Menstrual cramping can turn the normal physiological process of menstruation into a nightmare simply because of the pain it causes. Unfortunately, it is not a one-time problem with a onetime solution. Rather for every normal non-pregnant woman, menses are there to stay, every month until menopause. Quite a large number of women experience menstrual pain, also called dysmenorrhea, in varying degrees. Some of the pain can be alleviated by a little relaxation but in other cases, it is so severe as to impair normal day to day activities. So what does one get to do to help relieve menstrual pain? Home remedies offer the best alternatives to medications as they are natural and easily available at home. Here's how to beat the cramps and experience less stressful menses.
Let fruits be your wonder drug
Naturally occurring fruits which are found in almost every home can go a long way in helping to relieve menstrual cramps. They contain nutritional components that also have analgesic and relaxing effects. Some of them include;-
- Citrus fruits-oranges, lemons and limes are rich sources of vitamin C that plays a role in facilitating absorption of iron from the small intestines. Since iron is lost in menstruation blood, these fruits will help restore the right levels of iron inside your body.
- Apples, pomegranates and bananas are also rich in iron and are known to provide effective remedy to menstrual cramps.
- The papaya fruit has a potent effect on the uterine muscles and therefore helps to relieve pain by regulating uterine contractions which are the cause of menstrual cramps.
Use your herbs and spices not just for food but to also treat menstrual pain
The kitchen cabinet at home can be transformed into a medicine cabinet because herbs also have great medicinal properties. Some of them can be eaten raw, others boiled to make tea or used in the conventional manner of adding them to food. They work to relieve pain in the following manner;-
- Coriander leaves or seeds boiled in water produce an infusion that provides a natural way of relieving menstrual cramps.
- Ginger, the jack-of all-trades herb can be consumed in whatever form (chewed or sipped after boiling in water) to provide anti-inflammatory effect and alleviate the pain.
- Marigold herb is another effective natural anti-cramp remedy.
- Cinnamon is one of the most easily available herbs and drinking cinnamon tea during menses is a sure way of decreasing the pain of menstrual cramps. It does this by its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Basil herb contains a component, caffeic acid, which has analgesic properties. You can add a tablespoonful or two of basil leaves into boiling water and drink ½ cup of the mixture every hour or so during menses.
Modify your diet to include menses-friendly foods
The right diet and proper hydration during menstruation has a significant positive effect on menstrual cramps. The guidelines to this kind of diet are as follows:-
- Keep away from fatty foods and those containing highly processed carbohydrates. Instead, eat more whole grain starches.
- Avoid spicy foods and carbonated drinks.
- Incorporate more vitamins and mineral-rich foods into your diet. These micronutrients are essential for regulating hormones that control the menstrual cycle. This can be done by taking nuts which are rich in magnesium and zinc or taking vitamin supplements particularly vitamin E and C.
- Eat more fish because it is enriched with omega 3 fatty acids that produce an anti-inflammatory effect. The best approach is to consume more fish just before your menses.
- Keep your hydration status high-drink plenty of water. When the body is dehydrated, it produces a hormone called vasopressin which functions to prevent further loss of water through urine. However, this hormone also plays a role in causing cramps.
A few other helpful tips
- Relax your brain is less likely to perceive severe pain when you are relaxed. You can do this by soaking your feet in a basin of warm water containing a spoonful of mustard powder. It helps relieve menstrual pain.
- Keep warm-this prevents shivering which is associated with muscle contraction. Cramping is due to uterine muscle contractions, thus less contractions means less menstrual pain.