Pulsatilla, the nerve tonic.

Pulsatilla is a nerve tonic and relaxant. It has anti inflammatory and antispasmodic properties and is a mild analgesic (pain killer)

I use it for imbalances in the female reproductive system such as PMT and find it especially useful for period pains, especially when mixed with Cramp Bark, which is  a muscle relaxant.

Cramp Bark, is discussed seperately in the West Rise Marsh walk and on the web site.

Pulsatilla is also an herb I very often put into a mix to help people relax and get to sleep. When I first started to practice, with a case of facial acne which was proving difficult to clear up, so I phoned my mentor at the time who advised me to use Pulsatilla as it has skin cleansing properties. Well it certainly made the difference and I now rarely leave it out of any skin mixture.

I use it in tincture formwhich you will be able to buy from any good herb supplier. I will not advise any dosage here as strengths of tincture varies, so follow the instructions on the bottle.

You will also find it in tablet form and again please follow the instructions.

Do not confuse it with the Homeopathic Pulsatilla preparation which has completely different actions.

As usual, if you have any other medical conditions or are pregnant, please see a qualified Medical herbalist or your Doctor.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/herbal Health Information.

Crampbark/Guelder Rose (Latin Name: Viburnum Opulis)


The give away is the name of this plant! It is used as an antispasmodic, relaxing the muscles all over the body and can be used to relieve cramps of all kinds including period pains. It is a bushy tree, a native of North America but I see it growing commonly in English parks where it has been planted for its spectacular white flowers in the spring and gorgeous red berries in autumn.

As the name suggests it is the bark of the plant which is used and this contains the very potent antispasmodic, viopudial as well as salicin which is an aspirin like compound, effective as an herbal analgesic and painkiller.

I regularly use it in my herbal tinctures to relax muscles in conditions such as arthritis and period pains as well as putting it in an anti-inflammatory cream that I make up which I call for want of imagination aches and pains cream!

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information

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.

Herbal Health Information

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