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Amera Anjum and *Arshiya Sultana


Dysmenorrhoea (Usr-i-Tamth) is defined as painful menstruation. Unani scholars have described Usr-i-Tamth with other terms such as Waja‘al-Rahim or Auja al-Rahim, which occur due to obstruction in menstrual blood flow resulting in uterine contraction and pain. This pain usually occurs in the uterus and spread to the surrounding areas. It is one of the commonest problems encountered by women during their life time. Most of the women suffer from severe incapacitating pain which restrict them from day to day activity. This situation not only has a significant effect on quality of life and personal health but also has global economic impact. The root cause lies with the excessive secretion of prostaglandins which are attributed to myometrial contraction, uterine ischemia and pain. Women with dysmenorrhea have high levels prostaglandin which increases the sensitivity of the nerve endings to pain. This pain can be alleviated with herbs having anti-inflammatory and anti-prostaglandin activities. In Unani system of medicine, various herbs such as Zingiber officinale, Ruta graveolens Linn, Cassia fistula Linn, Myristica fragrans Houtt, Cinnamomum zeylanaceum, Rheum emodi, Rosa damascena, Trigonella foenum graceum and Ferula are in use for painful menstruation as these plants possess anti-spasmodic (Dafa-i-Tashannuj), analgesic (Musakkin) and antiinflammatory (Muhallil-i-Waram), and emmenagogue (muddir-i-hayd) properties. Recent scientific studies also support use of these herbs in dysmenorrhoea as they possess antiprostaglandin and anti-inflammatory activities. Hence, this evidenced based review high lights the plants having anti-prostaglandin and anti-inflammatory effects in relieving menstrual pain.

Keywords: Anti-prostaglandins; Anti-inflammatory; Dysmenorrhoea; Herbal plants.

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