Ask an Herbalist: PMDD

Samantha Asks,

Do you have any remedies for PMDD? Mine becomes extremely debilitating, I'll cry for days, be angry with myself and everyone around me, become hateful and malicious, and have constant anxiety until after my period starts.... I just want it to stop.





Hello hun,


There are for sure some Plant allies that can help you but let's dive into some other stuff first. I've seen time and time again Women counter their pmdd with optimal nutrition and nourishing herbal infusions. Now I know that you have had an on-again off-again vegetarian diet ( to the readers I do know this wonderful lady somewhat in person.) But I really want you to focus on healthy animal fats.


Now I know that you're eating a small amount of ethically-sourced meat and while that's great I'd really love for you to focus on getting more nutrient-dense fat in regards of how you're preparing it. Think bone broth with marrow filled bones, think adding more grass-fed butter to all the things you cook, think eating two or more cups of plain yogurt a day, think dairy like crazy assuming you're not allergic, think full fat milk especially if you can get your hands on some unhomogenized, replace creamer with full on cream.


I know a lot of people hear this and I say oh my gosh I'm going to gain weight so fast eating like this but that’s not generally the case with these type of fats.. The ones that make us gain weight quickly are the fats that our body can't process such as saturated fats from vegetable based oils, think all things unnatural. As in they can’t exist without the sincere effort of altercation. Of course being active is very important to our health too.


Next thing is while I know you eat a lot of vegetables are they very well cooked? Did you know that our body doesn't get very much nutrition from raw or undercooked vegetables? So the way it works is that the cellular structure of a vegetable is tough that's why we have to cook them to soften them. Our gut has a hard time breaking down the structure of the cells to reach the nutrition within when they are raw. So it's really really important that vegetables be cooked low and slow for a good amount of time. Now I'm not saying you can't ever eat a raw vegetable again it's just important that I'd say 90% of your vegetable intake is well cooked.


Meat is the other way around. The cellular structure of all meat is soft when raw and easily digestible however we know that it's not necessarily safe to just go around eating raw meat. So when we cook meat it gets tough but what does it do when we cook it for a really long time? It gets soft again! So the trick with meat is either to eat your steaks pretty raw which is to me delicious haha but I know that's not the case for everybody or cook your meat very low and very slow for a long extended period of time so the toughened up cell structure can once again break down into a more digestible state. So you know think Crock-Pot, think long cooked pot roast think it needs to fall off the bone. This will also help release some of the fats in it and in turn make them more readily digestible.


The next thing I really suggest is to look into nourishing herbal infusions drinking a cup or two daily especially stinging nettle infusion, red raspberry leaf infusion, red clover blossom infusion and oat straw infusion.


The nettle itself is one of the most nutrient-dense plants on the planet it has more nutrients than even blue green algae and it's cheap! You can buy it by the pound dried from somewhere like Frontier herbals or Mountain Rose Herbs. An infusion is just long brewed tea, basically you just dump boiling water over 1 oz by weight of dried plant matter in a quart jar, you fill it to the top, put a cap on it, let it sit for 4 hours strain and drink a cup a day. But here's a quick video that shows how to do it. It's best to drink nettle cold as the rush of energy we get from her true stamina building ability can kind of make us nauseous if drank warm. It's also better to add salt to her than it is try to sweeten her. But you can also add this to your food I mean you can take the dried plant matter and start adding it into soups and whatever else you're making you just use it like a spice and get it into your body however you can well within reason haha!


Red raspberry leaf is a loving ally that aids our womb health and our whole cycle health sadly many only lean on her when they are trying to become pregnant or when they are pregnant or in late stages of pregnancy but really she is an amazing ally at supporting women in all of our stages that and she tastes amazing with sweet cream!


Red clover is a very powerful ally she is specific for hormone support a lot of people think their hormones are out of balance, the thing is if our hormones where ever actually in balance we would be very ill if not dead that's because they're fluctuating constantly in our body reacting to things such as the moon cycle, our own cycles, stress, the amount of light we have in our room when we sleep, the volatile essential oils all around us and so much more. But the thing is with red clover she's a natural blood thinner so you don't really want to be drinking more her for more than 4 days in a row that way if you cut yourself you know you don't bleed out. However this is a really good ally to sync up with in your infusion drinking cycle with your period coming because she'll thin the blood and make the cramping less.


Oat straw is pretty fantastic she's a natural nervine meaning she calms us down! She's also loaded with calcium, that and basically everything you’ve ever heard about oatmeal being good for you the straw of Oats is better. She actually has higher nutritional value when made into a nourishing herbal infusion. So she would be a great ally to work with during that week or two of chaos before you start to bleed to help you stay calm. Also since you've made babies with that body of yours you can use all the calcium from naturally occurring sources you can get. She tastes pretty good with sweet cream just like the raspberry leaf as well as the red clover all three of those take pretty well to being sweetened.


So the way this is going to work is you get your herbs for infusing buy at least a half a pound each because it takes an ounce per infusion. So let's say there's four cups in a quart and you're going to drink at the very least a cup a day so each infusion made will last you four days. So for four days you drink stinging nettle infusion, for four days you drink red raspberry leaf infusion, for four days you drink red clover infusion and for the final four days you drink oat straw infusion which  brings you to the end of the cycle and you start all over again with the nettle. This takes a little bit of time but most people when they add nourishing herbal infusions into their life within a month or two are astounded how much their health improves overall and the lessoned symptoms of pmdd should be pretty remarkable.


There are for sure a few other things that you can have on hand to help you not so much get those emotions under control I don't like when people say that but to take the edge off of them so you can process them a bit easier I guess I'd say. There are some herbs that can hold your hand through this cycle every month.


I would look into getting the following tinctures making sure that all of them have been made with fresh plant matter not dried plant matter. The first one would be motherwort she is so calming yet not quite sedating so you can safely use her during the day while chasing around your kids or in any other situation. Basically I like to use her in moments of rage you know how it feels like when it starts to creep up and you feel it building and you see it coming and it just there's nothing you can do about it. You're basically a prisoner to anger. If you reach for motherwort tincture a gentle yet powerful nervine and put a half dropperful under your tongue your state of mind will change to a calmer one I promise.


A few more that come to mind are Catnip tincture as well as California poppy tincture. While I don't advocate non single herb tinctures these two while I won't blend them in the same bottle I will use them at the same time. the catnip can really put you down in a good way like it can take you down to that calm level that you're looking for and the California poppy (don't worry she contains no opiates) will really take that frayed edge off you know that feeling you have of just about falling over into it,  where you're just walking on the edge of all this anger and fear and you feel it any moment it's just going to be too much she is just great at pulling us back from the edge and allowing us to take a moment to gain perspective. Not to mention she's amazing at helping with pain relief  but so is the catnip so you can use both of these right through your cycle.


The next thing that I absolutely want you to do before the cycle starts all over again is allow yourself to get fucking angry. I am not trying to assume anything about you personally but I know sometimes women in general hold back reactions for the sake of a harmonious existence. We swallow down little events everyday telling ourselves just to let it go. However this rage builds up in all of us and when we get close to our cycle we are in such a state of release with a physical release like we are actually getting ready to release an entire month's worth of anticipating life that didn't grow and all of the energy is just ripped out of us and if we think that we can only allow it to let this one bit out and not everything else that we've built up throughout the month we are lying to ourselves.


So I'm not saying to go around just being an asshole to everybody I'm saying that acknowledge these things that are bothering you on a daily basis that are done by people who either are not listening to your needs or don't even realize they're doing something that bothers you. While I'm know your kids are young it still applies even if they don't necessarily change their behavior it's just healthy to let out those things that bug us as they happen. It builds healthy boundaries.


Also find a place to scream even if it's into a pillow, find something you can break, beat the shit out of something not living with a baseball bat. Don't be afraid to allow this rage and anger to come out as long as you're directing it at something that won't physically feel pain because then you're not so worried about holding all this back and you learn to let it out in healthier ways. Because I'm pretty sure that when we let this rage out we in so many ways make room for growth and for joy to come in on a deeper level.


So I would try to look at your pmdd as a tool to improve your health through Optimum nourishment as well as letting some anger out in a healthy manner.


I really really hope some of this was helpful for you hun and everyone else reading.


Kindest regards,


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