Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps: Causes, Symptoms, Recommended Food, and Healthy Habits

menstrual cramps home remedies

Many women of reproductive age are affected by pains, which sometimes become too intense and unpleasant during the menstrual period.

However, there are some remedies to relieve such pain. There are natural products that could help women to deal with the painful and uncomfortable moments of the period.

We will see how daily food and health practices will help these days and we can forget about pills and chemicals, which, while sometimes helpful, are not very healthy for the body.

Painful menstrual periods are also referred to as dysmenorrhea, the medical term by which the discomforts that come with menstruation are known.

And we say “discomforts” because menstrual cramps are not the only thing that some women feel when their period arrives.

However, in this article, we will talk exclusively about menstrual cramps, also known as primary dysmenorrhea, as they are the most common discomfort in women, especially at the onset and may decline over the years.

What Causes Menstrual Cramps

It is not clear why the pain from menstrual cramps is worse in some woman than others.

During the menstruation period, the body naturally releases some substances called prostaglandins, and that causes contractions.

Experts consider that an excess of these prostaglandins leads to more severe cramps.

Description and Symptoms

Menstrual cramps consist of muscle cramps in the lower abdomen, caused by contractions of the womb (uterus).

These contractions help expel the menstrual flow from the womb. The cramps often decrease in severity once a woman has had a child.

Sometimes other symptoms occur, such as a headache, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. These are thought to be caused by the effects of prostaglandins in the body.

If menstrual cramps start becoming worse than usual, it’s a good idea to consult a physician, so that you can be checked out to make sure no other disease is present.

Natural Treatments for Menstrual Cramps

While most women rely on painkillers to lessen the symptoms of menstrual cramps, some natural remedies may work a lot better for you.

Aerobic Exercise is good for menstrual cramps. You may not feel like doing anything, but it usually helps to keep moving. Some women find walking the best exercise, while others prefer jogging.

Heat treatments, such as a hot water bottle or a microwave heating pad, are surprisingly effective in reducing period pain for many women. Warm baths or showers can also help relieve symptoms.

Diet: A healthy diet, with plenty of vegetables and whole grains, but low in salt, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, can help reduce menstrual cramping.

Magnesium supplements have been shown to help reduce period pain. Magnesium is found in many foods, Green vegetables, such as spinach, as well as nuts, whole wheat flour, and brown rice, are rich in magnesium.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) supplements have been shown to reduce the symptoms of menstrual pain. Good sources of vitamin B1 include asparagus, peas, beans, broccoli, oats, whole wheat flour, and pork.

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is a traditional remedy for menstrual problems. Usually, an extract of the root is used. Black cohosh tablets are commercially available.

Some instances of liver damage have been linked to the use of black cohosh. Such side-effects are rare, but the herb should not be consumed by anybody who has suffered from liver problems.

If you have displayed any signs or symptoms of liver damage, such as pain, dark urine, or jaundice, stop taking the herb and consult a physician.

Cramp Bark is isolated from the bark, or root bark of the Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus). It is a traditional remedy for menstrual cramps. Various commercial products are available, including tablets, capsules, and tinctures.

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) has long been used as a remedy for menstrual pain. Tablets made from root extracts are commercially available.

It should not be used by women who are trying to get pregnant, since it may end up causing a miscarriage.

Long-term use of this product should be avoided since it contains some compounds that may be carcinogenic.

German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is the source of commercial chamomile tea. The tea has a calming relaxant effect, and it’s sometimes recommended to ease the symptoms of menstrual cramps.

Raspberry Leaf Tea is another traditional remedy for menstrual cramps. Make sure you buy pure 100% raspberry leaf tea.

Some commercial brands of “raspberry tea” are merely ordinary teas with some raspberry flavoring added.

Recommended food for menstrual pain

The consumption of infusions blocks the so-called muscular spasms or colic (punctures).

Chamomile infusions: Chamomile is a natural remedy against stomach aches or pains due to its floral compounds. Your intake, in this case, can relieve, to a large extent, the pains in ovaries.

Cinnamon infusions: Cinnamon boiled in water is a sedative used for this type of pain because of its relaxing ability.

Healthy habits

Heat: Although high temperatures can cause an increase in the menstrual flow, warming the pelvic area can relieve the pain.

We will heat herbal sachets or warm clothes in the belly area. Do not exceed the temperature.

Massages: We can use our fingers to massage the ovaries area for a few minutes. We may not notice relief at first, but after a while of rubbing the area, we will see a noticeable improvement.

We can add to this massage a few drops of Roman sage or alcohol of rosemary.

Aromatherapy: We can use aromas as a home remedy to relieve menstrual cramps. Its analgesic effect will calm the area so we will have to apply on the belly and massage with some of these natural products:

  • Lavanda: Its sedative action will help to relax the nervous system and therefore the menstrual pains.
  • Soybean oil: It will help us with its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Sport: Playing sports these days will help decrease the feeling of swelling and improve blood flow. If the pain is too intense, let’s choose to do milder sports like walking or stretching.

With this regular practice of the sport, we will see that the pains month to month is diminishing.

The menstrual period usually presents to women as uncomfortable and painful days, but if we follow some advice and we take care of home remedies, we will be able to take them with more naturalness and still be capable of resting.