Many women suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome), and it is said that about 70 to 80% of menstruating women have experienced physical discomfort before menstruation. There are several remedies to alleviate the symptoms of PMS, but herbal medicines can be expected to be effective for various symptoms of PMS.
Therefore, this time, we will explain the effects of Chinese herbal medicine on PMS and recommended Chinese herbal medicines. In addition to herbal medicine, low-dose pills are also used to treat PMS, so we will also introduce the effects of low-dose pills and their use in combination with herbal medicines.
Find out in this article
- Chinese herbal medicine that can be expected to be effective for PMS
- Effects of low-dose pills
- Is there any problem in using herbal medicines and low-dose pills together?
- Questions about Kampo medicine, such as where to buy it, insurance coverage, and taking it while breastfeeding
PMS and herbal medicine
Chinese herbal medicine can be expected to improve the symptoms of PMS.
First of all, we will introduce what kind of effect can be expected from Kampo medicine for PMS, and Kampo medicine recommended for those who are suffering from PMS symptoms.
We will introduce several recommended herbal medicines for each symptom, so if you are considering using herbal medicine, please refer to it.
Effects of herbal medicine
Chinese herbal medicine has the effect of improving the constitution and relieving various symptoms. Unlike medicines that work directly on the symptoms, Kampo medicines have the effect of adjusting the constitution, so they are not effective only for a specific symptom. You can expect results even if you don't.
PMS symptoms vary from person to person and how they feel is different, and in many cases the symptoms are not clear, so Chinese herbal medicine may be effective.
From the point of view of Chinese medicine, PMS is considered to be a state in which the body's energy, blood, and water are out of balance. By taking herbal medicine, you can expect the effect of relieving the symptoms of PMS by adjusting the balance of qi, blood, and water.
Chinese herbal medicine that can be expected to be effective for PMS
The main Chinese herbal medicines that can be expected to be effective for PMS are Tokishakuyakusan and Kamishoyosan.
Tokishakuyakusan improves blood circulation and warms the body. Therefore, it can be expected to be particularly effective for PMS symptoms associated with coldness (dizziness, stiff shoulders, back pain, cold legs, heavy head, etc.).
Kamishoyosan is a herbal medicine recommended for those who are suffering from not only physical symptoms but also mental symptoms caused by stress1). It can be expected to be effective for various symptoms such as dizziness, headache, anxiety, irritability, and sweating due to stress, and it is also effective for depression, so it is recommended for people with severe mental symptoms.
In addition to Tokishakuyakusan and Kamishoyosan, there are several herbal medicines that are effective for PMS, so please consult your doctor or pharmacist about which herbal medicine to use. Use herbal remedies that match your symptoms.
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Let's consider Kampo medicine for such people
As mentioned so far, Kampo medicine can be expected to be effective for various symptoms of PMS by improving the constitution. Therefore, if you have multiple symptoms that are mild but worrisome, or if the symptoms are not clear, consider using Kampo medicine.
Since it is not an analgesic, it does not have an immediate effect, but Kampo medicine is recommended for those who want to review their constitution.
Also read the following articles
Is Chinese medicine effective for infertility? What kind of herbal medicine is commonly used
Which is better herbal medicine or the pill?
Pills are also used to relieve symptoms of PMS.
Therefore, here we will explain which is better, herbal medicine or the pill, to improve the symptoms of PMS, and what kind of people are recommended for each. In addition, we will introduce the combination of herbal medicine and the pill.
Effects you can expect from the pill
Low-dose pills contain the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. There is a theory that PMS may be caused by fluctuations in female hormones and hormonal imbalance . In addition to treating PMS, low-dose pills are also used for relieving menstrual pain, improving menstrual irregularities, and for contraception.
Low-dose pills can be expected to be effective in relieving PMS symptoms, but be aware that side effects may occur in rare cases. The main side effects are nausea, headache, abdominal pain, stomach pain, irregular bleeding, etc. The most important thing is thrombosis. The incidence is low, but if you experience any worrisome symptoms such as numbness, swelling, or severe headaches, please consult a doctor as soon as possible.
It takes time to feel the effect of Chinese herbal medicine that improves your constitution, so if you want to deal with it immediately, a low-dose pill is recommended. If you are worried about the side effects of low-dose pills, consider using herbal medicine.
Is it okay to take the pill and herbal remedies together?
There is basically no problem with the combination of herbal medicine and the pill. If you have severe PMS or menstrual cramps, a combination of herbal remedies and low-dose pills may help relieve symptoms.
In addition, low-dose pills are said to be safe to use in combination with general over-the-counter drugs. However, some of the medicines prescribed at the hospital can weaken the effects of the pills and medicines when used together with the pills, or even make them work more strongly, so I always use the low-dose pills when I see a doctor. Let's tell.
If you have any other concerns about using low-dose pills, please consult your doctor or pharmacist in advance.
Questions about herbal medicine
Finally, I have summarized some questions that people with severe PMS symptoms who are considering taking herbal medicines may have.
- Where can I buy herbal medicine?
- Is it okay to breastfeed?
- What are the side effects?
If you don't understand something, please take a look.
where can i buy
Kampo medicines can be purchased at medical institutions and Kampo pharmacies. Also, over-the-counter herbal medicines are available at drugstores.
At drugstores, you can purchase Chinese herbal medicine without a doctor's diagnosis or prescription, so if you want Chinese medicine quickly, we recommend purchasing at a drugstore. If you want a doctor or pharmacist to choose a Kampo medicine that suits you, please consult a medical institution or Kampo pharmacy.
What is the difference between Kampo medicines prescribed at hospitals and Kampo medicines at drugstores?
Kampo medicines prescribed at hospitals and Kampo medicines at drugstores differ in the amount of ingredients contained in Kampo medicines.
Kampo medicines sold at drugstores are likely to be used by many people, so they contain less ingredients than Kampo medicines prescribed at hospitals in order to increase safety. Due to the small amount of ingredients, there is a possibility that the effect will be lower than that of Chinese medicine prescribed at the hospital.
Does insurance apply?
If you receive a prescription for Chinese herbal medicine from a medical institution, it will also be covered by insurance. If you buy Kampo medicine at a Kampo pharmacy, you may have to pay 15,000 to 20,000 yen per month because it is not covered by insurance.
However, please note that there are cases where Kampo medicines are not covered by insurance even if they are prescribed by a medical institution.
Can herbal medicine be used while breastfeeding?
If you want to use herbal medicines while breastfeeding, talk to your doctor first. Since it is necessary to consider the effect on the baby during breastfeeding, it is necessary to consider the type of herbal medicine and the period of use.
Basically, there are no herbal medicines prescribed by medical institutions that are prohibited from use during breastfeeding, and no major problems have been reported to date. However, if the baby is less than 2 months old, the organs are still immature, so special attention is required.
Do herbal medicines have side effects?
Since herbal medicines are medicines, they have side effects. The main side effects are diarrhea, abdominal pain, heavy stomach, itching and vomiting. Even if you use herbal medicines correctly, such as when to take them and how much to take, side effects may still occur. Please consult.
Particular caution is required for those with gastrointestinal weakness, allergies, the elderly, and those who have experienced side effects from using drugs in the past.
If you are considering Chinese herbal medicine for PMS relief, please consult a gynecologist.
If you are considering herbal remedies to alleviate your PMS symptoms, please consult a gynecologist. Since the symptoms of PMS differ from person to person, they will prescribe herbal remedies for each symptom.
If you are experiencing mental health problems rather than physical symptoms, I would recommend seeing a psychiatrist.
Chinese herbal medicine can be expected to be effective in relieving PMS. Herbal medicine is effective for multiple symptoms as it improves the constitution and alleviates the symptoms of PMS.
Tokishakuyakusan and Kamishoyosan are especially recommended for PMS, and there are several other herbal medicines that are effective for PMS, so use the herbal medicine that matches your symptoms.
In addition to Chinese herbal medicine, low-dose pills are also effective in relieving PMS. If you have severe PMS symptoms, it can be used in combination with Chinese medicine, so if you are suffering from PMS, please do not hesitate to consult a gynecologist.
1) Y. Kimura et al. Kampo therapy for premenstrual syndrome: Efficacy of Kamishoyosan quantified using the second derivative of the fingertip photoplethysmogram.2007 https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1447-0756.2007. 00531.x