Natural health: How to deal with heavy menstrual flow

I am looking for a natural remedy to help with a heavy menstrual flow. I consider my periods to be relatively trouble-free, but it feels as if I am losing more blood than I should be.

There is one herbal remedy that is very successful in treating menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) — Shepherd’s Purse.

This so-called weed can be found in abundance at this time of year, taking its name from the shape of the seed pods which look similar to the leather purses commonly worn by shepherds in ancient times.

Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is highly valued by herbalists due to its ability to staunch bloodflow, whether it be a nosebleed, a post-partum haemorrhage, or as a menstrual flow regulator.

Use a heaped teaspoon of Shepherd’s Purse per cup of near-boiling water, and drink three to four cups daily.

It is important to look into the root cause of your heavy bleeding, since there are a number of other factors that may be contributing towards this menstrual imbalance. Fibroids, polyps, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, anovulation, or hormonal issues are all associated with menorrhagia.

It is also worth noting that an IUD (intra-uterine device) used for birth control is a very common cause of excessive menstrual bleeding.

Which is better for you, green smoothies or fresh juices? I know that juicing used to be recommended for health, but now I have read that it is better to blend the fruit and vegetables in a smoothie to get the fibre content.

It is true that there is a lot more fibre in a smoothie than you will find in juice, however there is still a certain amount of fibre present in freshly- pressed juices. Carrot juice, for example, has around two-thirds of the fibre content of grated carrots, which is considerably more than you would expect from a juice.

The benefit of choosing a juicing regimen over a green smoothie health kick depends on the specific health issues you are dealing with. Individuals who have compromised gut health and/or immune systems will often find that diluted fresh juices are more gentle, allowing the body to heal without putting too much strain on the digestive tract. Juicing therapy has been used for decades to support healing from a number of chronic and serious diseases.

Smoothies do contain more fibre, which has obvious benefits over juicing, plus it is much more budget-friendly — it takes a lot more produce to make a litre of fresh juice than it does to make a litre of smoothie. Of course, this is also one of the reasons why juices are so nutrient-dense.

Whether you choose juices or smoothies, or decide to include both in your diet, it is important to ‘chew’ these nutrient powerhouse drinks.

Allowing the juice or smoothie to combine with saliva by swishing it in the mouth before swallowing it will help kickstart the digestive process and help your body to best assimilate the phytonutrients. This chewing action also calms the blood sugar response.

I want to make some healthy changes in my life, but I am feeling overwhelmed as to where I should even start.

In this age of information it is all too easy to become overwhelmed by all of the possible healthy choices. A simple place to start is by finding a few healthy recipes or healthy ingredient swaps and making them a regular feature.

One of the biggest challenges is learning which information sources to trust, and which to ignore. Work out what is important for you, and then stick with two or three sources you trust — any more than that and you may find yourself drowning in (sometimes contradictory) information.

For some people, testimonials and success stories are important; others prefer a black and white list of research, studies, and references before they feel comfortable trusting an author or health professional.

Only one thing is certain — this is a personal and unique journey, with no magic bullets or one-size-fits-all solutions to wellness.


After years of saying no, Patrick Stewart tells Georgia Humphreys why he finally agreed to reprise his role as Jean-Luc PicardPatrick Stewart on boldly returning for Star Trek Picard

Cork teenager Jessie Griffin is launching a new comic-book series about her own life. She tells Donal O’Keeffe about her work as a comic artist, living with Asperger’s, and her life-changing time with the Cork Life CentrePicture perfect way of sharing Jessie’s story

Sorting out Cork people for agesAsk Audrey: The only way to improve air quality in Douglas is to move it upwind from Passage West

The Lighthouse is being hailed as one of the best — and strangest — films of the year. Its director tells Esther McCarthy about casting Robert Pattinson, and why he used 100-year-old lensesGoing against the grain: Robert Eggers talks about making his latest film The Lighthouse

More From The Irish Examiner