Diet is a causal factor in premenstrual syndrome (PMS); women can alleviate many symptoms by changing their diets. Reducing or eliminating alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, salt, dairy products and animal fats may be beneficial.
In the Chinese diet (and that includes herbs), one looks not only for vitamins and minerals but also the energetic properties of food like energy, flavor and movement. Other less important aspects include the meridian entered and organic actions; these refer to specific internal organs or the meridians on which the foods can act. Foods just like herbs possess specific functions to tonify, cleanse and regulate the body.
Certain foods can modulate the menstrual cycle in women. Below are the popular ingredients in Chinese dishes.
|Name of the foods||Beneficial effects||Indications|
|Blackbone chicken||Nourish the liver and kidneys; replenish blood and qi (vital energy)||Heavy menses and excessive vaginal discharge|
|Sea cucumber||Nourish the kidneys, enrich the essence and replenish the blood||Heavy or scanty menses, excessive vaginal discharge and menopause|
|Cuttlefish||Nourish the yin and replenish the blood||Menopause due to blood deficiency|
|Chinese chives||Warm the middle burner, activate qi and dissolve stasis||Menstrual pain and irregular menses|
|Lamb||Replenish qi, warm middle burner and relax the bowels||Irregular menses and menstrual pain|
|Cumin||Warm kidneys and the uterus.||Menstrual pain and menopause|
|Cinnamon||Warm and smooth the meridians, expel coldness and warm the uterus||Menstrual pain and menopause|
|Red sugar||Warm the stomach, fortify the spleen, pacify the liver, dissolve stasis, activate the blood and lubricate the bowels||Menstrual pain, irregular menses after delivery|
|Hawthorn||Activate the blood and qi, dissolve stasis and stop pain||Menstrual pain and menopause|
|Mango||Regulate menses||Scanty menses and menopause|
|Clams||Nourish yin and clear heat||Heavy menses|
|Black fungus||Stop bleeding||Heavy menses|
|Lotus leaves||Stop bleeding||Heavy menses|
|Lotus root||Clear heat, cool blood, dissolve stasis and stop bleeding||Heavy menses|
In order to have a smooth menstrual cycle, TCM always advises warm and cooked foods, and avoid too much food and drinks that are raw, frozen, not easily digested or spicy.