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Dr. Norman Allan's "Ask the Doctor" service

M.J. asks what she can do to correct her irregular menstrual cycle.

Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, or Ayervedic Medicines (are complete systems and) can help. What can you do on your own? Well, not on your own - you should be under medical supervision when you are trying to manipulate your hormonal axis! however... lets look at the
Herbal Regulation of Menstrual Cycle

The female hormone cycle can be a problematic. Fortunately there are herbs which can harmonize the menstrual cycle.

[Note again! Juggling with your hormones is serious business. You should be doing this in collaboration with a trained health care professional. The following are just some thought and information for you, and your doctors, to consider.]

My herb teacher, Michael Vertolli, suggests the following approach in using herbs to regulate and harmonise the menstrual cycle: Ö

Start with a mixture of "neutral phytosterols" and "phytoestrogens": for example, you might take the following:-

neutral phytosterols

8 drops* motherwort
8 drops* chastetree berry
8 drops* partridge berry (squaw vine)


4 drops* black cohosh
4 drops* blue cohosh

Take this combination through one full cycle. On the second cycle, take only the "neutral phytosterols (motherwort, chastetree berry, partridge berry) until a week before mense is due. Then add the cohoshes, until the end of flow (or for two weeks, if there is no flow).

Note that the cohoshes are wonderful, but sometimes potent herbs. Do not take them during pregnancy (except under medical supervision). Black cohosh, in particular, can cause a homeopathic-like "healing crisis", bringing out the symptoms (so Iím not kidding about getting supervision from a health care professional!).

You will probably need to continue this formula for some time before the body is back in step and can stay in step without this herbal prompting. It will vary from case to case. I have seen great improvement, with this formulation, with various dysmenorrheas. Please contact me if you have any questions at

More recently I have been working with a simpler formula:

Motherwort, 20 drops
Black Cohush, 5 drops

(three times a day through one complete cycle, as above, and then the Motherwort continmues and again you add the Black Cohush a week before due)

*Herbs are best used as tinctures, diluted in water, taken on an empty stomach/30 minutes before meals, and we might suggest a total of 30 to 40 drops with each dose, and three doses a day: check with your doctor.