Here’s why PMS can get worse seemingly out of nowhere in the Spring… and how you can combat painful cramps and premenstrual stress with the power of herbs!

We’ve been talking our heads off here about Liver Qi Stagnation this month: a concept in Traditional Chinese Medicine that happens in the Spring when our energy aka “Qi” wants to surge outwards with fresh ideas and new action, but is often blocked as our bodies adjust from a long winter of hibernation!

The Liver meridian’s main role is movement… directing the smooth flow of Qi AND hormones throughout the body. When that flow gets ‘stuck’ or interrupted, the #1 way this can manifest for women is in your hormones (think: PMS, unsteady emotions, physical pain, clotting, cramps, increased headaches).

Liver Qi Stagnation, if left to fester, can also become Liver Fire or “Liver Yang Rising.” Think of a car stuck in the mud spinning its wheels, and the resulting burning rubber! This can result in lots of emotional frustration and “heat,” feeling frantic, physical “heat” and inflammation like increased cramping or breast tenderness.

For example: the other week, when my acupuncturist asked how I was feeling, I told her “like I could do a stand up comedy show” — at the end of my rope where all I could muster was sarcasm to get through the day. She laughed at this peculiar yet VERY Liver-indicative answer, promptly checked me for Liver Yang Rising, and gave me acupuncture to ground that frantic fire.


Here’s my fave formulas from our apothecary to support your cycle + combat increased PMS during this time:

  1. Liver Juice – This is the time to pull Liver Juice out of your arsenal and support your hormones + detoxification. The herbs in this blend help to clear excess heat, eliminate hormones via liver detox pathways, and keep things moving and flowing. I like to take this 7-10 days before my cycle.
  2. Rosehip Relief – Rosehip helps relax the mind in the face of impatience and life’s pressures, and helps free up physical tension and stagnation that’s keeping us tight. Rosehip Relief can be added to hot water and made into a tea 3-4 days leading up to your menstrual cycle and throughout, to reduce and relieve painful cramps. You can add your Liver Juice here to stack if you’d like!
  3. Flow Balance – If persistent cramps and PMS that gets in the way of your life is a routine thing for you, not just in the Spring… pull out the big guns and lean on our Flow Balance formula to help balance your hormones on a root cause level. This is not a quick fix or in-the-moment remedy like LJ or RR. This blend must be taken daily to aid the balance of estrogen and progesterone, and works slowly over time to achieve true hormonal homeostasis for many moons to come. Give it 3-6 months for balance to come to fruition.
  4. Flowers for My Love – Our favorite gentle calming “nervine” for all the emotions that come with PMS. Bonus: the passionflower really helps with in-the-moment cramps. In the lens of TCM, Rose acts as a ‘liver cooler’ and blood mover. The flower is used to break up stagnation and bring the warming movement of blow flow to the pelvic area, as well as to support liver-heart homeostasis.

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