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by Dr. Daniel J. Heller
The supplement industry has begun to promote the herb Saffron as a natural PMS remedy, based on a study from Iran from 2007 that found that saffron, an exotic spice that was as valuable as gold in ancient Europe, helps relieve PMS symptoms. This sounds promising, if only because there is actually a little science behind it: the study double-blind and placebo-controlled, and published in a relatively reputable journal.
However, this says more about the tendency of the supplement industry to want to be appear scientific than to actually be scientific. The real reason Saffron is being promoted is because it’s new, and it’s foreign and exotic, and these are the types of products that drive sales in the supplement industry.
The truth is, though, that a single study doesn’t make a product scientific, even when it’s a very good study. The essence of science is “reproducibility”, which means you can repeat a result, just like you can reliably turn on a light by flipping a switch. Turning on the light is a reproducible result. The next study on saffron may have different results, so you need more than one study to make something “scientifically proven.” Unfortunately, in the last 5 years, there have not been any more studies on saffron for PMS – so the only thing anyone can say about saffron and PMS is that it requires more study.
On the other hand, there are many natural products that have been the subject of multiple studies for PMS relief, but the supplement industry doesn’t trumpet them because they’re not new. Vitex, or Chastetree—which is an exotic herb, with origins in the middle east—is the best proven herb or supplement for PMS, and is the number one prescription for PMS in Europe. Yes, in many parts of Europe, doctors prescribe herbs for health conditions.
Calcium supplement is an effective natural PMS remedy and has the studies to prove it. Magnesium supplement works for PMS, as does vitamin B6. None of these are new, exotic, or sexy, so you’re less likely to hear about them or encounter any marketing for them. We here at PMS Comfort discuss and recommend them because they’re scientifically proven to work, with multiple studies proving their results are reproducible.
Evening Primrose Oil is an example of something that showed initial promise, but in multiple scientific studies it was found that it actually doesn’t work for PMS.
There are other things that work for natural PMS relief that you’ll never hear about from the supplement marketers: caffeine avoidance, healthy diet, and other things you can do yourself that don’t cost a penny.
The take-home here is that the marketing of science often has more marketing than science in it.
by PMS Comfort
by Dr. Daniel J. Heller