Case Study: Relieve PMS Pains

Build blood with herbs to calm painful periods

| May/June 1999

Two at-home recipes to relieve PMS pains

• Blood-Moving Formula
• Tonic Tea 

The majority of American women suffer from painful periods. In fact, some estimates in medical literature are as high as 70 percent, and others suggest painful periods with severe cramps, known medically as dysmenorrhea, may be the leading reason why women miss work.

In my experience, herbs and dietary changes are likely to reduce cramps and bring about better and longer-lasting health. Vicki, a magazine writer in her late thirties who came to my clinic six months ago, is a prime example of how a holistic approach can ease debilitating menstrual cramps. She described severe, gnawing cramps that lasted a week to ten days each month, sometimes becoming so bad that she threw up from the pain. She had tried mainstream medicine, massage, hypnotherapy, and other treatments without success.

When I took her pulse, I noticed it felt thready and tense. The body of her tongue had a purple cast and was pale, shaky, and puffy. These symptoms showed that her digestion was chronically weak, which had led to weakness of the blood. And when the blood is weak, it can also stagnate, or pool, in some parts of the body—in Vicki’s case, the uterus. She also exercised very little and had a stressful job. She tended towards vegetarianism, eating only a little fish and chicken, and she drank a lot of fruit juice.

I believed that, taken together, Vicki’s constitutional predisposition, habits, diet, and mental strain all contributed to her severe cramps. On my recommendation, Vicki agreed to reduce her fruit juice and raw vegetable intake and to eat more protein, especially beans, lentils, and a little fish, chicken, turkey, or red meat (once a week).

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