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Premenstrual Mood Disorder

Edited by: Joe Hing Kwok Chu                   按此看 中文

   According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the therapies  mainly fall under the three groups:


The syndromes and treatments are as follows:

I. Qi and blood deficient


  1. insomnia  before and during period,  

  2. irritability,

  3. sadness,

  4. desire to cry,

  5. sometimes happy, sometimes sad,

  6. volume of menses is small and the color is pale,

  7. pale tongue with white coating,

  8. pulse is weak and thin.


gan mai da zao tang with added ingredients (Source: Jin Gui Yao Lue 金櫃要略)



fu xiao mai 30 g, zhi gan cao, suan zao ren, xiang fu zi, dang gui  bai shao ,

fu shen, 10 g each, yi mu cao 15 g, shi chang pu 6 g, da zao 10 pieces (cut).

Boil with water and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Make into 3 servings. Take one prescription per day.

II. Liver stagnation and excess fire


  1. shortness of temper,

  2. dizziness,

  3. thirst and desire to drink liquid frequently,

  4. red face and red eyes,

  5. dark urine,

  6. hard stool,

  7. red tongue with yellow coating,

  8. stringy (xian) and fast pulse,

  9. menses is irregular, small amount with dark color and flow is not smooth.


Prescription: long dan xie gan tang (source: yi zhong jin jian)



long dan cao 6 g,  huang qin 9 g, shan zhi zi 9 g, ze xie 12 g, mu tong 9 g, che qian zi 9 g, chai hu 6 g, gan cao 6 g, sheng di huang 9 g.

Boil with water. One prescription a day, made

into two or three servings.

Stop taking when symptoms subside. Do not take

it for a long time.


See Warning


III. Qi and circulation stagnation


  1. usually overweight.

  2. not much facial expression before menses,

  3. no desire to talk,

  4. speech doesn't make much sense,

  5. sadness,

  6. crying,

  7. runny nose,  

  8. scanty, sticky, dark colored menses ,

  9. tight and slippery pulse,

  10. white coated tongue.


Prescription: xiao chai hu tang with added ingredients



chai hu 19 g, huang qin 11 g, dang shen 11 g, ban xia 11 g, zhi gan cao 7.5 g,

sheng jiang 2 slices, da zao  3 pieces , niu xi 11 g, tao ren 7.5 g, hong hua 3 g,

dan pi 11 g.


Boil with water. Make into 3 servings. Take one prescription a day.

See prescriptions in Chinese writing.

Note: After Zhang Zi He, a Chinese doctor of the Yuan dynasty, declared that all cases of mood disorder were caused by phlegm, most of the medical texts from that time to the present day follow this hypothesis.  Studies using a large number of patients have been done under  controlled  environments and the results show that  treatment using phlegm  removing methods failed to solve the problem.

Warning: The formula, long dan xie gan tang,  can be toxic to the kidneys because of the herb mu tong. There are different varieties of mu tong in the market. Before the Qing dynasty, however, it was not toxic because mu tong was derived from either the plant of Akebia guinata or the plant Akebia lobata.  Today, ninety five percent of mu tong  used in China is from the stem of Aristolochia debilis, called guan mu tong (關 木 通), a toxic plant usually grown in the northeastern provinces of China, formally called Manchuria. Only rarely in a few localities in China, is mu tong obtained from Akebia guinata or Akebia lobata being used. Many cases of kidney failure have been reported in the China from taking this formula.Today in China, all manufactured formulae that contain guan mu tong (aristolochia debilis) are being banned because of the toxicity to the kidneys.

If you use this formula, make sure you are not using guan mu tong. Use chuan mu tong or huai tong, or bai mu tong instead.

Important: Click here to see explanation of formulae in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) page.

Qigong therapy is effective.


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Last update: May 9, 2011; 1:20 a.m. LAH