Dysmenorrhoea refers to the occurrence of painful menstrual cramps of uterine origin and is a common gynaecological complaint. Common treatment for dysmenorrhoea is medical therapy such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) or oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) which both work by reducing myometrial activity (contractions of the uterus). The efficacy of conventional treatments such as nonsteroidals is considerable, however the failure rate is still often 20-25%. Many consumers are now seeking alternatives to conventional medicine and research into the menstrual cycle suggests that nutritional intake and metabolism may play an important role in the cause and treatment of menstrual disorders. Herbal and dietary therapies number among the more popular complementary medicines yet there is a lack of taxonomy to assist in classifying them. In the US, herbs and other phytomedicinal products (medicine from plants) have been legally classified as dietary supplements since 1994. Included in this category are vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids and other dietary substances. For the purpose of this review we use the wider term herbal and dietary therapies to include the assorted herbal or dietary treatments that are classified in the US as supplements and also the phytomedicines that may be classified as drugs in the European Union.