BY SANDRA GUY
Researchers are finally including women’s health issues — and that includes Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) — in global data analysis.
New research published in July shows that women in developing countries still struggle to safely manage their periods, and lack access to menstrual products, water and private places to wash and change.
The report, by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, found that about one in five girls and women in Ethiopia, Samoa and Laos, and one in seven in Niger and Burkina Faso, used no suitable menstrual products during their periods, putting them at risk of infection and other health problems.
Other research shows that a berry — the chaste tree berry — acts to relieve PMS, especially anger, headache, irritability, depressed mood, and breast pain or tenderness. The berry comes from the chaste tree’s dried ripe fruit.
That’s nothing new, though, because sources indicate the chaste tree berry has been used as a women’s health botanical at least 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece.
It’s believed that it works on the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland that regulates vital body functions by controlling the activity of most other glands that secrete hormones.
It’s believed the mechanism may be action on dopamine receptors, which decrease thyrotropin releasing hormone and prolactin levels, alleviating PMS symptoms.
Research on these and other issues have expanded in the past 28 years. That’s when then-President Bill Clinton signed a law requiring that women and people of color be included in federally funded health research.
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