Menstrual cramps are severe pains in the lower abdomen of women. They occur when the menstrual period begins. They may continue for two or three days and for few women, it might last longer. Symptoms range from mild annoyance to sharp pains in the abdomen that interfere with normal daily activities.
Menstrual cramps is the major cause of absenteeism in women who are younger than 30. Most of the women experience slight discomfort during their menstrual periods while some people have painful menstrual period and this condition is known as dysmenorrhea.
How to get rid of menstrual cramps naturally
During your menstrual period, you do not feel like going anywhere. However, several home remedies are available right at your home, which can make you feel good.
Chamomile has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it effective in menstrual cramps. (1)
Studies published in the Journal of Agriculture and chemistry stated that chamomile tea has pain-relieving properties. Anti-inflammatory properties in chamomile tea help in reducing the production of prostaglandin thereby relieving menstrual cramps.
How to Use
- Add dried chamomile to a pan filled with a cup of water.
- Allow it to boil and then strain it.
- Add a few drops of honey to it and consume it warm.
Having chamomile tea twice a day, especially during your menstrual period will really make you feel better. It also helps reducing menstrual cramps and lower abdominal pain.
Dosage (chamomile tea)
- Safe Dosage: 50 ml to 200 ml
- Maximum Daily Dose: 500 ml or 2 cups a day
The tea should be prepared with maximum 1 to 2 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers.
People with hypersensitivity to ragweed pollens should not take chamomile tea.
Cinnamon has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve pain caused due to menstrual cramps. This herb contains volatile oil, which is responsible for its therapeutic use as antispasmodic agent. (2)
This spice is a rich source of iron, dietary fibre, manganese & calcium and can help in relieving symptoms of menstrual cramps. You can use it for preparing cinnamon tea, or just sprinkle it on your toast and rolls.
How to Use
- Add 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon powder to hot boiling water.
- Strain it and add honey.
- Make sure it is warm before having it.
- If you are undergoing a heavy period, drink it at least twice a day.
- Having it at least two days before your period starts will help prevent menstrual cramps.
Alternatively, you can also add a pinch of cinnamon powder to honey and mix it along in warm water. Drink it thrice a day on the initial day of your menstrual period to experience relief from cramps.
|Safe Dosage||Tea prepared with1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder|
|Cinnamon powder||1 to 3 grams|
|Maximum Daily Dose||6 grams cinnamon powder (either taken with honey or used in preparing tea)|
Cinnamon in larger amounts may cause hyperacidity in some people, so if you have history of severe gastritis, hyperacidity or ulcer, you should avoid using it or stick to decreased dosage of cinnamon.
Lavender oil might help in reducing uterus contractions that are caused by prostaglandins present in the uterine lining. The amazing aroma of lavender can uplift your mood as well.
How to Use
Apply lavender oil on the abdomen part of your skin where you sense pain. You may even dilute it with other carrier oils (olive or sesame oil) before applying it on your skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This super food has great positive impact on menstrual cramps. Apple Cider Vinegar regulates clotting and reduces the duration of your period and the amount of blood you have lost. Calcium and potassium in it can ease the muscles in the uterus and reduces menstrual cramps. During heavy periods, increase the intake of apple cider vinegar.
How to Use
Take a tbsp. of unfiltered raw organic ACV and add it in a cup of warm water. Drink it twice a day before every meal.
|Safe Dosage||5 to 15 ml or 1 tsp. to 3 tsp. twice a day|
|Maximum Daily Dose||30 ml or 2 table spoon or 6 teaspoons|
|Maximum Usage||Less than one week|
You should not take Apple cider vinegar more than 7 days. Its long-term use can cause low potassium in the body.
The regular use of Apple cider vinegar can cause bone density loss or lead to osteoporosis. Occasional use is likely safe.
People with decreased bone mineral density or prone to fracture of bones due to osteoporosis should not take Apple cider vinegar.
This is an effective home remedy, which is readily available in your spice rack. CAFFEIC ACID in basil leaves has analgesic effect and is helpful in reducing pain caused due to menstrual cramps. (6, 7)
You can use it while cooking. The reason behind the effective functioning of basil is not clears yet. However, few research studies have stated that basil would be absorbed rapidly into the blood through the mucus membrane of the mouth. It also interferes with the components responsible for the pain during muscle cramps and reduces the sensitivity of pain.
How to Use
- Add 2 tbsp. of fresh basil leaves (1 tsp. for dried leaves) in a pan filled with a cup of water.
- Allow it to steep covered until it reaches room temperature.
- To ease pain, drink at least a cup of this tea for every hour.
Alternatively, eating a handful of holy basil leaves (fresh) will ease cramps.
|Specifics||Single Dosage||Maximum Daily Dosage|
|Fresh Basil Leaves||A handful||2 handful|
|Fresh Basil Leaves for tea||2 tablespoon||4 tablespoon|
|Dried Basil Leaves for tea||1 tsp.||2 tsp. to 3 tsp. or 10 grams|
Basil leaves are safe to use, but it also reduces blood sugar levels, so you should monitor your blood glucose level regularly and adjust anti-diabetic medication dosage accordingly.
Ginger is a wonderful home remedy for menstrual cramps, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Few studies have also mentioned that ginger works similar to IBUPROFEN and MEFENAMIC ACID to provide relief from menstrual cramps. The latter two compounds inhibit the synthesis of excess prostaglandins. Research studies have mentioned that ginger helps in treating pregnancy related sickness as well as menstrual cramps effectively. (8, 9, 10)
Ginger when taken along with other natural ingredient shows effective pain relieving benefits.
How to Use
- Grate one-inch ginger and add its pulp to a pan containing a glass of water.
- Allow it for boiling and let it steep for five minutes.
- Strain this solution and add a tbsp. of lemon juice and honey to avail added health benefits.
You can also include ginger in the food you cook.
Dosage (fresh ginger)
|Safe Dosage||1 gram to 3 grams|
|Maximum Daily Dose||6 grams|
However, ginger is also useful in acidity, but it only works if acidity is associated with indigestion. If you have a severe burning sensation, heartburn and ulcers, you should not take ginger.
People with severe form of acidity, excessive feeling of appetite or craving for food and severe gastritis should not consume ginger.
Blackstrap molasses is at your rescue in case of horrible menstrual cramps. The ingredients in Blackstrap Molasses prevent the uterus from cramping.
Its constituents include vitamin B6, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium and selenium. All these nutrients are good for maintaining healthy muscles. Moreover, uterus is also muscular organ and it can attain all the benefits from these nutrients.
Molasses contains good amounts of iron and can help women suffering from cramps make up for their deficiency. Two tbsp. of molasses provides enough amounts of iron. Calcium in molasses can help reduce blood clotting during menstruation period, thus preventing menstrual cramps. One great thing about molasses is that it causes neither any allergy nor side effects.
How to Use
- 1 to 3 tsp. of blackstrap molasses daily during your menstrual period can reduce cramps.
- You may even take a spoonful of molasses with your ginger tea to get rid of cramps.
- Cookies that are prepared using molasses instead of sugar can help ease out cramps.
|Safe Dosage||1 to 3 tsp. (5 ml to 15 ml)|
|Maximum Daily Dose||6 tsp. or 30 ml|
In some people, excess dosage of Blackstrap Molasses causes loose stools.
Diabetic people should avoid Blackstrap Molasses.
All these remedies have shown good results when tried at home. However, consult your GP before trying any new remedy for your health condition.