Help for Anxiety and Mood Swings in PMS
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Beth
Posted on: January 28, 2002

Can Black Cohosh be safely used while taking birth control pills as a means of reducing anxiety and mood swings associated with PMS?

Black Cohosh has estrogenic properties that you don’t want or need when taking birth control pills.

Amanda McQuade Crawford, in "Herbal Remedies for Women" (Prima Publishing), states that 80% of women with PMS have anxiety and emotional changes, characterized by elevated estrogen, low progesterone, irritability, nervous tension, mood swings and water retention, including breast tenderness. She finds that the best results come from cleansing the liver and using herbs that support the liver. In addition, McQuade states that it helps to decrease intake of caffeine, hot spices, animal fat, refined sugar and balancing her magnesium-to-calcium intake. She recommends supplements of calcium/magnesium in the ratio of 1000 mg magnesium and 800 mg. calcium, and vitamin B6 to reduce excess estrogen. The B vitamins, available in whole grains, provide support for the nervous system.

Liver support and cleansing are important because if the liver has a backlog of jobs such as processing fat, caffeine, alcohol and chemical food additives, estrogen in the blood stream may not be completely metabolized and excreted. Estrogen then remains cycling in the blood stream, causing an imbalance of hormones.

Herbs to consider are:

* Chamomile: calming, supports liver and digestion

* Skullcap: relaxing, supports the nerves, supports the liver

* Vervain (Verbena officinalis): relaxing, supports the liver

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