Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and Chinese Herbs – Fennel Seed (Xiao Hu Xiang)

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occurrence have more than double over past 50 years due to the acceptance of its as medical condition and caused by unhealthy diet with high in saturated food. Premenstrual syndrome is defined as faulty function of ovaries related to women menstrual cycle, it effects the women's physical and emotional state and sometimes interference with daily activities as resulting of hormone fluctuation. The syndrome happens in one or two weeks before menstruation and then declining when the period starts. It is said the symptoms can be so severe that between 10-15% of women have to take time off work, costing businesses millions of dollars a year. In this article, we will discuss how Chinese herbs - fennel seed (xiao hu xiang) effects women with PMS.

I. Definition
Fennel is a perennial herb, native to the southern Europe and Mediterranean. It has been used in Chinese medicine in treating sexual libido and digestive disorder.

II. How Chinese herbs - fennel seed ( xiao hu xiang) effects women with PMS.
1. Water retention and weigh gain
Fennel seed contains potassium which is vital for sympathetic function in regulating the fluid in the body tissues resulting in lessening the risk of water retention and weigh gain caused by deficiency of potassium.

2. Menstrual pain and cramps
It also contains high amount of essential fatty acids which are necessary of the liver in regulating the production of good prostaglandins hormones. Unbalancing of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids causes inability of conversion from linoleic acid to GLA resulting in increasing the risk of over production of PGE2 and premenstrual pain and cramps.

3. Flavonoid
Fennel seed also contains rutin. one of the member of flavonoid which not only help to improve immune system in fighting against virus and inflammation, it also prevents the symptoms of PMS caused by negative allergic reaction including headache and nervous tension.

4. Digestive system
Fennel seed also contains substances which help to improve the digestive system in absorbing vital vitamins and minerals that is necessary for women with PMS because most of them are found to have some kinds of nutrients deficiency.

5. Essential Oil
Essential oil extracted from fennel seed contains estragole, anethole which help to reduce the nervous tension caused fluctuation of levels of serotonin and adrenaline resulting in lessening the
risk of depression and anxiety.

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