Using Herbs For PMS

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Using Herbs For PMS

Pre-menstrual syndrome is a disease that affects many women, although it can be greatly alleviated and even eliminated with the use of the appropriate herbs. The difficulty is finding the right herbs for each woman’s given condition. While some women suffer more from abdominal cramps, some get intense mood swings, headaches, bloating, fatigue, and other symptoms commonly associated with PMS. In Integrative Medicine we recognize 4 major patterns of PMS that cause the symptoms that women experience. We shall now review each of these patterns so that you can better determine the one that is most appropriate to your condition.

PMS with Liver Stagnation

This is the most common pattern of PMS and occurs with the following symptoms:

Lower Abdominal Cramps
Breast Distension
Mood Swings

Other symptoms may also occur in some women and include: headaches, digestive conditions, and depression. Depending on the pattern of symptoms herbs that are useful for this pattern include: Buplureum, Dandelion, Ginger, Mint, and Tangerine Peel.

PMS with Liver Stagnation and Heat

The second pattern of PMS is very similar to the first one except that there are more intense mental and emotional reactions. In this pattern symptoms such as insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, and anger are also present. There may also be sensations of heat and/or a flushed complexion. For this pattern the herbs we use are very similar to the herbs we use for the first pattern, but it is important to add a few extra ones to address the more intense mental and emotional symptoms that are present.

If the heat in the liver results from liver toxicity it is most helpful to increase the dosage of dandelion, and add herbs such as Peony Root, and/or Burdock. When the excess heat occurs with irritability, herbs such as Vitex, Reishi, Fringe Tree Bark, Valerian, Artichoke Leaf, and Centaury can be helpful.

PMS with Blood Stagnation

The third pattern manifest with symptoms of poor blood circulation, and this causes the blood to stagnate. So while common PMS symptoms such as cramping, breast distension, and mood swings may be present, symptoms indicating blood stagnation will also occur. These symptoms include:

Intense Abdominal Pain that is in a Fixed Location
Menstrual Clots
Purple Colored Menstrual Blood

If the blood stagnation is severe diseases such as dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, infertility, and polycystic ovarian disease may also be present. The herbs used for this pattern vary widely depending on the disease and symptoms that are present, but herbs such as Peony, Peach Seed, Ligusticum, Chinese Angelica, Corydalis, and Pseudoginseng are most often used.

PMS with Edema and Cold

The last major pattern of PMS we recognize occurs with the typical PMS symptoms, but also occurs with edema, water swelling, and coldness. The water retention results when the body does not have sufficient energy or warmth to process the water properly, and the cold will manifest as cold extremities and dull abdominal pain that is alleviated with warmth. Other common signs and symptoms include: low energy or generalized weakness, pale complexion, and anemia. Women with this pattern may also have delayed periods, missed periods, or have very short ones that are 3 days or less. This pattern is also common in women that suffer from infertility. For this pattern I recommend a whole different set of herbs than I use for the other patterns.

To get successful results when using herbs for PMS it is important to make sure that you use the appropriate herbs for your condition. To help you determine what herbs are most appropriate for your pattern, I encourage you to visit my website and do a Free Health History Consultation. There is no cost or obligation for this, and once I determine what herbs are best for your unique needs I will let you know. To take advantage of the Free Health History Consultation please visit my website.

In Health,

Photo by Alice Henneman

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