10 Herbs for Painful Periods

Painful periods is one of the common gynaecological problems in young females in today’s modern era, generally a life-style disorder but the other medical factors may also contribute in the production of disease. Some degree of pain or discomfort is common during periods but pain of sufficient magnitude affects day to day activities of a female and becomes attention seeking entity. Amongst 90 % of adult female population suffering from menstrual pain only 8 to 10 % seek medical advice. There are a lot of factors acting as helping hand in the production of disease. Risk factors include age, social status, occupation, weight etc. About 52 % students, 33 % housewives report that their ability to perform work is affected by painful periods. Prevalence of pain is higher in the females of higher social status compared to lower income group depending upon pain tolerance. The females with a family history of painful periods usually have this problem. Overweight and malnourished females are at higher risk Likewise; smokers have 50% enhanced risk as compared to non-smokers. Lack of emotional security, instability may play a major role. Fear, anxiety, unhappiness, disharmonious marriage may be implicated as associated factors in the causation of disease. What causes painful periods? Wrong diet and life style are the basic causes. General ill health , psychological cause, medical causes also contribute. Obesity is the another important factor in the causation of disease.


Pain usually begins a few hour or one to two weeks before or just after the onset of menstruation and may last for 48 to 72 hours. Site of pain may be lower abdomen and below the umbilicus, inner and anterior aspect of thigh, back and associated with nausea, vomiting, headache, diarrhea and giddiness.
1. Consume plenty of water as water is extremely effective in proper functioning of body and leads to obesity control.
2. Added sprouts in your breakfast are effective as are more digestible, less fattening, more palatable and nutritious. Amount and availability of vitamin C, iron, riboflavin, niacin, and phosphorus increases after sprouting certain seeds so, are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. The starch present in these food substances is converted into glucose, fructose, and maltose. That improves the taste as well as increase the digestibility. The process of this conversion appears gradually in pulses and grains.
3. Add fruits and vegetables as an essential part to your diet. Fruits high in fiber are apples with skin, apricots, blackberries, peaches, prunes, beets, broccoli and raw carrots. Include yoghurt in diet to provide calcium.
4. Adapt meditation a part of your daily regimen. During meditation, there is a decrease in oxygen consumption, cardiac output and breath rate, resulting in a revitalized organism.
5. Regularly breathing exercises like anuloma viloma, kapalbhatti, and some yogic asana for maintaining oneself in good shape and healthy mind.
6. Consume green salad containing tomatoes and mint leaves as they are good for burning excessive fat.
1. Refined carbohydrates, potatoes, tea, coffee, spicy and oily food.
2. Stress, and working late night.
3. Carbonated soft drinks and start taking green tea and fresh fruit juice.
4. Smoking, alcohol.
5. Junk food i.e., pizza, burger, chips, etc.
Ten herbs to combat painful periods
1. Aloe vera
Aloe Vera is an important easily available traditional medicine. Aloe vera juice is effective in menstrual pain, having anti- inflammatory & analgesic properties, contain vitamins A, C, E and B12, Folic acid & minerals. Thus, is a general tonic and acts as a rejuvenator.
2. Manjishtha
Rubia cordifolia has good antispasmodic & blood purifier properties. So, is beneficial in painful periods.
3. Methi
Generally used in the powder form to get rid of periods pain. Seeds have been found to contain protein, Vitamin C, Niacin, Potassium and Diosgenin. along with alkaloids, Lysine, Tryptophan, as well as Steroidal saponins. It is used to treat hormonal disorders and to reduce menstrual pain, improves digestion & maintains healthy metabolism.
4. Guggulu
Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving herb useful in menstrual disturbances and painful menses, Relaxes muscles and helps in menstrual cramps. It acts as a body detoxifier, breaks up body stagnation. Guggulu is a weight loss and fat burning agent
5. Nirgundi
Powder of leaves has analgesic & anti-inflammatory action It is richest source of stable Vitamin C. This richness in Vitamin C makes the nirgundi one of the best anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic (not by killing the cells but by increasing the immunity of the body). Improves menstrual flow. So, is used in painful periods.
6. Ajmoda
Also known as Bishop’s weed, valued for it’s antispasmodic, stimulant, tonic and carminative properties, ignites digestive fire, so is helpful in maintaining digestion properly. Used to relieve abdominal pains and the pain due to periods.
7. Amalaki
Amalaki or Indian Gooseberry is one of the best ayurvedic rejuvenating herb. It is cheap and best source of Vitamin C that helps it to be recognized as a best anti-oxident also. Routine use of Amalaki is useful in regularizing the metabolism and increases body’s ability to cope up with day to day stress. So, the pain perception during periods is lower by the use of amalaki. The powder and juice of amla may be used for the painful periods.
8. Shigru
Shigru or Horseradish tree. Shigru or drumstick is hot in potency. Latest Studies reveal drumstick plant to be an excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, antibiotic, & analgesic qualities. Parts of the tree are used to maintain regular menstruation and it is thought as a “mother’s herb”. Used to cure obesity and digestive disorders. Leaves are high in iron content and are especially beneficial in treating many ailments and nutritious to prevent malnutrition.
9. Devil’s cotton
The fresh viscid sap of the root bark is considered to be a valuable emmenagogue and uterine tonic. Greasy elements, carbohydrates, magnesium and resin are found in much quantity in it’s roots. Useful medicine for the treatment of uterus, stomach diseases, stomach inflammation, irregular menstruation, mental diseases, back pain, indigestion. and other disorders of menses and sterility Usually the bark and leaves are used for the medicinal properties.
10. Vacha
Vacha or Acorus calamus is an highly valued herbal medicinal plant in India and other European countries. Because of its ability to rejuvenate the nervus system, It makes the body capable to bear stress and pain. Moreover with the anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties. It is beneficial to relieve the painful periods.
1. Lecturer,
Deptt. of Prasooti Tantra Avum Stri Roga,
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar.
2. Reader,
P.G. Deptt. of Prasooti Tantra Avum Stri Roga,
R.G.G.P.G. Ayurvedic College, Paprola (H.P.)