Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
Every month I get very painful menstrual cramps. This has been a lifelong problem. What can I do to alleviate my dysmenorrhea?
A: PMS and dysmenorrhea respond well to acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment. I recommend the following:
1. One week prior to the onset of symptoms, increase your consumption of green onions, fennel, orange peel, spinach, walnuts, and Chinese angelica (Dang Gui). You may also make cinnamon tea. You should also add omega-3 and GLA oils to your diet; you can take these as supplements or get them from food sources.
2. Avoid cold and raw foods, excessive consumption of fruits, vinegar, all shellfish, stimulants such as coffee, and smoking. Reduce dairy products.
3. The following Traditions of Tao products may also be of help: “Emotional Tranquility” tea, “Internal Cleanse”, “Calm-fort/Sleeping”, “Menstruation” and “Passages Plus”. Of Course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.
I also suggest you consult a licensed acupuncturist/herbalist for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment.