Episode 37: Chinese Medicine Treatment of Menstrual Pain

Chinese medicine has a unique and metaphorical terminology that explains pathology in health. The reason for this is due to having been developed thousands of years ago, when modern medical jargon did not exist. “Dysmenorrhea” is Western Medicine’s term for “Painful Menstruation”. In Chinese Medicine, it is labeled “Stagnation of blood due to blood stasis” and although both labels are vastly different, the principal aim in treatment is to reduce the pain.

Western Pharmaceutical interventions for menstrual pain would include muscle relaxants, pain-killers and possibly the oral contraceptive pill. Western Orthomolecular medicine interventions would use nutritionals such as Magnesium, Omega 3 fatty acids, Iron, Thiamine (B1) and Niacin (B3), as well as calling for abstinence from dairy, sugar and aspartame.

Chinese Medicine would also recommend the above abstinences as well as adding liver to the diet once per week (to address iron deficiency and increase B vitamins) and utilize a very common herbal prescription know as “Four Substance Tea with Safflower and Peach Pit”. The Chinese name for this prescription is “Tao Hong Si Wu Tang”, and is available at most Chinese herbalists. It comes in pill forms as well, and is usually taken starting in the week leading up to a menstrual cycle, up until its conclusion. Although acupuncture also works well for menstrual pain, it typically takes longer than 2 minutes.

Join us next week when we’ll talk about Eczema.

Be Well & Be Zen




R. Gaby., Dysmenorrhea., Nutritional Medicine (2011)., ps.813-16., Ch. 221., ISBN13: 978-0-9828850-0-0. Fritz Perlberg Publishing, Concord, NH.

Bensky, R. Barolet., Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas & Strategies (1990)., ps.248-50., Ch. 8., ISBN:0-939616-10-6., Eastland Press Inc., Seattle, WA.

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