Peruvian Herbs Cured My PMS L; SELF - ALTERNIVELY SPEAKING
Byline: DR JOHN BRIFFA
LUCY SOMERSET, 36, from Glasgow, suffered severe pre-menstrual symptoms from when she was a teenager. For up to two weeks each month, Lucy would experience bloating and breast tenderness, coupled with extreme irritability and mood swings.
Over the years, she tried a variety of natural remedies to overcome the problem. While they had some impact, she would still feel incapacitated before each period.
Three months ago, Lucy consulted a medical herbalist, who recommended she try Maca, a little-known remedy for hormone-related problems which grows high up in the Peruvian Andes.
Almost immediately Lucy began to feel the benefit of the remedy, and today she is hardly aware of any pre-menstrual symptoms.
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is a term used to describe a range of symptoms which may be experienced up to two weeks before menstruation.
Common symptoms include fatigue, mood swings, depression, breast tenderness, fluid retention and food cravings. The condition is caused by hormonal changes in the second half of the menstrual cycle.
PMS is thought to affect about a third of women. A small but significant proportion of these women find symptoms severe and troublesome.
Lucy's difficulties with PMS started when she was in her teens. She says: 'For about two weeks each month, I would have some awful physical symptoms and I'd develop a Jekyll and Hyde personality, too. Each month, I would brace myself for what was to come.' Lucy had always had an interest in natural medicine and tried a variety of commonly used remedies for PMS, including evening primrose oil, B complex vitamins and magnesium. 'They helped me but I never felt they were getting to the core of the problem,' she adds.
Lucy finally sought the advice of a medical herbalist, who recommended she try Maca, an extract of a root vegetable used by the Peruvians to treat hormonal imbalance since before the time of the Incas.
Maca is thought to help regulate the production of hormones via the ovaries, and is rich in a range of nutrients including magnesium, zinc and iodine.
Despite its long history of use in South America, it has only recently become available in Britain.
Lucy started to take Maca in tincture form and soon noticed a dramatic improvement in her symptoms.
'Even in the first month, I felt much better,' she says. 'My physical symptoms were less noticeable and my mood much more stable.
'Since then, my PMS has been less and less of a problem, and I am at last beginning to feel like I used to before all of this began.'
MACA is available mail order from the Rio Trading Company, tel. 0181-938 3295.
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