Menstrual cramps are sharp pains in a woman’s lower abdomen that occur when her menstrual period begins and may continue for the duration of her menses. If this becomes serious enough it is considered to be dysmenorrhea, and if scar tissue begins to form it can turn into the more serious endometriosis. Prostaglandins are chemicals a produced in a woman’s uterine tissue that stimulate the uterine muscles to contract. Women who have high levels of prostaglandin may experience more intense contractions of their uterus and more pain. Prostaglandins may also be responsible for vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches that accompany painful periods. In Chinese medicine the protocol here is to address the following patterns: Invigorate blood circulation, disperse blood stagnation, and activate qi circulation to help free the area.As always when dealing with any ongoing issue you want to address it form several aspects of your life. If you have not already seen your gynecologist about this issue that is your first move. In addition to Dietary and lifestyle changes Chinese herbs can be very helpful in this situation. When looking for a formula to Invigorate the blood, dispurse stagnation, and activate the qi look for one containing one or more  of the following herbs:

Hong Hua – Regulates and unblocks menstruation as well as stops pain.

Dang Gui – which both tonifies and moves the blood especially for menstrual pain due to stagnation.

Chuan Xiong – Strongly moves the qi and and blood to help unblock stagnation esp in the lower jiao.