The term irregular period is relative since the experience is unique for every woman. If described in general, however, irregular menstruation can be characterized by these signs: too short or long cycles, spotting, too short or long bouts of bleeding (over 8 days), light or heavy flow, extreme cramps, severe back pain, and missed periods.
To determine the regularity of your periods: count the number of days from the last day of your previous flow to the starting date of your next. Repeat this for several months, say three, and gauge the consistency of the resulting numbers. If the numbers are significantly different each month, you have an irregular menstruation.
The key causes are hormonal imbalance, chronic stress, birth control pills, extreme exercise or dieting, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), anemia, age (both teenage and near menopause), travel, cigarette and alcohol abuse, too much caffeine, and illnesses such as Thyroid disorders.
Should you be concerned about an irregular ‘flow’?
A missed/irregular period can be a sign of an underlying illness say, PCOS, thyroid disorders, liver disease etc. Therefore, if you do experience such and consistently, consider visiting a doctor for evaluation and screening if need be.
Note, irregular cycles make it hard to get pregnant too so, seeking help is important.
The good news is that there are natural remedies and this article is all about: herbs for irregular periods and helps to get periods come faster.
They include but not limited to…
This is a resin plant with a rather strong, unpleasant odor. It’s endemic to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and eastern Iran. In fact, locals here grow the plant for commercial purposes based on its benefits. The useful parts used as both food and medicine are the oily resins essential oils extracted from a 4-5-year-old asafetida plant that has not bloomed.
Extraction can be done through steam distillation yielding yellow-orange essential oils with a pungent smell. Note, though, you can use the aerial parts as a vegetable too. I.e. leaves, stems and immature flowers. When it comes to medicine…
Asafetida has been used for centuries to treat a range of conditions from flatulence to spasm. Its help in moderating irregular flows is unmatched. Proponents believe this plant encourages the body to produce progesterone, a hormone key to your menstrual cycle.
The Merck Manual Online Medical Library claim that, if you’re experiencing irregular cycle say due to hormonal imbalance, triggering the production or introducing a high level of progesterone can solve the situation. Go Herbal Remedies advises taking the plant alongside clarified butter, accompanied by a glass of soup or buttermilk. The resulting mixture and routine should be practiced daily for excellent results. The recommended dosage according to drugs.com is:
- As an emulsion – 4 parts powdered resin to 100 parts water
- As a tincture – ½ to 1 teaspoon daily
- As an infusion – 1-2 cups daily
- As a commercial pill – as instructed by the manufacturer.
However, asafetida should be avoided during pregnancy as it can serve as an abortifacient. Again, too much dosage can cause nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, indigestion, burping etc. so, stick to the prescription.
• Agnus Cactus
This is a herbal plant consisting of volatile oils, bitters, and alkaloids. The native Mediterranean plant is known to promote both urine and menstruation. Agnus cactus bears fruits that not only aid in gynecological complaints but also heighten sexual desires in people with low libido. Menopause, miscarriage, and infertility are some of its use, but…
The most popular helpfulness of this adaptogenic herb is the quick solution it offers to those maladies related to women periods.
According to a study by German gynecologists, this plant can provide relief for PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) symptoms. Another research by Convenient, et al shows while treating PMS patients with 40 drops of the herbs tincture daily can reduce fatigue, bloating, headaches and breast tenderness.
Herbalists believe Agnus cactus is a source of progesterone thus when ingested, it can even out hormonal imbalance solving menstrual irregularity. Again, the herb work by stimulating your pituitary gland, triggering it to release luteinizing hormones key to regular ovarian function. The dosage should be taken regularly though, for lasting results.
Typical use involves:
Use of 40 drops of the herbs tinctures daily for over 12 weeks. Note, it will take time to show results thus be patient and consistent in your efforts.
It’s worth noting that chaste berry herb has never been linked to major side effects, however, minor issues such as rashes, itching and stomach upsets are possible. Also, don’t prescribe this plant to prepubescent girls.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Asian and Indian food. It has a yellowish color attributed to curcuminoids (antioxidants) present. This perennial plant might have originated from India but today, it’s common in China, Southeast Asia, and Southern Australia.
Its uses span many centuries back. From acting as an antiseptic for bruises, burns, cuts to its prescription as an anti-aging herb. Studies show that this wonder herb can treat Alzheimer`s disease, hepatitis, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, acne, and most importantly; irregular cycles.
Indian Ayurveda herbalists believe turmeric regulate female reproductive system activities alongside purifying the uterus; removing waste blood as menstruation.
- Fresh turmeric roots – 1-3g or ½ inch long root, chopped or sliced based on your preference.
- Turmeric powder – 1 tablespoon daily or 1-2 g of the powder per pinch of black pepper
- Turmeric tincture – 10-30 drops, 2-3 times a day
- Turmeric tea – 1-2 cups a day
- Turmeric supplements – 300-400 g daily
As promising as the herb is, it’s not suitable for pregnant and lactating moms or people under medication such as the use of blood thinners. Here are more of turmeric side effects.
• Blue cohosh
This a perennial herb native to Canada and Eastern USA and grows in offshore rich soils. Its plant’s rhizome and roots are used for medicinal purposes. The plant contains tannins, resins, rubber, phosphoric acid, baptifolin, magnoflorine, and starch.
Blue cohosh was traditionally used to aid in labor and delivery, relief severe and ease heavy menstrual bleeding alongside regulating the ‘flow’ cycle. The herb helps dilate blood vessels in the womb alongside improving blood circulation around the pelvic, stimulating menstruation. Note, it should be taken before the onset of the periods for best results.
When it comes to dosage, specialists warn against self-prescribed doses, rather, take blue cohosh under the supervision of a licensed herbalist or professional physician. This is so as the plant’s side effects can be severe and a time fatal. From chest pain, severe diarrhea, severe cramps to high blood pressure!
Note, the plant should not be used by breastfeeding and pregnant women as it contains alkaloids that can harm the fetus. Also, patients with heart disorders or under other medications should keep off the herb.
Much as menstruation is a discomforting experience, it’s the joy of every woman to have a regular menstrual cycle. However, for a lady experiencing irregularities, which mind you, can be symptoms of menopause or other maladies; you don’t have to bury your head in the sand. Consult gynecologists, physicians or licensed herbalist. Again, the aforementioned herbs have stood the test of time to emerge the top go-to solutions when it comes to irregular cycles so, consider trying them out too.