Common Menstrual Issues and Herbs That Can Help

Woman with hot water bottle for menstrual pain relief

Menstruation, or “periods” are a natural part of the menstrual cycle women experience during the reproductive years of their lives. However, that does not mean they always arrive without their problems.

Irregular periods, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, and heavy flow are common issues that many women navigate every month. They can be attributed to a variety of factors, from dietary triggers to hormonal imbalances to genetic predispositions to underlying health issues – but steps can be taken to reduce their discomfort and inconvenience!

Herbs offer effective, safe, and gentle support to help restore hormonal balance and address some of the most common menstrual irregularities.

Chastetree capsules & tincture

Cycle Irregularity and PMS

An optimal cycle is roughly 28 days, with a natural variation of plus or minus 1-2 days. Irregular cycle length can happen for several reasons and a large deviation of cycle length can suggest a hormonal imbalance.

Thyroid problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome, estrogen deficiency from malnutrition or overtraining, lack of ovulation, or stress, to name a few causes, can alter cycle length, making women spot or bleed more frequently, or cause missed periods altogether.

PMS is a common menstrual occurrence that is characterized by a series of symptoms that appear before menstruation begins. It can include irritability, cramping, depression, bloating, acne, headaches, digestive issues, and sugar cravings. PMS has been linked to certain lifestyle factors such as caffeine and sugar consumption, or stress, but an underlying catalyst can be a hormonal imbalance.

While it is important to identify the cause of the irregular cycles and PMS, a daily tonic may be considered throughout the cycle to support the issue.

Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus) can be a useful herb for treating irregular cycles and symptoms of PMS, as it acts as a great hormone “normalizer”. It works at the level of the brain to tell our ovaries to develop a follicle and to ovulate, both of which are important to help restore normal hormonal fluctuations throughout the cycle for an optimal cycle length and to reduce symptoms of PMS!

Menstrual Tonic

Painful Periods

Know your terms: dysmenorrhea – pain experienced just before or during menstruation.

Pain-free periods are possible! Menstrual cramps are commonly experienced among menstruating women. They are typically caused by inflammatory chemicals called prostaglandins, with higher levels contributing to increased cramping and pain.

Menstrual Tonic can help to effectively treat painful periods with uterine tonifying effects for a more comfortable menstrual cycle. This targeted formula contains seven herbs that work in synergy to help tonify the uterus and ease pain associated with menstruation.

The formula features dong quai – also known as “female ginseng,” a classic TCM herb that has a regulating effect on menstruation in combination with rehmannia – an adaptogen traditionally valued for treating hormonal disorders that helps to balance irregular, light, or long cycles.

Painful menstruation and cramping are soothed with antispasmodic and warming herbs including blue cohosh, black cohosh, wild yam, and ginger.  Also, lady’s mantle, a uterine tonic herb, can be used.

ND Tip: Take Menstrual Tonic daily to reduce pain during the first part of the menstrual cycle (follicular phase). This prevents potential negative side effects, like making periods too heavy or affecting the embryo if conception occurs.

Single Herb Solution: The aptly named herb Crampbark (Viburnum opulus) is an effective anti-spasmodic, meaning it can lessen the frequency and severity of menstrual cramps as they occur. Crampbark can be taken leading up to, and during, the time menstrual cramps occur.

Regular Flow

Lighten Your Flow

Know your terms: menorrhagiaexcessively heavy menstrual flow, usually lasting for several days, sometimes accompanied by cramping.

Heavy or flooding periods can be an uncomfortable inconvenience for many women. They can be experienced during different phases of life related to an existing hormonal imbalance or caused by a hormonal transition such as in post-pregnancy or perimenopause.

Regular Flow tinctures can help to ease heavy period flow and stabilize menstrual cycle irregularities by blending traditional herbs that help to treat menorrhagia (heavy menstruation). The tincture combines time-honoured herbs for women’s health that balance and stabilize hormones and tone the uterus, resulting in reduced menstrual flow.

This herbal blend’s foundational herb is a notable astringent, with “drying” effects – shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursapastoris). Shepherd’s purse exhibits targeted “tissue specificity” with its astringent qualities, which can aid in drying and toning the uterus and ease menstrual pain.

Uterine tonic herbs help to tone and strengthen uterine tissue, while chastetree provides hormone balancing effects.

St. Francis Herb Farm’s line of Women’s Health products has herbal formulations and a wide array of herbal singles to help women support hormonal balance and make uncomfortable menstrual symptoms become a thing of the past.

Navigating menstrual cycle irregularities can be challenging, but uncomfortable symptoms can be managed! Consulting with a Naturopathic Doctor can help to define your health needs, identify any underlying factors, and define a personalized treatment plan for minimizing symptoms. 

You can find an ND in your area here.    

Related Products

  • Chastetree capsules

    Chastetree Capsules

    $30.49 Add to cart

    Hormone normaliser

  • Regular Flow

    Regular Flow

    $21.99$119.95 Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page

    Helps relieve menorrhagia

  • Menstrual Tonic

    Menstrual Tonic

    $23.99$129.95 Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page

    Support for conditions throughout the menstrual cycle

  • Crampbark


    $21.99$119.95 Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page

    Ease muscle spasms and menstrual cramps

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