Water retention, mood swings, sore breasts, and indigestion are problems experienced by many women in the week preceding menstruation. Here are a few tips from Susun Weed's best-selling book, NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way (Alternatives for Women 30-90) to help ease these discomforts.
TO RELIEVE WATER RETENTION
1. 10-20 drops of dandelion root tincture in a cup of water with meals and before bed.
2. A strong infusion (one ounce of dried herb in a quart of boiling water, brewed overnight) of the common weed, stinging nettle, not only relieves, but also helps prevent further episodes of water retention. Weed says she drinks a cup or more of this infusion daily whenever she wants to nourish her kidneys and adrenals.
TO MODERATE MOOD SWINGS
3. Tincture of the flowering tops of fresh motherwort is a favorite calmative of herbalist Weed. She uses 5-10 drops in a small amount of water as a dose, which she repeats as needed, sometimes as frequently as 3-4 times an hour, until the desired effect is achieved. "I never feel drugged or groggy or out-of-it when I use motherwort to help me calm down," she says.
4. For women who consistently feel premenstrual rage, use 20-30 drops of motherwort tincture twice a day for a month to help stabilize mood swings. Make it a priority to take a moon day - one day right before or at the start of the menstrual flow which is set aside for you and you alone.
5. One or more cups of an infusion of the herb oatstraw (the grass of the plant that gives us oatmeal) helps the nerves calm down and provides a rich source of minerals known to soothe frazzled emotions.
TO RELIEVE CONGESTION AND TENDERNESS IN THE BREASTS
6. 20-30 drops of the tincture of cleavers, another common weed, works wonders. This plant, also called "goose grass", was used as a black tea substitute by the colonists. The dose may be repeated every hour or up to 6 times a day.
7. Women who get a lot of calcium and magnesium from their diet (leafy greens, yogurt, and many herbs are rich in these minerals) have less breast tenderness. Increase the minerals in your diet with a cup or more of red clover/mint infusion daily.
8. Large cabbage leaves, steamed whole until soft, and applied as warm as tolerable, can be used as a soothing compress on breasts which are sore and swollen.
TO RELIEVE DIGESTIVE DISTRESS
9. A daily dose of 1 teaspoonful/5ml yellow dock root vinegar.
10. A cup of yogurt in the morning (buy it plain and add fruit at home) replaces gut flora and ensures easy digestion all day long.