Having menstrual cramps is one of the most common, irritating parts of your period. Menstrual cramps occur because uterus contracts to help expel its lining. Prostaglandins a hormone-like component involved in pain and inflammation trigger the uterine muscle contractions. Higher levels of prostaglandins are associated with more-severe menstrual cramps. Severe contractions may constrict the blood vessels feeding the uterus. The resulting pain can be compared to the chest pain that occurs when blocked blood vessels starve portions of the heart of food and oxygen.
Heat helps to relax the contracting muscles in your uterus, which is the cause for your pain. There are many over-the-counter heating patches and pads, such as ThermaCare, Bengay, or electric, reusable ones. Or, even taking a regular plastic bottle with hot water and applying it to your abdomen is an alternative when you don’t have access to a heating pad.
Ginger has been effective in relieving inflammation and pain, and it can help alleviate the pain associated with Menstrual cramps. Ginger also is used for nausea and an upset stomach, symptoms that sometimes accompany menstruation. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking ginger two to three times a day while you are experiencing Menstrual cramps.
Basil contains the compound that works similar to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium which are effective against menstrual cramps. The Center For Holistic Urology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, confirms that indeed holy basil (along with turmeric, ginger and grape skins) contain compounds that do the same thing. They also inhibit production of prostaglandins. NSAIDs take around 20 to 30 minutes before they are absorbed in the body, which is a long time when you are curled up with a heating pad. alternatively, basil is absorbed quickly and relief has been reported to occur almost instantly.
Chamomile tea increases the urinary level of glycine, which prevents muscle spasms. Glycin also acts as nerve relaxant.
According to the study conducted at Ilam University of Medical Sciences, suggested that cinnamon significantly reduced pain, the amount of menstrual bleeding, nausea, and vomiting in female college students. Therefore, cinnamon improves the severity of primary dysmenorrhea.
Fennel seeds can work as effectively as over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or the usual meftal spas for painful periods because it has anti-inflammatory and muscle calming properties.
The antispasmodic and phytoestrogenic properties of fennel seeds help relax the muscles in the uterus relieving cramping. Fennel seeds help to release muscle tension, soothe inflammation, ease aches and pains. Fennel seeds soothe the cramps and work as a mild analgesic compound. Fennel seeds not only help with abdominal cramps, but it also uplifts your mood and beat bloating and indigestion which are other symptoms accompanying menstrual cycle.
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine, which involves sticking the skin with small needles to stimulate the body at certain points. Researchers from the Oriental Hospital at Kyung Hee University Medical Center in South Korea found that acupuncture might have positive effects on menstrual cramps. The study was based on 10 trials with 944 participants. “There was an improvement in pain relief from acupressure compared with a placebo control,” according to the study.
Steep some mustard seeds in water; or alternatively, add the mustard powder in warm water. Dip your feet in it for 30-45 minutes. This is a great way to cure menstrual cramps.
Add one to two tbsp of blackstrap molasses to a cup of warm milk and drink it when menstrual cramps begin. Being rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium and vitamin B6, it helps soothe the muscles of uterine walls and lessens blood clots.