Chinese herbal medicine can provide significant pain relief for women with menstrual cramps, research shows.
Women with period pains are often offered either non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or oral contraceptives.
But many women find these treatments do not work or that they would prefer a natural alternative.
A review of 39 controlled trials of Chinese herbal medicines in 3,475 women found that it provided significant pain relief when compared with pharmaceutical drugs.
Chinese herbal medicine also relieved overall symptoms better than acupuncture or heat compression.
Lead study author Xiaoshu Zhu at the University of Western Sydney said: "All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatments, NSAIDs OCP, acupuncture and heat compression, and at the same time, there were no indications that Chinese herbal medicine caused any adverse events."