Researchers at the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney say Chinese herbs are the best remedy for menstrual cramps.
Let's face it - China could use a bit of good news about now. Following the deluge of safety concerns swirling around its exported products, it's welcome news to hear the ancient practice of Chinese herbal medicine may still be a viable alternative.
The researchers compared the effects of several remedies, including a placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), oral contraceptives, heat compression, and even acupuncture. The results pointed to the herbal remedies as the clear favorite. This is particularly good news for women seeking an alternative to drug-based treatments.
The Chinese herbs utilized were chosen for their ability to regulate the body's energy ("qi") and blood, produce warmth, and boost liver and kidney function. Among the herbs used were Chinese angelica root, Szechuan lovage root, red peony root, fennel fruit, and liquorice root.
The study involved about 3,500 women. Researchers say additional, larger scale, studies are needed to verify these preliminary findings.
Are these results significant? Well, considering the fact that roughly 50% of women of reproductive age, and between 60% and 85% of teenage women, experience menstrual cramps and pain, this is indeed good news - for everyone. Especially, perhaps, the Chinese...To read more about the study, including a complete list of the herbs used, see this from Reuters. To learn more about Chinese herbal medicine, including a searchable database of Chinese herbs, see this from The Chinese Herb Academy.