Herbs for Period Pain
At some point in their life all women experience some form of period pain or discomfort. For some this is mild and for others it can be a debilitating pain
A report in 2008, which included 39 randomised trials involving a total of 3475 women concluded that Chinese herbs resulted in significant improvements in period pain (dysmenorrhoea) compared to over the counter pain medication or even heat compression. (1).
Chinese Medicine’s belief is that when the free flow of ‘Qi’ and ‘Blood’ are obstructed during menstruation, symptoms such as menstrual cramps arise. Chinese Medicine uses herbs to provide a long term relief by getting to the root cause, with menstrual cramps the aim is to promote circulation and regulate unobstructed flow of Qi. This can be done with the use of herbs and herbal formulas.
Here are the top 5 Chinese herbs for Period Pain
Chinese Motherwort (Yi Mu Cao)
Chinese Motherwort (Yi Mu Cao) is a popular Chinese herb which is used to balance women’s hormones. Yi Mu Cao can be used to balance overall hormones due to its ability to soothe blood stagnation. It effectively helps with period pain, irregular menstrual cycle and can also stimulate blood flow if you are experiencing amenorrhea ( delayed or missing period ). Chinese Motherwort contains compounds that stimulate the release of oxytocin, which is often known as the ‘love hormone’ which has shown to relieve pain. (2) This powerful herb can also be used for targeted relief and support with fibroid and endometriosis.
Natural Dandelion (Pu Gong Ying)
Dandelion is not just a weed you find in your back garden, the root has many powerful properties and offers various benefits including hormonal balance and relief from period pain. Dandelion primarily works to improve the function of Liver. As Liver is in charge of detoxing and eliminating excess waste such as excess hormones and sweat, a sluggish Liver can lead to body exhibiting PMS symptoms including period pain due to estrogen dominance.
Dong Quai (Angelica Sinensis)
Dong Quai or Angelica sinensis has been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine. It is rich in compounds with anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating effects (3) and can be added to your daily routine for its many health benefits. Often coined as “women’s fertility herb” or “female ginseng” this powerful herb is used to balance female hormones, menstrual cycle and PMs symptoms.
Cinnamon offers natural anti inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties which help with period pain. A report in 2018 showed that 1000mg capsules per day can reduce the intensity of primary dysmenorrhea cramps (4). It may also help reduce menstrual bleeding, as well as nausea and vomiting during menstruation.
Peach Kernel (Tao Ren)
Peach kernel known as Tao Ren promote menstrual flow. This fruit/ herb is warn in nature and works to improve blood circulation along with energy, this boost in circulation and energy eliminates blood stagnation and blockage which causes period pain. One of the recommended classic product in Chinese Medicine containing peach kernel or tao ren is Tao Hong Si Wu Tang.
Sheng Jiang (Ginger)
Ginger is considered to have warming properties in Chinese Medicine. Ginger is known worldwide for its anti inflammatory properties, by producing prostaglandins, which constricts blood vessels and cause the uterus to contract it helps to reduce menstrual cramps.