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Herbs for Menstruation: Can They Help Regulate Periods?

Herbs for Menstruation: Can They Help Regulate Periods?

Many women experience erratic monthly periods. Why do they happen and are there available herbs for late or irregular menstruation? Find out here.

The Average Menstrual Cycle

If you are suffering from irregular or late menstrual period, you are not alone. According to reports, irregularities in the menstrual cycle are a common complaint among women.

But what exactly does it mean when someone has an irregular or a late period?

To give you a good explanation, you need to look back on the concept of the menstrual cycle.

  • Simply put, a menstrual cycle is the number of days from the start of your last monthly period to the start of the next one.
  • Let’s say your last menstruation started on September 1, and then your next period began on September 26. You can say that that particular menstrual cycle had 25 days.

While you often hear that the “normal” menstrual cycle has 28 days, it is not true for everyone. After all, a 28-day cycle is just an average figure. Reports indicate that a menstrual cycle can be anywhere between 21 to 35 days (3 to 5 weeks).

herbs for menstruation

Late and Irregular Menstruation, Defined

Before we discuss the different herbs for irregular or late menstruation, let’s first define both conditions.

An irregular period is when:

  • Your period doesn’t seem to follow a regular cycle. A good example of an irregular period is when your last cycle was 23 days, then your next was 40, and the following one was 35 days.
  • In other words, it is when the “gap” between your periods keeps changing.
  • It is also when you have your menstruation sooner or later than your regular period.

But, what about late periods?

  • A late period is when your menstruation hasn’t started 5 or more days after you expect it to occur.
  • Hence, if you expect your period to start on September 20 and it still hasn’t started even though it is already September 26, you are experiencing a late period.

Please note that a “missed period” is different. A missed period happens when you still have no menstrual flow even though it has been at least 6 weeks since your last period.

Reasons for Irregular or Late Menstruation

The first step to make your menstruation regular is to identify what’s causing the irregularities. Some of the common reasons for irregular or late periods are:

  • Stress. Perhaps, one of the most common reasons for an irregular or late period is stress. Please note that both emotional and physical stress (illnesses) can cause period irregularities.
  • Change in weight. At times, being overweight or underweight can lead to irregular or late periods. Weight changes can also be associated with disorders that might cause late or irregular menstrual flow. Examples of these disorders are anorexia, bulimia, or poorly managed diabetes.
  • Rigorous exercise. If you’re suffering from late or irregular periods, you might want to look back on your exercise routine. According to studies, too much exercise can affect estrogen levels, one of the hormones responsible for regulating female reproductive functions, including menstruation. Reports even suggest that many athletes suffer from missed periods (for 6 months or longer) due to rigorous training.
  • Underlying health conditions. Health conditions such as thyroid problems, endocrine disorders, and polycystic ovary syndrome can cause late or irregular periods.
  • Medications. Are you taking any medication? If you are, check its side effects as one of them could be “late or irregular menstrual flow.” Some birth control pills can also result in period irregularities because of how they change hormonal levels.

Herbs for an Irregular or a Late Menstruation

If you want to induce your period, or better yet, normalize your menstrual cycle, the following herbs for menstruation might help:

Turmeric

A relative of ginger, turmeric is a bright orange spice used in Ayurvedic medicine to regulate and induce monthly period.

One possible reason why it can help with period irregularities is its perceived ability to “balance hormones.” Moreover, it also has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that can help with cramps.

Ginger

Ginger, on the other hand, is thought to induce bleeding. That’s why in traditional medicine, it’s not advisable to give ginger to a pregnant woman.

However, note that other than their well-known reputation in traditional medicine, there are very few scientific studies to prove that ginger and turmeric are really effective in inducing and regulating menstrual flow.

Papaya

One of the herbs for menstruation is unripe papaya. According to reports, unripe papaya can promote uterine contractions and induce menstrual flow. This is also one of the reasons why it is contraindicated for pregnant women.

Pineapple

One of the herbs for irregular menstruation is pineapple. If you determine that the cause of your irregular or late period is related to inflammation, snacking on fresh pineapples might help. The reason is that the bromelain in pineapple has anti-inflammatory effects.

Just a side note: Reports say that the bromelain is destroyed in the process canning. So if your goal is to harness the benefits of bromelain, it may not be a good idea to munch on canned pineapples.

Cinnamon

To make your menstruation cycle regular, consider cinnamon. A study that aimed to see the effects of cinnamon in the menstrual cycle of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) showed promising results.

The study had a total of 45 participants, all of whom are suffering from PCOS. The investigators then divided them into 2 groups: One group received placebo treatment while the other group was given 1.5 grams of cinnamon supplement per day.

During the 6 months of intervention, results show that the menstrual cycle was more frequent in the group which received cinnamon supplements than those who were given the placebo.

Lifestyle Interventions

Aside from the herbs for late or irregular menstruation, you can also consider the following lifestyle interventions:

  • Get more Vitamin D. One study found out that a low level of Vitamin D is associated with irregular cycles – but not short or long cycles. The researchers of the study also concluded that Vitamin D may play a role in “regulating ovulatory function.”
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise regularly and have a healthy diet to help you keep your weight in check. Just don’t overdo it with the exercise. Remember that too much exercise can negatively affect your menstrual cycle.
  • Combat stress. If you feel that stress is causing your late or irregular periods, find ways to de-stress. Get plenty of sleep, try some deep breathing exercises, and consider taking a break when you’ve been working too hard for too long.

Final Reminders

If you are worried about your late or irregular menstruation, talk to your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, seek medical help if you experience any of the following:

  • You are under 45 years old, but your period has suddenly become irregular
  • The gap between the first days of your periods is less than 21 days
  • The gap between the first days of your period is more than 35 days
  • Your period lasts for 7 days or longer

Finally, if you are planning to become pregnant or already suspecting pregnancy, remember that missed menstruation is an early sign that you are carrying a baby. Avoid taking any medication or herbs for menstruation that might hurt the baby or put your pregnancy at risk.

Learn more about Herbals & Alternatives here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

MENSTRUAL PERIOD, LATE OR MISSED
https://www.summitmedicalgroup.com/library/pediatric_health/hhg_period_late_or_missed/#:~:text=A%20menstrual%20period%20is%20considered,start%20of%20your%20last%20period.
Accessed September 25, 2020

9 REASONS YOUR PERIOD IS LATE (IF YOU’RE NOT PREGNANT)
https://vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu/9-reasons-missed-period/
Accessed September 25, 2020

Menstrual Period – Missed or Late
https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/menstrual-period-missed-or-late/
Accessed September 25, 2020

Irregular periods
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/irregular-periods/#:~:text=What%20are%20irregular%20periods%3F,shorter%20or%20longer%20than%20this.
Accessed September 25, 2020

Irregular Periods
https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/irregular-periods.html
Accessed September 25, 2020

When Should You See a Doctor for Irregular Periods?
https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/womens-health/2015/april/when-should-you-see-a-doctor-for-irregular-periods
Accessed September 25, 2020

Chapter 13Turmeric, the Golden Spice
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/
Accessed September 25, 2020

WOMEN‟S HEALTH ISSUE: A BRIEF OVERVIEW ON IRREGULARITIES IN MENSTRUATION
http://www.ijnrd.org/papers/IJNRD1705030.pdf
Accessed September 25, 2020

Pharmacology for Women’s Health
https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=E9qVyrNPsBkC&pg=PA238&lpg=PA238&dq=ginger+and+contractions&source=bl&ots=RLxw95MTmi&sig=mcVTudwNXR4HGplVZUhXOZnQgAI&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=apiol&f=false
Accessed September 25, 2020

Therapeutic uses of pineapple-extracted bromelain in surgical care – A review
https://jpma.org.pk/article-details/8055?article_id=8055
Accessed September 25, 2020

Preliminary evidence that cinnamon improves menstrual cyclicity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial
https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(14)00446-3/fulltext
Accessed September 25, 2020

Lower plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with irregular menstrual cycles in a cross-sectional study
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25879830/
Accessed September 25, 2020

Pregnancy: Avoiding Papaya
https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/kbase/topic.jhtml?docId=tn9779
Accessed September 25, 2020

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 4 weeks ago
Expertly reviewed by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD
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