84% of women report having menstrual cramps, and 55% say they need medication to help with the pain, but the idea of relying on chemical painkillers isn’t always appealing.
Even traditional over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or paracetamol can cause serious problems like liver damage or bleeding disorders with extended use.
Cramps are painful, true, but you should never feel trapped into a treatment option that makes you uncomfortable.
Sound interesting? There are so many natural ways to get rid of period cramps. Read on to figure them out!
1. Improve Your Diet
A major factor in period pain is swelling. This is what makes anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen so effective.
One way to reduce inflammation without pills is to reduce your fat intake. Try switching out dairy and meat products, which are high in saturated fat, with unsaturated ones, like those in olive oil.
Incorporating more vegetables, and opting for low-fat or no-fat options are also great ways to naturally reduce swelling in your body, and get rid of period cramps.
2. Experiment with Herbs
Getting rid of cramps was an issue centuries before modern medicine. Before the discovery of modern cures, various herbal remedies were explored.
To dig into these remedies yourself, try herbal teas made with ginger root, raspberry leaf, or the aptly-named cramp bark.
Chinese herbal medicines are also an option for multi-symptom relief beyond just easing period cramps.
3. Chill Out!
Stress can not only worsen your perception of your period pain but actually make you more likely to get it in the first place. In one study, two times as many women in the high-stress category reported period cramps as compared to those in the low-stress category.
Stress can also cause your period to become irregular.
Understanding the reasons behind your menstrual pain and its connection to your method of collection might help soothe you. You can also try listening to music, meditating, or curling up with a good book.
4. Try Vitamins and Supplements
Getting rid of your period cramps can be as easy as swallowing a couple of completely natural supplements.
Omega-3s (like fish oil) alleviate period pain by improving blood flow and reducing clotting and swelling.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer. Athletes soak in Epsom salt (which has magnesium as its main ingredient) to soothe their sore muscles.
In the same way, magnesium helps to get rid of period cramps by relaxing the muscular layer of the uterus.
Because the uterus is deeper in the body than muscles, magnesium is more effective at getting rid of cramps if it is ingested. It can be taken either in capsules, or by increasing your intake of leafy greens, salmon, beets, and beans.
5. Tweak a Classic
Everyone is familiar with the old go-to way to get rid of period cramps: a hot water bottle. Take a cue from ancient civilizations, and add castor oil in the mix.
Wet a cloth with the oil until it is saturated, but not dripping. Put it on your stomach, then cover with a hot water bottle.
Castor oil is great for decreasing inflammation, but can increase blood flow, so it works best as a preliminary measure to your period.
6. Stab It Out
Acupuncture is thought to help get rid of period cramps by bettering blood flow to the uterus and relaxing the muscles.
The ancient theory behind acupuncture is based on the healthy flow of a person’s life force. Hundreds of acupuncture points lay along the body’s channels, and by stimulating them with acupuncture, you help the life force flow correctly.
While regulating your life force, acupuncture is thought to also release endorphins, making it a cramp-busting double whammy.
All of this helps to minimize uterine contractions, a.k.a. cramps!
7. Get It on to Get Rid of Period Cramps
Endorphins relieve pain and put you in a better mood.
To get these feel-good hormones flowing, you can work out or have an orgasm.
While your period may not be when you’re feeling your sexiest, the benefits of an orgasm are not to be ignored. Besides brightening up your attitude, orgasms release tension in the muscles of the pelvis, making cramps feel less extreme.
To help keep things sanitary and stress-free, try taking to the shower, or laying a towel down before getting your groove on, either by yourself or with your partner. Or, the best option is to use something like the SoftCup. It’s a disposable menstrual cup that sits right under your cervix, allowing you to have sex during your period without the mess. Check out Soft Cups on Amazon today:
8. Hit the Gym
Besides producing endorphins, working out increases blood flow, and has been proven to ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
Regular exercise, beyond just your time of the month, is an effective way to relieve cramp pain, but don’t worry if you haven’t kept up with this year’s new years resolution to get in shape. It’s not too late!
In another study, both cardio and flexibility-based training taken up mid-cycle proved to lessen women’s cramps, so get moving in whatever way feels good to you, whenever it feels good.
So take up yoga, or go for a walk, run, hike, or bike ride. Leave those cramps in the dust!
9. Massage with Lavender
Beyond helping with number three, massaging with certain essential oils also aids in the relief of cramps.
By rubbing the diluted essential oils of lavender, marjoram, and clary sage onto the abdomen, women reported not only less pain, but also a shorter duration of pain.
Try mixing those three respective oils into a two to one to one ratio with an unscented lotion at three percent concentration (3 parts oil to 97 parts lotion), and enjoy the pain-free and fragrant results.
10. Put Cabbage, Hot or Cold, in Your Shirt
No joke! Cabbage is nutritional, delicious, and also a topical anti-inflammatory.
To try this cure to get rid of period cramps, take cabbage leaves chilled from the fridge, or warm from hot water, an iron, or the microwave, and apply to tender breasts or a crampy stomach. Maybe afterward you can even have a healthy snack.
And, if all else fails, it’s important to remember the pain will not last forever.
If you have any other questions regarding your period, feel free to check out our site. It contains advice and reviews about menstrual cups, period panties, reusable cotton menstrual pads, and organic disposable pads and natural tampons.