In Conventional medicine, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) is defined as a condition of severe uterine pain during menstruation. Some women may experience periodic pains during or prior to, or after menstrual periods in the lower abdomen as resulting of over production of certain hormones in the prostaglandins family. In traditional Chinese medicine, dysmenorrhea is defined as a pain in the lower abdomen, appearing with menstrual cycle that can spread over to the whole abdomen and lumbosacral region, depending to diagnosis.
In TCM, dysmenorrhea may be caused by Blood and Qi stagnation, Qi and Blood deficiency, Damp Heat pattern, Kidney and Liver deficiency, depending to the differentiation.
Blood and Qi deficiency
deficiency of blood and qi are defined as a condition of liver abnormal function in blood formation and blood transportation due to qi deficiency or the inability of qi in moving blood caused by spleen qi and lung deficiency. Therefore, by treating the stagnation of spleen and lung qi, it will improve the blood deficiency.
1. Abdominal pain after menstruation
As the yang starts to drop, it allows the spleen to push the blood stagnation in the uterus out through the vagina. Since there is not enough qi for the spleen to perform its function or abnormal function of spleen in blood transportation, leading over production of prostaglandins hormones, causing menstrual cramps and pain.
2. Period is thin and volume is small
It is easy to understand why the period is thin, since there are not enough blood circulation in the body to supply energy for our body, the primitive brain reaction is to divert blood to other organs, leading to the onset of thin period, sometimes no period at all. On the other hand, it can be explained as blood is stasis in some organs other than the uterus, causing not enough blood for menstruation. This symptom can cause infertility as the uterus is not warm enough to support the implantation of fertilized egg.
Circulation of Blood is important to transport oxygen and energy to nourish the body cells in daily activity, deficiency of blood causes abnormal function of spleen in blood transportation and its function in energy distribution, leading to tiredness.
4. Loose stools
Since spleen is important for digestive function and energy distribution, deficiency of blood causes abnormal function of food absorption, leading to loose stools, as food can not be digested properly.
5. Pale complexion
Pale complexion normally can be viewed as kidney yang deficiency, but in this case, it is caused by liver abnormal function in blood formation or spleen's inability to transport blood to the whole body.
1. Hot food
As the foods entering our stomach, they are divided to 2 components, qi and materials. prolonged intake of hot food causes dryness in the stomach and deplete the fluid of the spleen, leading to abnormal function of the circulatory system in moving qi and liver function in blood formation, resulting in deficiency of qi and blood that causes menstrual cramp and pain as the period becomes scanty.
2. Unhealthy diet
A typical American diet is yang in nature, intake of high amount of unsaturated fat and tran fat encourage the rise to the excessive yang pathogen that blocks the liver function in blood storing and spleen function in assisting lung in qi transportation.
3. Alcohol drinking
Excessive alcohol drinking damages the liver function in blood formation and blood storing as well as interfering with spleen function in qi transportation, leading qi and blood stagnation.
4. Environment toxins
Environment toxins not only affects the respiratory function in qi transportation, but also causes toxins accumulated in the liver that distort the qi and blood flow, leading to qi and blood stagnation and disturbing the normal process of menstrual cycle.
5. spleen deficiency
Spleen is the organ which helps to absorb the food qi after entering the stomach, spleen deficiency caused by what ever reason, may obstruct the normal function of qi to the lung and liver, giving rise to qi and blood deficiency.
1.Ren shen (Ginseng)
Ren shen is considered as one of most powerful herbs in strengthening the original qi in the body. a) In spleen, it improves the spleen function in qi absorption, thus reducing the symptoms of distended chest and abdomen cramps and pain.
b) In lung, it enhances the lung qi by moistening the channels, thus reducing the symptoms of asthma, dry cough and preventing the rebellion qi causes of menstrual cramps and pain.
2. Xi yang shen (American ginseng)
Xi yang shen is yin in nature, besides promoting the lung and spleen qi, it also increases the digestive system in absorbing vital energy and reducing the heat causes of qi stagnation by moistening the all qi transportation channels, especially for qi stagnation caused by deficiency of yin.
3. Dang shen (pilose asiabell root)
Dang shen is a spleen and lung tonic herbs. It improves the lung function in moving qi smoothly through its channels and spleen function in absorbing qi after foods entering the stomach. It also helps to restore the qi which is damaged by heat caused by infection, inflammation or heat generated due to excessive fluids accumulation.
4. Tai zi shen (pseudostellaria root)
Besides helping to increase the spleen and lung qi, it also improve the blood transportation and spleen and stomach in absorbing vital energy for our body cells and generates fluids to prevent the heat causes of qi stagnation.
5. Huang qi (astragalus root)
It is one of the herb that helps to increase the function of liver in generating more blood and liver qi in blood transportation due to excessive blood loss during menstruation.
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