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Heavy or Excessive Menstrual Bleeding

What is Menorrhagia? It can vary from woman to woman, Amanda McQuade Crawford writes " it can mean gushing rivers or big clots lost during a normal (for the individual) length of bleeding time: it may mean that most of the blood loss happens quickly in extreme floods during the first day or two".

There is a wide variety of causes, each individual is unique as is her hormonal/menstrual cycle. These are only a few possible causes. If you have questions please consult with your health care professional to aid you in diagnosing any problems you may have. Once you know what the problem is, if any, you can then decide how best to treat it, via natural methods or standard medical treatments. There are many excellent books available to aid you in treating your menstrual difficulty in a natural way. Don't underestimate the value diet plays in various menstrual problems.

Possible Causes
Some possible causes of heavy or excessive menstrual bleeding are endometriosis, blockages in the pelvic area, such as polyps, fibroids, cysts or tumors. However, menorrhagia is often the result of imbalances in the body. Two bodily systems have a direct influence on the amount of bleeding that occurs each month; the endocrine system (particularly the thyroid) and the liver.

Remedies: Dietary
Rosemary Gladstar suggests the following to aid in correcting the problem and restoring energy, as one who bleeds a lot may have low iron levels, and possibly be anemic.

Add seaweed to your daily diet, start with mild tasting ones like hizike (hijike) and dulse, add them to just about anything, treat like a seasoning. Seaweed is an abundant source of trace minerals, particularly iodine, and vitamins, which help to revitalize the endocrine system. If you prefer to take capsules, Kelp is easily found, work up your way up to 15-20 capsules a day.

Replacing iron lost from excess bleeding is very important, eating foods high in iron and a liquid iron mineral supplement would be extremely helpful in replenishing iron reserves.

A wholesome diet high in quality protein foods, whole grains, dark leafy green vegetable, and root vegetables. Avoid red meat, sweets, refined sugars and foods as well as caffeine and nicotine.

Avoid herbs which encourage bleeding, such as angelica, dong quai, and pennyroyal. Research your herbs, know what you are taking.

Wholistic treatment involves uncovering the underlying cause, not just treating the symptoms. A couple of herbs you can use to treat the symptoms with are yarrow flowers and a tincture of Shepards Purse.
Be careful when purchasing Shepards Purse, it is a very delicate plant. Don't buy the dried herb, use a tincture made from the fresh plant. The tincture should be no older than six months as its potency decreases with time. It has oxytocic properties, which helps the uterus to clamp down, which makes it useful for heavy menstruation, or following childbirth.

An excellent book, which I highly recommend is Herbal Remedies for Women by Amanda Crawford, which will explain things in much greater detail. She lists yarrow and calendula flowers as being astringent, digestive bitters and able to improve liver function and reduce access menstrual bleeding.

A gentle all-round women's herb, Vitex, I think would be helpful.

Rosemary gives a tea recipe:
Moon Tea
2 parts raspberry leaf (uterine tonic)
2 parts nettle (high in calcium, iron and other minerals)
1 part alfalfa (nourishing tonic)
1/2 part yarrow (astringent, helps to decrease blood loss;
liver herb, helps the body to metabolize exess hormones

Recommended Reading
Herbal Healing for Women by Rosemary Gladstar
Herbal Remedies for Women by Amanda McQuade Crawford

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