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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Could fennel beat PMT?

Happier: Seeds from the vegetable fennel could make PMT more bearable
Happier: Seeds from the vegetable fennel could make PMT more bearable

It's not to everyone’s taste, but fennel could help women overcome the monthly misery of pre-menstrual tension.

Young women given drops made from the liquorice-flavoured seeds of the plant felt less depressed and found it easier to do their jobs and get on with their friends and family.

It is thought that fennel helps  to rebalance the female sex  hormones blamed for some of the symptoms of PMT.

PMT affects around three-quarters of women, and up to 40 per cent of those say it damages their quality of life. In extreme cases, women can become violent and suffer from severe depression. 

There is also an economic impact, with research suggesting that time off and loss of productivity due to the condition costs employers around £3,000 per female staff member every year. 

Treatments range from simple dietary changes to hormones and anti-depressants. But they do not work for all and, in the case of drugs, can have side-effects.

Scientists in Iran, where fennel already has a variety of medical uses, tested its ability to stave off PMT on 36 women who were split into three groups.

The first took a fennel extract from three days before their period until three days afterwards.

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