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Herbal treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome

A case study by Isabela Mascaró


Gender discrimination in the Western Medical Model is a problem too often ignored. As Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, rightfully says “For generations, women have lived with a health and care system that is mostly designed by men, for men”

Exploring the condition of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) opens the door into the most critical problems women face in the medical model including normalization of symptoms and lack of treatment options.

PMS is described as the onset of psychological and physiological symptoms up to 2 weeks before menses with relief seen after the onset of menstruation. There is a wide range of symptoms affecting mostly the Gastrointestinal, Nervous and Reproductive Systems. From 30% to 85% of women report at least one premenstrual symptom during each menstrual cycle, and 10% report that symptoms are so debilitating that they have a negative impact in their duties. However, most women do not seek medical treatment or advice because these symptoms have been normalized.

When women do seek treatment, their options are limited and in certain cases unsuitable. Conventional treatment includes OC’s, NSAIDs, SSRIs, antidepressants, and diuretics, most of which only target symptom relief but lack to address root causes, provide a personalized treatment and often come with side effects that might worsen the condition.

Herbal medicine can excel in such area by providing a complete integrative approach. The practitioner can provide a personalized treatment with herbs that suit each woman and their unique manifestation of symptoms. Furthermore, the practitioner plays a vital role in the process of educating women about the importance of their hormonal health, and exploring  their own beliefs about menstruation and relationship to their feminine energy.

The following case is important as it highlights the need for herbal medicine with women that conventional treatment has caused side effects and seek an alternative option.

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