15 tried and tested home remedies for period cramps

15 tried and tested home remedies for period cramps

Period pains are the worst ever pains in a woman’s life. Painful menstruation is medically called dysmenorrhea. It would feel like someone stabbing your stomach. Painful cramps hurt you physically and mentally. During the menstrual periods, the outermost layer of the uterus sheds off every mouth. 

Prostaglandins stimulate muscle contractions that help to shed off the uterine lining. They are responsible for pain during menstruation. Increased levels of prostaglandins cause severe pain.

Periods make you more uncomfortable doing your work. They take away your peace of mind. Here are few causes for period cramps

Stress

Stress is the common cause of many problems. It leads to hormonal fluctuations in your body. Prostaglandins levels increase after exposure to stress.

Smoking

Smoking increases menstrual cramps. Nicotine is present in cigarettes. It constricts the blood vessels in the uterus. So it worsens period cramps.

Obesity

Excessive weight causes the overproduction of estrogen. An excess amount of estrogen makes the uterine lining thicker. When this thick uterine lining breaks, it causes increased release of prostaglandins.

Depression and anxiety 

Anxiety and depression lead to the fluctuation in serotonin levels in your body. Serotonin plays a key role in mood, sleep, and pain. It worsens premenstrual symptoms like mood swings, anger, and muscle cramps. Depression and anxiety cause irregular periods.

Diet

A wrong diet can worsen your period cramps. Fatty foods cause the overproduction of prostaglandins that are responsible for cramps. Salty snacks, chocolates, and caffeine causes bloating and increases period cramps.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. It grows around the ovaries and beneath the uterus. When this lining breaks, it causes severe pain.

Uterine fibroids

Uterine fibroids are unusual and noncancerous growths in the uterus. Sometimes these fibroids pressure the local organs leading to intense pain.

Period cramps are very intense and hurt badly. So here are a few tried and tested home remedies for period cramps.

1. Hot compress

Heat relaxes your uterine muscles that ease your pain. Prostaglandins contract your uterine muscles and decrease blood flow. Heat increases blood circulation that reduces period cramps. It reduces the effect of prostaglandins that causes pain.

Ingredients you need –

  • A water bottle
  • Warm water
  • A soft towel

What you have to do –

  • Fill the water bottle with warm water.
  • Wrap with a soft towel.
  • Place it over your lower abdomen in order to get rid of the pain.

How often you have to do this –

Use it for at least  30 minutes, when you have painful cramps

NOTE: Do not use boiling water as it may hurt you.

2. Chamomile tea

Chamomile reduces muscle spasms during your period. It calms your brain as it attunes the actions of dopamine and serotonin. So it balances your mood. A compound called apigenin is present in chamomile that has anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the effect of excitatory hormones in the body.

Chamomile tea is one of the best home remedies for period cramps. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile effectively reduce the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.

Ingredients you need –

  • 3 teaspoons of the fresh chamomile flower
  • 2 leaves of mint
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a pan and set it aside to boil.
  • Add chamomile and mint leaves to the pan.
  • Let it steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain the tea in a cup.
  • Add the honey to the cup and stir it well before drinking.

How often you should do this –

Drink chamomile tea thrice a day to ease your period cramps.

3. Fennel tea

Fennel seeds contain anethole. It has anti-spasm effects. So it reduces painful cramps during periods. Fennel seeds regulate the process of menstruation. They balance the hormonal level and treat irregular periods.

Besides period cramps, fennel seeds can be used to maintain blood pressure, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. They improve digestive and skin health as well.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 cup of water

What you have to do – 

  • Add fennel seeds to water.
  • Heat the water on low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the flame and strain the water.
  • Allow it to cool and drink.

How often you should do this –

Drink fennel tea twice a day at the beginning of the period to get rid of painful cramps.

4. Ginger and honey

Ginger consists of anti-inflammatory compounds such as gingerols. These compounds inhibit the pain. Ginger helps to get rid of bloating. It reduces inflammation and relieves pain during the menstrual period

Ginger possesses anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties.

A combination of ginger and honey regulates your hormones. So they help treat irregular periods. Honey reduces the production of pain-causing compounds and helps relieve stomach cramps.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water.

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a pan and set it aside to boil.
  • Add ginger to the pan and let it boil for 4 minutes.
  • Strain the tea in a cup.
  • Add honey and lemon juice to the cup.
  • Stir it well before drinking.

How often you should do this –

Have this drink thrice a day, during your period to ease period cramps.

5. Fenugreek water

Fenugreek reduces the production of prostaglandins. It relieves painful cramps during menstruation. Fenugreek water is one of the best home remedies for period cramps. It also relieves other premenstrual symptoms like bloating, craving, stomach pain, and period poops

Fenugreek naturally detoxes your body. It decreases blood sugar levels in your body. Studies found that fenugreek helps to increase testosterone levels in your body.  Anti-inflammatory compounds present in fenugreek helps in treating asthma as well.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup of water

What you have to do –

  • Soak fenugreek seeds in a cup of water overnight i.e. for at least 12 hours.
  • Strain the water in the morning and drink it.

How often you should do this –

Drink fenugreek water thrice daily during your menstrual period to get rid of cramps.

6. Sesame oil

Sesame oil contains unsaturated fatty acids like stearic, linoleic, and oleic acid. It is found in many studies that these fatty acids reduce intense pain. So these help to ease pain in conditions like arthritis, menstruation, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Sesame oil protects your skin from ultraviolet rays when applied externally. It heals burns and wounds because it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil

What you have to do –

  • Apply sesame oil to your lower abdomen.
  • Massage for 5 minutes.

How often you should do this – 

Apply sesame oil during your period, whenever you have cramps.

7. Cinnamon water

Cinnamon contains essential oils like eugenol and linalool. These oils have high anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Cinnamon relaxes uterine muscles. It decreases the production of prostaglandins that are responsible for period cramps.

Cinnamon reduces the bleeding. It helps to treat heavy periods. It reduces your mood swings and other premenstrual symptoms.

 Ingredients you need –

  • A cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a pan and set it aside to boil.
  • Now add the cinnamon stick to the boiling water.
  • Strain the water in a cup and add honey.
  • Mix well before drinking it.

How often you have to do this –

Drink cinnamon water twice a day to get rid of painful cramps.

8. Bananas and yogurt

Bananas have vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium. These compounds reduce cramps during your periods. Bananas have dietary fiber that improves digestion and reduces bloating. 

Vitamin B6 lightens up your mood. That is why a banana is called a happy fruit.

Bananas are rich in antioxidant agents which neutralize the free radicals in your body. This thus reduces inflammation and relieves pain. Bananas provide adequate energy to work out.

Yogurt is rich in calcium. It helps to relax your uterine muscles and reduce cramps.

Ingredients you need –

  • 2 ripened bananas
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of low-fat yogurt

What you have to do –

  • Add the bananas, peanut butter, and yogurt to a blender.
  • Blend all of them together to form a smoothie.
  • Pour it into a cup and drink it.

How often you should do this –

Consume once a day during your periods to get good results.

9. Spinach

Spinach is rich in iron, magnesium, and other antioxidants. It replenishes the iron that is lost in your body during periods. Magnesium relaxes your uterine muscles and reduces cramps. This makes spinach one of the best home remedies for period cramps. 

Antioxidant agents in spinach neutralize the free radicals and reduce inflammation and pain. Spinach contains lots of nutrients that improve your overall health. 

Ingredients you need –

  • 2 large bunches of spinach
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves

What you have to do –

  • Add olive oil to the pan.
  • Now add garlic cloves and wait until they turn brown.
  • Cut the stems of spinach and add them to the pan.
  • Cover the pan and cook it for 2-3 minutes.
  • Uncover and cook it for 5 more minutes.
  • Add salt and mix it well.
  • Serve it in a bowl.

How often you should do this –

Eating spinach everyday during your periods, would help you fight off bloating and cramps.

10. Nuts

All nuts are rich in magnesium and vitamin E. Magnesium relieves painful cramps. They are rich in healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that relieve pain. 

Nuts are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Almonds and walnuts contain more fiber compared to others. This beneficial fiber improves your digestive health.

Ingredients you need –

  • 2 walnuts
  • 8 almonds
  • 4 cashews
  • 5 pistachios
  • 10 pecans

What you have to do –

  • Add the walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and pecans to a blender.
  • Blend them to make a powder.
  • You can add this powder to your cereal or oats and eat it.

How often you should do this –

Have these nuts every morning to get rid of period cramps.

11. Orange juice

Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that reduces inflammation. Magnesium relaxes your uterine muscles that reduce period cramps. Calcium decreases premenstrual symptoms like fatigue, depression, edema, and pain.

Oranges are sodium-free. So they do not cause fluid retention and bloating. They contain 3 grams of fiber that improves your digestion. Oranges also help balance your mood during periods.

Ingredients you need –

  • 3 medium-sized oranges

What you have to do –

  • Peel off the oranges.
  • Remove the seeds.
  • Add the peeled oranges to a blender and blend them.
  • Strain the juice in a glass to remove the pulp.
  • Drink it slowly.

How often you should do this –

Drink orange juice once a day during your menstrual period to get rid of cramps.

12.  Peppermint tea

Peppermint contains menthol that cools and soothes pain. Menthol dilates the blood vessels and reduces pain. It has anti-spasmodic properties. It relieves stress and anxiety as well as calms the mind during your menstrual period. 

It acts as a natural sedative that provides good sleep. Peppermint improves your digestion. It helps to get rid of bloating

Peppermint tea has antibacterial properties that kill all the germs and bacteria in your mouth. It keeps your oral cavity healthy and gives a blast of fresh breath. 

Ingredients you need –

  • 20 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of water

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a pan and set it aside to boil.
  • Add mint leaves to the pan.
  • Steep it for 15-20 minutes.
  • Now strain the water in a cup.
  • Add honey and lemon to the cup.
  • Stir well before drinking.

How often you should do this –

Drink peppermint tea twice a day to get rid of cramps.

13. Green tea

Green tea has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It contains so many bioactive compounds that make it healthy. The compounds in green tea help reduce anxiety and calm your mind

Green tea is one of the most effective home remedies for period cramps. This tea contains catechins, a compound responsible to increase blood flow that reduces inflammation and pain.

Green tea prevents fluid retention in your body and avoids bloating. It is used by so many people to lose weight.

Ingredients you need –

  • 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of honey 
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • One cup of water

What you have to do –

  • Add the water to a pan and set it aside to boil
  • Now add green tea leaves to the pan.
  • Steep it for 5 minutes.
  • Strain the water in a cup.
  • Add honey and lemon juice to the cup.
  • Stir it well before drinking.

How often you should do this –

Drink green tea twice a day to get rid of painful cramps.

14. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium. It reduces painful cramps by relaxing your uterine muscles. Other ingredients such as calcium, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids also alleviate pain.

Dark chocolate contains more amount of cacao. It reduces stress levels, inflammation and improves your memory. It improves serotonin levels that show positive effects on your mood.

Ingredients you need –

  • 60 grams of dark chocolate with nuts

What you have to do –

  • Just remove the wrap and have the chocolate.

How often you should do this –

Consume once a day during the menstrual period to ease your period cramps.

15. Essential oil blends

Lavender, clove, rose, and cinnamon essential oils can be blended to relieve period cramps. Lavender oil soothes and eases pain caused due to prostaglandins. It has a great aroma that calms your mind. 

Clove oil contains eugenol that acts as a natural anesthetic. It reduces the pain and irritation when applied topically.

Rose oil is anti-inflammatory. It relieves cramps during periods. It reduces anxiety, stress, and depression as well. Cinnamon oil reduces the effect of prostaglandins. It increases blood circulation and relieves pain.

Ingredients you need –

  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • 10 drops of clove oil
  • 10 drops of rose oil
  • 10 drops of cinnamon oil
  • 40 drops of coconut oil
  • A cotton swab.

What you have to do –

  • Blend all the essential oils with coconut oil.
  • Apply to your lower abdomen with the helps of a swab

How often you should do this –

Apply this essential oil blend when you experience extreme stomach cramps.

How to prevent painful period cramps

Simple measures will help you to avoid pain. Here are some tips that would help you to completely avoid pain.

  • Add more veggies to your diet.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Cut off caffeine.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Cope up with your stress.
  • Consume more herbal teas.
  • Have citrus fruits like kiwi and oranges.

When to call a doctor

Sometimes irresistible pain may indicate any underlying disease. So you need to visit a doctor before anything gets serious. Here are a few conditions to call a doctor.

  • When you have irregular periods.
  • When you are having cramps for more than two days.
  • If your pain is not getting relieved by small remedies.
  • If you have cramps without periods.
  • When your cramps get worse suddenly.
  • When you have a fever associated with cramps
  • When you have heavy bleeding along with extreme pain.

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