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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Related Terms

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a disorder that causes physical and emotion symptoms. It affects women 1 to 2 weeks before their period. PMS can cause mood swings, headache, and bloating.

Medicine, therapy, and healthy habits can help ease symptoms. Natural therapies have also been used to do this.

Natural Therapies

May Be Effective

These therapies may help ease symptoms:

  • Acupuncture and acupressure A1-A4
  • Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils to promote well-being.C3-C5
  • Calcium is an essential nutrient found in dairy products. It can also be taken as a supplement. ( Note : It should not be taken by people who have heart problems.)B2, B12, B23
  • Chamomile is an herb that comes from the flowers of a daisy-like plant.B20
  • Chasteberry is a small berry that can be taken as a supplement.B1, B4, B5, B7-B10, B13
  • Citrus aurantium is a bitter orange fruit. It can be used as an essential oil. ( Note : It is likely safe to use an essential oil, but should not be taken by mouth.)B14
  • Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, which is a spice.B19
  • Gingko leaves can be taken as a supplement or made into a tea.B3
  • Vitamin B1 is found in nuts, beans, and yeast. It can also be taken as a supplement.B11
  • Vitamin D is a nutrient that is needed for health and to maintain strong bones.B18
  • Vitex agnus castus is a flowering plant.B15, B16
  • Yoga is an exercise that uses body poses and breathing.C1, C2
  • Zinc sulfate is used by the body to make healthy, new cells.B17

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Chromium B21
  • St. John's wort B22
  • Progesterone B6

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • Calcium should not be taken by people who have heart problems.
  • Citrus aurantium should not be taken by mouth by people taking sedatives, or medicine for depression or cystic fibrosis.



A1. Armour M, Ee CC, et al. Acupuncture and acupressure for premenstrual syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;8:CD005290.

A2. Jang SH, Kim DI, et al. Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Jan 10;14:11.

A3. Carvalho F, Weires K, et al. Effects of acupuncture on the symptoms of anxiety and depression caused by premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Acupunct Med. 2013 Dec;31(4):358-363.

A4. Kim SY, Park HJ, et al. Acupuncture for premenstrual syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BJOG. 2011 Jul;118(8):899-915.

A5. Cho SH, Kim J. Efficacy of acupuncture in management of premenstrual syndrome: a systematic review. Complement Ther Med. 2010 Apr;18(2):104-111.

Herbs and Supplements

B1. He Z, Chen R, et al. Treatment for premenstrual syndrome with Vitex agnus castus: A prospective, randomized, multi-center placebo controlled study in China. Maturitas. 2009;63(1):99-103.

B2. Ghanbari Z, Haghollahi F, et al. Effects of calcium supplementation therapy in women with premenstrual syndrome. Taiwan J Obstet Gynecol. 2009;48(2):124-129.

B3. Ozgoli G, Selselei EA, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome. J Altern Complement Med. 2009;15(8):845-851.

B4. Ma L, Lin S, et al. Evaluating therapeutic effect in symptoms of moderate-to-severe premenstrual syndrome with Vitex agnus castus (BNO 1095) in Chinese women. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2010;50(2):189-193.

B5. Ma L, Lin S, et al. Treatment of moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome with Vitex agnus castus (BNO 1095) in Chinese women. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010;26(8):612-616.

B6. Ford O, Lethaby A, et al. Progesterone for premenstrual syndrome. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012;(3):CD003415.

B7. Ambrosini A, Di Lorenzo C, et al. Use of Vitex agnus-castus in migrainous women with premenstrual syndrome: an open-label clinical observation. Acta Neurol Belg. 2012;113(1):25-29.

B8. Schellenberg R, Zimmermann C, et al. Dose-dependent efficacy of the Vitex agnus castus extract Ze 440 in patients suffering from premenstrual syndrome. Phytomedicine. 2012;19(14):1325-1331.

B9. Zamani M, Neghab N, et al. Therapeutic effect of Vitex agnus castus in patients with premenstrual syndrome. Acta Med Iran. 2012;50(2):101-106.

B10. Momoeda M, Sasaki H, et al. Efficacy and safety of Vitex agnus-castus extract for treatment of premenstrual syndrome in Japanese patients: a prospective, open-label study. Adv Ther. 2014;31(3):362-373.

B11. Abdollahifard S, Rahmanian Koshkaki A, et al. The effects of vitamin B1 on ameliorating the premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Glob J Health Sci. 2014;6(6):144-153.

B12. Shehata NA. Calcium versus oral contraceptive pills containing drospirenone for the treatment of mild to moderate premenstrual syndrome: a double blind randomized placebo controlled trial. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2016;198:100-104.

B13. Mirghafourvand M, Mohammed-Alizadeh-Charandabi S, et al. Effects of Vitex agnus and Flaxseed on cyclic mastalgia: A randomized control trial. Complement Ther Med. 2016;(24):90-95.

B14. Heydari N, Abootalebi M, et al. Investigation of the effect of aromatherapy with Citrus aurantium blossom essential oil on premenstrual syndrome in university students: A clinical trial study. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2018;32:1-5.

B15. Cerqueira RO, Frey BN, et al. Vitex agnus castus for premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder: a systematic review. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2017 Dec;20(6):713-719. .

B16. Verkaik S, Kamperman AM, et al. The treatment of premenstrual syndrome with preparations of Vitex agnus castus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Aug;217(2):150-166.

B17. Siahbazi S, Behboudi-Gandevani S, et al. Effect of zinc sulfate supplementation on premenstrual syndrome and health-related quality of life: Clinical randomized controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2017 May;43(5):887-894.

B18. Tartagni M, Cicinelli MV, et al. Vitamin D Supplementation for Premenstrual Syndrome-Related Mood Disorders in Adolescents with Severe Hypovitaminosis D. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2016 Aug;29(4):357-361.

B19. Khayat S, Fanaei H, et al. Curcumin attenuates severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2015 Jun;23(3):318-324.

B20. Sharifi F, Simbar M, et al. Comparison of the effects of Matricaria chamomila (Chamomile) extract and mefenamic acid on the intensity of premenstrual syndrome. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2014 Feb;20(1):81-88.

B21. Brownley KA, Girdler SS, et al. Chromium supplementation for menstrual cycle-related mood symptoms. J Diet Suppl. 2013 Dec;10(4):345-356.

B22. Canning S, Waterman M, et al. The efficacy of Hypericum perforatum (St John's wort) for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. CNS Drugs. 2010 Mar;24(3):207-225.

B23. Whelan AM, Jurgens TM, et al. Herbs, vitamins and minerals in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: a systematic review. Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Fall;16(3):e407-429. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

Other Therapies

C1. Ghaffarilaleh G, Ghaffarilaleh V, et al. Effects of Yoga on Quality of Sleep of Women With Premenstrual Syndrome. Altern Ther Health Med. 2019 Sep;25(5):40-47.

C2. Ghaffarilaleh G, Ghaffarilaleh V, et al. Yoga positively affected depression and blood pressure in women with premenstrual syndrome in a randomized controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2019 Feb;34:87-92.

C3. Heydari N, Abootalebi M, et al. Evaluation of aromatherapy with essential oils of Rosa damascena for the management of premenstrual syndrome. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2018 Aug;142(2):156-161.

C4. Uzunçakmak T, Ayaz Alkaya S. Effect of aromatherapy on coping with premenstrual syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2018 Feb;36:63-67.

C5. Matsumoto T, Kimura T, et al. Does Japanese Citrus Fruit Yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka) Fragrance Have Lavender-Like Therapeutic Effects That Alleviate Premenstrual Emotional Symptoms? A Single-Blind Randomized Crossover Study. J Altern Complement Med. 2017 Jun;23(6):461-470.

Last reviewed May 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC