Menstruation is a normal bleeding period that happens to every lady from 13 years and upward monthly till she reaches menopause. It happens to prepare a woman for pregnancy and when conception doesn’t happen, the body lets out the blood through the vagina for a period of three to five days.
Sometimes menstruation can come with pains, cramps and many other discomforts due to over production of prostaglandin, a chemical messenger. Some of the symptoms include abdominal cramps or pain, stomach pain, sore breast, bloating, irritability, mood swings, lower back pain, food cravings, headaches and weakness. Many ladies depend on pain killers to handle these problems as they block the production of prostaglandins and sometimes block the pain receptors of the body which is not healthy as taking these drugs monthly has both short and long term side effects.
Most drugs taken during period pains are diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, paracetamol, menstrogen and many more. Some short term side effects of some of these drugs are dizziness, thick lung secretions, stomach cramps, severe thirst, dryness of the throat, dry mouth, blurred vision, confusion, fast heartbeat, rashes, etc. And long term side effects of this drugs due to accumulation of their toxins and by products in the body are organ failure like kidney and liver, blood disorder, hepatitis, skin inflammation, swelling of the vocal cords, eye problems and many more.
So in this article, we will be looking at those things we can do or take away from our kitchen that can ease the period pain and discomfort of menstrual cramps.
9 Natural Solutions for Menstrual Cramps
1. Heat: Apply heat to your abdomen and lower back. Studies proved that applying heat at 400C is as effective as ibuprofen. To use this treatment, dip a piece of cloth in hot water and massage your stomach with it or you can have a hot shower. Or you can make heating pad by sowing two small pieces of fabrics together, leaving a hole at the top. Fill it with uncooked rice and sew the hole. Microwave it for a few minutes and wrap it in a towel, then you put it on your abdomen.
2. Massage with essential oils: Massage your stomach and abdomen with essential oils for 20 minutes to reduce the pain; if done properly, the pain will go immediately. Peppermint oil, lavender oil, clary oil, sage oil or marjoram oil are good for this. You need to blend your essential oil with carrier oil before applying to avoid toxicity. Mix a drop of whatever essential oil you want to use with a teaspoon of a carrier oil like vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut or sweet almond oil. You can also use essential oil by aromatherapy; inhaling their fragrance is also helpful.
3. Sugar: Avoid sugar, alcohol, salty foods, caffeine and carbonated drinks till you are done with your period.
4. Herbs: Take lots of herbs or drink herbal teas as they help to reduce pain. Herbs like ginger, cinnamon, chamomile, fennel seeds are great at this. You can either add them to your meals or you make tea with them and drink.
5. Exercise: Exercise can help reduce the pain. You can skip, jog or go for a long walk. Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemical messengers that make the body feel good. This can help you relax and reduce the pain you feel during your periods.
6. Supplements: Take fish oil and vitamin B1 supplement, it helps to reduce the pain or you can use acupuncture as they are great at relieving pain. It relaxes the nervous system, increase blood flow to internal organs and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Greenlife Herbal has a good supplement for treating menstrual cramp and pains. Check it out here.
7. Eat well: Eating well can also decrease menstrual pain. During your period, most of your meals should be plant based so that they will supply your body with minerals, fiber and phytochemicals that can ease pain or help the body handle pain easily. Eat lots of papayas; they supply vitamins to the body, brown rice contains vitamin B6 that reduce bloating, almonds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts ease cramps due to their high manganese content, green leafy vegetables supplies the body with iron which replaces the blood lost during menstruation. While eating well during your period; you also need to avoid processed foods, foods that cause inflammation, foods high in sugar and sugary drinks.
8. Drink lot of water: Drinking lot of water prevents the body from retaining water and it also keeps painful bloating away. Drink lot of warm or hot water as it eases cramps, relax cramped muscles and increase blood flow to the skin. Take lot of fruit juices and vegetable smoothies also. Eat lot of water based fruit and vegetables like water melons, cucumbers, lettuce, celery and berries.
9. Sleep well: Not having enough sleep will lead to hormonal imbalance and this can cause period pain or cramps. Before and during your period make sure you have your 8 hours of nightly sleep and if you can afford 40 minutes nap during the day, it will go a great way in balancing your hormones and easing period pain.
With the above said I believe your period cramps will be a thing of the past; but consult your doctor if you experience serious pain, heavy bleeding beyond five days and serious pains that you are unable to carry out your usual daily activities. You can however use the Menstrual Problems Remedy Kit available here to fast track your treatment of menstrual disorder.