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In Depth Healing Strategies for Menorrhagia (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding)

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WESTERN INTERPRETATION AND TREATMENT

Heavy bleeding during regular menses can be caused by endometriosis, fibroid tumors, or cysts. Chronic stress is sometimes considered a contributing factor. Traditional treatments include progesterone therapy or oral contraceptives, which can help stop the bleeding; dilation and curettage (D & C) for diagnostic purposes and to Stop the bleeding; and hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) as a final solution. For anemia (often caused by excessive bleeding), iron supplements are prescribed.

FIVE ELEMENT HEALING INTERPRETATION

  1. The Chinese offer two interpretations of heavy menstrual bleeding: Deficient Spleen and Kidney chi cannot hold the blood in its channels; the symptoms include pale, flabby tongue, prolonged light bleeding (blood is pinkish in color rather than bright red), fatigue, and shortness of breath.
  2. Liver chi stagnation, which leads to heat in the blood; the symptoms include a dark-colored tongue with yellow coating, profuse bleeding with dark red blood, and irritability.

COMPLEMENTARY TREATMENTS


SUPPLEMENTS

  • Iron (Try Liquid Floradix Iron, a European herbal formula rich in natural iron herbs, available in health food stores; and follow the directions on the bottle.)
  • Beta carotene (25,000 iu/day)
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids (1,000 to 5,000 mg/day)
Warning: As prolonged heavy bleeding may involve serious illness, see your gynecologist while trying these complementary treatment methods; also, anemia may occur and must be treated.

TOPICAL STRATEGIES

Tampons can irritate inflamed vaginal tissues. Switch to pads, and try natural cloth pads.

EXERCISE

Try to stay off your feet and allow gravity to assist in the healing process.

DIET

Choose dark green, iron-rich vegetables (kale, spinach, broccoli, and kelp) and root vegetables (carrots, radishes, turnips). Avoid spicy foods, fatty foods, dairy foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.

HERBAL ALLIES

  • Yellow dock (Rumex crispus) is a lymphatic cleanser and liver tonic with stimulating effects on the flow of bile.  Full of nutrients, especially iron, yellow dock is a valuable remedy for anemia as well as for the depletion of red blood cells and platelets that occurs during mentruation.
  • Nettles, (Urtica dioica) also called stinging nettles, have a strong spiritual heritage and were used traditionally to remove curses or spells, directing them back to the sender (thus the sting). An extremely powerful and invasive plant, nettles extract high concentrations of nutrients from the soil and are especially rich in iron, vitamin C, calcium, and chlorophyll; these and other nutrients in the plant have powerful and diverse effects on the human body. Nettles have been used with great success to treat arthritic diseases and inflammations, to support kidney and bladder functions, and to control hemorrhaging. The Native Americans used nettles primarily as a gynecological herb and general womb tonic to increase fertility, support pregnancy, control bleeding during childbirth, and ease the transition through menopause.
  • Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris), Lady’s mantle has a long history as a sacred, magical herb; in ancient times alchemists would gather the dew that collected on the plant’s foliage and use it to enhance the potency of their formulas. The principal quality of this herb is its astringency, which makes it the perfect antidote to heavy menstrual flow, breakthrough bleeding, or heavy discharges (leukorrhea). Lady’s mantle also increases the blood supply to the reproductive organs, stimulating menstruation and supporting a balanced menstrual flow. Its proven anti-inflammatory properties confirm its historical role as an effective healing agent for wounds.
Caution: do not use Dong Quai while experiencing heavy bleeding, for it is a blood mover and may intensify the bleeding unless it is a small part of a larger gynecological formula such as Women’s Transition.

COMPLEMENTARY HERBAL FORMULATIONS:

(Traditionally, in both Western and Chinese cultures, the combining of herbs is of superior value than the individual parts. After over thirty years as an herbalist, the synergy of certain herbs became apparent and this understanding has been used to create our own Integral Health Apothecary formulas. We are also listing tradition Chinese herbal tonics which exemplify this synergy.)

  • Integral Health Apothecary’s Womens Transition Formula was created this by Jason for women navigating the menopausal years. Derived from both western and eastern herbal traditions, the balancing herbs in this formula combine perfectly help to ease the transition and support the bodys ability to shift more smoothly. Ingredients: Rehmannia Root (Rehmannia glutinosa), Chasteberry, (Vitex Agnus-Castus) ), Oatstraw (Avena sativa), Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis), St. Johns Wort ( Hypericum preforatum), Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthrococcus senticosus), Motherwort (Leonorus cardiaca) and Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus ideaeus).

Special Note: As most cases of menorrhagia are connected with menopause or peri-menopause, this formula would be very beneficial, however if the cause is endometriosis or ovarian cysts then seek professional guidance.


CHINESE PATENT REMEDIES
  • Yunnan Pai Yao (Yunnan White Powder); use until the bleeding stops
  • Gui Pi Wan (Restore Spleen Pill) to support the Spleen, or Bu Tiao (Nourish Blood, Adjust Period Pill) to support Kidney and Spleen energies and relieve congestion in the pelvic area.

ACUPOINTS

  • A Special point to control bleeding is located on the knuckle of the big toe. Press hard on both roes.
  • For deficient Spleen and Kidney chi: Spleen 4, Spleen 6, Kidney 3, and Conception Vessel 4.
  • For Liver stagnation and heat in the blood, add Liver 3.

MIND/BODY/SPIRIT CONNECTION

The symptoms might be expressing these questions:
  • “How am I sabotaging my power and giving it away?”
  • “How do I deplete myself of nourishment and vitality?”
  • “How do I let my anger boil up so that it heats my blood and overflows?”
  • “Am I holding onto feelings-positive or negative-that I’m not willing to give up?”
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