This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
Painful menstruation occurs generally in single women, and is produced by inflammation or ulceration of the mouth of the womb, neuralgia of the womb during menstruation, indiscretions, constipation, and a nervous irritable temperament. The symptoms are restlessness, heat, flushed face, weight and heaviness in the head, pain in the back, and pelvic regions, sometimes so severe as to cause fainting. After a time the pain becomes bearing down, accompanied by a shreddy discharge, or blood-clots. In young and plethoric subjects, but little effect is produced on the general health, but in nervous persons the health fails, and not unfrequently, consumption ensures. Women subject to dysmenorrhoea are liable to cancer after the turn of life.
TREATMENT. -- When the disease is produced by inflammation or ulceration of the mouth of the womb, hot sitz-baths, with hot vaginal injections frequently repeated, in connection with ten or fifteen drops of the tincture of crawley every two or three hours, will usually relieve it. Mild purges should also be taken. When due to neuralgia, black cohosh should be given, and the treatment of neuralgia instituted. Senecin, gossypiin, and gelsemin, are also valuable. When produced by an irritable constitution, ladies'-slipper, scullcap, etc., should be given. Out-door exercises and a nutritious diet should be prescribed.