Menstruation and phytotherapy: which plants to use for painful periods?

Many women have pain during their period ( dysmenorrhea ), if you are here, it is certainly your case.

Period pain is considered "normal" when it passes with a simple painkiller like paracetamol. Some women also suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which usually manifests 2 to 7 days before menstruation and can present itself in the form of fatigue, tenderness and swelling of the breasts, headaches or irritability.

More and more people are looking for alternatives to medication for painful periods , whether to space out medication or to try to do without it. In this article, I offer you some medicinal plants that can help you get through the difficult period of painful menstruation. To complete, you can also consult our article dedicated to stones against painful periods

Know that all herbs used to relieve endometriosis can be used for “normal” period pain, but the reverse is not true. So if you have endometriosis, or think you do, wait for our dedicated article, it will be out soon!

Herbs for painful periods

In case of dysmenorrhea, herbal medicine can be used for two purposes: to rebalance hormones (useful especially in case of PMS or irregular cycle) or as a natural treatment against menstrual pain .

1. Plants for hormonal balance

chaste tree

chaste tree flower

The plant par excellence for rebalancing hormones is chasteberry . Among its properties are:

🍃 Hormone regulation

🍃 An action on menstruation and bleeding

🍃 Stimulation of progesterone production

Chaste tree has a beneficial effect on negative emotions such as irritability or depressive states, but it also helps to fight against water retention and the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (painful breasts, headaches). It also has “secondary” benefits: anti-inflammatory, analgesic and it can have an effect on sleep.

We advise you to use chasteberry if you have:

🍃 Irregular cycles

🍃 Heavy bleeding

🍃 Spottings (slight losses or traces of blood outside the rules).

You will be able to observe an improvement in symptoms after at least 3 months of use.

Chaste tree is taken as powdered fruit, hydroalcoholic fruit extract, standardized extract, tincture or dry extract. Here are the dosages to respect for each form:

Fruit in powder (capsules) or in bulk 0.5 to 1.0g - 3 times a day
Hydroalcoholic extract (alcoholature) 30 to 40mg or about 30 drops - in the morning on an empty stomach
Standardized extract 1 to 2 teaspoons per day
Dyeing 0.15 to 0.20ml - 3 times a day
Dry extract 20mg per day

To make a decoction of chaste tree : Put 1 to 3 tablespoons of fruit in 1 liter of water, boil for 30 minutes then filter. Drink 2 to 3 cups in the morning, on an empty stomach.

Chasteberry should be used with caution and always with the advice of a doctor/gynecologist:

It interferes with hormones

► Do not take during adolescence

► Do not take during pregnancy and breastfeeding: it can reduce milk production.

The common lady's mantle

Common lady's mantle leaves and flower

The common lady's mantle, or Our Lady's mantle, is much used during menstruation :

🍃 It protects the uterus

🍃 It helps to regulate the cycle

🍃 It calms menstrual pain thanks to its progesterone-like effect (it mimics the action of progesterone in the body)

🍃 It helps reduce bleeding periods

🍃 It helps the liver to metabolize hormones

You can consume it in alcoholature (40 to 160 drops, twice a day) or in herbal tea: infuse 1 teaspoon of dry plant per cup for 10 minutes, drink 1 to 4 cups a day.

To ensure its effectiveness, you should start taking Lady's Mantle at least 6 days before your period starts and for the duration of your period.


raspberry leaf

The raspberry is your best ally! It adapts to all periods of your cycle and your life. Except during the first months of pregnancy, you can take it at any time, it will always have a beneficial effect on your body: it provides minerals, it tones the uterine muscle and ligaments, it helps you relax and helps repair your uterus .

🍃 It balances hormones

🍃 It helps regulate cycles

🍃 It helps reduce bleeding periods

🍃 It helps fight period pain and menstrual cramps

🍃 It protects the liver

🍃 It helps to increase fertility

You can consume it in gemmotherapy (follow the dosages of the bottle, generally 50 to 150 drops per day) or in herbal tea: infuse 1 teaspoon of dry leaves per cup for 10 minutes, drink 1 to 3 cups per day.

Whether in gemmotherapy or herbal tea, you should start taking raspberry about 10 days before the onset of menstruation and continue throughout their duration.

2. Plants to reduce pain


Yarrow flowers

Yarrow stimulates the production of progesterone . It is therefore an excellent antispasmodic which helps to fight against pelvic cramps, abdominal cramps , and against painful menstruation .

It is also used:

🍃 When blood flow continues after 5 or 6 days of menstruation

🍃 In case of thick blood or with clots

🍃 Reduce heavy periods

🍃 Decongest and improve the quality of the endometrium

You can consume yarrow in alcohol (20 to 120 drops 2 to 3 times a day) or in infusion: infuse for 10 minutes 1 teaspoon of dry plant per cup, drink 1 to 3 cups a day.

You should start taking yarrow a few days before the start of your period and continue at the beginning of the cycle .

You can also make sitz baths with this plant. For this, you will have to infuse 100g of dry plant in 1L of cold water overnight, then bring to the boil the next day and finally pour into the water of the sitz bath. You can also replace the dry plants with 1 teaspoon of hydrosol.

Yarrow can have an abortifacient effect: it should never be consumed during pregnancy!

lemon balm

Lemon balm leaves

Less interesting than the previous one for pain, lemon balm still helps to fight against:

🍃 Premenstrual bloating

🍃 Digestive difficulties

🍃 Anxiety and nervousness

🍃 Pain thanks to its antispasmodic properties

Lemon balm is consumed in alcohol (40 to 120 drops, 2 to 4 times a day) or in herbal tea (1 teaspoon per cup, drink 1 to 3 cups a day).

I advise you to take it at the end of the day or in the evening because lemon balm can have a sedative effect.


Marigold flower or calendula officinalis

Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is a plant that has:

🍃 Soothing virtues

🍃 An analgesic effect on menstrual pain .

It is consumed in herbal tea, 1 to 3 cups per day by infusing 1 teaspoon of dry plant for about 10 minutes.

To see an effect, you must start marigold teas at least 10 days before your period and continue for the duration of your period .

Matricaria chamomile

Matricaria chamomile flowers

Also called German chamomile , it is a soothing herb that aids sleep. It also allows to:

🍃 Support the uterine sphere during too intense pain

🍃 Facilitate digestion in case of sensitive digestive system

🍃 Help to better bear the pain

You can consume chamomile in alcoholature, at the rate of 20 to 100 drops two to three times a day, or in infusion, 1 to 3 cups a day by infusing for about 10 minutes 1 teaspoon of flowers for each cup.


Feverfew flowers

Anti-inflammatory, feverfew (Tanacetum Parthenium) helps fight against:

🍃 Painful periods

🍃 catamenial migraines (migraines set on the menstrual cycle ).

You can consume it as a dry extract (200mg twice a day). To observe effects, it must be taken for several months.

❌ The use of feverfew is contraindicated in children under 15, pregnant or breastfeeding women.

obier viburnum

Viburnum obier flowers

Viburnum obier (Viburnum opulus) is a powerful uterine sedative, it helps fight against:

🍃 Lower stomach cramps

🍃 Gynecological pain , whether it occurs during the menstrual phase or during the premenstrual phase .

🍃 Abundant periods thanks to its hemostatic properties.

It is consumed during periods of menstrual cramps : in tincture (40 drops in a little water every 2 hours) or in decoction (2 tablespoons of bark in 1L of water, drink 1 cup every 2 hours )


Whole and sliced ​​ginger on wood

Known and recognized for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic properties, ginger helps fight against:

🍃 Period pain

🍃 Abdominal pain

🍃 Colds and sore throats (nothing to do with the subject of the article, but it's still good to know!)

Use preferably fresh, as a compress, infusion or decoction:

🌿 Fresh ginger compress: peel, grate or cut the ginger into thin strips. Boil water and leave to infuse off the heat 10g of ginger for 1L of water for about 15 minutes. After checking the temperature (the water should be hot but not hot), dip a towel or cotton ball into the pan, then apply it to your lower abdomen like a hot water bottle . You can take the opportunity to lie down and relax. The action of the ginger combined with the warmth of the towel will help reduce the pain . You can re-immerse the towel or cotton as many times as needed.

🌿 Fresh ginger infusion: peel and cut the ginger into thin strips, let infuse off the heat 10 g of ginger in 1 L of boiling water for 15 minutes to 1 hour. The longer it infuses, the stronger the herbal tea will be and will have the tangy taste of ginger . Filter then drink, hot or cold, throughout the day.

🌿 Fresh ginger decoction: it takes 5 to 10g of ginger for 1L of water. Put the peeled slices of ginger in the saucepan, add cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes and add honey and half a squeezed lemon (for taste). Filter and drink throughout the day.

❌ Never consume ginger if you suffer from digestive system conditions (gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones), if you are breastfeeding or pregnant, if you are taking anti-coagulants or anti-inflammatories or in case of ginger allergy. In addition, ginger should be used with caution:

► Do not exceed 2g of dried ginger or 10g of fresh ginger spread over the day, never take the maximum dose at one time

► In high doses, ginger can cause nausea, diarrhea, an ulcer...

Make your own herbal tea for painful periods

I offer you a simple and effective recipe to find a little peace of mind during your period . You will need 4 plants:

🌿 Sage officinalis

🌿 Yarrow

🌿 Artemisia

🌿 Lady's Mantle

They are quite common so you can easily find them in herbalism.

Two cups of herbal tea with plant leaves seen from above

Here is the recipe:

Take a sufficiently large container, mix the 4 plants well, in equal proportions.

Boil water

Off the heat, leave to infuse (for about 10 minutes) 1 teaspoon of the herbal mixture for 250mL of water (1 cup) or 4 teaspoons for 1 liter of water.

► Filter and drink

Start about 6 days before your period starts by drinking 1 cup a day, then drink 2 or 3 cups a day during your period . You can continue after your period ends, during the first part of the cycle .

Mugwort is known to be antispasmodic and emmenagogue . It therefore acts on menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea by stimulating blood flow in the pelvic region and the uterus .

Sage is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic , so it helps fight painful periods and its estrogen-like action can help regulate the cycle .

❌ This herbal tea is not suitable: for pregnant women (possible abortifacient effect of mugwort and yarrow), for breastfeeding women (plants can impact lactation), for people with endometriosis (sage is a plant estrogen-like, it is therefore to be avoided in case of endometriosis).

And you, what natural remedies do you use for your period pain? Tell us in the comments 😊

Always ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before turning to herbal medicine. Never stop treatment without medical advice. Phytotherapy is not an alternative medicine, plants can interact with your drug treatments and cause other health problems.

1 comment

  • Leïla

    Merci beaucoup pour cet article ! C’est exactement ce que je recherchais, avec les contre-indications femmes allaitantes 👍🏻

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