Menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be debilitating for some women and make them feel very uncomfortable at “that time of the month.” Our ancestors have utilized a variety of very effective herbal solutions to address every kind of pain associated with monthly cycles.
Cramp Barn & Balck Haw
These are probably the most effective herbs for reducing uterine spasm and cramping. These sister herbs bring relief of pain and muscle spasm in the uterus. Cramp bark and Black haw have been shown safe for use for several days prior to onset on menses in anticipation and prevention of painful cramps.
An herb from Southeast Asia made from the powdered leaves of the jungle tree Mitragyna speciosa, is quickly becoming one of the most natural power pain relievers to replace pharmaceutical opiates. It is a mixture of approximately 40 alkaloids and other compounds that has been used for centuries to relieve muscle pain, menstrual discomfort, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. It has complex and varied effects that reduces pain and inflammation, as well as benefits mood for women with even severe PMS symptoms.
Not only can it halt the growth of breast cancer cells, but this plant is very anti-inflammatory and wonderful at reducing spasm in both the smooth muscles, but also the skeletal muscles associated with pain that radiates to the lower back and down the thighs.
Red raspberry leaves tone the uterus and also help prevent menstrual cramps. This herb needs to be taken consistently over a long period of time to get this benefit. If menstrual flow is heavy, red raspberry leaves will help control it. Yarrow is also instrumental in reducing excessive menstrual flow. Use tea or tinctures several times per day.
Dong Quai is popular for women with absent period, but it has other beneficial actions. It helps to reduce menstrual cramps in women with a boggy, heavy feeling uterus due to stagnation, poor circulation and scant blood flow during menstruation. Dong Quai acts on the circulatory system and lymphatic system reducing tissue congestion. It has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also very relaxing to the nervous system, which may be helpful to those with anxiety or tension during PMS and menstruation. Interestingly this herb has been shown to first stimulate the uterus and then go on to relax it. Dong Quai is also a wonderful hormonal balancing herb, used since the 16ht century for the female reproductive system. Note: This herb is best not used during menstruation for women with heavy bleeding.
Wild Yam has a wonderful action on smooth muscle tissue, reducing muscle spasm of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, aiding in painful menstruation and chronic pelvic pain. Wild Yam helps the uterus to work more efficiently during menses. This uterine support allows for proper function of the uterus while working to prevent uterine cramping or spasm. This herb has a wonderful action on the ovaries, toning them and aiding in ovarian cyst pain.
7) Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Ok, not a plant but a very worthy mention. FCL oil provides many of the necessary building blocks for hormone production including Vitamins A, D, and K. It also is a great source of Omega-3s and beneficial fats.
(Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom is a powerful immune strengthener and regulator of blood sugar. It is used to counteract general fatigue or weakness that may be associated with chronic PMS and is an excellent herb for calming and relaxing women who experience irritability, nervousness, emotional excess, and sleeplessness.
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