remedies for menstrual cramps

Menstruation is often painful because of hormonal fluctuations. The prostaglandin hormone, vasopressin hormone and leukotrienes substances are the main reasons for menstrual cramps. These hormones help the uterus to contract and get rid of mucous.

In certain cases, endometriosis might also be responsible for cramps. Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that usually forms inside the uterus grows outside and causes pain.

Symptoms of menstrual cramps

  • Tension
  • Stress
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Pain in lower back and inner thighs
  • Palpitations
  • Bloating or rashes on the skin
  • Loose stools
  • Vomiting

These are some of the common symptoms.

There are number of painkillers are available to help reduce the pain, but it may not be the best thing to do for your body.

Home remedies to get rid of menstrual cramps

Fennel

Nearly about 90% of adolescents and 25% of all women are affected by these painful periods. Fennel can be used as a safe and effective remedy for primary dysmenorrhoea.

The antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties of fennel gives you muscular relaxation.

Method:

  1. Add a teaspoon of fennel to a cup of boiling water.
  2. Keep the mixture in simmered flame for 5 minutes.
  3. Switch off and strain the tea.
  4. Add honey for taste.

Drink this fennel tea twice a day, before the date of your periods and continue till the bleeding stops.

Fennel tea

Carrots

Carrots are one of the best natural remedies for menstrual cramps. Drink a glass of carrot juice twice a day. This remedy will increase menstrual flow and at the same time reduce pain and cramps. The essential nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, potassium and fibre are all good for health.

Carrot juice
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Cinnamon tea

Cinnamon holds anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties which will ease the painful periods and cramps.

Method:

  1. Boil a cup of water.
  2. Add one full teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
  3. Allow it to boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Switch off.
  5. Place a tea bag in the water for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Strain a bit and remove the tea bag.
  7. Add honey or sugar for taste.

Drink twice in a day to get relief.

Note: Always use ceylon cinnamon for consumption. Read more here.

Honey cinnamon tea
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Basil

The compound of caffeic acid present in basil has pain relieving properties.

Method 1:

  1. Take one tablespoon of fresh basil leaves.
  2. Add to a cup of boiling water.
  3. Remove from the flame.
  4. Allow it to become warm.

Drink this basil tea every one hour to get relief. This tea is also good to get relief from cough, common cold and sore throat.

Method 2:

  1. Crush a handful of basil leaves.
  2. Extract the juice from it by squeezing well.
  3. Add two teaspoons of this juice to a cup of warm water.

Drink this basil tea thrice a day for better results.

Basil and cashews in a mortar
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Ginger

Ginger has been used historically for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is as effective as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen in the relief of menstrual cramps and pain. Ginger has the ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase and lipooxygenase that leads to reduction in leukotriene substance and prostaglandin hormones, and consequently provides pain relief.

Method:

  1. Add a small piece of ginger to a cup of boiling water.
  2. Boil the water for another 5 minutes.
  3. Strain the water.
  4. Add honey and lemon juice to it and stir.

Drink this ginger tea thrice in a day during menstrual cramps.

Ginger tea

Blackstrap molasses

Blackstrap molasses contain healthy components such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and vitamin B6. It contains good amount of iron that balance the iron deficiency during menstruation thus preventing cramps.

Method:

  1. Take 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses.
  2. Add to a cup of warm milk.
  3. Drink before you start having the cramps as a prevention.
  4. Continue drinking the tea throughout your periods once a day.

Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea is good for easing muscles. It seems to be particularly effective in treating the muscles in the walls of the uterus. It contains menthol, a crystalline alcohol which helps to treat upset stomach, menstrual cramps, anxiety and stress.

Method:

  1. Take a teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves or peppermint powder.
  2. Add to a cup of boiling water.
  3. Remove from heat and leave it for 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea.
  5. Add honey for taste.

Drink twice in a day to get relief.

mint tea
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Aloe vera

Amennorrhea or oligomenhorrhea is the main cause for hormonal imbalance. Amennorrhea is the absence of periods. Oligomenhorrhea is irregular periods. Aloe vera works better and balances hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

Aloe

Method 1:

  1. Take fresh aloe vera.
  2. Cut into pieces and extract the gel.
  3. Add jaggery.
  4. Mix it well.
  5. Eat this every day morning on an empty stomach.

As per ayurveda, jaggery is known to induce periods on time and to also reduce pain.

Method 2:

  1. Take aloe vera gel.
  2. Add a teaspoon of honey and mix well.
  3. Take this every day morning on an empty stomach.

Taking this mixture 3 weeks before periods on an empty stomach relieves pelvic congestion, improves circulation and eases cramps.

Exercise

Another one of the best ways to get relief from menstrual cramp is exercise. Walking, swimming, and on the floor exercises are body’s natural painkillers. These are highly effective in relaxing muscles. Almost every woman can get relief from dysmenorrhoea by doing some small exercises at home. The best form of exercise is aerobic exercise and yoga.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea contains compounds that may help relieve menstrual cramps.

Method:

  1. Boil a cup of water.
  2. Pour boiled water into tea cup.
  3. Place a tea bag in the water.
  4. Leave it for 5 minutes.
  5. Squeeze the tea bag.
  6. Add honey and lemon for taste.

You can follow any one of the above methods to get rid of menstrual cramps.

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.