Menstrual cramps are one of the most common problems that women face, affecting over 50% of menstruating women. And more than half of all women with menstrual cramps also have additional symptoms including fatigue, diarrhea, lower backache, headache, dull aching in the low back and pelvis, bloating and weight gain, breast tenderness and irritability.

Cramps can be categorized as either primary or secondary Dysmenorrhea. Primary is where cramps occur that have nothing to do with any physical abnormalities. Secondary dysmenorrhea refers to menstrual cramps due to a specific condition such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, or uterine fibroids. Of course treatment for secondary dysmenorrhea is directed to treating the underlying cause of the condition. But primary can be helped tremendously with a healthy low fat, plant based diet and herbs. I used to suffer from cramps when I had candida.

But while you are experiencing discomfort there is an amazing tea that I’ve made for many of my friends and clients who suffer from menstrual cramps. Three herbs I that are particularly helpful with cramping muscles and easing flow are cramp bark, black cohosh and mugwort.

Mugwort has an interesting history and was once considered the universal herb for protection and prophecy, and has been considered a “visionary herb”. In ancient China and Japan, Mugwort was hung in doorways to get rid of the “spirits of disease”. And ancient Europeans did the same to ward off evil spirits. These two cultures believed that the supernatural powers of Mugwort were revealed by mermaids who came from the sea to present the herb for the good of humankind.
Native Americans burned Mugwort as a smudge to purify their environment.
But mugwort has an amazing use as an herb that relaxes the uterus. (**DO NOT take mugwort when pregnant).

For my brew, I also add peppermint to add a nice flavor to the tea and to help reduce anxiety that can increase for some women during menstruation. If you really want to super-power this tea, add a hint of blackstrap molasses to get a hint of sweetness and add some iron which is helpful during the cycle.


Place one teaspoon each of mugwort herb, peppermint, black cohosh and crampbark. Pour hot water over the herbs, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain (or use a mesh tea ball) and mix with the molasses if desired. Drink 2-3 times per day.