Herbs for Women's Health problems
Useful herbs for pre-menstrual symptoms include:
Chaste Tree (Vitex Agnus Castus) berries are generally regarded as a supporter of the female hormonal system. Research has shown a progesterone-enhancing action by the herb. A progesterone deficiency may manifest itself as pre-menstrual symptoms. Agnus Castus does not actually contain progesterone, but it supports the hormonal output of the ovaries, thus helping to balance any deficiency. As well as helping with pre-menstrual symptoms Agnus Castus, or Vitex as it is also known, is also employed by medical herbalists to maintain a regular menstrual cycle, particularly for those who suffer painful cramps.
Milk Thistle (Carduus marianus) seed and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root are the herbs of choice here. These herbs help your liver to process excess hormones, reducing mood swings. Any of these can be taken on a regular basis or as required.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and Common Vervain (Verbena officinalis) are herbs that can be used to support the nervous system for those prone to mood swings. Herbal support can help to balance out the emotions and bring a sense of calm and relaxation.
Useful herbs for painful periods
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus) and Ginger (Zingiber officinale) are herbs that may help if you suffer from painful periods. These can be taken as a tea or tincture and will aid relief from muscle spasm and pain.
Massage with essential oils can also help. Essential oils of chamomile, clary sage, geranium and sweet marjoram may be particularly helpful. It is best to use a mixture of the oils blended in an oil base.
Useful herbs for the menopause include:
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a cooling herb and helps to reduce sweats and the hot flushes associated with menopausal symptoms. It is best used in conjunction with Agnus Castus and Black Cohosh.
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) has a powerful action on the female reproductive system as a hormonal normaliser, easing the symptoms of the menopause, such as mood swings, sweats and hot flushes. Because of its action as a relaxant it also helps with tension and irritability.
Agnus Castus (Vitex agnus castus) or Chaste Tree has the effect of stimulating and normalising pituitary gland function responsible for the production of hormones. It is especially useful in treating menopausal symptoms and PMT. This effect takes place over 2-3 months.
Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) at one time was the sole source of the chemicals used to produce the contraceptive pill. Used internally, it helps maintain hormonal balance. Externally, it can be used in a cream base to help with both hot flushing and vaginal dryness.