Dysmenorrhea - Herbs for painful periods

Cramp bark

Angelica root * Blue Cohosh Root * Catnip * Chaste Tree * Clary Sage * Corydalis * Cramp Bark * Dong Quai * Ginger Root * Jasmine Flower Oil * Kava-Kava * Lady's Mantle * Lemon Balm * Motherwort * Wild Yam Root * White Willow Bark * Yarrow *

A painful period can range from a dull ache to a violent cramp. When we are in a fragile emotional state, menstrual pain can be even more severe.

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Herbal teas for menstrual cramps : Herbs that relax the stomach muscles, called antispasmodics, contain phytochemicals that ease muscle spasms and help relax the uterus. (Gladstar, Rosemary) has written one of the most important modern herbals for women that addresses problem menstuation, "Herbal Healing for Women" Fireside, (1993). She writes “ Angelica relieves congestion of the pelvis, often helpful in easing painful and cramping menstruation. ” Cramp bark , true to its name, contains at least four phytochemicals that facilitate uterine relaxation calm cramps. Yarrow can be most helful in times of a cramping, heavy period, it helps to stop heavy bleeding and counters inflammation and tissue swelling. Some of yarrow's phytochemicals also ease muscle spasms, making it useful in menstrual cramps.(Duke,James, Ph.D.) Willow bark (Salix) is as effective as aspirin in relieving cramps, but less likely to cause flooding. It can be taken as a tea or tincture. (Weed, Susun. "New Menopausal Years)

Many herbal allies for women have a gentle sedatating effect, helping to calm frayed nerves at the same time they relieve pain. Kava's gentle stress-beating, muscle-relaxing influence relaxes the uterus, making it notably helpful against menstrual cramps. My favorite old remedy is a soothing cup of raspberry tea, sipped slowly until the cramping subsides, others prefer a cup of lemon balm or catnip for reducing the pain of menstrual cramps.

Whatever your favorite herb or tea, try adding a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to enhance both flavor and effect. Ginger increases the flow of blood to pelvis and helps relieve blockages that can cause cramps and adominal pain. Ginger has an antispasmodic action that relaxes the smooth muscles that cause menstrual cramps. Do not use ginger, however if you are experiencing heavy bleeding as it will make it worse.

Aromatherapy can be very effective against menstrual pain and cramps. Clary Sage oil contains sclareol, an estrogen-like chemical, contributing to clary's effectiveness in treating amenorrhea, cramps, and pain with menstruation. (Balch, Phyllis A. CNC) As a special treat to yourself during a time a stress use a few precious drops of jasmine oil to relieve uterine spasm and menstrual pain and bring a calm clarity to mind. (Tisserand,Robert B. "Art of Aromatherapy")


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