Chinese herbs superior to drugs easing menstrual cramps

Chinese herbal medicine provides significant pain relief for women with menstrual cramps, researchers from University of Western Sydney show.

Women with period pains are often offered either nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or oral contraceptives. Both of the options have drawbacks, including the short and long term side-effects. Many women find these treatments don’t work or that they would prefer a natural alternative.

A review of 39 controlled trials in 3,475 women found that Chinese herbal medicine was superior to pharmaceutical drugs providing significant pain relief. It relieved overall symptoms even better than acupuncture.

There was no indication that Chinese herbal medicine caused any adverse events, making it the first choice for relieving menstrual cramps.