Lack of menstruation

It can be Primary (menses having never occurred) or

Secondary – menses not occurring in someone who has had regular periods before.

Primary amenorrhoea is sometimes difficult to diagnose.  Activity in sports or dance, weight loss, illness, stress, anxiety and depression are the most common factors.

If one or more of these is the cause, tonics and emmenagogues may be helpful along with nervine herbs to help reduce the effects of stress.

Primary amenorrhoea may also result from endocrine system problems, such as pituitary or adrenal tumours, hypothyroidism, or Turner’s syndrome, in which one female sex chromosome is missing.

Secondary amenorrhoea can be caused by several normal, nonthreatening conditions, including pregnancy, post pregnancy, menopause, stress, strenuous activity, illness, a sudden change in lifestyle and taking the birth control pill.


Menorrhagia is defined as heavy periods in which a more than average amount (average is about 2 fluid ounces) is lost.  Menorrhagia may be the rule for some women, but for most women, bleeding should cease in about five days, with the heaviest loss occurring during the first three days.

If there has always been a heavy flow, the cause may be something as simple as a thicker-than-usual lining of the uterus.  It is not generally a serious problem, but may be addressed with tonic and astringent herbs, with emphasis on Black cohosh and Dong quai during the period and during the week prior to reduce flow.

IUD – intrauterine devices may be responsible for increased bleeding.  Isolated heavy bleeds may also indicate miscarriage, however sometimes a normal period also can be late and heavy.

Pain in addition to heavy flow may indicate the beginning of benign growths in the uterus, or endometriosis, a condition in which endometrial tissue if found in various places in the pelvic cavity.
Steroidal  herbs help correct this condition.


Herbs that bring on a period

Promote menstrual bleeding

Contraindicated during pregnancy

Have a historical role to play in re-establishing the period and whilst they have been considered by some to be symptomatic remedies that can vascularize the endometrium and promote a vigorous period and nothing else, Weiss gives insights that indicate that emmenagogues may act as riggers or catalysts with a whole series of feedbacks working, which can see the period re-established.

Remedies to work with other herbs of a more hormonal nature to re-establish the cycle.

Localised effect on the endometrium.  Lack of circulatory activity to the lining of the uterus.  Open up the blood vessels, pour warmth, blood flow to the lining.  Once that is accomplished  the whole process begins to function more efficiently.

  • Rue

  • Tansy

  • Mugwort

  • Blue Cohosh

  • Southernwood

  • Pennyroyal






Remedies that promote the natural tissue cleansing processes of the body.
Poor elimination of hormonal waste is seen to result in pelvic congestion which can underlie or contribute to many reproductive complaints
Stimulate and restore the natural eliminatory processes of the body, including lymphatic, kidney, skin and digestive function.
Diuretics: cleansing reproductive tissue and clearing fluid build up
Digestive tonics:  improving assimilation and elimination
Lymphatics: clearing tissue congestion and waste
Poor elimination resulting in pelvic congestion and reproductive disturbance·         PMS
Blue Flag
Red Clover
Remedies which act to help the body deal with or withstand infection in the reproductive system
Possess direct antimicrobial activity imparted by the presence of volatile oils, resins, alkaloids or glycosides.
Also seen to act by enhancing the body’s own natural resistance mechanisms
Infection of the reproductive system
Echinacea sp
.Wild indigo
Astringents Remedies which act in the reproductive system to tone, restore and strengthen inflamed, irritated or damaged mucosal surfaces and tissue
The high tannin content acts to bind membrane proteins, condensing tissue, rendering surface membranes firmer and more resistant.
This acts to reduce inflammation, checks bleeding and excessive discharge, promoting healing.
Also strengthens surface membranes against irritation and invasions.
Beth root
Wild Indigo
Remedies that stimulate and normalise menstrual flow
Commonly contain hormonal compounds that directly influence the uterus or the menstrual cycle.
Possess a toning and strengthening action on the reproductive e system, working on ultimately restoring normal menstrual flow.
Act as hormonal normalisers, astringents and antispasmodics.
Delayed menstruation.
Contraindicated in pregnancy.
Blue cohosh
False Unicorn Root
Squaw vine
Remedies which possess soothing, protective and healing properties on the tissues and membranes of the reproductive system
Commonly act as urinary demulcents.
High mucilage content acts to physically coat surface membranes, soothing and healing irritation and inflammation.
Same coating effect acts on the pelvic digestive membranes and is seen to act via reflex to soothe, heal and restore reproductive tissue
Inflammation, irritation and infections of the reproductive system.
Remedies that promote an increase in the production and flow of breast milk
Usually contain compounds including alkaloids that act to increase the volume and quality of milk produced.
Seen also to possess nutritive qualities aiding in the quality of mild produced.
Poor or diminished production of breast milk during breast feeding.
Goats Rue
Hormonal Normalisers/Adaptogens
Remedies seen to balance and normalise the function of the adrenal glands thus aiding the proper functioning of the reproductive system
Normalise and stabilise oestrogen and progesterone secretion, acting to resolve hormonal problems.
Commonly contain hormone-like compounds which directly affect the body or the endocrine glands.
Also act as astringents, nervines, demulcents, diuretics, which work to tonify and strengthen the reproductive organ ultimately restoring normal function.
Conditions due to or associated with hormonal imbalance including·         Amenorrhoea·        
Pre-menstrual syndrome·         Menopause·         Metrorrhagia
Dong quai
Possess healing and toning action on nerve tissue, ultimately work on normalisation and strengthening function.
Relax over-active nervous tissue by acting as nervine relaxants, relieving stress, tension and pain.
Reduce neuromuscular over-activity by acting as antispasmodics, reducing spasm, pain and tension.
Reproductive complaints associated with stress, tension, spasm and emotional (hysteria)fluctuations·         Infertility·         Menopause·   PMS
Cramp bark


Sexual drive; the term is often used to refer to the intensity of sexual desire
To increase
Panax Ginseng
Adaptogenic stimulant BHP  depressive states associated with sexual inadequacy
Turnera diffusa
Frigidity, impotence
Avena sativa
Thymoleptic nervine, Anti-depressive
True Unicorn Root
Aletris farinosa
Spasmolytic, mild sedative


Inflammation of the vagina, Vaginitis may be caused by infection, most commonly with Trichomonas vaginalis, dietary deficiency, or poor hygiene.

There is often pruritis, increased vaginal discharge and pain on passing urine.  Vaginitis may indicate the presence of sexually transmitted disease.  Atrophic vaginitis is postmenopausal thinning of the vagina caused by a reduction in the circulating levels of oestrogens.  It is a common cause of vaginal dryness and postmenopausal bleeding.

Sleep, waking too frequently – adrenals

Waking tired and sluggish, thyroid

Abnormally heavy bleeding during menstruation
Periwinkle, Cranesbill, Goldenseal, False Unicorn Root, Beth Root
Absence of menstrual periods
False Unicorn Root, Blue Cohosh, Mugwort, Oats
Painful menstrual periods
Blue Cohosh, Cramp Bark, Black Haw, Wild Yam
Inability to conceive children.  Can be due to a large number of factors, including ovarian dysfunction, nervous disorders and damage or blockage of reproductive organs
False Unicorn Root, True Unicorn Root, Blue Cohosh
Salpingitis (PID)
Inflammation of the fallopian tubes, commonly due to infection
Wild Yam, Echinacea Purpurea, Golden Seal
Benign fibrous tumours that develop in the reproductive system, giving trouble because of their size or causing bleeding from the lining of the uterus
False Unicorn Root, Blue Cohosh, Poke Root, Red Clover, Goldenseal, Cranesbill
A condition in which tissue similar to that of the endometrium is found in sites other than the womb, for example in the ovary, in the abdominal organs or in the skin.  This tissue will undergo the same monthly cyclical changes of swelling and bleeding as the endometrium and so cause regular symptoms of pain and swelling
Vitex, Cramp Bark, Wild Yam, Goldenseal
Pregnancy, Miscarriage, Morning sickness, labour, milk production
Threatened Miscarriage.  Miscarriage can be a natural response to certain situations.  However, it can also threaten at times of inadequate diet, stress and trauma or injury
Morning Sickness:  Common complaint usually in the first few months of pregnancy, though can continue during the course of pregnancy.  Seen to be the result of a number of factors and the cleansing of wastes in preparation of pregnancy
Labour:  the strength and health of the uterus is essential for the processes of pregnancy, labour and then return of function after labour
Inadequate Milk Production:  Difficulty commencing or maintaining adequate milk production during breast feeding
Wild yam, Cramp bark, Squaw Vine, Red  Raspberry Leaf
Chamomile, Meadowsweet, Peppermint, Black Horehound
Squaw Vine, Red Raspberry Leaf
Fenugreek, Fennel, Goats rue, Vervain, Aniseed
True Unicorn Root, White Pond Lily
Hot Flush
Black Cohosh, Vitex, Sage, Tribulus, Angelica


Non-specific, no explicit, specific pharmacology behind tonic therapy as the action is difficult to explain, being multifaceted as there is no one particular constituent that can explain the observed effect.

A remedy that has a non-specific but very unique relationship to a particular organ as far as the benefit it is able to convey in the sense of

  • Restoration of the organ to health

  • Regulation of function

  • Supportive function

To target specific organs in the body that are in various states of dysfunction and where manifestation of a state of dysfunction appears in very functional ways such as dysfunctional uterine bleeding may be treated with an astringent herb plus an appropriate uterine tonic.

Some tonic remedies have a broad action, where isolation of  unique single aspects of their tonification lends them to be used in a more specific way.


Chamaelirium luteum

Saponins based on diosgenin

Considered a phyto-oestrogenic herb that can be used to balance oestrogen conditions by virtue of emulation of the effects of oestrogens in the body.

Benefits on the reproductive system


Improvement of the secretory responses and cyclical functions of the ovary. Regulates, stimulates and normalises ovulation.  Useful wherever there is ovulatory distress.

  • Lack of ovulation

  • Painful ovulation

  • Irregular ovulation

It is considered the ovary is the particular target site of False Unicorn Root as far as the reproductive system is concerned and it is because of this relationship that is  suspected it has an affinity with pathologies such as:

Ovarian Cysts

Historically, it has been written

 “This remedy is one of  promising gynaecological remedies, reaching us from the native American tradition.  The recorded medicine of the Indian is notable for the emphasis placed on treating gynaecological and obstetric conditions, elsewhere and particularly in Europe.  These matters seem to be less well recorded, perhaps because most archivers and scholars were men and most treatment of women was conducted on an informal and intimate basis by women.  It has been claimed as a remedy for a broad range of female symptoms, including Amenorrhoea (lack of menses/period) History of menstruating, but has ceased.”

As a remedy that rekindles the natural bodily processes, it is productive to prescribe for women that have  been on the contraceptive pill for a long time and experiencing problems of lack of menses coming off the pill.

Dysmenorrhoea, painful  periods (Elizabeth Brook)

Spasmodic dysmenorrhoea, congestive dysmenorrhoea.  Remedies include False Unicorn Root and is the only remedy that occurs which is selected for either spasmodic or congestive dysmenorrhoea.

Irregular menstruation.

Ideally in combination with Vitex.

Vaginal discharges

Commonly reflects lack of tone in the system.  A discharging organ, whether it be post nasal drip coming from the upper respiratory tract, uterine discharge usually says more about loss of tone, lack of general health and mucosal health.

Tonic properties may reduce vaginal discharges.

Pelvic congestion and pelvic laxity of the pelvic organs

Sensation of prolapse conditions, heaviness, fullness, bearing down, sometimes prior to a period, sometimes persistently.  A sense of the pelvic cavity feeling full, congested, bloated, heavy.  Can be associated with some aspect of prolapse.  Lack of tone of the muscle tissue or the general health of the tone of the organ.

Traditionally used to prevent miscarriage. Has a striking reputation for improving fertility generally and is commonly recommended for all depressed conditions of the uterus and ovaries.

For modern conditions, Helonias root has an affinity as an  ovarian tonic, applicable in all traditions to a full range of gynaecologic and even obstetric problems (Mills) with particular application to chronic pelvic inflammation (PID) – chronic Salpingitis, which threatens fertility and the general health in women.  Recommended for PID in its chronic, lingering state.  A recurring state that defies the repeated use of conventional anti-biotics.  Destructive form that lingers there, sometimes sub-clinically, manifesting when the immune system is under load and blowing out to a full- blown infection.  Long period of exposure to Helonias in conjunction with Echinacea is a very effective treatment.

Highly recommended for amenorrhoea from any cause.

Infertility; it is the remedy of first choice and for dysmenorrhoea, especially for the type that accompanies menstruation rather than precedes it.  Irregular menstrual cycles, for hormonal adjustment problems.  Helonias Root is seen to encourage the ovary to perform and respond in its hormonal choreography more appropriately. (Mills) The idea of balance, fine tuning in menstrual or sex hormone disturbances, there is most often a predictable prognosis.

Treatment is recommended continuously for three months.

This must be noted when treating for any indications where Helonias is being used.  Three months continuous treatment to elicit the required improvement in function.  Do not expect much joy under three months, especially infertility.

Close up of bees on a vitex tree

Female Reproductive Cycle

Vitex – corrects progesterone deficiency,  works via the pituitary gland, decreases FSH increases LH and prolactin

Angelica sinensis – Uterine  tonic at .5ml (contraindicated in heavy bleeding, first trimester, miscarriage tendency)

Saw Palmetto – Glandular insufficiency; restores sexual function and activity after exhaustion.

The first half of a woman’s cycle is the proliferative phase (follicular phase), during which the endometrium starts to thicken. The pituitary secretes FSH which causes (usually one) follicle to mature and the ovaries to secrete oestrogen. The ovarian oestrogen secretion gradually increases until just prior to ovulation. This gradually suppresses secretion of FSH and stimulates the hypothalamus to secrete a larger amount of GnRH which, in turn, triggers the pituitary to secrete a burst of LH, causing ovulation. During the proliferative phase, a woman’s body temperature is low, perhaps as low as 98.0° F (36.7° C) or less. Sometimes there is a slight rise near the end of the phase during the pre-ovulatory burst of LH before it dips again at ovulation. Throughout this phase, the cervical mucus becomes progressively clearer and thinner.

On about day 14 of an average 28-day cycle, ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the egg, occurs in response to the surge of LH. LH stimulates the remaining follicle cells to form a corpus luteum after ovulation.

Often at ovulation there is a sharp drop in the woman’s body temperature and her cervical mucus becomes very thin and clear and forms “threads”. Interestingly, both the low body temperature and the condition of the mucus are designed to prolong the life of and aid in the mobility of sperm to increase the chances that the egg being released will be fertilized.

The second half of the cycle is called the secretory phase in the uterus and the luteal phase in the ovaries. The endometrium continues to build up due to the secretion of progesterone (and oestrogen) by the corpus luteum, and this prepares the uterus for a possible pregnancy. In case an egg has been fertilized, the growing embryo needs a warmer environment to do well, so the body temperature rises to 98.6° F (37.0° C) or higher. The cervical mucus becomes thick and paste-like, blocking any more sperm from entering the uterus.

If an egg is not fertilised, as the corpus luteum deteriorates at the end of a cycle, both oestrogen and progesterone levels go very low. In a pregnancy, implantation triggers hormone production that keeps the corpus luteum secreting oestrogen and progesterone for a while, but without that, the corpus luteum disintegrates and stops secreting these hormones. At this time, all of the hormone levels are low and decreasing. This frequently causes the mood swings and other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but PMS is also affected by diet, and large amounts of salt, sugar, yeast, and/or caffeine can make things worse.

  1. GnRH from the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary to produce FSH.

  2. During the first part of pre-ovulatory phase, the pituitary secretes low levels of FSH.

  3. FSH stimulates growth and maturation of a follicle.

  4. As the follicle grows and matures, it secretes oestrogen in increasing amounts.

  5. The rising levels of oestrogen exert negative feedback on the pituitary to gradually lower the levels of FSH.

  6. However, oestrogen exerts a positive feedback effect on the hypothalamus.

  7. Thus, just before ovulation, the hypothalamus secretes a larger amount of releasing hormone which causes the pituitary to secrete a burst of LH.

  1. The effect of this burst of LH on the mature follicle causes it to rupture, release the egg, and start to form a corpus luteum.

  1. After ovulation, LH stimulates the corpus luteum to secrete progesterone and oestrogen to prepare the uterus for implantation.

  2. The rising/high levels of the oestrogen-progesterone combination in the blood exert a negative feedback effect on the hypothalamus and pituitary, causing levels of LH to decrease.

  3. As LH decreases, the corpus luteum starts to disintegrate.

  4. Unless an embryo has implanted, near the end of the post-ovulatory phase, without the stimulation of LH, the corpus luteum stops producing oestrogen and progesterone. Thus the endometrium is no longer maintained and begins to deteriorate and is shed.

  5. Thus, around the time a woman’s period starts, all five hormones are at their lowest levels.

  6. However with the low oestrogen and progesterone levels, the hypothalamus can now begin again to secrete GnRH so the cycle starts over.

  7. If an egg was fertilized, it begins to divide as it travels down the Fallopian tube, and the blastocyst that reaches the uterus is about 100 cells in size and ready to implant in the endometrium.

  8. If implantation is successful, the outer embryonic membrane, the chorion secretes human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) which maintains the corpus luteum during the first trimester of pregnancy. Excess HCG is excreted in the woman’s urine, thus many pregnancy tests test for the presence of HCG in urine.

  9. During the second trimester, the placenta starts to secrete progesterone and stops HCG production. Because of the lack of HCG, the corpus luteum, which is no longer needed, degenerates. The endometrium is maintained by the hormones secreted by the placenta.

Female Reproductive

Foeniculum vulgare
Carminative, circulatory stimulant, anti-inflammatory, galactagogue, diuretic (Mills)
Salvia officinalis
Astringent and healing, peripheral vasodilator but suppresses perspiration, uterine stimulant, cholagogue (Mills)
Black cohosh
Cimicifuga racemosa
Oestrogenic principle, antispasmodic and alterative, tonic, vasodilator (Mills)
Dong Quai
Angelica sinensis
Circulatory stimulant, warming and regulating to menstrual disorders, antispasmodic, alterative (Mills)
Pimpinella anisum
Mild oestrogenic effects, galactagogue (folk medicine) facilitate birth and increase libido (Potters)
Arctium lappa
General alterative, kidneys, mucous and serous membranes, removes accumulated waste products (P&P)
Medicago sativa
Nutritive oestrogenic (isoflavones) (Potters)
Eleutherococcus senticosus
Stimulating adaptogen/hormone balancer
Taraxacum officinale
Cholagogue and diuretic benefits, assist with conjugation of oestrogen and reduce oedema due to Pre Menstrual Symptoms, especially ovulation to menstruation



Medicago sativa

Oestrogenic/ nutritive


Isoflavones; Coumarins; Alkaloids(seeds trigonelline) ; Nutrients, including pro-vitamin A, vitamins of the B group, C, D, E, and K, folic acid, biotin and others; Saponins; Porphyrins;

Nutrient, appetite stimulant; used to help patients put on weight during convalescence.

The isoflavones are oestrogenic; porphyrins have been shown to have the potential effect on liver function and biliary secretion; saponins have an anticholesterolemic effect. (Potters)

Black Horehound

Salix nigra, Ballota nigra


Flavonoids; volatile oil

Genito-urinary tonic, a great remedy where there is inflammatory activity, such as cystitis, ovaritis, prostatitis, vaginitis as a supportive remedy.  Black horehound is also an effective antiemetic especially of pregnancy and recommended for nausea, vomiting and nervous dyspepsia.

Blue Cohosh

Caulophyllum thalictroides


Steroidal saponin (caulosapogenin); alkaloids

Warming and relaxing  nervine, restorative tonic with vaso-dilatory effects on the uterine blood vessels and a powerful antispasmodic action indicated for irritation and applied to dysmenorrhoeic colic by alleviating cramp, restlessness during pregnancy in a very low dose, menopausal pains and discomfort, false labour pains and uterine fibroids.

Other texts refer to improvement in functional menstrual disturbances including those of spasm or disturbance of the womb or fallopian tubes with one of its major indications in spasmodic dysmenorrhoea especially with period pain at the onset of the period, and its role in improving fertility by the balancing and re-establishment of a regular menstrual cycle.

Blue cohosh is recommended for chronic conditions such as fibroids and endometriosis   Blue Cohosh is a tonic to the whole reproductive system and can be used where there is congestion and weakness, as it will bring on delayed menses and help regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve period pain and is used for chronic conditions, such as fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and is a useful remedy to help conception occur if there has been difficulty conceiving.

Keyword – history of significant pain; irregular period – difficult conception through irregularity


Blue flag

Iris versicolor

Stimulating Alterative/lymphatic

Refer second liver theory


Volatile oil; Iridin (glycoside); Acids (salicylic) Monocyclic triterpenoid

Alterative, anti-inflammatory, cathartic, diuretic, stimulant and anti-obesity agent. (Potters) Positive alterative for chronic, torpid conditions, influences glandular system, lymphatics, liver and gall ducts and intestinal glands and indicated for use in the treatment of uterine fibroids. (P&P)


Sarothamnus scoparius

Alkaloidal anti-haemorrhagic ®

 Quinolizidine alkaloids (sparteine)

Sparteine has a number of pharmacological effects, including a curare-like effect on peripheral nerves which depresses respiration; it reduces the conductivity of cardiac muscles and has been used to treat tachycardia.  The alkaloid was introduced into gynaecology by Klein in 1938 used in the treatment of uterine haemorrhages (Weiss)


Compound Devil’s Club

Acts upon the resynthesis of glycogen

Facilitates the repair of the Islets of Langerhans in the Pancreas and promotes better production and utilisation of insulin.  Balancing compound which will normalise and restore integrity of the organs and glands associated with the metabolism of sugar and carbohydrate


Szygium jambalana

Blood sugar balancing effect

Either in diabetes or hypoglycaemia

Dandelion root and leaf

Taraxacum officinale

Balancing effect on sugar levels

Bilberry Leaf

Uva-ursi leaf

Vaccinium myrtillus

Arctostaphylos Uva ursi

Blood sugar control

Diuretic, urinary antiseptic, astringent

Indications of cystitis, urethritis, dysuria, pyelitis, lithuria (passage of gravely, sandy fragments of calculi

Turmeric root

Curcuma longa

Cholagogue, drain the liver, eliminate toxins, encourages stage II conjugation



Dong Quai

Angelica Sinensis

Menstrual regulator/balancer

Volatile oil; sesquiterpenes; furanocoumarins

Regulates the menstrual cycle, relieves pain and is warming and sustaining to the circulation is antispasmodic and increases vitality in depressed states, applicable to all types of dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, irregular menstruation and infections.

Modern texts refer to the potential of Dong Quai for circulatory problems, such as angina, coronary heart problems and thromboangiitis conditions. Dong Quai and Ginger are both remedies that provide warmth and vitality to a cold organ – In a situation where an organ is not secreting would be considered to be an organ that was cold, lifeless.

Understand the paradox of phyto-oestrogens where they may be used to suppress oestrogen activity or to increase oestrogen activity, by either having oestrogenic activity where there is deficiency or by binding with receptor sites when there is an excess allowing the excess to be conjugated by the liver.


Echinacea sp.


 Echinacoside; Echinacin; Polysaccharides; Polyacetylenes; Essential oil; small amounts of alkaloids (Potters)

Antibacterial, antiviral, vulnerary and alterative, Echinacea has an ability to stimulate the immune system; stimulates phagocytosis and activates macrophages, aiding the fight against infections and in some antitumour systems, while Echinacin inhibits the formation of hyaluronidase by bacteria which helps to localise infections and prevent its spread. (Potters)  Echinacea is part of a formulation with Red root, Wild Indigo, and Thuja to act as a deep seated alterative formula; to interact and increase nutrition at a cell level.


Echinacea compound

Blood and lymphatic alteratives that bring about distinct and definite changes in metabolism


Red Root

Wild Indigo

Queens delight

Prickly ash Bark

Echinacea sp.

Ceanothus americanus

Baptisia tinctoria

Stillinga sylvatica

Zanthoxylum americanum

Repair catabolic tissue and waste, augments the body’s natural defence mechanisms by activating natural immune response

Poke Root


Phytolacca decandra

Scrofularia nodosa

Deep acting alteratives to supplement to the Echinacea compound (THE 200 Lecture Notes)


Euonymus atropurpureus

Cholagogue and circulatory stimulant and mainly used in combination with other remedies for liver and gall bladder trouble (Potters)  Addresses second liver theory and useful for conditions such as uterine fibroids


False Unicorn Root – Helonias dioica

Reproductive tonic

Steroidal saponins (including chamaelirin)

Vitalises  with a tonic action on the uterus and ovaries; increases the nutritional status of the female reproductive system and is useful for infertility, uterine atony, threatened miscarriage and menstrual irregularities.  Phytooestrogenic benefit aids in the hormonal balance of the reproductive system, aids normalisation of ovulation, has a striking reputation for improving fertility generally and has particular application to chronic pelvic inflammation as in salpingitis, improves amenorrhoea or heavy dysfunctional bleeding through harmonising the system generally.  Treatment is generally required for a minimum of three months. Reputed to be the only remedy that occurs which is selected for either spasmodic or congestive dysmenorrhoea.   It finds particular application to chronic pelvic inflammation as in PID and chronic Salpingitis

A tonic for the uterus, False Unicorn root contains substances which are similar to oestrogen.  It is healing and restorative to the reproductive system and harmonises the periods especially when there is a heavy bleed, a feeling of heaviness and bloating in the uterus.

Keyword – Two key remedies for infertility – Aletris and Helonias




Referred to in Dr Weiss’ work under the heading of  plant contraceptives, various Gromwell species are known to have anti-gonadotrophic and anovulatory properties, with L. arvense being a native corn gromwell and other species growing in North and South America are mentioned. Phyto-oestrogenic balancing herb that may suppress oestrogen action (Richard Scalzo)

Lady’s mantle

Alchemilla vulgaris

Astringent/Menstrual regulator

Tannins, Salicylic acid

Astringent and styptic, Lady’s mantle is used for excessive menstruation and diarrhoea and topically for leucorrhoea and pruritis vulvae (Potters)

Life Root

Senecio aureus



Alkaloids; possible saponin; resin (Pyrrolizidine alkaloids)

Strong effect on the nerves and muscles that sustain the uterus, Senecio is relaxing and slowly stimulating and applied to too much supply of blood or insufficient vitality, normalises the nerve impulses that supply the uterus and is applied to dysmenorrhoea and the hot flush.

BHP specific for emotional and vascular instability including the hot flush.

Not to be used In pregnancy as it stimulates the uterus.


Leonurus cardiaca

Relaxant nervine/Emmenagogue

 Iridoids; Diterpenes; flavonoids (rutin, quercetin)

Of particular use for the female reproductive system where disorders are influenced by nervous tension or anxiety, Motherwort is a nervine with a relaxant effect on the system, useful for anxiety and tension that can lead to tachycardia. Gentle uterine stimulant; relaxant; carminative and applied for painful periods, especially where associated with anxiety and nervous tension and reduced periods and disturbed menstrual cycles generally especially where womb contraction is painful or insufficient, and support the pregnant uterus and helps prepare if for labour contractions (Mills)


Artemisia vulgaris

Volatile oil: Vulgarin (sesquiterpene lactone); Flavonoids (quercetin); Triterpenes

Emmenagogue, diaphoretic, choleretic, anthelmintic, diuretic, stomachic, orexigenic.

Mugwort is taken as an infusion for amenorrhoea, anorexia and dyspepsia and less often for threadworm or roundworm infestation.  Used in Chinese medicine for nausea and vomiting.  The oil is antimicrobial to some extent, but is irritant to the skin.  Should not be taken during pregnancy (Potters)

BHP Emmenagogue, Orexigenic, Stomachic, Choleretic, Anthelmintic indicated for delayed or irregular menstruation, anorexia, nervous dyspepsia, thread worm and round worm infestation and specific for functional amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea.

Combines with Chamaelirium, Mentha pulegium and Artemisia abrotanum in menstrual irregularity, with Tanacetum and Picrasma in threadworm and roundworm. (BHP 1983)

Nervines and anti-spasmodic remedies

Tonify and strengthen the nervous system, particularly useful in conditions such as the menopause and which are also used to ease colicky cramping symptoms in the reproductive system


Avena sativa

Nervous system restorative

St John’s Wort

Hypericum perforatum

Gentle anti-depressant for depressive syndromes such as PMT, PMS and menopause


Passiflora incarnata

Powerful insomnic


Anemone pulsatilla

A supportive nerve tonic, best used in ladies of a very emotional and fragile nature, easily upset and whose reproductive disturbances are strongly emotionally based

Black cohosh

Cimicifuga racemosa

A potent anti-spasmodic remedy, very useful for dysmenorrhoea, but with a recognised phyto oestrogenic chemistry

Cramp bark

Black Haw

Viburnum opulus

Viburnum prunifolium

The Viburnum sp. Is specific in the correct dose (BHP or Mills) for any painful colicky cramping symptoms of the reproductive system (smooth muscle relaxants

Jamaica dogwood

Piscidia erythrina

A powerful sedative and anodyne (pain reliever) with major indications being – neuralgia, migraine, insomnia and dysmenorrhoea.  The more painful and intractable the condition the more the remedy is called for.  When used in combination with Black haw is a very sure assault on painful period.

Wild Yam

Dioscorea villosa

Effective anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory agent used for all painful and inflammatory states of the pelvic cavity

Evening Primrose oil

Oenothera biennis

As an adjuvant remedy to increase the PGE1 together with fluidising effect on membranes, the active ingredient being gamma linolenic acid, cell regulators particularly in blood vessel walls, macrophages, platelets, duodenal secretion and nerves but are found in every organ, have an extremely short life span and are removed from the blood during a single passage of the lungs.  The balance increases the production of PGE I  (anti-inflammatory) and decreases PGA II (inflammatory – as a result of arachidonic acid metabolism) –

Benefit of PGE I in the body:

    1.  inhibits dilation of the blood vessels

    2. lower arterial pressure

    3. Inhibit thrombosis

    4. Inhibit cholesterol synthesis

    5. Inhibit inflammation and arthritis

    6. Inhibit abnormal cell proliferation

    7. Inhibit platelet aggregation

    8. Regulate production of saliva and tears

Vit B6


Water-soluble, member of the B complex, anti-depression vitamin, deficiency may cause depression, anaemia puffy fingers and ankles associated with PMS and may be related to atherosclerosis, premenstrual syndrome, irritability, tiredness, breast discomfort and swollen abdomen. (Dictionary of Vitamins)


Menopausal – Reducing the risk of osteoporosis during menopause

Around the time of menopause, a  reduction of  risk of developing osteoporosis may be assisted by following a few lifestyle recommendations, such as: 1,300 mg of dietary calcium intake every day.


Dietary proteolytic enzyme

Promotes a more efficient digestive process and participates in promoting calcium  and bioflavonoid assimilation and enhances protein synthesis

Pre cursors of Vitamin A


Reproductive benefits,  the requirement for Vitamin A for reproductive function in higher animals has been known since 1922.  Vitamin A supports testosterone biosynthesis.  Betacarotene has been reported to have a specific affect in fertility distinct to its role as a precursor to Vitamin A.  The corpus luteum has the highest concentration of beta carotene of any organ measured and it has been speculated that a proper ratio of carotene to retinol must be maintained to ensure a proper corpus luteum function especially where corpus luteum deficiency is considered by some to be a major factor in fertility.

Castor oil poultices/fomentation

Ricinus communis

Placed over an ovarian cyst or uterine fibroid


Lactobacillus. Sp.

Vaginitis, Candida albicans, recolonise the Gastro intestinal tract to correct the microbiological environment.

Poke Root oil

Phytolacca decandra

Powerful topical agent on benign mastitic lesions

Alfalfa solid extract

Medicago sativa

Strong oestrogenic benefit



Vinca major


 Indole alkaloids, Tannins

Anti-hypertensive, potent vaso-constrictor and astringent and very effective in stemming uterine bleeding useful for excessive menstrual bleeding and uterine discharge, both systemically and as a douche.

Poke Root

Phytolacca decandra

Stimulating/relaxing alterative

 Triterpenoid saponins; Lectins; Proteins; Polyphenols

Antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, alterative

Phytolaccosides are potent anti-inflammatory agents with the saponin extract having a comparable antiexudative and antigranulomatous activity to that of hydrocortisone.  Phytolaccosides exhibit exudate formation with the proteins being antiviral, and the lectins are mitogenic (mitogen being any substance that can cause cells to begin division) Toxic in fresh state, and the berries are milder in action (Potters) A deep acting alterative that along with other herbs, such as Thuja act upon serous glandular function, with the ability to clear toxins as part of the ‘second liver’ theory )referred to by Rina Nissim.)

Prickly Ash

Xanthoxylum americanum

Circulatory Stimulant

 Alkaloids (chelerythrine); Coumarins; Amides; Asarinin (lignan); resin, tannin, volatile oil

Antirheumatic, analgesic, carminative used for rheumatism, toothache and as a tonic and for circulatory insufficiency with antimicrobial properties (chelerythrine).  X. zanthoxyloids exhibits potent prostaglandin inhibitor pharmacological properties. (Potters)

Peripheral Circulatory stimulant – powerful deobstruant, removes morbid matter, strong and stimulating bitter, cleansing, antiseptic, strengthening and healing.  Good substitute for Cayenne (Webb).

Queens delight

Stillinga sylvatica

Stimulating Alterative

 Acrid resin and fixed oil, Volatile oil; Tannins

Circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, in low doses expectorant and laxative and stimulating alterative (Mills)  Generally given as a tonic and ‘blood purifier’ in combination with other remedies. (Potters)


 Rubus Idaeus


 Polypeptides; flavonoids; Tannins

Used historically to facilitate childbirth, and to be drunk freely before and during confinement for maximum benefit.  A tonic remedy recommended for dysmenorrhoea and other painful conditions of the female reproductive system.

Saw Palmetto

Serenoa repens


 Volatile oil; steroidal saponins; resins; tannins; fixed oil; possible alkaloid

Noted for its effectiveness for glandular insufficiency, Saw Palmetto promotes tissue nutrition and addresses wasting of tissues and development of glandular tissue.  It is useful for treatment of conditions affecting the reproductive and urinary system with a restorative, alterative, tonic benefit, such as prostatic disease and may be considered in conditions of underdevelopment in puberty in both male and female.

Shepherd’s Purse

Capsella bursa-pastoris


 Saponins, mustard oils, flavonoids, resin, monoamines, choline

Popular Anglo-American uterine astringent, useful in treating dysfunctional uterine states, strengthening the wall of the uterus, thus lessening discharge.   Anti-haemorrhagic used for excessive menstrual bleeding (Mills)

Squaw vine

Mitchella repens


 Saponins; bitter principle; mucilage; tannins

Mitchella promotes vitality and is useful in weak and feeble conditions of the organs in the pelvic cavity, but in particular the uterus and reproductive system where it improves neuromuscular and vascular tone of the uterus, as it builds up the nerve supply and muscular strength of the uterus and applied to abnormal bleeding, neurasthenia irritability, enlarged atonic uterus and is specific to facilitate parturition.

Keywords supportive remedy for dysmenorrhoea, exhaustion or irritability in both sexes especially when involving symptoms in the reproductive system.


Thuja occidentalis

Alterative/Uterine stimulant

 Volatile oil, (thujone) Flavonoids, mucilage, tannins (Potters)

Stimulant and emmenagogue (Potters), Thuja is a renowned deep acting alterative, and along with Poke Root acts upon serous glandular states.    A ground remedy, a foundation remedy at the genital level.  It is indicated in inflammatory states, warts, polyps, infections, fibroids and cysts and has show to have implications for cancer support.

 True Unicorn Root – Aletris farinosa

Trophorestorative stimulating tonic

 Saponins (based on diosgenin) Volatile oil; resin (Potters)

Backbone of physiomedicalists’ treatment of functional infertility, True Unicorn Root is a gentle, stimulating tonic that improves the vitality of the organ through increased blood supply, balancing hormonal chemistry, greatly improving function and vitality applied to amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, leucorrhoea and used as a parturient and to address impotence or sterility including lowered libido.


Vitex Agnus castus

Iridoid glycosides – Hormonal balancer/regulates menstrual disorders

Volatile oil; alkaloids, bitter, castine (Mills)

Corrects relative progesterone deficiency via the pituitary gland, decreases oestrogen by decreasing Follicle stimulating hormone and increases progesterone by increasing luteinising hormone and prolactin.  High doses appear to inhibit anterior pituitary function altogether.

Follicle stimulating hormone stimulate follicle development in the ovaries.  Maturing follicles produce oestrogen and eggs are readied for ovulation.  In males, FSH stimulates sperm development by the testes and stimulates testosterone production by the interstitial cells of the testes. (MME110B Study Notes)

Studies have shown Vitex to exhibit the following properties –

  1. Galactogenic – average milk production three times greater than a control group

  2. Proven menstrual regulator, improving  disorders including secondary amenorrhoea

  3. Regulates or balances cycle

    1. Useful for heavy or frequent bleeding,

    2. shortened cycles and infrequent or

    3. irregular menstruation

    4. Symptoms of PMS

      1. Specific where the action is due to hyperfolliculinism due to too much Follicle Stimulating Hormone

      2. Premenstrual acne, herpes and fluid retention

    1. Infertility

White pond lily

Nymphaea odorata


Constituents not well established, White Pond Lily is traditional for topical use as a douche, with great emphasis being placed on flushing of the system.  A mild astringent tonic, White Pond Lily reduces mucous discharge and is indicated for weakness of the pelvic organs and applied to active leucorrhoea, ulceration of the cervix, loss of tissue tone in the vaginal tract and thrush.