This is quite a long article which seems to give a balanced view of the topic. They mention use of Chinese herbal meds for other conditions - diabetes, common cold, etc.
Primary dysmenorrhea is a common condition that can have a significant impact on the lives of women. Although currently available treatments may be effective for dysmenorrhea, many young women may not seek treatment and are unaware of treatment options. Chinese herbal medications may be an attractive treatment alternative for many women, but there are questions regarding their efficacy. The current review highlights this issue as well as challenges in applying medical practices across different cultures.
Traditional Chinese medicine has proven itself through the test of time, and it has much to offer patients around the world. However, the previous studies of the efficacy of Chinese herbal medications as well as the current review of herbal preparations for dysmenorrhea highlight the difficulty of translating medical treatment across cultures. The currently available research is not only limited regarding methodology in determining the efficacy of Chinese herbal medications, but also of importance, many of these studies do not adequately address concerns regarding tolerability and safety.