Women’s health has been supported by traditional Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture for thousands of years. Chinese medicine views women’s health in a different way to Western medicine, as rather than using a blanket diagnosis for particular signs or symptoms, it aims to treat women’s health conditions on a case-by-case basis. Chinese medicine takes into account any particular symptoms of the client as well as the menstrual cycle.
Ancient Chinese medicine is renowned for treating the client as a whole person, and therefore will not only focus on their main complaints but will formulate a treatment plan for the entire body, promoting overall health and mental wellbeing. Chinese medicine practitioners will focus on factors such as stress, sleep and digestion as when these areas of the body are functioning well, it is a good foundation for treating specific ailments and health conditions.
Chinese medicine and acupuncture can help specifically with women’s health by regulating the menstrual cycle, assisting with painful or absent periods, helping with fertility issues and supporting pregnancy. It can also treat disorders such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Endometriosis, offering natural, safe health care options.
Common Chinese Herbs for Women’s Health
Chinese herbal medicine has a long history supporting health and wellbeing and has developed over centuries to be delivered in more convenient options. Chinese herbs are available as raw herbs which have been dried, which is the traditional option, and also as granules, tablets or capsules. Regardless of the form they come in, a registered practitioner at a Chinese medicine clinic will prepare a herbal formula to treat the specific signs and symptoms of the client.
There are a key group of herbs that are commonly used to help women with their health issues as they have shown to offer benefits to women’s health disorders.
Bai Shao (White Peony Root)
The Chinese Peony plant is grown for 4 to 5 years, then the roots are dug up and cleaned with water, removing the bark and rootlets. The root is boiled, dried in the sun and sliced.
Bai Shao is known to invigorate and nourish liver blood, helping to regulate menstruation, relieving period cramps and may also help with pain or spasms in the musculoskeletal system. This particular root also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic and immunomodulatory (modulation of the immune system) effects, making it useful for muscle cramping and arthritis.
A major constituent of Bai Shao is Paeoniforin, used to treat gynaecological disorders including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Dang Gui (Chinese Angelica Root)
Dang Gui is the dried root of the Angelica Senensus plant which is native to China. Often called the female ginseng because of its benefits to women’s health, it can invigorate the blood and regulate menses so is currently used for irregular periods, absent periods and pain. It can also improve digestive issues.
Containing phytoestrogens that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, Dang Gui is used successfully for balancing menopausal symptoms.
Gan Cao (Licorice Root)
Gan Cao is the dried root of the Licorice plant, or Glycyrrhiza uralensis, and is possibly the most extensively used single herb in Chinese herbal medicine. It is frequently used as a harmoniser is the majority of Chinese herbal formulas as it reduces any harsh properties of other herbs being used.
Gan Cao strengthens Qi (the vital life force that flows through the body), alleviates pain and spasms and moistens dryness. This can lead to an increase in energy levels, promotes homeostasis (a healthy state of the systems and processes in the body) and helps with proper functioning of the body’s physiological processes.
Huang Lian (Goldthread Root)
Huang Lian is the dried root of the Goldthread Plant, or Coptis Rhizome. While it has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years, it has become quite popular in more modern times for its benefits in regulating the menstrual cycle and also for managing diabetes. It clears heat and drains dampness, which is helpful for water retention, metabolism and improving digestion.
Containing a high amount of berberine, this chemical compound has antimicrobial properties as well as antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-obesity effects. Berberine is the constituent of Huang Lian that increases the frequency and regularity of the menstrual cycle and balances hormones. It is also a treatment option for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
Chinese herbal products can be used to support your women’s health needs during any stage of your life. Complement Chinese herbal formulas with acupuncture and lifestyle changes and work your way to an energetic, vibrant, healthy woman. Book a consultation with a reputable Chinese medicine practitioner who is experienced in women’s health.