Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – Basics

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a set of emotional and physical symptoms that appear 5 to 11 days before the beginning of a woman’s menstrual period. These symptoms include bloating, headache, constipation, joint inflammation, abdominal pain and cramps, painful menstruation, nausea, weight gain, breast tenderness, food cravings, anxiety, irritability, depression, fatigue, altered sex drive and others.

Premenstrual syndrome is considered as liver qi dysfunction in Chinese Medicine theory. The commonly used points include: LV3 Taichong, GB34 Yanglingquan, BL18 Ganshu.

The commoly used herbal formulae include Chaihu Shugan San and Jia Wei Xiaoyao Wan.


A SR in 2014 included no new evidence (1)

Insufficient evidence (Hofmeister 2016 – Narrative review) (2)


1. Jang SH, Kim DI, Choi MS. Effects and treatment methods of acupuncture and herbal medicine for premenstrual syndrome/premenstrual dysphoric disorder: systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014;14:11.

2. Hofmeister S, Bodden S. Premenstrual Syndrome and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Am Fam Physician. 2016 Aug 1;94(3):236-40.