Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and Herbs – Milk Thistle

Premenstrual syndrome effects over 70% to 90% of women before menopause in US and less for women in Southeast Asia because of their diet. It is defined as faulty function of ovaries related to women menstrual cycle, it effects the women physical and emotional state and sometimes interference with daily activities as resulting of hormone fluctuation. The syndrome happens in one or two weeks before menstruation and then declining when the period starts. It is said the symptoms can be so severe that between 10-15% of women have to take time off work, costing businesses millions of dollars a year. In this article, we will discuss how milk thistle effects women with PMS.

I. Definition

Milk thistle is a flower plant belongs to the daisy family, it has been used in traditional medicine in treating constipation and liver detoxifying.

II. How milk thistle effect women with PMS

1.Liver function

Even thought many researches have been studied for its possible medical uses in liver as liver tonics herb since the 1970s, but the results are inconclusive. Herbalists believe that milk thistle is helpful in treating liver cirrhosis, hepatitis and toxin-induced liver damage resulting in increasing the liver function in carbohydrate synthesis and fat and protein metabolism thereby, reducing the risk of nervous tension and hormone imbalance.


It has been used as laxative in improving the movement of stool in the large intestine resulting in lessening the risk of premenstrual pain and cramps caused by constipation for some women.

3. Silymarin

The chemical compound silymarin in milk thistle helps to reduce the oxidative damage to kidney cells in vitro thereby, increasing the function of kidney in urinary secretion resulting in lessening the risk of water retention in the body tissues.

4. Fatty acids

Milk thistle contain high levels of fatty acids,they help to improve the liver function in regulating the levels of estrogen caused by unhealthy diet with high in saturated and trans fat thereby, lessing the risk of high levels of bad estrogen before and after ovulation.

5. Linoleic acid.

It also contains linoleic acid which is important for helping GLA conversion. Without enough linoleic acid, our body may end up with too much PGE2 and little PGE1 resulting in increasing the risk of pre menstrual pain and cramps.