Ever had those moments where you just writhe in pain due to your menstrual cramps and simply don’t have the energy to try out any complex menstrual cramp relief methods? Try these home remedies that involves items that you can most likely find around the house!
What is Menstrual Cramps?
Menstrual cramps, otherwise known as dysmenorrhea, are pains in the abdominal and pelvic areas experienced by women during their period as her uterus contracts to expel the unfertilised eggs from her body in the form of menstruation blood.
High levels of prostaglandins are usually associated with painful menstrual cramps. Prostaglandin is a type of hormone released from the uterine walls during menstruation that causes inflammation and contractions.
Let’s move on to the simple home remedies to help relieve this nasty menstrual cramps!
Although the last thing you want to do when your uterus feels like it’s trying to claw its way out of your body is to exercise, but brisk walking, or any type of physical activity, can help to ease your belly pain. When you’re doing any type of aerobic exercise, your body is pumping more blood; this helps to release endorphins to counteract the prostaglandins and reduce your cramps.
Exercising three to four times a week is good for the overall health of your body, but it is especially important if you’re prone to painful menstrual cramps.
Here are some yoga poses to relieve menstrual cramps or some exercise tips to help prevent the menstrual cramps before they come!
Yes, that’s right — orgasms help to relieve all kinds of pain, including menstrual cramps.
Before an orgasm, the uterus is more relaxed, and at the moment of climax, blood flow increases, helping to relieve the cramps. Our body’s very own natural ‘feel-good’ pain-relievers – endorphins, are then released when you orgasm – similar to when you exercise!
Endorphins will not only help to relieve the menstrual cramps, but also boost your mood as well as relax your whole body for a good night’s sleep!
#3: Heat Therapy
Heat therapy helps to relax the contracting muscles in your uterus, which is the cause for your pain.
Opt for medication-free heat patches like MenstruHeat to prevent the nasty side effects from prolonged use of medicated patches!
Not just any tea, but some types of caffeine-free teas! The most common menstrual cramp relieving tea is chamomile tea, which has been shown to be anti-inflammatory that helps decrease prostaglandin production, thus relieving menstrual cramps.
If you don’t like the taste of chamomile, there are many other alternatives like peppermint or cinnamon teas that you can opt for as well! Find out the full list of teas that help and how they work here and here!
#5: Massage (with oils)
A massage is always a good idea – especially when on your period!
It has been found that applying some pressure on certain acupuncture points helps relieves the pains, and coupled with the relaxing properties of essential oils, these makes coping with the menstrual cramps easier!
In particular, your foot has a pressure point that can help you in getting immediate relief from period cramps. This point is usually located about three finger widths above your ankle bone. Gently massaging this point with your thumb and fingers can help relieve period cramps and their symptoms like bloating, insomnia, and dizziness.
Examples of oils that help include sesame, lavender, or peppermint oil. Most of these have anti-inflammatory properties that will help relieve the cramps.
#6: Vitamin D
A single large dose of vitamin D was found to bring noticeable relief from menstrual pain and cramps.
Vitamin D can reduce the production of prostaglandin, which causes period cramps. However, since studies are limited, it is better to limit the dosage of vitamin D supplements for this purpose.
However, gradual increase in intake of vitamin D via your diet by consuming foods like fish, cheese, egg yolks, orange juice, and cereals is definitely still beneficial!
#7: Juices (Pickle / Aloe Vera / Lemon)
Pickle juice, with its high sodium content, is an amazing remedy that not only rehydrates you but also relieves period cramps. It is known to relieve muscle cramps post-exercise quickly and is hence effective for menstrual cramps as well.
Aloe Vera Juice:
The healing and anti-inflammatory properties of aloe vera help in relieving painful menstrual cramps. It can also help in improving blood flow, which, in turn, reduces the intensity of the cramps.
The anti-inflammatory properties of lemon help in providing relief from menstrual cramps. It is also rich in vitamin C, which helps with iron absorption (that is often lost during menstruation).
Yogurt is a rich source of calcium and contains trace amounts of vitamin D. The intake of both calcium and vitamin D helps reduce the symptoms of PMS and relieves menstrual cramps
#9: Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulphate. The magnesium in the salt is responsible for its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. When Epsom salt is absorbed via your skin, it can help relieve menstrual cramps and pain.
#10: Herbal Remedies
While medication can offer immediate relief, they are often short-term, and does not target the root of the problem. On the other hand, herbal remedies aim to rectify the sources of the pains, providing long-term relief.
Of course, these affect various people differently, but if you consistently suffer from menstrual cramps, you could try opting for these natural herbal remedies by simply adding some of these to your daily diet!
#11: Pain Killers
When all of the above simply do not work, you can take over-the-counter painkillers as your last resort. However, bear in mind to not rely on this as a consistent menstrual cramp relief, as these medications often have side effects when consumed on a long-term basis!