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.
Damp Heat Pattern
Damp heat is defined as a condition of excessive yin deficiency or the failure of yin to control yang and yang becomes hyperactive, thus giving rise to internally extreme heat, due to abnormal function of liver in qi regulating. It is said that the symptoms can be solved by clearing liver heat, soothing liver qi.
1. Lower abdomen pain
Lower abdominal pain may be caused by liver function in blood formation and spleen in transporting the blood to the abnormal region, since damp heat accumulated in the lower abdominal region, it causes abnormal function of spleen, leading to blood stagnation in the abdomen cramps and pain.
2 Joint Pain
As the damp heat moving downward to the abdominal region, it causes the breaking off of small veins in the joint of leg, leading to blood leaking resulting in increasing the risk of swelling and pain.
3. Menstrual discharge with dark red with clots
Menstrual discharge with dark red with clots is caused by liver qi and blood stagnation and inability of spleen in fluid metabolism.
4. Slippery rapid pulse.
Slippery rapid pulse is generated by abnormal spleen function in water metabolism caused by resistance of fluid and heat in the in the blood.
5. Red tongue
Since kidney is responsible in regulating the fluid metabolism, eating hot and spicy food may cause kidney yin deficiency, leading to distorting the kidney function in moistening and lowering the fluids levels in the body, resulting in red tongue.
6. Dark urine
Since spleen is important in transporting fluid in the body, heat causes abnormal function of spleen, thus decreasing the function of kidney in urinary secretion, leading to dark urine.Damp heat sometimes is caused by infection or inflammation of the reproductive organ as a result of sexual transmitting diseases.
1. Intake of spicy foods
Intake of spicy and hot foods may increase the body temperature that depletes the internal yin and causes liver's heat to rise and affects the normal function of nervous system in information transmitting between themselves and gland, leading stress, anxiety and emotional and physical stress.
2. Over drinking alcohol
Alcohol damages the liver that affects its ability in blood formation and storing, leading to liver blood stagnation in certain region in the productive organ, resulting in purple clots in the period.
3. Over exercises
Moderate exercise is helpful for blood circulation, over exercise diverts blood aways from the reproductive organ that cause not enough blood to support the normal function of the uterus in the yang phrase of menstrual cycle, leading to menstrual cramps and pains before, during and after menstruation
4. Kidney Yin deficiency
Kidney yin deficiency causes abnormal function of kidney in regulating the fluids the body tissues, leading to abnormal water retention in the body.
5. Infection or inflammation
Infection or inflammation caused by invasion of bacteria and virus due to weakening immune system in guarding our body from foreign substances, causing heat pattern in the body that affects the kidney yin, leading to its inability to support the normal function of uterus, thus increasing the risk of uterus contraction.
1. Long dan cao (Gentian)
Besides it is used to treat liver heat caused by dampness accumulation due to spleen' inability in materials absorption, It also enhances the liver and the gallbladder function in draining damp heat in the body through kidney urinary secretion.
2. Huang qin (Scullcap)
Huang qin is important to enhance the lung function by moistening the qi, thus reducing the risk of fever, irritability, thirst, cough. It also improves the stomach function in absorbing vital vitamins and minerals by clearing the heat caused extreme dampness that causes diarrhea and thirst with no desire to drink.
3. Zhi zi (Gardenia)
It improves the circulatory function by clearing the liver heat due to constrained liver and heat caused by infection or inflammation as a result of fluids accumulated in body for a prolong period of time.
4. Mu tong (Akebia)
Mu tong besides increases the kidney in clearing dampness through urinary secretion, it also enhances the blood function by draining the blood heat caused by blood stagnation.
5. Che qian cao (Plaintain root)
Che qian cao has a vital function by eliminating the toxin accumulated in the body and promoting damp heat expelling through urinary secretion.
6. Chai hu (Buplerum)
Chai hu enhances the spleen and stomach in qi and materials digestion, thereby reducing damp heat in the abdominal region caused by liver blood stagnation, resulting in lessening the menstrual cramps and pain and pain caused lung qi stagnation due to spleen abnormal function in qi transportation.
7. Gan cao (licorice root)
Gan cao reduces damp heat accumulated in the body in many different ways
a) It moistens the lung, thus reducing the lung dryness causing symptoms of coughing and promoting the smooth qi movement.
b) It reduces the heat caused by toxins in the body by eliminating them through urinary secretion.
c) It enhances the heart in regulating the movement of blood by strengthening the blood that stop the irregular pulse.
d) It increases the liver function in regulating the abdominal muscles, thus reducing the menstrual cramps and pain.
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