fennel is as good as drugs at relieving the pain of dysmenorrhea or painful periods

Surprisingly, this traditional herb recently emerged as a promising herb for menopause. Now we know it’s as good as drugs for painful periods!

Fennel has been valued by women for a long time. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates used it to increase breast milk in nursing mothers.

In modern times, fennel has recently been shown to safely reduce the symptoms of menopause. And it is used for colic and cramping. Could a valuable women’s herb that relieves cramping help with painful periods?

Though little discussed, there have actually been several studies on fennel and painful periods, or dysmenorrhea. In fact, a just published systematic review and meta-analysis found twelve controlled studies. Some of them compared fennel to a placebo and found it to be significantly better at reducing pain. Seven of them compared fennel to drugs: in each of the studies individually and in the pooled results of the meta-analysis, fennel was just as effective as the drugs at relieving pain. Just as good is really good when you consider the side effects of the drugs and the gentle safety of fennel.


Nutrients 2020 Nov 10;12(11):3438


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For much more on treating painful periods and other menstrual problems, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

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