Dysmenorrhea, more commonly known as menstrual cramps, are dull, throbbing, or cramping pains in the lower abdomen, experienced by most women just before or during their monthly periods. The prostaglandin hormone is mainly responsible for the menstrual cramps and inflammation during a woman’s period, but is also caused by endometriosis, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), cervical stenosis, and adenomyosis.
Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, sweating, dizziness, loose stools, and pain in the lower back and thighs. Women facing this problem have little to no interest to doing regular activities. The problem lessens with age and often disappears once women have given birth.
Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps:
There are effective and easy home remedies to offer relief from menstrual cramps by reducing inflammation.
1. Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that ease menstrual cramp symptoms.
- Steep a teaspoon of ground cinnamon powder or a stick of cinnamon in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Steep a tea bag in the water for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add honey or sugar for taste, if desired.
- Drink regularly to get relief from the menstrual cramps.
- Note: Alternately sprinkle cinnamon in your breakfast, on toast, or on sweet rolls.
Ginger lowers pain levels causing prostaglandins and soothes menstrual cramps and calms the stomach.
- Eat ginger raw or cooked the form of ginger ale, cookies, snacks, or candies.
- Boil slices of ginger, honey, and a pinch of salt for 4 – 6 minutes and drink twice daily.
- Steep ½ teaspoon of ginger (either dried powder or grated) in a cup of boiling water for 3 – 5 minutes and drink three times daily for best results.
Peppermint is a well-known remedy for menstrual cramps as it is a natural muscle relaxer and appetite suppressant.
- Add a teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves or powder to a cup of boiling water.
- Remove the heat and steep for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Strain the tea and add sugar, if desired.
- Drink 1 – 2 times daily.
- Note: Suck on peppermint candies for added relief.
4. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile contains natural anti-inflammatory properties which reduces the prostaglandin production and relieves menstrual cramps.
- Stir a teaspoon of dried chamomile powder in a cup of boiling water.
- Steep for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea and drink slowly.
- Drink regularly to prevent cramps.
Basil contains caffeic acid which has an analgesic or pain-killing effect. Thyme also contains high caffeic acid properties which prevent menstrual cramps.
- Boil 2 tablespoons of thyme or basil leaves and a pint of boiling water.
- Stir well and steep for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Cover tightly and leave to cool for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Drink ½ – 1 cup hourly to get rid of pain.
6. Heat or Hot Compress
Applying heat or hot compress to your lower abdomen and lower back may helps to relieve pain as effective as over the counter medicine and this is one of the most common and oldest remedy.
- Place a warm heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen.
- Take a warm bath or use a hot towel.
- Create a heating pad by cutting and sewing together two pieces of fabric. Leave a hole at the top, fill with rice, and sew up the hole. Microwave for 2 – 4 minutes and place on your abdomen to get relief from period cramps.
Parley treats menstrual cramps, increases menstruation, and regularizes monthly periods.
- Blend parsley, beet root, carrot, and cucumber to extract the juice.
- Drink a glass daily for best results.
Exercise releases endorphins which acts as natural pain killer and mood lifter. Exercising daily during menstruation, even walking, will relieve menstrual cramps.
Yoga is a gentle exercise that releases endorphins and prevents menstrual cramps. It also increases blood flow to reproductive organs, relieves stress, and gives relaxations. Restorative yoga poses are good to ease menstrual cramps
Poor nutrition can lead to deficiencies which will worsen menstruation symptoms. Include essential vitamins and nutrients in your diet to rid cramps.
- Drink as much water as possible to prevent painful bloating during menstruation. Drink warm or hot water will increase blood flow to the skin and relax cramped muscles.
- Eat water-based food or fruits such as celery, watermelon, cucumber, berries, and lettuce to increase hydration and get relief from cramps.
- Eat foods containing calcium such as milk, other dairy products, sesame seeds, almonds, and leafy green vegetables to reduce muscle cramping during menstruation.
- Eat foods containing vitamin B, especially vitamin B6, such as brown rice to reduce bloating.
- Eat foods containing vitamin E such as olive oil and broccoli for relief from menstrual cramps.
- Eat foods rich in magnesium such as walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds to absorb calcium and ease cramps.
- Eat foods rich in iron such as chicken, fish, and green leafy vegetables to replace the iron lost during menstruation.
- Avoid fatty foods, alcohols, chocolates, carbonated beverages during your menstrual cramps. They cause bloating and water retention, making cramps worse.
- Avoid coffee and other caffeinated products. Instead, eat soothing ginger, mint teas, or hot water with lemon.
- Eat yogurt and banana to soothe cramps.
- Flax seeds reduce prostaglandin production (responsible for menstrual pain or cramps) in the body due to its herbal properties. Consume 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds daily for best results.
- Swallow 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar (ACV) after each meal.
- Relax and listen to soothing music, read a book, or engage yourself in any interesting activity as anxiety and stress will make cramps worse.
- Women who stay warm will be less prone to menstrual cramps.
- Take vitamin D regularly to help cure menstrual cramps.
- Apply a few teaspoons of warm olive oil to the stomach and leave for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Take a mineral bath to get relief from cramps. Add a cup of sea salt and a cup of baking soda to water. Soak for 15 – 20 minutes to relax muscles.
- Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese treatment of sticking the skin with small needles to stimulate certain pressure points, effectively relieves menstrual cramps
Have you tried any of these methods? Do you know any other methods to treat menstrual cramps? Share your experience with us!