Chinese Herbal Medicine for Relief from Premenstrual Syndrome

May 10, 2013


Women experience PMS differently and unless you have felt PMS shape your usual self, you wouldn'’t really understand.

I was once called a nihilistic optimist; positive to the point of ignoring obstacles that would apparently be my downfall. I always felt optimism was a strength, but then I guess optimists do. I rationalise bookending my day with really long commutes, by experiencing the sunrise and sunset either side of work. Sometimes I even enjoy this time to myself, daydreaming from my train window or knitting for a few hours. The week before my period however, I start just commuting in the dark… and nothing good can come from it.

People sometimes talk about Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) making everything harder. It doesn'’t feel like that for me; I know everything stays the same, but my positivity dissolves.  Decisions I have made become harder to defend; my sleep-over two nights a week at a friend’s house moves from a sunny opportunity to socialise, to the inconvenience of carrying a backpack instead of a little free and easy handbag. Very simple things feel like cobwebs I have spun myself, but I’m not myself.

‘I notice we often have this conversation, it lasts about a week…around the same time…’, my husband carefully explained recently after my rant about something that normally does not bother me. He (like most partners) is my most objective observer of PMS and how it routinely affects me.


I tried to explain ‘this is not who I am’, but unless you have felt PMS shape your usual self, you wouldn’t really understand. Women experience PMS differently, some get teary, others aggressive, some women crave Tim Tams others need to be left alone. For me PMS erodes my optimism, and life feels a little beige for about a week. I take this to heart since my perspective on life is a defining feature of who I am. Interestingly how I feel depends on not just what my hormones are doing (as if they have an entire life of their own; off to tea parties then predictably stirring up trouble) but what is going on with my Qi....what’s Qi?

In Chinese herbal medicine Qi (pronounced chee) describes vital energy, the activities of which have far reaching effects on our health. Disturbances in the flow of Qi and blood predispose me to PMS. This disturbance also influences menstrual irregularity, heavy bleeding painful periods, fatigue, breast tenderness and fluid retention for many women. Qi is influenced by our diet and Chinese herbal medicines. Fusion Health Women’s Balance contains a combination of Chinese herbal medicines including Peony, Rehmannia, Dong Quai and Bupleurum, which nourish and invigorate Qi. Happy Qi in turn balances the menstrual cycle and helps with PMS, nice!

This makes me optimistic about my next month of sunrises…

Peita Handel


Women's Health Book