A period is a natural and normal bodily function and should not cause pain however more than 83% of women report some kind of discomfort while on their periods including both physical and emotional upset.
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) is usually a result of some kind of imbalance in the body whether it be nutritional, physical or emotional.
A study from the Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice Journal aimed to compare the effects of the popular anti-inflammatory medication, mefenamic acid, found commonly in drugs like ibuprofen with chamomile extract for relieving PMS.
90 female students aged 18-35 were used in the study and were divided into two groups. One group received 100mg of chamomile extract and the other group received 250mg of mefenamic acid, three times daily on day 21 of their cycle until the next menstruation period (roughly 7 days).
The researchers then evaluated both their physical and psychological symptoms and found that those on the Chamomile extract had a significant reduction in emotional symptoms and pain.
The women were instructed to continue taking their prescribed pills for two cycles and by the end of the study the researches concluded that chamomile extract was more effective than mefenamic acid for regulating emotions and was just as effective as the mefenamic acid in treating pain.
“Consumption of chamomile seems to be more effective than mefenamic acid in relieving the intensity of PMS associated symptomatic psychological pains,” said the study. “Chamomile acts similar to MA in relieving physical symptoms.”
While the reason for chamomiles effectiveness has not been proven, researchers suggest that the anti-anxiety effect of the herb could help to calm the nervous system and therefore reduce PMS.