PMS is different for everyone, but I think most people with periods would get rid of it altogether if they could. Which is why the idea that a new supplement with bee pollen can “cure” PMSsounds pretty damn good. The supplement, Serenol, has been on the market for a year or so and is made up of Swedish flower pollen and royal jelly, which is a substance worker bees make to attract the queen and is rich in minerals. In Sweden, the extract used in Serenol has been used for years, according to New York magazine. The supplement hasn’t been approved by the FDA yet, but it’s supposed to raise serotonin levels.
Even the manufacturer doesn’t really know exactly why it’s supposed to work. JDS Therapeutics, the company that makes the supplement says on their website, “Serenol contains chromium picolinate, an insulin cofactor which helps with glucose metabolism and appetite control,” and 20 out of 50 women claim it helps with their symptoms. According to a 2002 study, there were no adverse side effects to the non-prescription, herbal remedy for all of your lunatic behaviors.
As of right now, the best help women can get for PMS comes from anti-depressants or birth control. Both of those are great if you need them on the regular as well, but taking an anti-depressant just because I plunge into the depths of hell in my brain once every few cycles has also unnerved me.
Who knows if it actually works or, like other herbal remedies, just sort of seems to work. Also, the website seems a little shady — you can call a 1-800 number to order it and there’s a weird pricing plan if you want to stock up (you have to take it twice a day, so it goes fast).
But there are women out there who swear by it or other herbal remedies. If you’re not into bee pollen, taking B6, ginkgo, St. John’s wort, and lemon balm are also supposed to help with anxiety and chill you the f..k out. Which is probably healthier than a bottle of wine, a comfy blanket, and a binge-session of Gilmore Girls. Or is it?
I’m a little torn about PMS remedies. Although I get severe mood swings, anxiety, and sometimes terrible cramps on rotation, I sort of enjoy PMS. Not because it’s an excuse to be a fu..ing lunatic, but because at this point in my life, when I start to feel a rage coming on around the third week of the month, I take it as a good sign that my body’s actually working and I need to remember to buy tampons. However, I’m pretty sure I quit a bartending job I needed once because I was PMS-ing. Oh, well. I totally understand that’s not the case for some people, and fluctuating hormone levels, especially if you’re already prone to severe depression, can get really scary.
Serenol seems harmless, so why not give bee pollen a shot if you can shell out $40 a month for it. Can’t hurt, right? It all comes down to how fu..ing crazy you feel and the lengths you’re willing to go to fix it. I vote no bee pollen and letting your PMS flag fly high.
Original by Karen Fratti