Most girls have their first menstrual period by the time they are 15 years of age. Menstruation is a result of changes which take place in the lining of the uterus (endometrium) which culminate once a month when the blood-enriched lining is discharged as the menstrual flow. This cycle is constantly repeated about every 28 days throughout a woman’s fertile years and is controlled by hormones produced by the pituitary gland.
Many women would consider themselves lucky if a few days of uterine bleeding, once a month, was all they had to worry about. Hormonal and metabolic changes during the menstrual cycle often cause unpleasant symptoms, which can range in severity, such as:
- PREMENSTRUAL TENSION before the onset of menstruation
- DYSMENORRHOEA or painful menstruation
- MENORRHAGIA or excessive bleeding
If you are affected by any of these disorders, it is encouraging to know that they can be alleviated by certain herbs—nature’s own medicine! Let us consider some:
LADY’S MANTLE is not only a good remedy for all sorts of menstrual disorders, but it also helps at the beginning of puberty. Drink two to three cups every day.
YARROW helps to regulate menstruation. As the Swiss herbalist Kuenzle says: “Women could be spared many troubles if they just took yarrow tea from time to time.” Austrian herbalist Maria Treben stresses its merits: “Be it a young girl with irregular menstruation or an older woman during menopause or already past it, for everyone young or old, it is of importance to drink a cup of yarrow tea!”
SHEPHERD’S PURSE has astringent properties which makes it an effective treatment for excessive menstrual bleeding. Start to take the tea about ten days before each period, drinking two cups every day. It is also good for normalising irregular periods during puberty.
The following mixture, taken from an old herbal book, is very beneficial for menstrual difficulties:
- 50 g Balm mint
- 50 g Lady’s mantle
- 50 g Sage
- 50 g Valerian root
- 50 g Yarrow
Directions: Place the above herbs in an airtight container, mix and shake well, and store the mixture in a dark place. Infuse one heaped tsp of herbs with one cup of boiling water for approximately three to five minutes and strain. Drink two to three cups throughout the day.