Amenorrhea And Chinese Herbal Medicine
June 15, 2010 by Dr. Mark Wiley
Amenorrhea is one of the common health concerns for young ladies and women. There are two main classification of amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea is the lack of menstruation over reproductive age. Secondary amenorrhea refers to a break in the menstrual cycle for at least three months at a time.
According to the holistic theories of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), amenorrhea has three general causes. It is most predominantly the result of insufficient transformation of blood from the spleen and stomach. The spleen and stomach are paired yin/yang organs (for more on how TCM links organs together read How “Chinese” Organs Are Different), and are responsible for the transformation and transportation of blood and nutrients in the body derived from the food one eats.
Another cause is known as the severe consumption of yin blood and exhaustion of blood source. This refers to the depletion of the yin (nurturing) aspect of energy and the energetic source of blood, wherein enough blood or strength of hemoglobin is deficient.
The third cause of amenorrhea is blood stasis (slowing of blood flow) due to exterior cold (e.g., the weather, air conditioner) or from excessive consumption of cold food and beverages. While there are three primary causes of amenorrhea, the primary and secondary classifications present with several syndromes.
Primary Amenorrhea Syndromes
The main symptoms of primary amenorrhea are the gradual reduction of menstrual flow to eventual stoppage for a period of time. There are two manifestations of this: 1) weakness of qi and blood, and 2) liver and kidney deficiency.
Weakness of qi (energy) and blood (essential yin nutrient) presents with sallow complexion, emaciation, vertigo, heart palpitations and a tongue that is light in color.
Deficiency of liver and kidney presents with vertigo, tinnitus, aching weakness of the loins and knees, feverish sensation in the five centers (palms, soles of the feet and chest), tidal fever, night sweating and a tongue that is darkish-colored.
Secondary Amenorrhea Syndromes
The main symptom of secondary amenorrhea is the stoppage of menstruation for several months or more. In terms of TCM there are three manifestations of this: 1) qi stagnation and blood stasis, 2) cold coagulation and blood stagnation, and 3) phlegm damp obstruction.
A woman suffering from amenorrhea due to qi stagnation and blood stasis has pain in lower abdomen that is worse with pressure, restlessness, is easily angered, distending fullness in the chest and hypochondria and a tongue that is blackish in color.
Amenorrhea caused by cold coagulation and blood stagnation presents with a cold body and limbs, cold pain in the lower abdomen and a tongue that is blackish in color.
A woman with amenorrhea due to phlegm damp obstruction usually presents with obesity, fullness and oppression in the chest and hypochondria, lassitude, lack of spirit, anorexia, profuse sputum, leukorrhagia and a tongue with a greasy fur coating.
Chinese Herbal Patent Medicines
Although the causes and syndromes of amenorrhea are varied and specifically outlined, a single syndrome is rare. The following herbal formulas work well when combined as needed, and are for the following presentations.
- Nu Ke Ba Zhen Wan (Women’s Precious Teapills) for amenorrhea presenting with qi and blood deficiency.
- Si Wu Tang (Four Substances for Women) for amenorrhea presenting with blood deficiency.
- Shi Chuan Da Bu Wan (Ten Flavor Teapills) for amenorrhea presenting with qi and blood deficiency and cold accumulation.
- Tong Jing Wan (Calm in the Sea of Life) for amenorrhea presenting with severe blood stagnation.
- Shao Fu Zhu Yu Wan (Stasis in the Palace of Blood) for amenorrhea presenting with blood stagnation with cold accumulation.
- Tao Hong Si Wu Tang for amenorrhea presenting with blood stasis and blood deficiency.
There are only three things that engender life force (energy) after birth. They are oxygen, water and food. Without these we will die. And each of these affects the blood. So dehydration, malnutrition and low oxygen levels in the blood may also be a cause of your amenorrhea. There is a natural cure for amenorrhea with these herbal formulas, especially so when combined with a change in diet and lifestyle.
–Dr. Mark Wiley