Almost every other woman experiences some kind of menstrual cramp before or at the onset of her period. The pain can last for few days and it can range from mild to severe.
Even though your period might not be painful every month, you have probably experienced some discomfort in the area around the lower abdomen and lower back at some point in your life. If not, then you’re a lucky lady.
Menstrual pains or cramps have even their own medical term – dysmenorrhea. Even though dysmenorrhea is not a serious health problem, it can significantly interfere with your daily activities and your overall lifestyle.
Although rare, severe menstrual pain can sometimes indicate a more serious health problem, in which case it’s recommended to visit your gynecologist. For all other cases, here are several effective ways to relieve menstrual cramps completely naturally.
Natural Remedies to Relieve Menstrual Cramps
1. Drink More Water
Increased intake of water, especially hot water, can help relieve your menstrual cramps. This is because it prevents your body from retaining water and experiencing painful bloating. Drinking hot water or hot liquid help relax the cramped muscles, by increasing the blood flow to the skin. Also, you can increase your intake of water-based foods to stay well-hydrated, including celery, lettuce, watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
2. Increase Your Calcium Intake
Calcium can help relieve the muscle cramping during your painful period. The recommended daily amount of this mineral for women between 19 and 50 is 1,000 mg. Foods rich in calcium include almonds, sesame seeds, dairy products, and leafy green veggies.
The next time you feel menstrual pain, remember to include cinnamon in your diet. This spice can quickly relieve period cramps due to the high amounts of iron, calcium, and dietary fiber it contains.
Besides being a great natural remedy for colds and flues, ginger can also soothe menstrual cramps. To use ginger for this purpose, prepare a ginger tea and drink it while hot/warm.
5. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
You might start avoiding or replacing your morning coffee with a cup of tea during your menstruation, as caffeine increases the pain from cramps and the discomfort from bloating.
6. Cramp Bark Tea
Teas have always been used in the treatment of period cramps. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends cramp bark as one of the most effective teas in reducing the pain and discomfort from menstrual cramps.
Boil a cup of water with two teaspoons of this tea, and simmer for 15 minutes. Drink this tea 3 times daily. However, it’s good to consult your doctor first, especially if you are on lithium or diuretics for blood pressure.
7. Vitamin B1 and Fish Oil
According to a 2014 study, taking vitamin B1, fish oil supplements or both can significantly reduce the severity of the menstrual pain. Moreover, the pain in the participants in the study didn’t last as long as usual.
Try these natural ways to relieve menstrual cramps, and see which works best for you.