Herbal Help for Menstrual Issues
On average, a woman will menstruate over 450 times throughout the fertile “childbearing years” – which make up a significant phase of her life!
The monthly menstrual cycle is governed by hormones and brings natural, mild emotional and physical variations with its distinct phases. However, many women regularly experience a variety of distressing physical and emotional symptoms throughout their cycles due to imbalances in the body.
What causes menstrual imbalances?
A healthy cycle isn’t the same for everyone, but is generally around 28 days in length and includes 2 main phases: the follicular phase (day 1-14), which culminates in ovulation, followed by the luteal phase (day 14-28), which ends with menstruation.
But this cycle can be disrupted by lifestyle factors including diet, physical activity, illness, or other health issues, as well as psychological and environmental stressors, mainly due to their influence on hormones.
When hormones are out of balance, a variety of unpleasant symptoms can arise during the menstrual cycle, including:
- heavy or scant periods
- excessive cramping
- mood swings (emotional roller coaster)
- brain fog
- sugar cravings
- irregular cycle length
- absent or long cycles
- fertility issues
Women were the traditional keepers of herbal knowledge in many cultures, and learned early on how herbs could support a woman’s body throughout life. Certain herbs were used to help regulate and rebalance hormones during monthly phases to relieve pain and manage a healthy flow.
In this tradition, we have created 2 unique formulas that offer effective, natural support for common issues that occur during women’s menstrual cycles – Menstrual Tonic and PMS Support.
This tonic tincture formula contains a blend of 7 herbs that support cycles that are long, absent, or light with “scanty flow” and are accompanied by menstrual cramping.
Menstrual Tonic promotes consistent menstruation by effectively balancing and fortifying the body’s natural systems to regulate cycle phases, improve flow and relieve associated pain.
This combination of traditional herbs features dong quai, also known as “female ginseng” – a classic herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its net regulating effect on menstruation. In combination with rehmannia – an adaptogen valued for treating hormonal disorders – it helps to encourage a healthy period for women with 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 as well as lady’s mantle, a uterine tonic herb.
While Menstrual Tonic balances irregular periods, it is not recommended for use with painful, HEAVY menstruation as it can exacerbate symptoms – heavy cycles should consider the Regular Flow formula.
PMS Support provides women with effective herbal support for dealing with premenstrual syndrome, or PMS – one of the most common menstrual disruptions experienced by women. This condition is characterized by a series of symptoms that appear before menstruation begins, and 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 the underlying catalyst is hormonal imbalance.
PMS Support’s targeted formula is centered on chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus), an herb that can help remedy PMS issues as a hormone balancer and “normalizer”. It works at the level of the brain to tell the ovaries to develop a follicle and to ovulate, both of which are important to help restore normal hormonal fluctuations throughout the cycle for optimal length and reduced premenstrual symptoms.
- Boosts brain function and memory, balances mood (irritability, depression), and provides anti-fatigue effects with adaptogenic support from rhodiola.
- Helps reduce high estrogen levels and clear excess hormones with liver-supporting burdock.
- Regulates cycle length, especially shorter cycles (< 26 days).
- Eases disruptive changes in sleep, bloating and breast tenderness.
Which herbal formula is best for your cycle?
While there is some overlap with ingredients and benefits in our menstrual support formulas, you can choose the most effective blend for you by identifying the most common symptoms of your cycle.
If you experience physical and/or emotional PMS symptoms frequently, or have a shorter cycle length, take 1.5-2 ml (45-60 drops or just under ½ teaspoon) of PMS Support 3 times daily.
If your cycles are long, or sometimes absent and you have a light flow that comes with uncomfortable cramping, Menstrual Tonic can help to regulate and fortify with 3 daily doses of 1-2 ml (30-60 drops or just under ½ teaspoon).
NOTE: Due to the tonic nature of these formulas, both are most effective when regularly taken 3 times daily in a little water on an empty stomach throughout the cycle to balance the body for relief from symptoms.
Can I take them together?
While both herbal formulas contain herbs that benefit overall menstrual balance, it is not suggested that the formulas be taken in conjunction. Choose the formula that best addresses your typical menstrual issues for the most effective support.
Not only does addressing menstrual imbalances result in a smoother, more comfortable cycle, identifying and addressing any menstrual issues and hormone imbalances prior to menopause can smooth the transition to the next natural phase of life.
References available upon request.