The majority of menstruating women experiences menstrual cramps. Cramps before period can start one to two days prior and may continue as your menstruation begins. Menstrual cramps are medically known as dysmenorrhea. This condition includes nausea, diarrhea, headache, and aching of the lower belly, back, and thighs. Period cramps can be painful and uncomfortable, and it can disrupt your daily activities. Fortunately, there are many remedies for menstrual pain relief applicable to the comfort of your home.
1. Heating Pads
Placing heating pads or a bottle of hot water on your lower abdomen is one of the most common home remedies for period cramps relief. This technique relaxes the uterine muscles and relieves cramps. Using heat to ease the pain can be as effective as taking pain killers like ibuprofen and aspirin. One can apply heating pads to other aching areas like your lower back and thighs. An alternative to this technique is having a warm bath, soaking your whole body in the heat. The uterus is a muscle, and anything that can relax this muscle can help reduce the pain.
A woman often feels lazy or tired during her time of the month. Exercise is probably the last thing a menstruating woman will want to do. Exercise, however, is proven effective for menstrual pain relief. It may even prevent cramps before the period. Doing arduous exercises is not necessary to improve dysmenorrhea symptoms. Simple stretching or walking will do. When you exercise, you release endorphins, a group of hormones that act as a natural analgesic. Endorphins activate your brain’s opioid receptors, which reduce pain. Yoga can also relieve menstrual cramps. A study suggests that doing yoga twice a week for three months lessened the participants’ cramps. The effectiveness of yoga for period cramps relief is linked with the yoga poses’ relaxing effect and the stretching of the muscles.
It is good to do yoga poses before or during menstruation. It is important to note that some inverted yoga poses which can interfere with your natural flow are not advisable during your period.
Acupuncture is an Asian healing method that alleviates dysmenorrhea by minimizing inflammation and releasing endorphins. Regular acupuncture sessions can have better effects than a one-time session. Acupuncture is good for overall health and not just for menstrual cramps. It relaxes the nervous system, allowing improved blood flow to your internal organs.
A study shows that a low-fat vegetarian diet eases period cramps. Fortunately, there is no need to switch to a vegetarian diet to relieve your symptoms. There are certain foods you can avoid and foods that you should consume to ease your period cramps. For instance, you can swap your ultra-processed vegetable oil with olive oil. Olive oil is a healthy unsaturated fat that can reduce inflammation. You can also ditch fast foods and get your oils from more nutritious sources like fish and nuts. A mineral you should also add to your diet is magnesium. Magnesium reduces period cramps. Magnesium-rich foods include almonds, peanut butter, yogurt, and spinach, but taking a magnesium supplement is also an option.
A massage can be relaxing for your pelvic muscles and can reduce cramping. A self-massage by rubbing coconut oil or lotion to the skin can alleviate pain. Using essential oils like lavender, cinnamon, and rose can also be more beneficial. A study claims that using essential oils leads to better cramp relief compared to using only almond oil. The pain relief from essential oils is due to its aroma.
Buying high-quality oil that has been tested for purity is advised for its users. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy recommends only to buy safe products that do not irritate the skin.
6. Herbal Tea
Herbal tea, such as chamomile and peppermint, provides a warm, soothing effect on the body. Some herbs made into teas also have medicinal properties like aiding nausea and upset stomach. Various tea products are available and marketed for period cramps relief. The most common ones include fennel tea and dandelion tea.
Although herbal teas are useful for centuries, there is a lack of research on their effects on menstrual cramps. Its effectivity should be included in more studies for more substantial claims.