Honey, It’s Not Me, It’s My Liver!
PMS and Your Liver by Steven Horne, RH(AHG)
Jokes help us defuse difficult and painful situations, which is why PMS is the brunt of many jokes. It’s no fun for women, or their family members, when PMS creates feelings of anger, irritability, depression, moodiness or emotional sensitivity. I know we typically blame it on hormones, but I have a new excuse—blame it on the liver.
Most of the women I’ve seen who have serious problems with PMS have underlying health issues with the liver. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as many symptoms of PMS are identical to symptoms of liver imbalance, both physically and emotionally.
Emotionally, the liver is the home of anger and irritability, but liver issues can also give rise to depression and discouragement. In fact, any time a person suffers from either irritability or depression, I always assume the liver is one of the major organs needing nutritional support.
As the major organ of internal detoxification, moderate liver problems create an excessive toxic load in the body. This toxic load can cause digestive upset, lymphatic swelling, headaches and malaise. I think of malaise as just feeling “yucky,” nothing particularly wrong, you just don’t feel “right.” That’s also the way many women feel at “that time of the month.”
It also makes sense that the liver would be involved in PMS because the liver breaks down excess hormones. When the liver is congested, it isn’t breaking down these excess hormones efficiently, which results in hormonal imbalances. The simple fact is that you can’t have a healthy endocrine system without a healthy liver.
PMS Type A and Your Liver
There are several forms of PMS, but the most common form is Type A, which is characterized by excess levels of estrogen. Anger and irritability are common problems associated with PMS Type A, the same emotions associated with an overburdened liver. It’s very likely that a woman with PMS Type A has sluggish detoxification pathways in the liver for breaking down estrogens, meaning that the liver is the root of the problem, not the glands.
Another link between the liver and PMS is the fact that PMS symptoms and liver congestion are both difficult to “nail down” symptom-wise. A person suffering from liver congestion has many vague symptoms that come and go. Lab tests may show that everything is normal and doctors may tell them “it’s all in your head.” That’s the same line doctors used to use on PMS in general.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common symptom of too much estrogen in a woman’s system. The loss of blood results in feelings of fatigue and anemia due to something the Chinese would call “blood deficiency.” In Chinese medicine, the liver “builds the blood,” so that here again we see a link between the liver and problems with a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Chinese Liver Remedies for PMS
NSP used to sell a Chinese herbal formula for PMS called Monthly Maintenance. The bad news is that it got discontinued due to poor sales, but the good news is that the Chinese formula Blood Build has the same four key herbs commonly used in Chinese to help regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. This means that Blood Build can be used in place of Monthly Maintenance with similar benefits.
Chinese Blood Build is an excellent remedy for strengthening the liver. It builds the liver and helps the liver build the blood. This means it is useful for anemia and fatigue caused by heavy menstrual bleeding. Since heavy menstrual bleeding is usually associated with excess estrogen, it probably helps the liver detoxify these excess hormones at the same time.
It’s a formula that’s often overlooked for helping women’s reproductive problems, but I’ve seen its benefits in PMS and menstrual issues many times. One of the most dramatic was when an old friend dropped by to see me many years ago. She was not familiar with what I did and I gave her a demonstration by reading her eyes and muscle testing her.
It turns out that she was scheduled to have a hysterectomy scheduled in two weeks because she had been bleeding non-stop for months. I had her douche with Colloidal Minerals daily to tone up the tissue and help stop the bleeding and I put her on just one formula, Blood Build, because she was pale and anemic and her iris pattern (light brown) indicated she had a tendency to liver problems. It turns out that within just a few days the bleeding stopped and she was able to cancel her hysterectomy.
Women with PMS that also have light brown eyes seem to do very well with Chinese Blood Build. Light brown eyes signify a biliary constitution in iridology, which means the person is particularly prone to liver weakness. By building up the liver, many PMS symptoms (and other vague health problems) disappear.
With some women, the Chinese Liver Balance may be a better choice. This formula doesn’t build the liver, it decongests and calms it. In fact, whenever you see anyone, male or female, who tends to have a “short-fuse” with their temper, I’d consider using this remedy. It helps create more internal harmony with the liver and glandular system, which helps a person create more harmony in their relationships at the same time.
So, you can blame your PMS on your liver (not your hormones) if you’d like, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with those distressing emotions. Try some remedies to balance out your liver and your mood may balance out at the same time.