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QUESTION: I've had tremendous success with the diet for my type A body. Headaches virtually disappeared, life-long acne 80% cured. I have a one or two lingering issues which I would like your help with. I continue to stain between my periods. It is not very heavy, but persistent. My gynecologist has given me an extensive checkup and found no serious reasons (such as cancer). Any ideas?
ANSWER: Excessive menstrual bleeding (mennorhagia) occurs most often prior to menopause, with no underlying pathology present just response to erratic hormone production. In younger women menorrhagia can be caused by a range of problems, necessitating skilled diagnosis. Such causes include fibroids, polyps, blood-clotting problems, endometriosis or tumors. The first point to make is that any sign of endo-cervical bleeding is a cause for a complete medical workup. Early signs of cervical and endometrial (uterine) cancer must be ruled out or treated.
I've used two botanical remedies very successfully for uncomplicated mennorhagia:
1. Shepherd's Purse (capsella spp.) is so called from the resemblance of the flat seed-pouches of the plant to an old-fashioned common leather purse. It is similarly called in France Bourse de pasteur, and in Germany Hirtentasche. Capsella’s haemostatic action is due to the presence of tyramine and other amines, and the acetylcholine, choline and tyramine have been shown to produce a transient decrease in blood pressure and haemostatic activity in vivo. It can be used to treat urinary infections with haematuria, and menorrhagia. Although NAP does not make a Capsella-based product, there are numerous formulas available. The tincture form (the herb dissolved in alcohol) works fine and is available in many health food stores. Typical doses are 15 drops in hot water 2-3 times daily as needed.
2. Chlorophyll. Green plants are rich in the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll a source of vitamin K. Based on its ability to help blood clot normally, vitamin K has been proposed as a treatment for excessive menstrual bleeding and is beneficial for some women. Although bleeding time and prothrombin levels in women with menorrhagia are typically normal, the use of vitamin K (often in the form of chlorophyll) does have limited research support. Green leafy vegetables and other sources of vitamin K should be eaten freely. Liquid chlorophyll supplements can be found at many health food stores. Typical doses are 1-3 tsp daily added to a glass of water. In general the chlorophyll formulas with fat-soluable components left intact are more desirable. One of my mentors was fond of telling his patients to place their chlorophyll in a clear glass of water and leave it next to a window for 10-15 minutes (chlorophyll is light sensitive and can retain photo-energy within its molecular matrix).