Freedom From Menstrual Pain

by Christine Devai, B. H.Sc., M.A., M.H.

What causes menstrual pain? DYSMENORRHEA, a catch word for all problems with menstruation, is experienced by 55% of all menstruating women in North America today. Pain, although common, is not normal, and there are a variety of self-help solutions to correct and ease these monthly ordeals. Healthy women who eat a good diet, exercise regularly and utilize a knowledgeable intake of certain herbs and vitamins do not usually suffer from menstrual pain. So let us learn from them.

We will be addressing the two main kinds of dysmenorrhea, congestive and spasmodic. Both benefit from nutritional support as they are often linked to hormonal imbalances, which in turn can be caused by nutritional deficiencies. A good diet with adequate protein, seeds, nuts, whole grains, fresh fruit and green vegetables reduce menstrual discomfort. Smoking, coffee, chocolate and alcohol definitely aggravate menstrual disorders. Further to that, many women have reported beneficial results with the following daily vitamins: B-complex, B12 - up to 50 mg, Brewers Yeast appr. 2 tbsp. over grain or cereal, Vitamin C - up to 1000 mg, Vitamin E - up to 800 mg, kelp or Dulse tablets - up to 6 a day, a complex multi mineral combo - 1 tablet a day, and maybe a liquid iron supplement.

For cramps specifically: a combination of calcium and magnesium in tablet form, 1-2 at a time at the onset of the :ramping, work well. Also tincture of catnip - 20 to 30 drops in some warm milk, dairy or soy give relaxing relief. And just a plain infusion of chamomile tea sipped slowly will bring ease.

NOTE: to cut down salt, fluids, eat lightly before your period, make sure bowels work properly, eat good quality protein, and focus on iron rich foods, green leafy vegetables, beans, figs, seaweeds, etc. A self-massage over the abdominal and lower back region break up the frequently noticed congestion especially if the area is kept warm and well exercised. The exercise is necessary to maintain good circulation and once an area is well oxygenated you generally experience less isolated local rain.


Use these seven different herbal ingredients, heated slowly and steeped overnight in stainless steel pots.

COMFREY - symphtum officinale regenerates aging tissue, stimulates growth of healthy tissue, capable of drawing out infection, the most powerful source of Allantoin - can't go wrong with this one ever-general healing herb.

MALLOW - malu sapp contains a sweet mucilage which has unique healing and soothing properties, good for roughness, scabs, and to stop falling hair when massaged into scalp.

MARIGOLD - calendula officinalis has the sun's power in its flowers, beneficial to complexion, especially for sensitive skin or eyes.

MARJORAM - origanum vulgare mild external antiseptic, expels poisons, aids nerves, stimulates sense of touch.

PANSY - viola trivolov cooling and soothing, tanic and salicylic acid makes it effective as a medicinal astringent and a specific for the skin.

THYME - thymus vulgaris its properties are: antiseptic, deodorant, stimulant, aromatic, good for nervous conditions and inflammations.

YARROW - archillae millefolium famous for healing wounds also has power of dilating skin pores, works as a blood purifier, nerve tonic and eliminates unhealthy skin conditions.


BORAGE - barago officinalis strengthens the heart and limbs, said to be the famous nepenthe of Homer that causes complete forgetfulness, said to counteract poisons.

ORANGE MINT - mentha citrata an aromatic stimulant and soothing astringent as are all mints, good for headaches and disinterest in life's process.

ROSE - rasa sapp valuable tonic for the heart and brain, the active essential oil replaces liquid in cells and thus tightens the skin, also gently cleansing.

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