PMS symptoms occur because there is too much estrogen and not enough progesterone in the second phase of the menstrual cycle. I have experienced it through out my life with symptoms ranging from headaches to bloating and moodiness, to name a few. During my period I became nauseous and would frequently vomit, my moodiness was epic, so much so, my Auntie San, told me I should invest in Midol stock. (Really tho, Auntie?) Needless to say with the pain and discomfort, energy drainage, and other symptoms I experienced, I considered my period a burden. Plus, the stories I heard about it growing up painted such a dreary picture that I thought I was supposed to to suffer from it.
The menstrual cycle is one of the ways our bodies demonstrate harmony with the larger Universe. As the moon goes through its waxing and waning cycle, our body’s estrogen and progesterone levels increase and decrease, emulating the moon’s rhythm. Estrogen levels rise in the beginning phase of the cycle and fall during the second phase; whereas, progesterone rises in the second half of the cycle and falls just prior to bleeding begins.
Vitex (Agnus Castus)- is a plant ally that helps to modulate hormone levels and it has been beneficial in my journey. I have used my own hand-crafted vitex tincture over the past few months and have noticed an improvement in my PMS symptoms. My moodiness has decreased, cramps are decreasing in severity, and my breast do not swell or become very tender, alas, I still crave cookie dough. Vitex works through the hypothalamus-pituitary system to balance the hormones, it inhibits the release of follicle stimulating hormone, which indirectly increases the progesterone level in the second part of the menstrual cycle. Which corrects the increased level of estrogen, one of the causes of PMS, and normalizes prolactin levels the hormone responsible for tender breast.
Working to heal the lineage old traumas that have led to my hormonal imbalance I have been participating in acts of self love and self care; by tapping into my emotions as they raise to the surface and not holding judgment around them. This action gives my body space to feel and experience the emotion without adding the sting of judgment to it. Additionally, I write and dance to express what I am experiencing, creation is magical as it gives life to thoughts and ideas and we can all use a little magic in our lives.
I continue to harness the lessons my cycle teaches me and have learned to appreciate the signs my body shares with me before my period starts. I believe my intuition deepens as its signal increases with my approaching period. All of the little gut instincts that I chose to act upon or ignore during the month are echoed back to me, whether that echo is large or subtle depends on my receptivity to the message.
I’m fascinated about periods and the stories we grew up hearing, teaching us how we should feel about this natural cycle. And invite you to think about the stories you have been taught and the script you have developed as a result of those stories. From there what practices do you plan to utilize to dismantle those stories, and which tools will you use conjure up reproductive and hormonal wellness?
We all have the capacity for healing, our bodies were created for it
Wild Herban will be debuting its hand vitex blend on December 21, 2014 from 12-7 pm at Harriet’s Apothecary Bazaar in Brooklyn New York. Not in Brooklyn and don’t plan on being in Brooklyn, please follow my page to watch for the launch of my online store and receive a 20% discount on your first purchase from Wild Herban.