herbs for PMS
some useful info on herbs for PMS
Date: 3/10/2006 5:59:32 AM ( 17 y ) ... viewed 4616 times
Herbal Formula for Premenstrual Syndrome
BIRCH LEAF, relieves fluid retention.
BLACK COHOSH,, tincture or capsules lift depression, ease muscle pain.
CHAMOMILE, , relieves muscle pain.
CORN SILK, used to relieve cramps & muscle pain, and reduce fluid retention.
DANDELION,, reduces bloating.
DONG QUAI, tincture or capsules reduce cramping.
FENNEL, relives abdominal cramping and bloating caused by gas.
LEMON BALM, soothes and nourishes the nervous system.
MOTHERWORT, relieves headache.
PEPPERMINT, used to stabalize mood swings and eliminate gas.
RASPBERRY LEAF, tea is used for cramping.
These are plants that have a toning, strengthening, nourishing effect upon both the tissue and functioning of the female reproductive system. The hows and whys are usually unknown, but this should not belittle their remarkable therapeutic value. The differential indications are one of the most confused area of modern Herbalism. This is explored more below. Important examples:
Blue Cohosh : Black Cohosh : False Unicorn Root : Raspberry : Life Root : Partridge Berry
Of the many plants that can stimulate the menstrual process, some have a tonic effect on the system as well. Simply triggering menstruation does not imply anything other than that. Of the emmenagogues listed some work through bitter stimulation, others through localized irritation etc.. The herbs mentioned here will also nourish the system to some degree:
Mugwort : Yarrow : Partridge Berry : False Unicorn Root
Hormonal Normalizers :
A number of plants have a direct impact upon hormonal levels in the body. Of course there are many human hormones and only a few impact reproductive function. Many claims can be made about plants that effect hormonal balance, but here we should limit the plants to those that have an observable influence. Little endocrinological research has been undertaken on these herbs so it is impossible to be specific, thus the herbalist tends to talk in terms of hormonal modulators or normalizers. The most important one in European Phytotherapy is Chasteberry, which it is fair to describe as a normalizer as it will tend to move the body back to normal function regardless of which female sex hormone is deficient or in excess. How this works is a matter of conjecture. The uterine tonics and bitters may have a similar effect because of some more generalized toning influence, but this is not as predictable as with Chasteberry.
Chasteberry : `uterine tonics' : `bitter tonics'
Uterine Astringents :
Herbs abound that reduce blood loss from the uterus, wether in excessive periods (menorrhagia), bleeding between periods (metrorrhagia), or that associated with organic disease such as fibroids. An important but unanswered question is how they work because no astringent tannin will reach the tissue from the gut. It is possible that an hormonal process is involved with some of the plants but all. Of the many valuable remedies list as astringents at the beginning of this chapter, the most toning are:
Beth Root : Yarrow
Other important uterine astringents not in the list of `emmenagogues' above are :
Periwinkle : Shepherd's Purse : American Cranesbill : Ladies Mantle
Uterine Demulcents :
Similar comments can be said about the important demulcent remedies for this system. There is no way that mucopolysaccharide will find its way there from the digestive process, but still there is no question that these remedies will soothe inflamed tissue. The most toning is:
Nervines & Anti-spasmodics :
There are also a number of valuable remedies that impact the autonomic innervation of this complex system. By using the appropriate nervine or antispasmodic much can be achieved in terms of correcting functional tone. Here we can mention:
Black Haw : Cramp Bark : Black Cohosh : Motherwort : Pasque Flower
The richness of uterine tonics in the North American materia medica is often squandered through a lax over use of the idea of toning. The differential indications of these valuable remedies is worth exploring in some depth. The best sources of information are the writings of the old eclectics and physiomedicals, based as they are on extensive experience and observation.
The material that follows consists of direct quotes. Please note the 19 th. century usage of terms and concepts. The sometimes overtly sexist language is not mine!
Amenorrhoea & Dysmenorrhoea
King's a powerful emmenagogue it promotes delivery, menstruation.
Cook It is a moderate diffusive, stimulating and relaxing in about equal degrees, spending its main powers upon the nervous system. These qualities make it one of the very best of anti-spasmodics, to relieve nervous feebleness with irritability, as in crampings of the bowels, twitching of the muscles in typhoid and parturient cases, hysteria, painful menstruation, colic, etc. Its efficacy in these cases is remarkable; and it is also a valuable adjunct to other suitable agents in the treatment of puerperal convulsions, epilepsy, and chorea. It enjoys deserved reputation in neuralgic forms of rheumatism, especially that form which passes with some as chronic inflammation of the womb. It sustains the nervous system, but at the same time soothes it; and is of especial service in strengthening and relieving painful functional difficulties of the female generative organs.
King's In painful menstruation it has been found especially adapted to those cases in which there is pelvic fullness, a sensation as if the womb and rectum were distended with blood, and the aching, bearing-down organs feel as if they would fall out of the body. Its action here is very decided when the smaller doses are employed.
Kings Upon the reproductive organs it exerts a specific influence, promoting the menstrual discharge, and by its power of increasing contractility of the unstriated fibres of the uterus, it acts as an efficient parturient. The venereal propensity in man is said to be stimulated by Cimicifuga. By its special affinity for the female reproductive organs, it is an efficient agent for the restoration of suppressed menses. It is even a better remedy in that variety of amenorrhoea termed absentio mesium. Cimicifuga plays a very important part in the therapeutics of gynecology. It is a remedy for atony of the reproductive tract. In the painful conditions incident to imperfect menstruation, its remedial action is fully displayed. In dysmenorrhoea it is surpassed by no other drug, being of greatest utility in irritative and congestive conditions of the uterus and appendages, characterized by tensive, dragging pains, resembling the pains of rheumatism.
Cooks Its action on the uterus is well marked - relieving neuralgia and rheumatism of this organ, proving efficient in painful menstruation accompanied by tardiness...
Ellingwood In menstrual disorders, accompanied with aching or muscular soreness and cool skin. Relieves amenorrhoea with these symptoms; will control congestive dysmenorrhoea. Its influence here is enhanced by aconite or belladonna. Is beneficial in menorrhagia and metrorrhagia; is given in menstrual irregularities of young girls.
King's It is very efficient in promoting the menstrual flow, and may be given alone, in infusion, or in combination, in amenorrhoea, not connected with some structural lesion. It will also be found valuable in dysmenorrhoea, sterility, and chlorosis.
Ellingwood Relieves nervous irritation mildly, restores tonicity; promotes normal regular flow, in atonic cases, and prevents excesses; must be given during the intermission and during the period also, and continued past two or three epochs.
King's It allays uterine irritation with a tendency to terminate in hysteria, while in the neuralgic and spasmodic forms of dysmenorrhoea, it is a favorite remedy with many physicians. The action of this agent closely resembles that of the black haw, and there is reason to believe that they are often used interchangeably for similar purpose. The following forms an excellent preparation for the relief of spasmodic attacks, vis.:
cramp bark, 2 ounces;
skunk-cabbage, of each, 1 ounce;
cloves, 1/2 ounce;
capsicum 2 drachms.
Have all in powder, coarsely bruised, and add to them 2 quarts of good sherry or native wine. Dose, 1 or 2 fluid ounces, 2 or 3 times a day.
Cook it is chiefly employed in hysteria, painful menstruation, neuralgia and rheumatism of the womb, and the uterine crampings incident to pregnancy.
King's In amenorrhoea in pale, bloodless subjects, the menses are restored by it. In dysmenorrhoea, with deficient menses, uterine colic, and in those cases where there are severe lumbar and bearing-down pains, it will prove an efficient drug. It is specifically indicated in cramp-like menstrual pains, decidedly expulsive and intermittent in character and in the various painful contractions of the pelvic muscles, so common to disorders of women. Uterine congestion and chronic uterine inflammation are often greatly relieved by specific black haw. It acts promptly in spasmodic dysmenorrhoea. especially with excessive flow.
Ellingwood Indicated in dysmenorrhoea, with cramp-like or spasmodic pains. Corrects nervous irritation and sympathetic disturbances, a tonic and corrective in persistent irregularity, either in time or quantity
Tonic & Other Gynecological Uses
King's As a gynecian remedy it has been employed to relieve irritation of the reproductive organs as if dependent on congestion. It controls chronic inflammatory states of these organs and gives tone in cases of debility. In the sexua| disorders of the female it is indicated by tenderness and pain in the uterus, in debilitated patients. It has been very successfully used in cases of hysteria to overcome the attack, and to relieve ovarian, or mammary pain, or irritation when accompanying that disorder. Chronic corporeal, or cervical endometritis, metritis, ovaritis, ovaralgia, uterine leucorrhoea, amenorrhoea, and dysmenorrhoea, are conditions in which it has been most successfully employed. It has an established reputation as a remedy for rheumatism of the uterus, with nervous excitement, for uterine cramps attending menstruation, and for menorrhagia, depending on uterine subinvolution.
King's In diseases of the reproductive organs of females, and especially of the uterus, it is one of our most valuable agents, acting as a uterine tonic, and gradually removing abnormal conditions, while at the same time it imparts tone and vigor to the reproductive organs. Hence, it is much used in leucorrhoea, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, and to remove the tendency to repeated and successive miscarriages. A particular phase removed by it is the irritability and despondency that often attends uterine troubles.
Cook ...its most prominent and valuable action is upon the uterine organs; where it scarcely has an equal in atonic forms of prolapsus, leucorrhea, passive hemorrhage and menorrhagia, and similar enfeebled conditions. While its use in sensitive patients and irritable uterine conditions is to be avoided, it can be employed to the greatest advantage in flaccid and prostrated states for the maladies above named. Though in no sense an astringent, its tonic influence is peculiarly efficacious in arresting too excessive menstruation and lochia, when associated with laxity and depression.
Ellingwood Has a pronounced tonic influence, in general relaxation and feebleness of uterine structures. Specific in prolapsus, with a dragging or pulling down sensation in lower abdomen. When there is pelvic engorgement with prolapse.
Kings If the patient be despondent and chilly, combine Cimicifuga with Pulsatilla, especially in anemic subjects. It is a good remedy for the reflex side-aches of the unmarried woman; also for mastitis and mastodynia. It should be remembered in rheumatism of the uterus, and in uterine leucorrhoea, with a flabby condition of the viscus, its effects are decided. When there is a disordered action or lack of functional power in the uterus, giving rise to sterility, Cimicifuga often corrects the impaired condition and cures. Reflex mammary pains during gestation are met by it, and in rheumatic subjects it promptly relieves such ovarian troubles as ovarialgia and neuralgia, the pain being of an aching character. Orchialgia and aching sensations of the prostate are conditions calling for Cimicifuga , and as a tonic it is not without good effects in spermatorrhoea.
Ellingwood Exercises a wide influence on the nerve centers, and their blood supply. Is a mild motor depressant and nerve sedative. Positively relieves muscular soreness or aching, induced or idiopathic, from whatever cause. Relieves erratic nervous conditions; acts directly upon the reproductive functions.
King's It seems to have an especial affinity for the uterus, exerting a powerful tonic and alterative influence upon this organ, and has hence been found highly beneficial in many uterine derangements, as in amenorrhoea some forms of dysmenorrhoea, menorrhagia, chronic congestion of the uterus, enfeebled uterine nervous system, etc.
Cook The greater portion of its power is expended upon the uterus, where its action is tonic and moderately antispasmodic; but it also influences the kidneys, testes, and the entire nervous system as connected with the generative organs. The chief value set upon it by most physicians is for its soothing and strengthening influence upon the uterus in hysteria, leucorrhea, prolapsus, and rheumatic or neuralgic pains, and chronic painful menstruation.
King's ... exerts a peculiar influence upon the reproductive organs, and particularly of the female, which has given to it the name of Female regulator. This is one of our valuable remedies in the treatment of female diseases. It relieves irritation and strengthens functional activity. Ovarian or uterine atony, with impairment of function, increased mucous or mucopurulent secretions, or displacements of the womb and vaginal prolapse, are the chief guides to its use.
Cook The chief use made of it is as a nervine tonic in female weaknesses, and a mild yet reliable promoter of menstruation. For neuralgia and rheumatism of the womb, the achings and crampings incident to gestation, and mild cases of leucorrhea and prolapsus, it is of much value; also in uterine hysteria, and the feeble appetite and aching of the back suffered by so many females; possibly also acting on the kidneys. While it promotes menstruation in languid and partially atonic amenorrhea, it does so mostly by virtue of its efficient tonic action; and it is in no sense a forcing emmenagogue, but rather aids passive menorrhagia by giving tone to the uterus.
Ellingwood Indicated in atonic disorders of uterine function with much loss of tone and general relaxation; in misplacement from this cause; in passive congestion with feebleness and flaccidity; increases ovarian activity, and overcomes sterility. Acts somewhat upon and through the central nervous system.
King's Its principal use at the present day is in disorders of the female organs of reproduction. As a uterine tonic it is unquestionably of great utility. It restores normal innervation, improves the circulation and corrects impaired nutrition of these organs. In the hyperasthetic, or irritable condition of the uterus incident to highly nervous women, or as the result of overwork, it will be found an admirable agent. It is called for in weakened conditions of the body, with feeble performance of the uterine functions.
Ellingwood Acts mildly as a nerve sedative and antispasmodic. Produces muscular relaxation, and reduction of reflux irritation. Corrects nervous irritation during pregnancy. Has atonic and soothing influence on the entire uterine structures. Regulates sympathetic disturbances, from uterine irritation. Overcomes sterility
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