PMS & PMDD Folk Cures: Banana Bread For Libido?

by Dr. Daniel J. Heller September 9, 2011

A Yahoo health site recently had a headline that looked interesting to me: “Natural Remedies For Hormonal Health Problems.” That’s certainly enough to get me clicking. Are they going to talk about soy? Calcium? Black cohosh and red clover for menopausal hot flashes?

Maybe. The story did cover soy and calcium, but some of the posts were…different. More like “Boost Your Libido With Banana Bread.” I’m not making this up. Although it was based on a real research study, I’m guessing this wasn’t the most rigorous study ever. The researchers found that smelling, but not eating, banana bread increases pelvic blood flow. They probably didn’t compare smelling banana bread to smelling chocolate chip cookie or cologne or moldy salsa, or anything else. That’s fine, but banana bread for medical purposes? Most people don’t need more sugar and calories, anyway. I wonder if smelling bananas themselves would do the same thing, but now we’re getting into dangerous territory, talking about bananas and libido. The blurb didn’t say if the experiment was conducted with men or women, or both, or whether sexual orientation was taken into account.

The next blurb was “Eat Beef For Heavy Menstrual Flow.”  This was covered on the first day of gynecology 101 or nutrition 101 in medical school: it’s true, iron-deficiency anemia can lead to heavy periods, and it’s true eating beef can help with anemia, of course. So can taking non-constipating iron-bis-glycinate. I recommend taking two capsules per day with meals, along with 500 milligrams vitamin C. Vitamin C helps you absorb iron more efficiently, regardless of the source. Even beef. Which, by the way, I’m not sure I include in the pantheon of natural remedies, what with its saturated fat content; if conventionally-raised, it’s probably hormone and antibiotic content; and the fact that, for many people, it’s constipating.

Then there was how to “Prevent Pelvic Pain With Mineral Water.” Seriously? They must be thinking that all mineral water has a therapeutic dose of magnesium, which isn’t true. Want to find out about remedies for pelvic pain? 

Next up: “Make Menstrual Migraines A Memory With Veggies.” Although we are big fans of alliteration, menstrual migraines can be very complicated, and just eating more veggies is probably not enough to put a dent in them for most women. However—eat more veggies! As a holistic doctor, I couldn’t agree with that advice more. It doesn’t matter if you have menstrual migraines — if you’re a living breathing human, you can’t go wrong eating more veggies. Five or six servings a day is not too many. And learn more about natural relief of menstrual migraines, here.

Then we have “Prevent Irritability With Baked Potatoes.” This potato theory can be traced back to the book, Potatoes Not Prozac which advanced the idea that starchy foods cause your body to release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps control anxiety and depression. We haven’t met too many people who are able to feel better just from eating potatoes. Replacing Prozac® with potatoes just won’t fly for most people who need help with their moods. And, most Americans eat an excess of starchy food anyway, and probably layer too much butter, bacon, and sour cream on their baked potatoes. Baked yams are a better choice because of their exceptional beta-carotene content, an anti-oxidant and non-toxic source of vitamin A. Substitute extra-virgin olive oil for the butter and you’re getting healthier already!

I’m going to leave this here for today, but I’ll be continuing to review this “banana bread as hormonal remedy” article, both for entertainment and education value.

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About The PMS Comfort Blog

The PMS Comfort Blog is our informal way of keeping you up to date on women’s health issues that we think are important; timely; underappreciated; useful; or just interesting. And, we’ll admit, sometimes we can’t resist poking some good-natured fun at the way the mainstream media portrays health, natural health, and women’s health issues. As always, we’d love to hear from you and are interested in knowing what you think and feel about these or other topics. Leave a comment for us, we’ll always respond. And, if there’s a women’s health topic that’s of interest to you, or that you find confusing, let us know! We want this blog to be helpful to you.


Dr. Daniel Heller is the primary author of this blog, the developer of our PMS Natural Relief Programs, and the founder of He is a holistic naturopathic doctor in Northern California with over 16 years experience helping thousands of women recover from PMS, PMDD, as well as helping women, children, and families find natural answers to all manner of health challenges.


PMS Comfort is here to support you with detailed, practical knowledge presented in a balanced manner you can trust. We are committed to educating, informing, and empowering womenregarding PMS, PMDD, and women’s health, and to providing natural relief for premenstrual symptoms.



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