Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

home remedies for menstrual cramps

If you’re a female, at some point in time, you’ll most likely experience menstrual cramps – a symptom that usually accompanies your monthly reminder of womanhood, better known as your ‘period.’ Medically referred to as “dysmenorrhea[1],” menstrual cramps causes dull or throbbing pains that take place in the lower region of the stomach. Most women encounter this kind of cramping just before and during their menstrual periods. While nagging for most, some women battle unbearable pain.

Causes and Symptoms

When you have a menstrual period, the uterus contracts in an effort to aid in pushing out the lining. Hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, known to cause inflammation and pain, are famous for triggering uterine muscle contractions [2]. Many doctors are unclear as to how prostaglandins bring about initial menstrual cramping, but believe they play a significant role in the process. Other conditions can cause secondary menstrual cramping, such as:

  • Endometriosis: Painful condition that causes the tissues lining the uterus to become implanted outside of the uterus.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Infection that attacks the female reproductive organs.
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD): A method of birth control that involves a small, plastic, T-shaped device inserted into the uterus.
  • Adenomyosis: Tissue lining the uterus begins to grow within the muscular walls of the uterus.
  • Uterine Fibroids and Uterine Polyps: Non-cancerous tumors and growths that extend beyond the lining of the uterus.

The primary signs and symptoms of menstrual cramps include a dull or throbbing pain found in the lower abdomen, and pain that travels throughout the lower back and thighs. Additional reactions may involve excessive sweating, loose stools, nausea, and vomiting.

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Menstrual Cramp Home Remedies

Menstrual cramps will affect most women at some point in their lives. The symptoms can annoyingly make your day unpleasant or become so severe that your regular routine is disrupted. To ease the pain and discomfort associated with this condition, consider the following home remedies for menstrual cramps:

a) Regular Exercise:

Ease painful menstrual cramping by embracing sessions of routine exercise, as this practice increases the release of endorphins – one of your body’s natural methods of killing pain.

b) Hot Water Bottle:

Place a hot water bottle on your stomach to relieve cramps.

c) Kitchen Towel:

For those of you who don’t have a hot water bottle handy, soak a kitchen towel in water and wring out the excess liquid. Place the towel in the microwave and heat it up for one minute. Place on the abdomen and pay close attention not to burn your skin.

d) Water:

Keep a water bottle close to you because if you become dehydrated, you’ll only worsen your menstrual cramps.

e) Sexual Intercourse:

Relieve abdominal cramping by having an orgasm, as the repeated muscle movement causes blood and other fluids to flee your congested organs. In the end, you will enjoy much more than just pain relief.

f) Aspirin:

Treat menstrual cramping by taking an aspirin or another product containing acetaminophen. Over-the-counter selections with ibuprofen, like Advil[3] and Nuprin, will also provide relief from cramping.

g) Yoga:

Yoga stretching during your monthly period not only treats abdominal cramps, but also provides a much-needed burst of relaxation that can help ease other symptoms associated with your menstrual cycle.

h) Mint:

Relieve your cramps with peppermint or wintergreen, especially when added to a tea. Drink one to two cups per day. Throughout the day, you may also suck on mint candy.

i) Drink Hot Liquids:

When your pelvic region feels congested and cramped, allow the warmth of hot liquids to increase your blood flow and relax your muscles. Some of the best drinks include hot herbal teas and warmed up lemonade.

j) Mineral Bath:

Take a dip in your very own herbal spa treatment to relieve cramps. Comprised of one cup of sea salt and one cup of baking soda added to warm water, this home remedy works by relaxing your muscles. Soak for at least 20 minutes.

k) Parsley:

Parsley not only increases menstruation and aids in regulating a monthly period, but parsley juice also treats painful cramping. Blend and drink 75 milliliters of parsley, beet, carrot, and cucumber juices for maximum results.
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l) Ginger:

During times of a painful menstruation, use ginger as an effective home remedy. Pound a piece of ginger and boil it in a cup of water for a couple of minutes. Sweeten the infusion with sugar and drink three times daily after meals.

m) Vitamins and Minerals:

Make sure you get a decent amount of vitamins and minerals, which can lead to fewer issues with menstrual cramping. It is suggested to take a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement, especially one that provides the body with calcium. Choose supplements that deliver small doses so that you can take one after each meal.

n) Magnesium:

Calcium is greatly associated with lessening the amount of pain that menstrual cramps bring. Taking a magnesium supplement before and during your period will help your body effectively absorb more calcium.

o) Lay Off the Caffeine:

For some, the oils found in coffee can cause irritation in the intestines. Overall, the caffeine contained in tea, coffee, cola drinks, and chocolate can add to your menstrual cramping by increasing your nervous energy.

p) Basil:

Basil possesses a pain-killing component called caffeic acid, which can bring relief to menstrual cramping. You can either use it as a spice when cooking or steep the basil in a tea. Add two tablespoons of basil leaves to one pint of boiling water. Cover tightly and allow the blend to cool at room temperature. Drink ½ to one cup of the basil tea every hour to ease your cramps.
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q) Cinnamon:

The anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties associated with cinnamon can ease the symptoms of menstrual cramping. Sprinkle cinnamon on your breakfast foods or add to a tea.

Resources

[1] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003150.htm

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/menstrual-cramps/DS00506/DSECTION=causes

[3] http://www.advil.com/advil

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