Natural remedies for period cramps
Just over half of the world’s population is female, and for around 40 years of our lives, us women and girls are blessed and cursed with periods. So many of us have to deal with period pain, or Dysmenorrhea as it’s known medically, and it can range from something annoying we wish would just go away, to completely debilitating pain.
When it hits, and it can hit for up to a quarter of a month throughout an entire period, not all of us want to rely on painkiller medication to control the pain. However, if you can’t get the pain under control, or if you experience vomiting, excessive bleeding, or a fever, you need to consult your doctor, because you could have an underlying medical condition.
If you’re like most women and your period worries are fairly ‘standard’, there are some great natural remedies that can help with the pain, cramps, bloating, and mood when your monthly period comes-a-knocking. Here are some of our picks:
Eat more leafy greens
Calcium and magnesium are important to relax muscles and alleviate cramps. Make sure you’re getting plenty of leafy greens in your diet, such as spinach and kale, as these will boost your magnesium and calcium levels. Magnesium and calcium supplements before and during your period can help too. Leafy greens also contain plenty of Vitamin K, which can help prevent excess bleeding as a side benefit!
Avoid junk food
Yes, we know that when our periods get us down all we want to do is order in pizza and gorge ourselves on gummy bears and ice cream, but the feel-good ‘highs’ we get from stuffing our faces with all that junk will disappear fast, plus they’re actually not helping at all. Foods high in salt (read: almost every fast food option out there) will exacerbate bloating. Too much sugar and saturated fat will cause estrogen levels to spike, which is responsible for our moody PMS symptoms. So, choose your carbs more wisely – go for high-fibre options which will help digestion.
Drink warm water or tea
Skip the booze and go for plain old water or tea. Make it warm or hot though, because that’s better than cold water to increase blood flow to the skin and relax those cramped muscles. Tea, especially chamomile tea, will also help both you and your muscles to relax more. A regular cup of this stuff will boost the levels of the amino acid glycine in your body, which eases the uterine muscles and nervous tension (a.k.a PMS!).
Did you know that cinnamon is a source of manganese? Well, it is, and this stuff will help alleviate cramps and aid digestion too.
Eat like a squirrel
We’re nuts about nuts! Walnuts, almonds, and even pumpkin seeds are rich in manganese too, and also omega 3 fats. Both nutrients will help your body manage those pesky period pains a bit better.
This tropical fruit is rich in carotene and Vitamins A and C, as well as the enzyme papain. Papain helps regulate and ease your flow during menstruation. So, add it to your breakfast cereal as a sweet topping, or just eat it fresh as a snack!
Bask in some glorious sunshine
Even if you’re not an outdoorsy type, it’s really important to get some sun and up your Vitamin D3 levels. This stuff will decrease the severity of cramps, so if you’d rather stay inside in bed, take a supplement instead.
…with a hot water bottle or another kind of heat pack. Apply it on the lower abdomen. This should help relax the contracting, cramping muscles. Alternatively, taking a nice hot shower or bath can work wonders as well. Don’t worry about taking a bath while on your period either – most of the time you won’t leak, but if you’re really concerned, some women wear a tampon in the bath just for some extra peace of mind.
Sweat it off
This might be the last thing on your mind if all you want to do is crawl into a hole and die because the cramps are so bad, but getting some exercise can really help. Exercise increases circulation to the pelvic region and releases endorphins, a chemical produced by the body to relieve stress and pain.
So, there you have it. These 8 natural remedies should at least put a dent in your period pain and PMS-ing! If it’s really bad, though, don’t hesitate to go and see a doctor.*
All us women know it’s not just period pain and mood swings that ‘cramp’ our style (see what we did there?) during our periods. Depending on the pad we use, it can be just downright uncomfortable down there. Our pads can move around, or leak, or make our skin itchy. If you’re having issues with itchiness during your period, and you’re a pad user, you should consider switching to an organic cotton pad. Organic cotton is hypoallergenic, meaning it shouldn’t make you itch. If you still have itchiness issues after making the switch, then you should see your doctor, because the cause could be another medical issue
*You must not rely on the information provided here on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided here on our website.