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Menstrual cramps.

Date: Sun, 26 Nov 1995 21:03:51 -0800
Sender: HERB.TREARNPC.EGE.EDU.TR
From: Howie Brounstein <howieb.TELEPORT.COM>
Subject: Menstrual Cramps

Herbs for menstrual cramps generally fit into three categories:

  1. Calming Herbs that physically stop the cramps.
    Skullcap, Valerian, or milder ones like catnip are examples. The first two are usually effective, but the problem with this is that cramps generally help to bring on menstruation, so stopping these often slows the start of your period.
  2. Analgesics like willows, oaks, and aspirin and it's new substitutes.
    These don't necessarily stop the cramps, you just can't feel them. Doesn't slow the cycle down.
  3. A completely different approach. (the alterative alternative).
    Treating menstrual cramps as a normal sign of elimination, and promoting it through herbs like Angelica, Mugwort, Don Quai, etc. These may make cramps more effective, perhaps worse, for a shorter time, and then you are done with it. Mild supportive herbs like raspberry are good to take anytime in the cycle.

Although Door Number Three is the sanest approach to cramps, most folks want the "band-aid" instead. At the Oregon Country Fair I usually give out two droppers of White Willow, and two droppers Skullcap/Valerian Root Tinctures.

Howie B http://www.teleport.com/~howieb/howie.html
C&W Herbs, Inc.
Eugene, Or USA
howieb.teleport.com


From: Paul Iannone <p_iannone.POP.COM>

: Mild supportive herbs like raspberry are good to take anytime in the cycle.

Cramps can often be treated with herbs that circulate either Blood or Qi, depending on their severity. Depending on the energetics, and the type of cramping, and the general balance of the menstrual cycle, quality of the digestive balance, and several other factors, there are a range of appropriate herbal formulas that address the cramping without an 'eliminative' phase.

--Paul || p_iannone.pop.com


From: Howie Brounstein <howieb.TELEPORT.COM>

>Cramps can often be treated with herbs that circulate either Blood or Qi, depending on their severity.

Paul,

Funny, as I wrote that I was thinking of what you might say about it, and I agree with you whole heartedly. I was trying to describe something in beginner's terms, and I use the alterative concept alot, but only as a mental construct to learn with. Which herbs to use for Door Number Three depends on constitution, or energetics as you say. Perhaps I should re-word it to say that the third option is to attempt to find out what is "out of balance" to cause painful cramps and treat accordingly. This is beyond the means of most beginning students, but the truth.

Calming herbs and analgesics are bandaids, treating the symptom; the third option treats the problem.

Of course in actuality, the jokes on us ... two men arguing menstrual cramps :-)

Howie B
http://www.teleport.com/~howieb/howie.html
C&W Herbs, Inc.



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