Questions and Answers - Menstrual pain and discomfort (Dysmenorrhoea)

A General introduction to Herbs

The four energies (natures) of herbs:

  • Cold
  • Hot
  • Warm
  • Cool

The six tastes of herbs:

  • Sour (Yin) - Absorbs and controls.
  • Bitter (Yin) - Reduces and dries.
  • Sweet (Yang) - Tonifies, harmonizes and moderates
  • Pungent (Yang) - Disperses and promotes the circulation of Qi and Blood.
  • Salty (Yin) - Softens hardness and purges stool.
  • Bland (Yang) - Transforms dampness and promotes urination.

The four functional tendencies of herbs:

  • Ascending
  • Descending
  • Floating
  • Sinking

Combination of herbs:

  • Mutual accentuation – Reinforcing, two herbs that are similar that enhance each others affect.
  • Mutual Enhancement- Two herbs with different functions that can enhance each others actions.
  • Mutual counteraction- Reduction of toxicity of one herb by the addition of another.
  • Mutual suppression- The properties of one herb weakens action of another.
  • Mutual antagonism- minimises/neutralises each others positive effects.
  • Mutual incapability- create side affects they would’nt have on their own.
  • Single affect- herbs should not be used on their own. Except gin seng.

Cautions and Contraindications:

  • The 18 incompatibles (18 herbs that are incompatible)
  • The 19 antagonisms (19 herbs that neutralise each others positive effects)
  • Heating herbs for people with hypertension (High blood pressure).
  • During pregnancy do not give damp heat clearing herbs and take care with purgatives and Qi moving herbs.
  • Don’t give strong herbs to a weak person
  • Don’t give hot herbs to hot people
  • Medications and their herbal interatctions
  • Avoid spicy raw, cold greasy foods

[Return to Herbs main page]