Throughout a woman's menstrual cycle, she will most certainly encounter times of heavy menstrual bleeding. These heavier cycles may be a result of hormone changes or a hereditary infliction that has plagued every female in her lineage. There will also be times where heavy periods are simply an anomaly that results in higher expenses and greater inconvenience. Simple natural remedies are available that result in a slower, more even flow and lessen the chance of a drastic loss of iron.
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According to Susun Weed, a noted natural health writer on women's issues, heavy periods can be controlled through the use of herb tinctures.
Five to 10 drops of Lady's Mantle tincture, taken three times per day, alleviates some of the heaviest bleeding, but may take three to five days to be effective. This remedy can be started a week before a woman with known heavy periods begins her cycle.
Shepherd's purse is a second effective herbal remedy for heavy bleeding and is faster acting with results seen in as little as a few hours. Shepherd's purse may be taken in a tea form from your local independent health food store.
If you experience bright red blood with clots, Belladonna and Ipecacuanha will reduce these symptoms. For dark blood with clots and exhaustion, try Sabina and China. Each of these has dosage directions on the bottle and Boiron and Hylands are trusted brands of homeopathic remedies. For cramping accompanying heavy bleeding, use Secale or Natrum mur.
According to "Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing" by Phyllis Balch, essential fatty acids have been shown to reduce heavy menstrual flow. Try four to eight capsules of a commercial brand, or 15 to 30 ml of flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil can be poured over a natural cereal in the morning or stirred into yogurt with fruit. Additionally, zinc, copper and iodine may be helpful to reduce bleeding, but care must be taken not to overdose on these supplements. Take each according to package directions.
What to Avoid
During a heavy period, women should avoid consuming ginger as it thins the blood and may result in flooding. Also avoid aspirin as it has a similar effect. Consult your doctor if you are on blood thinners for advice on possibly reducing your dosage during your menses.