Herbal Health Information for Period Pains

For some reason it is the chemistry lesson which sticks in my head when I think of period pains. They are so all consuming and debilitating when they are bad and well meaning older women telling you they will go away after you have had your first baby, really does not help. Pain free normal periods should be the norm for us and achievable with a few easy lifestyle changes.

As with everything else diet plays a huge role.

Of course the usual sensible diet includes 5 a day fruit and veg, but also very importantly a good vitamin B, zinc and omega oil intake. Vitamin B is found in all good quality meats and dairy products.

There is a BUT and that is modern farming methods. Intensive farming leeches all the goodness out of the soil, so vitamin and mineral levels may not be as high in modern foods as they were in the past (even 20 years ago). So my message is to buy good quality food.

Zinc is low in modern foods but also hard to absorb. It is essential for the production of over 80 hormones in the body, the reproductive ones being some of those. Zinc is needed for the metabolism of essential fatty acids which are also essential for hormone production. Sometimes I wish I had shares in pumpkin growing as I tell everyone who I think needs a zinc boost, to eat a dessertspoonful of pumpkin seeds sprinkled on their cereal in the morning. Oats are a good source of zinc and so are most shell fish.

There is so much information in the ether about essential fatty acids that I will not say too much here, just make sure you are getting a good combination of omega 3,6,9, in your diet.

Surprisingly, moderate exercise is also important as it increases the blood flow in the body, which the reproductive organs will benefit from.

The two herbs I use to help with period pains are Pulsatilla and Crampbark, mixed together as tinctures in equal quantities. For adults the dose is 5 mls twice a day, taken three days before the period is due to about the second day of the period.

Both of these have had their own write up in separate articles, but briefly, they both have a relaxing effect on uterine muscle to prevent it cramping.

It is a good plan to start taking the mixture about 3 days before a period is due so that the muscle does not go in to spasm once the period has started.

Remember don’t self medicate if you have any other medical condition or are on any orthodox medicines, go visit a Qualified medical herbalist. All the examples I give you in these write ups are mixtures and doses I use on my patients in clinic which are taken under my supervision.

Don’t confuse the herbal tincture of Pulsatilla with the homoeopathic preparation which has a different action.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist Dip Phyt.

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