Menstruation is a natural part of a woman’s life, but painful menstrual cramps are a very annoying problem for many. While menstrual cramps are rarely a cause for concern, if severe they can disrupt regular activities. Menstrual cramps (medical term, ‘Dysmenorrhea’) is a common occurrence during menstruation. Many women suffer from mild cramps during the first day of their menstrual cycle. However, there are a number of women who experience severe menstrual cramping. The pain usually begins from the abdomen, spreads to the pelvis and affects the lower back as well.
Reasons For Menstrual Cramping
When a woman menstruates, the uterus contracts in order to dispel the bloody tissues that line the uterine wall. The hormone prostaglandin is responsible for easing the uterine contractions. However, the hormone also causes inflammation of the cervix and the uterus. This inflammation results in pain.
There are plenty of effective Natural and Herbal Remedies for Treating Menstrual Cramps. There are many over the counter painkillers available for treating abdominal cramps caused during menstruation. However, the truth is that our body becomes immune to these painkillers after some time resulting in need for even more powerful drugs. Hence, it is recommended that natural remedies be used for treating menstrual cramps.
Side effects of menstrual pain
In most cases, dysmenorrhea has no consequence other than the inconvenience of pain. However in case of intense, repeated and unrelieved menstrual pain, it can cause psychological distress, and sometimes even depression.
Home Remedies For Treating Menstrual Cramps
Chamomile is great for soothing frayed nerves. Women who suffer from PMS should drink two cups of chamomile tea every day to keep stress and anxiety at bay. Chamomile tea also provides warmth to the abdomen thus helping ease the flow of blood and tissues. Chamomile is also a mood uplifter and can save you from depression and panic attacks that normally accompany menstruation. Peppermint tea and jasmine tea are also effective for easing the symptoms associated with PMS.
Heat Apply hot water bottle directly to the affected areas. You can use the hot water bottle on your abdomen, lower back, thighs, pelvis and legs. This will help reduce the inflammation of the muscles and ease the menstrual pain. You can even apply heat-treated towel on the body parts that ache the most. Warm a hand towel in a microwave for not more than two minutes and then cover the aching body parts with the towel. This is a very effective way of reducing inflammation and relieving yourself from pain.
Chew basil leaves every day to avoid getting menstrual cramps. Basil leaves are also known to help relieve symptoms of PMS.
Add two basil leaves to water when you prepare tea. Drink basil tea at least three times a day on the first day of your menstrual cycle.
Ginger is known for its medicinal properties and is highly effective in reducing inflammation of the cervix and the uterus.
Drinking 4 cups of milk-free and sugar-free ginger tea a couple of days before the start of periods can lower the occurrence of cramps. You can add a teaspoon of honey to make the tea drinkable.
Swallow a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds every day with a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. Perform this ritual regularly to prevent cramping during periods. Fenugreek releases compounds that help in smoother contraction of the uterus. Abdominal cramps are greatly reduced when the uterus finds it easier to contract.
If you suffer from extreme case of dysmenorrhea and do not find relief from any of the above mentioned remedies, then it is recommended that you visit a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will be in a position to diagnose the cause and give you treatment accordingly.
Cinnamon has antispasmodic, anticlotting and anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve menstrual pain. Plus, cinnamon is an excellent source of dietary fiber, calcium, iron and manganese. Make cinnamon tea by stirring one-fourth teaspoon of cinnamon powder into a cup of hot water. Let it sit for up to five minutes, add a little honey and then sip it slowly. Drink two to three cups of cinnamon tea one to two days before your period starts to prevent cramps.
Some women find a cold pack to be more effective than hot bath in relieving menstrual pain. Cold pack helps constrict blood vessels, which provides relief from the cramps. Ice pack prepared by putting ice in a zipped plastic bag and covering it with a towel can be placed on the abdomen for 15 to 20 minutes.