Ask The Herb Lady

Cathy Burkemper


Q: There are four women in my household, ranging between the ages of 16 and 48. We all deal with symptoms of PMS, but not the same set of symptoms. Could we all benefit from taking the same supplements?

A: That is a tough question to answer without knowing the exact symptoms. I’ll just go over the four basic types of PMS and what generally helps correct the problems. These are typically due to hormonal imbalances, so the goal is to bring the hormones into complete balance, using herbs, vitamins and/or diet.

PMS-A (Anxiety Type) – This person exhibits irritability, mood swings, anxiety and nervous tension. Poor nutrition can cause liver congestion and aggravates the condition. Try to avoid fat and dairy products. Use blood purifiers that promote the flow of bile from the liver. Magnesium and progesterone cream may also be helpful.

PMS-C (Craving Type) – This person craves food, especially sugar. Symptoms range from headache, dizziness and fatigue. It is associated with low prostaglandins and low blood sugar. Eat small, frequent meals with no table salt. Avoid simple sugars and starches. Evening primrose, licorice root and magnesium may help.

PMS-D (Depression Type) – This is the classic depressed person. They may cry a lot, be forgetful, confused and can’t sleep. This usually indicates low estrogen, high progesterone and elevated aldosterone. Check magnesium levels as they are generally low. B-Complex is a must and add extra magnesium. Black cohosh and dong quai may also be needed.

PMS-H (Hyperhydration Type) – This person has weight gain because of fluid retention, breast tenderness and swelling of the hands and feet. Diuretic herbs such as dandelion, parsley and juniper berries may be helpful.

If problems persist, you should have your hormones tested to see exactly what is going on.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011. www.morethanherbsonline.com.

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