An estimated 90% of people with periods experience at least one difficult menstrual symptom each month.
These symptoms can include severe cramps, sore breasts, acne, migraines, low mood, fatigue, bloating, digestive issues, and many more. Period symptoms have become so prevalent that many people believe that period pain is a fact of life.
Why do painful period symptoms exist?
While often uncomfortable, period symptoms are actually a sign that our hormones need some help getting back into balance. There are many reasons that hormones can become imbalanced. A common reason is that the body is depleted in the nutrients it needs to make all the right hormones at the right time. Luckily, there are more efforts now to understand the menstural cycle and to identify foods and herbs that result in healthy, symptom-free periods.
The herbs below show a lot of promise in preliminary research and have been trusted by herbalists, Ayurvedic practitioners, and Chinese Medicine practitioners for centuries.
4 of the most promising herbs to support painful periods and encourage regular menstruation:
Chasteberry (Vitex): Research shows that vitex reduces symptoms of PMS like constipation, irritability, depressed moods, migraines, and breast pain and tenderness in up to 93% of women. Modern researchers believe that one of the mechanisms that makes chasteberry (vitex) effective is that it supports the rebalancing of the hormone prolactin, which can become elevated and cause breast tenderness, swelling, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Shatavari: known in Ayurveda as “the queen of herbs,” shatavari contains anti-inflammatory properties and is traditionally used to balance hormones and support women through menstruation and menopause. Modern researchers believe that Shatavari “may improve female reproductive health complications including hormonal imbalance, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), follicular growth and development, oocyte quality and infertility possibly by reducing oxidative stress and increasing antioxidants in the body.”
Amalaki: is a traditional Ayurvedic herb celebrated for supporting digestion and rejuvenation and managing excess heat. Amalaki also contains minerals that support period health: vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorous, and B vitamins.
Red Clover: contains phytoestrogens, traditionally used to alleviate hot flashes, night sweats, and breast pain or tenderness. Phytoestrogens support better periods by acting as estrogen normalizers: binding to excess estrogen in the body and helping to flush it out or stimulating the production of additional estrogen if levels dip too low. Herbalists across cultures have relied heavily on red clover to support female are we missing “hormones” here
What are the best ways to consume these herbs?
For many centuries, these herbs have been turned into hormone balancing tea blends, tinctures, and other natural remedies to support women’s health. While you can gather these herbs or work with an herbalist to blend your own, we worked with our Medical Advisors to create our very own tea for women’s health — Agni Peppermint Chasteberry Tea, to make it easy for you to enjoy the incredible benefits of these naturally healing herbs.
This piece was originally published on AGNI