
Natural Remedies for PMT UK
All of the ten natural PMS remedies mentioned in this blog are available to source or create in the UK. I have been successfully managing my period with only these natural remedies for the past 7 years.
If you have a question about natural remedies for PMT in the UK or other eco friendly period products available in the UK, please send me a message or leave your question in the comments section below.
Natural PMS Remedies & Zero Waste Periods
We believe that periods can be zero waste. It’s fantastic to see a growing trend to managing period blood flow in a zero waste way with increased usage of items like period cups, period pants and reusable sanitary towels too. But what about zero waste PMS remedies?
If your menstrual cycle has you reaching for single use plastic wrapped paracetamol or bag upon bag of single use plastic wrapped chocolate, these ten natural PMS remedies will introduce new ways of managing your period pain and cravings, without the more wasteful environmental footprint that has become common place.
Are you looking to invest in a more eco friendly sanitary towel or tampon? If so, you might find my detailed review of the five most popular eco friendly period products helpful in making your decision.
My Top 10 Natural PMS Remedies
Below you’ll find my top 10 natural PMS remedies. All of them are low cost or free, easily available to try at home or in your local area and every single one supports the natural rhythm of the menstrual cycle.
I personally don’t recommend the use of additional hormones, toxic chemicals or the suppression of pain and free flowing emotions. I advocate for simple, cheap, old fashioned herbal remedies focused on natural health and your body’s cues.
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1. Watermelon for period headaches
In the build up to my period and in the first 1-3 days of my bleed, I experience intensely painful headaches. If you experience similar, hydration is key. Whilst drinking plenty of fresh, clean water regularly throughout the day is important, I find nothing hydrates me quicker or more effectively than fresh watermelon.
I buy a whole watermelon from a local greengrocer and chunk up bite size snacks in Tupperware that I store in the fridge. This way, my watermelon cravings are zero waste, refreshingly cold and ready with minimal effort when a headache strikes.
If you have too much watermelon left over, freeze it in small chunks too. I like to use frozen watermelon to make a thirst-quenching smoothie or fresh watermelon juice. This is a cost effective and eco friendly way of consuming watermelon.
2. Gentle Exercise for minor cramps
Menstrual cramps are possibly one of the most inconvenient and painful period symptoms. I experience deep stomach cramps between days 2 and 4 of my cycle each month. When this happens, I find that very gentle forms of exercise help to stretch and move the cramping muscles. It also takes my mind off the pain, temporarily at least.
Try yoga, non-competitive swimming or other breathing-based gentle exercises, like Breathwork. You don’t even need to leave the house for gentle exercise on your period. Find online teachers at ease or do what comes natural to you.
I find the yoga stretch that involves laying on my tummy and stretching my upper body away from the floor and up towards the ceiling is particularly helpful at relieving my stomach cramps when accompanied with deep breaths.
3. Nature to balance your hormones
If you find yourself feeling irritable, emotional or other sudden surges of energy that tip you off balance, there are a number of ways to balance yourself back out. I always find that being outside in nature helps me to find my equilibrium. If you are also experiencing cramps or lower back pain, a gentle walk outside will help with this too.
I often start a walk whilst on my period with a brisk few paces first, to get excess tension and stuck energy moving from my body. After this initial burst, I am then able to find a more gentle pace that suits my menstruating body and brings me a more regenerative emotional balance. Remember to enjoy big, outdoor, deep breaths too.
You may also like these 7 Tips to Stay Healthy.
4. Self care for restoring your energy
Rest. It may seem silly to some and ridiculously obvious to others but when you are on your period, it is vital to make time for rest. You must rest both your mind and your body and give in to the natural order of things. If you are keen to learn more about what this stage of your cycle is inviting you to do, a fabulous friend recommended the podcast Bleed + Succeed to me last year.
For certain, fighting the natural symptoms of PMS and carrying on as normal isn’t exactly what nature intended for this part of the cycle. Pay close attention to your energy levels and give in to rest as often as you can whilst bleeding.
For me, rest can mean 15-20 minute power naps, early nights with a gentle self massage for better sleep, entire days with no set plans … or a combination of all of the above.
5. Lavender for deep restorative sleep
Deep and restorative sleep is key. If you are not getting enough sleep or the sleep is of poor quality, you are likely to feel worse or experience worse period symptoms. Try sleeping and waking to the natural rhythms of the earth; going to bed when it gets dark and rising with or after the sun.
Lavender and chamomile herbal teas make an excellent pre-sleep natural remedy, as do relaxing pre-bed warm baths with a few drops of lavender essential oil. I grow fresh lavender in my garden for throwing into an evening bath or you could attempt your own homemade lavender bath bomb! I love the one featured on page 139 of this book: Grow Your Own Drugs.
If making your own lavender bath bomb feels like too much, I also highly recommend these plastic free lavender bath bombs from Green Pear Eco.
6. Dark chocolate for sugar cravings
Although it might be tempting to reach for sugar coated treats, what your body is really calling out for with menstrual cravings is nourishment. Wherever possible, avoid additional hormones from processed foods and chocolate that are likely to make you feel good temporarily, followed swiftly by not-so-great feelings, like increased inflammation in your body, stomach bloating and wind.
Wholefoods and dark chocolate for your increased appetite is best. I keep plenty of Brazil nuts, sweet fruits like cherries and nourishing rice based meals around at this time. These foods will replenish your body and nourish you from the inside out. Vegan and fair trade dark chocolate is also one of my period must-have foods.
7. Raspberry leaf tea for lightening heavy periods
On the first 1-3 days of my cycle, I bleed heavily. After that, my period becomes much more manageable. On my heaviest days, I turn to raspberry leaf tea … along with the double protection duo of both my menstrual cup AND a pair of period pants. Yep, heavy!
8. Homemade heat patches for back ache and cramps
I experience a dull lower back ache in the build up to my bleed and in the first 1-3 days of my period. This, along with menstrual cramps, can make those 3-5 days each month pretty miserable. I like to use a variety of natural heat methods to help my body find relief and relax my muscles in these areas.
A trusty old hot water bottle is a low cost, low maintenance solution with the added bonus that it can be re-used countless times. I often go to bed with one or snuggle up on the sofa when I have my period.
I also like to use heat patches for menstrual back ache. In order to avoid single use plastic waste, these are actually easy to make at home with natural ingredients like chillis and mustard. You’ll find an excellent homemade remedy for heat patches in this book: Grow Your Own Drugs.
9. Candle light for relaxation
When I am feeling the symptoms of my period, my body naturally urges me to go inwards. I feel less extroverted and more relaxed just being at home. I find myself sensitive to bright lights, amongst other unnatural things, at this time of the month.
Candle light and other natural forms of light like moonlight, sunrise and sunset, can help you feel in sync with your natural rhythms and relax your body and mind. Fragrances for candles like sage, jasmine, and lavender are excellent natural remedies for periods because of their unique healing properties.
10. Loose clothes for greater comfort
I try to keep my early menstrual cycle days as plan-free as possible. Although this is predominantly because I know my body needs rest at this stage and I won’t feel like being sociable as my hormones run a little wild, the main reason I do this is comfort.
At this time of the month the last thing I want is to be wearing a pinched-in high waisted skirt or a pair of jeans that feel restrictive when I sit down. I want sweat pants, sweatshirts, loose fitting dresses and t-shirts or big baggy hoodies.
Actually, pyjamas for days 1 to 3 works nicely for me. I want my bloated belly to feel able to do its thing and I want to be able to curl up, roll around and lounge at ease.
Natural PMS Remedies
The bleeding part of the menstrual cycle is an invitation to heal, recharge and let go. I hope you find these natural PMS remedies supportive for this stage and that they bring you comfort, relaxation, pain management and relieve any eco anxiety too.
If you have another great natural PMS remedy that you regularly use with success, please share it with me and other keen readers in the comment section below.