Menstrual Migrainesaccording to TCM

What are Menstrual Migraines?

Menstrual migraines, a subtype of migraines, are characterized by severe throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head, that coincides with a woman’s menstrual cycle. These headaches, which can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound, often occur in the days leading up to, during, or immediately after menstruation, when significant fluctuations in estrogen occur.

How does TCM view Menstrual Migraines

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perceives menstrual migraines as a symptom of internal disharmony, specifically related to the Liver and Spleen meridians which are closely tied to the menstrual cycle. TCM theory suggests that migraines can arise from Stagnation, where Qi (vital energy) and Blood do not flow freely, or from imbalances between Yin and Yang energies in the body. Diagnosis and treatment are highly individualized, focusing on restoring balance and addressing the root cause of the symptoms.

TCM Etiology of Menstrual Migraines

TCM associates menstrual migraines with several patterns. One pattern is Liver Qi Stagnation, where the free flow of Liver energy is obstructed, often leading to headaches, mood swings, and menstrual pain.

The second involves Blood Deficiency, particularly of the Liver and Spleen, leading to inadequate nourishment and moisture of tissues, including those of the head. Emotional stress and dietary habits are considered pivotal in these patterns, and their management is essential for relief.

TCM Remedies for Menstrual Migraines

In treating menstrual migraines, TCM practitioners may recommend formulas like Dang Gui Shao Yao San, which harmonizes the Spleen and Liver, nourishes Blood, and ensures its smooth flow to relieve pain. This formula, with key herbs such as White Peony Roots, addresses the underlying Blood Deficiency and Liver Qi Stagnation that can trigger migraines.

Additionally, lifestyle adjustments including stress management, diet, and specific acupuncture points are often integrated into the treatment plan.

TCM Herbal Formulas for Menstrual Migraines

See more details below about Dang Gui Shao Yao San, a herbal formula used to address menstrual migraines.

  • By Formula Type
  • Formulas that invigorate blood and dispel blood stagnation

TCM Herbs for Menstrual Migraines

See more details below about White Peony Roots (Bai Shao), a herb used to address menstrual migraines.

  • By Herb Category
  • Tonic herbs for blood deficiency