Megan Sheppard shares her knowledge of PMT and cellulitis and recommendations on what to take.
Every month I experience PMT which leaves me feeling low and tearful. Once my period starts, it’s as if a cloud lifts.
Is there a natural remedy I could take?
Agnus castus, also known as chasteberry or Monk’s Pepper, is one of the most versatile herbal remedies to help with PMT.
Originally from Southern Europe and Western Asia, Vitex agnus-castus now grows in most regions.
Monks used Vitex agnus-castus as an anaphrodisiac (to curb sexual desires), hence the common name, chasteberry.
It helps to balance out both physical and emotional pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS/PMT), and can also regulate bleeding (heavy or light flow, intermittent bleeding, unusually short or long cycles).
Many women use Agnus castus to help with fertility, particularly where follicular ovarian cysts, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, and endometriosis are underlying issues. It can also help to rebalance hormonal health following use of hormone-based contraception, such as the pill.
Unfortunately, Agnus castus doesn’t seem to have a significant effect on menstrual symptoms such as headaches, sugar cravings, dizziness, and palpitations. It is more likely to be of use in treating fluid retention, weight gain, acne or spots, mood swings, anxiety, and weepiness.
Agnus castus should not be taken alongside conventional hormone therapy or fertility drugs (contraceptive pill, HRT, Clomid).
Calcium and magnesium are important minerals for the menstrual cycle, since they are both crucial to muscle and nerve function. Magnesium also helps to regulate the oestrogen: progesterone balance, which in turn regulates mood.
Cal-M from G & G Vitamins is a highly bioavailable instant drink powder made from calcium, magnesium and organic cider vinegar, where one teaspoon contains 164mg calcium and 12.6mg magnesium. It is available here., where 100g of powder costs €12.47.
My elderly father is being treated for cellulitis, which has affected his lower legs. He’s making a good recovery but his energy levels are very low. What would you recommend?
Cellulitis can be very painful and uncomfortable. This is a bacterial infection that begins with the skin and causes swelling and tenderness in the underlying tissue.
While the pain and swelling is partially a result of the infection, it is also a side effect of the body working to heal the affected area.
The bacteria typically responsible for cellulitis are streptococci and staphylococci. Staphylococcus bacteria is common in cases where the cellulitis is due to an animal bite or an injury which has occurred in a natural body of water.
Streptococci tend to spread rapidly due to the production of enzymes that prevent the skin from containing the infected area.
Immune support is really crucial for your father, as this type of infection really puts a lot of stress on the immune system. Blackcurrant, astragalus, schisandra, reishi, cleavers, and pau d’arco are all important botanicals for immune regulation and should help to boost your father’s energy levels.
Kitchen herbs such as garlic, marjoram, and thyme are also great immune tonics.
Goldenseal is particularly effective as a topical agent, especially when you combine it with active manuka honey.
UMF 18 Manuka honey is active against the seven most common bacteria responsible for infection, including MRSA. The UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating of Manuka Honey indicates the strength —18 means that it is equivalent to at least an 18% phenol solution — four times greater than standard antiseptics.
Mix the honey with a few drops of goldenseal (a tincture preparation will work just fine) and apply to the affected area then cover with a clean bandage and leave it on overnight. During the day, change this dressing as necessary.
Exercise to improve lymphatic flow will help your father —he might like to try a form of deep breathing, such as Qi Gong. Yoga and Tai Chi are also useful in treating cellulitis, and are.