How to address menstrual disorders. Women who eat a balanced diet, get adequate exercise and sunshine, and work toward emotional clarity seldom have menstrual problems.
At the time of menstruation, the deeper hormonal/emotional qualities surface, while their physical corollary is discharged – the heat bearing blood that results from a natural purification.
This is a fragile state – surfacing aspects from the interior, yin, hormonal parts of the being are delicate and sensitive, and need protection from the yin climates (cold and damp) and physical and emotional extremes.
During the menses, it is therefore essential to avoid heavy physical work, emotional stress, and overexposure to cold and damp conditions; for example, keep the legs and feet warm, keep covered when in cold places and during the cold seasons, and avoid working with the hands in cold water. Also, prevent constipation, get plenty of rest, and abstain from sex during menstruation.
Restrictions: To support health during the entire menstrual cycle, these should
be avoided: alcohol, tobacco, coffee, cold-temperature foods, refined sugar,
hydrogenated fats such as shortening and most margarine, polyunsaturated
cooling oils. Fluoridated (tap water and most bottled water) water suppresses
thyroid activity, which upsets the hormonal system in general; chlorinated
water destroys vitamin E, an essential nutrient for a menstrual case. Commercial
red meats and poultry have residues of steroids composed of female animal sex
hormones, which interfere with human menstruation. Over time, oral
contraceptives and IUDs (intrauterine devices) also cause difficulties.
IRON AND IODINE
Iron and iodine need to be abundant in the diet to help replace blood lost in the menses. Legumes, most vegetables, and whole grains, and the common micro-algae such as spiraling and Dunaliella contains significant amounts of iron.
Seaweeds, including kelp, pulse, wakame, and hijiki, are excellent sources of both iron and iodine. Those with weak digestive qi (loose stools, chronic fatigue) need to use seaweeds cautiously.
Herbal Alternative for Iron and Iodine – Borojo, Maca, Dunaliella, Spirulina, Swedish Flower Pollen.
Vitamin C increases iron absorption: cabbage, bell peppers, sprouts, parsley, and rosehip tea are excellent sources. Additional sources are nearly all fresh fruits and vegetables.
When vitamin C is taken in the form of whole foods such as these, bioflavonoids are also ingested. The combination of bioflavonoids and vitamin C is helpful for excessive bleeding in menorrhagia and the bruising and varicose veins of menopause.
Tomatoes, citrus fruits, and most other fruits, which are very cooling, cleansing sources of C, should be used sparingly, if at all, by persons with coldness (e.g. aversion to cold, sensation of feeling too cold, facial pallor) or general deficiency (weakness, faulty, little or no tongue coating).
Herbal Alternative for Vitamin C – Amla, Barley Grass, Aguaje, Moringa
CALCIUM AND ZINC
Calcium and Zinc levels in the body begin to decrease ten days before the period starts. Use whole grains, legumes, and seeds for zinc and magnesium (magnesium needs to be adequate for calcium absorption).
Seaweeds, green vegetables, and legumes are good sources of usable calcium.
Herbal Alternative for Calcium – Coral Calcium, Borojo, Swedish Flower Pollen, Barley Grass.
Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, is found in green vegetables, chlorophyll foods such as chlorella micro-algae and barley grass concentrate, flax seed, and cold press flax oil.
Specific Menstrual Disorders
The other dietary restrictions and suggestions help prevent pain and cramping occurring at any point in the menstrual cycle. Three of the nutrients – calcium, magnesium, and the essential fatty acids – are helpful for treating acute menstrual pain. Such pain occurs
from several causes:
Coldness and deficiency in the body can cause the blood to stagnate, resulting in pain. Symptoms of coldness are scanty, purplish-black menses; cramps that are eased by hot compresses; abundant, clear urine; attraction to the warmth, and warm food and drinks. Symptoms of deficiency: pale-colored, scanty menses, weakness, weak pulse, pale tongue with no coating, facial pallor.
Symptoms of heat: early, heavy, bright red or dark red menses, dark scanty urine, red tongue with yellow tongue coating, thirst, constipation, desire for cold, and aversion to heat. Symptoms of excess: Scanty menses with dark purple clots, bluish tongue, painful, expanded breasts, forceful, tight pulse, thick tongue coating. The woman with symptoms of heat and excess needs to reduce her consumption of red meat, dairy products, eggs, sweet foods, and other foods that build excess and heat.
For these types, if dysmenorrhea, consume more cooling
vegetal foods such as spinach, celery, chard, kale, collard greens, parsley, mung beans, and spirulina. Helpful herbs: Wormwood, lobelia, flaxseed, black cohosh, our Yoni Attention Tea, and Parasite and Worms Formula.
HERBS WE RECOMMEND