Understanding Premenstrual Syndrome from a Chinese Medicine Perspective

PREMENSTRUAL syndrome
MENSTRUATION disorders
PHYSIOLOGY, Pathological
MEDICINE, Chinese
HERBS -- Therapeutic use
THERAPEUTICS

Abstract:Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common disorder of some women during their reproductive years, characterizedby a range of cyclical physical and/or mood symptoms experienced during the last few days of eachmenstrual cycle. Several treatment approaches have been applied, but have shown limited success, as the exactcause and pathophysiology of PMS is still not fully identified. In this paper, the etiology and pathogenesisof PMS is compared from both a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective and the Western biomedicineparadigm. TCM has used herbal medicines to treat the symptoms of the premenstrual and menstrual phasesfor centuries. To date, very few studies on the application of TCM to PMS have applied rigorous research methods.We examine the case of PMS from each paradigm: The biomedical view and that of TCM. Similaritiesand differences are identified and explored, and possible treatment approaches are considered and discussed inthe light of these two models.

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