Herbal help for PMSTraditionally, medical herbalists have used Black Cohosh to relieve hot flushes in menopausal women, and St John's Wort to relieve psychological symptoms such as mood swings and mild depression.
What is less well known is that these same herbs were used traditionally to relieve a variety of PMS type symptoms including stomach cramps and low mood.
Premenstrual stomach cramps coupled with emotional symptoms such as unpredictable mood swings and irritability, can make daily life very uncomfortable and embarrassing for many women experiencing PMS.
It is thought that through its oestrogen-like effect, Black Cohosh may help suppress luteinizing hormones, increased levels of which may also increase the severity of PMS symptoms, whilst much research has shown that St John's Wort acts in a similar way to conventional anti-depressant drugs which modulate levels of serotonin in the brain to help improve mood.
MedicHerb Black Cohosh & St John's Wort contains dried, concentrated standardised extract of Black Cohosh, equivalent to 42mg of dried herb and standardised dried extract 300mg of St John's Wort. It is available in Boots or by mail order on 0845 456 7040 and costs £14.99 for 30 tablets. For further information, please call the customer care line on 01628 488487 or click onto www.medicherb.co.uk.
St John's Wort can interact with some prescribed medicines, including the contraceptive pill. If you are taking any medicines prescribed by your doctor, particularly digoxin, warfarin, ciclosporin, theophylline or medicines for epilepsy, migraine, depression or HIV, you should not take St John's Wort. If in doubt, please contact NAPS on 0870 777 2178.
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NAPS Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 17th September at St Bartholomew's Church Hall, Otford Village, Kent commencing at 1.30pm.
NAPS Chairman Mr Nicholas Panay will be hosting the meeting and will speak on the latest in developments for PMS treatments and initiatives.
Sexuality and PMS
When we posted a survey question asking visitors to our website whether PMS was adversely affecting their sex life, over 83% said it was!
PMS and its impact upon sexual relations is clearly a major issue and one that we will be covering in-depth during our PMS Week, commencing September 12.
During PMS Awareness Week, leading relationship psychologist and agony aunt, Susan Quilliam and PMS specialist, Annie Hawkins, will be on hand to consider how PMS can affect sexual relationships. "PMS symptoms can and do affect sexuality. PMS patients can have psychological, psychosexual and psychiatric problems. Some treatments can also adversely affect sexuality, particularly the SSRIs," says Annie Hawkins.
BBC on-line will be devoting a full page on its website to NAPS during this week. Just log on to http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/awareness_campaigns/sep_pms.shtml
PMS and the workplace
The issue of PMS and the workplace have been highlighted again. This time as a cause of concern amongst women using the NAPS Forum, which can be found on our website www.pms.org.uk
"I feel like I just want to quit my job and not do anything or maybe just work part time until I sort my PMS out, cos one thing's for sure - it won't go away until I receive the correct treatment!
I was a PA to two Directors at an Investment Bank, which I was very good at when I wasn't in the toilet crying or feeling uncontrollable emotionally. I consequently had to leave a great job. I since started a temp job. All of which was going very well until that time of the month came again and I had to leave during the day because of my anxiety attacks. Is there anyone else in a similar situation? I'd love to hear from you."
"I'm sorry I don't have any advice as I am also struggling to hold down a job. I have gone from job to job over the last eight years; I had to tell my current boss about my PMS as I was having more and more time off and was scared I would get the sack. I really wish there was something I could do from home, but my self confidence is so low I don't even feel like I'm capable of studying something new."
Many women are currently discussing their problems and difficulties in dealing with their menstrual health issues at their places of work. Are you experiencing difficulties at work? If so, please contact us and let us know.
Magnopulse target younger women
Magnopulse is to expand its Ladycare Lifetime range with the launch of a new model aimed at the younger female market in a Sparkling Pink.
According to the company, all the teenagers that have seen it love it, and it is quickly becoming fashionable to wear the pink button on the outside of clothes. In addition to the original blue range, used by over 150,000 ladies, it is now also available in black.
Designed specifically to help combat menstrual pains, Ladycare is a non-invasive, natural, drug-free device, which uses magnetic therapy to gently improve blood-flow to the pelvic area, working with the uterine muscles to improve circulation. Consumer trials have also shown it to be very effective in reducing mood swings, fibroids, polycystic ovaries as well as endometriosis. Ladycare can also help with teenage skin complaints. Small and discreet, Ladycare simply clips to the underwear in the pelvic area. For best results it should be worn a day or two before menstruation.
"Its powerful therapeutic magnets, together with its patented directional technology, help with the well-being of the whole body," explains managing director, Derek Price, who pioneered the product.
Medical researchers believe that Ladycare encourages more oxygen rich blood to reach the muscles of the uterus more effectively; this normally helps stop the build-up of lactic acid, which cause the cramps during menstruation. Supporting this, medical research conducted by Dr Nyjon Eccles, concluded that 7 out of 10 women who took part in his study reported a decrease in irritability and 58% claimed a reduction in PMS symptoms. Half of the women taking part reported a reduction in water retention and bloating and 38% noticed a reduction in spots.
The research paper is to be published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine later this month. You can view the research paper on www.magnopulse.com
Women's Health booklet
Tesco's Women's Health booklet is now available in store and includes a chapter dedicated to menstrual health, giving useful tips and advice from NAPS.
As well as advice on how to keep a menstrual chart to help monitor PMS symptoms, there is also information on healthy eating and exercise. Check it out and see for yourselves
Department of Health turns attention to PMS
NAPS welcomes the decision by the Department of Health to put information at the centre of the NHS and help it improve health and well-being rather than be just a service for treating illness.
As a clinically assured provider of menstrual health information, NAPS is keen to play a major part in this initiative.
Next year's Annual Clinical Conference, Menarche to Menopause will be held in Derby on February 17 2006.
The conference will take place at The Medical School, Derby City General Hospital. Bookings for this exciting conference will be taken from September. Early registration can be made via firstname.lastname@example.org.
New volunteer Alison Robertson in Cumbria has put out a plea for more PMS recipes which will enable us to forge ahead and compile our on-line cookbook.
We would be really grateful if you could share any of your favourite recipes with us. A photograph of the finished recipe would be an added bonus. Please send any recipes you have direct to ALISONLOU10@aol.com or to NAPS at email@example.com. We look forward to trying some out.
New herbal medicines regulation
Following a number of concerns from members regarding the new regulations for herbal remedies sold over the counter, we found it necessary to bring members up-to-date.
Leading herbal company supports NAPS
German herbal medicine company, Lichtwer Pharma, is continuing its corporate sponsorship for NAPS
Herbal medicine and women's health
Herbalist Carol Davies talks us through herbal remedies for menstrual problems