Health

How to get rid of menstrual cramps naturally?

All the women on this planet earth can relate how painful periods are! For most of us it is the worst part of the month because it comes not only with physical pain but with mental restlessness too. You feel tired, sad, low, your moods swing etc. etc.

As women, we all know that periods are a fearful situation, however; we are all told to be thankful that we get it. Menstrual cycle is crucial for a normal female reproductive system. Although it comes with continuous aching and cramping pains but at the same time it is more or less characterized as an indication of fertility in women.

According to Mayo Clinic, your uterus contracts to help banish its lining during your periods. Pain and inflammation are caused by hormone-like substances, called prostaglandins which trigger the uterine muscle contractions. Higher levels of prostaglandins are therefore related to more severe menstrual pains. For some women, their cramps might even hinder their work, school, and daily activities. About three out of four women experience menstrual cramps, and every tenth woman goes through severe cramps.

To help you get through this painful monthly visit, here are some easy tricks that can help to reduce menstrual cramps naturally with almost no efforts.

Apply heat

You remember when you had period cramps in high school and your mom made a heating pad? Well, mom was absolutely right!

Applying heat to the lower abdomen or lower back maximizes the blood flow to the area, which helps to clear away the pain-producing substances like prostaglandins.

There were two randomized controlled trials finalized in 2010 and 2012 to test the performance of heat and steam-generating (HSG) sheets for the relief of menstrual cramps. The experiments were intended to associate the effects of these sheets with ibuprofen for treating periods’ cramps. The trials discovered that topical heat therapy can be equally effective for menstrual cramps than over-the-counter pain killers or medications.

If you don’t have a heating pad or a hot water bottle, use a hot towel or take a warm bath. You can also make a heating pad at home as follow,

  • Cut and stitch together two pieces of cloth, leaving a hole at the top.
  • Fill with raw rice and stitch the hole.
  • Microwave the pad for a few minutes to the desired temperature. Do not overheat!
  • Let’s cool, if necessary or cover your homemade pad in a towel to reduce the heat transfer. Use it whenever needed.
Image from Everyday Health

Ginger

This power plant brags anti-inflammatory properties that can help to calm painful menstrual cramps. Two of ginger’s components, gingerols, and gingerdiones, work to prevent leukotriene and prostaglandin synthesis, thereby decreasing the intensity of the cramps.

Drink chamomile tea

A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry discovered that there might be pain-relieving properties in the chamomile tea. This is one of a growing number of studies that provide evidence that commonly used natural goods really do have chemicals that might be of medicinal value.

The research analyzed urine samples of 14 participants who were given chamomile tea. The researchers found that their urinary samples had a substantial increase in the levels of Hippurate. It is a natural anti-inflammatory substance that can help to decrease the prostaglandin production, thus relieving menstrual pains.

Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D

It is very well said that precaution is better than cure, which is why it is necessary to make sure that your body has plenty of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing menstrual pains. A study found that high doses of vitamin D3 led to a significant decrease in menstrual pain. The study included 40 Italian women who were divided into two groups,

  1. One getting a single oral dose of 300,000 IUs of vitamin D3 five days before the estimated start of their periods.
  2. The other group was a placebo.

The researchers recorded a 41 percent drop in the menstrual pain of the test group participants.

Exercise

Quick walking, or any type of physical activity, can help to comfort your belly pain. By doing any type of aerobic exercise, your body is pushing more blood. This helps to release endorphins to counteract the prostaglandins and decrease your pain. Exercising three to four times a week is very beneficial for the overall health of your body, but it is especially important if you are eager to get rid of menstrual cramps.

Massage with Essential oils

A thorough massage with certain scented vital oils (such as clary sage essential oil, lavender essential oil, or marjoram essential oil) can also relief menstrual cramps.

A relevant study was published in May 2012 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research. The researchers asked 48 women with menstrual cramps to massage each of two essential oils on their lower abdomen.

The women used a mixture of diluted essential oils from the end of one period to the start of the next. Lavender, clary sage, and marjoram were used in a 2-1-1 ratio. The essential oils were diluted to 3 percent of concentration using a fragrance-free cream. The resulting solution had 3 milliliters (ml) of the essential oil and 97 ml of the fragrance-free cream. According to the women’s reports, researchers discovered that the period of pain decreased from 2.4 to 1.8 days after self-massaging with essential oils.

Just be sure that you are using the essential oils carefully. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy advises diluting pure essential oils, using an unscented cream or lotion or other types of oils, before using directly on the skin to avoid irritation and other problems.

Massage therapy for menstruation includes pressing your specific points while the therapist’s hands move around your abdomen, back and side.

Image from Clean my Space

Foods to avoid during Periods

During menstruation, it’s a worthy idea to avoid foods that cause water retention and swelling. Some of the major offenders include,

  • Fatty foods
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Caffeine
  • Salty foods

Reducing or cutting down on these foods can help to reduce cramps and decrease tension. You can use ginger or mint teas or hot water flavored with lemon. If you need a sugar fix, snack on fruits like raspberries or strawberries.

Drink a lot of water

Drinking water can actually prevent your body from holding water and avoid painful swelling. You should consume warm or hot water, which is better for pain. This is because hot liquid upsurges blood flow and may help ease cramped muscles. You can also eat foodstuffs that are water-based including cucumbers, lettuce, celery or watermelon.

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