Cyclic Mastalgia

Related Terms

Breast Pain, Cyclic; Breast Tenderness, Cyclic; Cyclic Mastitis; Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Cyclic mastalgia is breast pain that is linked to menstruation. Pain may be mild to severe.

It is treated with medicine and changes in lifestyle habits. Some women turn to natural therapies to further ease pain.

Natural Therapies

May Be Effective

These herbs and supplements may help ease breast pain:

  • Chamomile is a flower. (Note: It should not be taken by people taking blood thinners. Pregnant women should talk to their doctor before taking chamomile.)A5
  • ChasteberryA7, A8
  • Cumin seeds (Nigella sativa) come from a flowering plant.A3
  • Flaxseed is the seed of the flax plant.A4, A7
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats.A2
  • Vitamin E is used by the body to as an antioxidant to help slow damage to cells.A1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse, such as:

  • Chamomile should not be taken by people taking blood thinners. Pregnant women should talk to their doctor before taking chamomile.


Herbs and Supplements

A1. Parsay S, Olfati F, et al. Therapeutic effects of vitamin E on cyclic mastalgia. Breast J. 2009;15(5):510-514.

A2. Sohrabi N, Kashanian M, et al. Evaluation of the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome: a “pilot trial”. Complement Ther Med. 2013;21(3):141-146.

A3. Huseini HF, Kianbakht S, et al. Effectiveness of Topical Nigella sativa Seed Oil in the Treatment of Cyclic Mastalgia: A Randomized, Triple-Blind, Active, and Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Planta Med. 2016;82(4):285-288.

A4. Mirghafouvand M, Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi S, et al. Effect of Vitex agnus and Flaxseed on cyclic mastalgia: A randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2016;24:90-95.

A5. Saghafi N, Rhkhshandeh H, et al. Effectiveness of Matricaria chamomilla (chamomile) extract on pain control of cyclic mastalgia: a double-blind randomised controlled trial. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2018;38(1):81-84.

A6. van Die MD, Burger HG, et al. Vitex agnus-castus extracts for female reproductive disorders: a systematic review of clinical trials. Planta Med. 2013 May;79(7):562-575.

A7. Basch E, Bent S, et al. Flax and flaxseed oil (Linum usitatissimum): a review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Soc Integr Oncol. 2007 Summer;5(3):92-105.

A8. Dennehy CE. The use of herbs and dietary supplements in gynecology: an evidence-based review. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2006 Nov-Dec;51(6):402-409.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC

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