Home remedies for period cramps have been in every grandma’s diary for ages. Your monthly reminder of womanhood sometime turns out to be a horror story with mild to extreme menstrual cramps. The term used for period cramps is “dysmenorrhea”. These cramps in some cases might hinder your everyday activities. It is accompanied by other symptoms too like nausea, headache, dizziness, diarrhea, backache etc.
What causes period cramps?
Period pain usually begins after an egg has been released from the pair of ovaries which travels down to the fallopian tube. The uterus sheds its lining every month and during that time, an elevated production of a hormone called ‘prostaglandins’ causes the uterus to contract. When these contractions are intense, the blood supply to the uterus is hindered and thus results in cramps or pain.
Home remedies to ease the pain
If you are not very keen on taking painkillers every month and period pain is taking a toll on your routine activities then you can try these home remedies to get some relief. However, if it turns out to be very severe with heavy or less than normal bleeding, you should consult a gynecologist.
SOURCE – (Jones, n.d.)
For instant relief during periods, you can apply heat to your lower abdomen area which relaxes the muscle contraction in the uterus. The most common way of doing this is by using a heating pad or even hot water bottle. Alternatively, you can drink hot beverages like hot chocolate but avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks. Shower in lukewarm water or take a bubble bath to feel more relaxed.
SOURCE – (Volkshelp, 2016)
Exercising might sound to be a torture under such painful condition but it is very helpful in relieving pain. Exercising increases the blood flow to the entire body releasing endorphins which counteract the pain caused by prostaglandins, which causes cramps during contractions. Yoga asanas are also beneficial along with brisk walking, jogging, and stretching.
3. CHAMOMILE TEA
Source – (penguin, n.d.)
Chamomile tea contains flavonoids that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties helping in reducing the period cramps and inflammation. It also relaxes the uterus muscles due to the increased production of a chemical called ‘glycine’.
4. GREEN TEA
Source – (Ebsworth-Goold, 2017)
Green tea has been on the list of beneficial teas for centuries and is very popular for inducing weight loss. It contains a great number of anti-oxidants and flavonoids called catechins. Along with these medicinal properties, it also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect which helps relieve period cramps.
Ginger is an herb which is not only beneficial in relieving the period pain but is also effective in making periods regular. You may drink ginger water early morning to reduce the inflammation during periods. Alternatively, you can consume ginger tea or may include it in your regular tea. Ginger reduces the functioning of prostaglandins and fights the fatigue making your more active.
6. CINNAMON (Dal cheeni)
Source – (Leech, 2017)
It’s time to reach the spices drawer instead of the medicine kit where you have painkillers for such days. Cinnamon has long been used in the Indian spices and Ayurveda because of its medicinal advantages. Cinnamon can be consumed in the form of tea to reduce the period cramps. It also helps lower the unpleasant sensations like nausea and vomiting. Without any side effects, you can try this spice and wait for the results. It will not work instantly but after 4 hours approximately it will ease the pain. If you want to prevent the pain, you may want to start drinking cinnamon tea 2-3 days before your period starts. It has no side effects which other painkillers and medicines might have.
7. FENUGREEK (Methi dana)
Source – (Mawer, 2016)
Another medicinal herb/spice used in the Indian cuisine is at your rescue for relieving period cramps. Fenugreek is known to reduce inflammation like other herbs which provides relief from the pain. It also has no side effect and thus can be consumed without any doubts. It is also antispasmodic which makes it even more effective in reducing cramps. You can simply soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight and drink it in the morning empty stomach. Like cinnamon, you should start doing this a couple of days before your due date.
8. CUMIN SEEDS (Zeera)
SOURCE – (Epic, 2016)
A widely used seed in cooking Indian dishes, cumin seeds like other herbs and spices are very useful in lessening period pain. It has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties which decrease the production of prostaglandins. You can boil these seeds for a few minutes in water and drink it empty stomach. You should start doing it 2-3 days before your period starts. Also, you may add this to your tea.
9. ESSENTIAL OIL MASSAGE
SOURCE – (Hellemond, n.d.)
Gentle massage with essential oils in your lower abdomen area may give you some relief in the pain along with other symptoms like nausea, headache, and vomiting. For example, lavender oil is known for its benefits like lessened pain and improved sleep. Peppermint oil does the same thing because of the presence of menthol which has pain and anxiety relieving properties and is also a popular decongestant.
Source – (Health, 2016)
A lot of women rely on painkillers like ibroufine and paracetamol for period pain because in some cases it is extremely severe and starts interfering with their daily routine. These are non-prescribed painkillers and have some side effects too. If your pain is regular and unbearable you should immediately consult a doctor.