By Cathy Burkemper

Q: Right before my menstrual cycle, my breasts become extremely painful and tender.  I can even feel tiny little bumps in them.  Should I be concerned?

A: Any time you feel something abnormal in your breasts, I recommend seeing a physician.  More than likely, you are experiencing fibrocystic breasts.  This is a very common problem when the breast becomes nodular and you can actually move small cysts near the breast surface.  There is also some discomfort associated with this disorder.  Although this typically occurs prior to menstrual cycles, it can be a continuous issue.  Some things that cause this condition are:  caffeine, hormone imbalances, vitamin E deficiencies, or even constipation.  In order to remedy this, you must avoid caffeine, including chocolate.  Vitamin E is recommended, as this protects the breast from cellular damage.  By implementing these two suggestions, you should feel significantly better.

Q: I have recently developed hemorrhoids.  I do have problems with constipation, so that is probably why they developed.  What can you recommend for the pain?

A: Hemorrhoids often come with constipation.  You must make sure that you are getting enough fiber in your diet to prevent constipation.  This means unrefined whole grains, raw fruit and veggies, and nuts.  For pain relief, take a sitz bath.  You can also alternate hot and cold compresses soaked in witch hazel.  Since hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins, you want to constrict them.  A great remedy is white oak bark, which will help tonify and constrict the vessels so they will shrink.  You can take this internally as well as externally by making a poultice from the white oak bark mixed with aloe gel.  This is a very soothing poultice that you can easily apply.  Prevention is the key, so be sure to eat your fiber.


This herb information is for health education purposes only.  It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners.  Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins?  Send them to Cathy Burkemper, CNHP and Certified Herbalist.  Write to:  Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO  63011.