How to Get Rid of Period Cramps, the Natural Way
So you want to know how to get rid of menstrual cramps? You’ve come to the right place!
Are you worried about the effects of taking painkillers for your cramps, or just ready to try something new?
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 stop period cramps. Read our tips to figure to help ease and treat your discomfort during your period.
1. Improve Your Diet
One of the best natural ways to get rid of cramps is to consider what you eat.
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 reduce menstrual cramps.
Keep on reading for some specific advice about what foods help get rid of cramps:
Include Good Fats in your Diet
Good oils will help to balance your hormones, as well as control prostaglandins. Some examples of good fat include coconut oil, organic almond and peanut oils, or extra virgin olive oil
Are you Getting Enough Omega-3?
One of the best ways to reduce cramps through your diet is to include more Omega-3. Try adding some ground flax, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds to things like salads, oatmeal or smoothies.
Eat Lots of Fiber
Fiber is important for a whole number of bodily systems. With regards to menstrual cramps, it binds to estrogen and carries it out of the body.
The best sources of fiber are fruit and vegetables.
Fruits and Veggies, Nuts + Seeds: Eat More!
Another win for fruits and veggies besides the fiber that they have in them. Some research has shown that people who have higher intakes of zinc, Vitamin E and beta-carotene have less menstrual pain that those who consume little.
You can try incorporating red meat or pumpkin seeds for zinc, and nuts and seeds for Vitamin E. For beta-carotene, just eat a wide variety of vegetables.
If you suffer from cramps and pain associated with endometriosis, you may want to consider foods to eat, foods to avoid and some supplements that have been proven to help.
2. Experiment with Herbs
Herbs are one of the best natural ways to get rid of period cramps.
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. See a naturopath or oriental medicine doctor for some more details about this option.
Keep on reading for some of the best herbs to reduce menstrual pain.
Ginger has been shown to reduce the levels of pain causing prostaglandins in women who suffer from painful periods. It can also give you a boost of energy and fight fatigue that’s often a symptom of PMS.
Traditional Chinese Herbs
One interesting solution to get rid of period cramps is to visit your Oriental Medicine Doctor or pharmacist. They’ll most likely give you a mix of a few different herbs but could include angelica root, fennel, liquorice root, cinnamon bark, and red peony root.
Studies have shown that traditional Chinese medicine may be just as effective as over the counter drugs.
Some studies have shown that fennel is very effective at treating menstrual cramps. It contains anethole, a compound with anti-spasm effects. Try it out to reliever your discomfort.
Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps
3. Chill Out and Reduce your Stress!
So you want to know the best way to get rid of period cramps? 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. When you are in constant state of high stress, your body focuses most of the energy you have on survival, and things like producing reproductive hormones become less important.
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.
Not only will you decrease your cramps, but you’ll improve your overall health as well! Stress over a long period of time can have a number of negative effects on the body.
4. Try Supplements
Getting rid of your period cramps can be as easy as swallowing a couple of completely natural supplements.
Omega-3s (like fish oil) can decrease cramping 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.
Of course, you can take supplements to ensure you have an adequate intake of these things, but you can also pay careful attention to nutrition and the food you eat. With a diet high in fruits and vegetables, it’s quite easy to get all the nutrients and vitamins you need. Plus, it’s cheaper too!
For some excellent, healthy recipes, check out the Thug Kitchen or Oh She Glows cookbooks.
5. Tweak a Classic (Hot Water Bottle) by Adding Castor Oil
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 heating pad or warm 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 Out Period Cramps with Acupuncture
So you want to know how to get rid of period cramps? Try out this alternative therapy.
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.
Feeling crappy during your period? Check out out Top 5 Tips for Being Kind to Yourself.
8. Massage with Lavender to Get Rid of Period Cramps
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 relief and fragrant results.
9. Put Cabbage, Hot or Cold, in Your Shirt
Do you want to know how to get rid of cramps on your period? Try out this unusual technique.
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.
10. What about Essential Oils for Cramps?
How to get rid of menstrual cramps with essential oils? Keep on reading to find out!
These days, the use of essential oils to deal with menstrual cramps and PMS is becoming more common. But, which ones are recommended? Here is our quick guide:
Clary Sage Oil or Cypress Oil
Both of these essential oils can help to balance hormones and reduce inflammation during your cycle. To use, rub 2-3 drops on the area of pain, and then apply a warm compress for 5 minutes.
Put 3 drops of Peppermint oil on a warm compress and apply to your lower abdomen to reduce pain. It is also known to instantly give you more energy, which can be helpful if you’re suffering from the period blues and are feeling fatigued.
This essential oil has been shown to improve sleep and lessen pain, which makes it an excellent choice to manage PMS or cramps.
To use, massage Lavender Oil on the skin, or inhale it.
The anti-inflammatory effects can reduce pain and cramps during your period. Rub the oil directly on the abdomen.
Orange, or Other Citrus Oils
These essential oils have been proven to boost the mood and create a more relaxed state. This can certainly be beneficial during your period when you may not be feeling that good.
To use, add orange essential to your normal aromatherapy routine.
This essential oil is a well-known antidepressant, which can help to calm mood swings, PMS and anxiety. The antispasmodic properties of it also help to reduce menstrual cramps.
How to Use Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps
11. Tea for Menstrual Cramps
So you want to know how to get rid of menstrual cramps with herbal tea? Keep on reading!
Tea is another common solution to PMS and cramps that a number of people swear by! Here are a few of the best teas to try out if you want to reduce menstrual cramps the natural way.
As a bonus, you’ll also be increasing your intake of water, which makes most people feel better! A lot of people are chronically dehydrated.
Peppermint is known to have a calming effect, as well as numb pain. It can also give you a boost of energy, and calm an upset stomach. Drink 4-5 cups a day for the best results.
Ginger has a number of pain-relieving, as well as anti-cramping compounds in it. It’s also commonly used to treat inflammation, which makes it a natural choice for treating menstrual cramps.
You can use fresh ginger to make some tea, or a ready-made version of it. Drink 3 cups a day.
Cinnamon has natural anti-spadmodic properties that can help to reduce cramps and pain. It’s also a natural anti-inflammatory, so it’ll just make your feel better.
To make Cinnamon tea, add some to water and boil for 15 minutes. You can add a sweetener, or milk if you’d like. For the same effect, just sprinkle some on your pancakes, porridge, etc.
The main reason why people experience PMS is because of hormonal imbalance. Fennel can help to regulate this, and it also has emmenagogue properties that help to regulate blood flow. It’s a great choice for a tea for menstrual cramps.
To make, you can add some fennel leaves to boiling water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Pour it through a strainer and add a sweeter if you wish.
Teas that Cure PMS and Cramps
12. Vitamins for Menstrual Cramps
Are there any vitamins or supplement that you can take to help with menstrual cramps?
Yes! There are some proven treatments that you can try out for yourself. Start with the following Vitamins or supplements:
Calcium has the most science backing up its use to reduce menstrual cramps. It has been shown to reduce fatigue, appetite changes, and depression, as well as reduce symptoms of PMS.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These are natural anti-inflammatories which will help to reduce menstrual pain.
This is a water soluble vitamin that is essential to many of the basic body functions. There is some evidence that is helps to reduce symptoms of PMS, although more research is needed.
A reason that some people experience severe symptoms of PMS is because of a Magnesium deficiency. It’s thought that taking this Vitamin can help with PMS.
This fat-soluble vitamin has been shown in preliminary studies to reduce menstrual pain.
13. Consider Using the Livia for Period Pain
Okay, so you want to know how to stop period pain immediately? Of all the things on the list, this solution may be your best bet.
Another kind of natural solution for menstrual cramp is the Livia. The company calls this device the, “Off switch for period pain.” It basically emits a frequency that has been shown to reduce period cramps.
The Livia is similar to a TENS machine that you would find at a physiotherapist’s office. They’ve been clinically shown to reduce pain, as well as menstrual flow and fatigue during your period.
The thing we love is that there’s a 2-year warranty on this device. The Livia isn’t cheap, so we certainly appreciate it. And, if it doesn’t work for you? There’s a 60-day, money-back guarantee so it’s a nice way to try it, risk free.
For more details, check this out: Full Review of the Livia. Or, check it out for yourself over on Amazon:
14. What about CBD Oil for Cramps?
Now that recreational or medical marijuana is becoming legal in more countries around the world (Canada!), and in some states in the USA, CBD oil is becoming a more popular option to help deal with pain, such as menstrual cramps.
It’s derived from the Marijuana plant, but it doesn’t get you high because it contains no THC. What CBD does do is reduce inflammation and pain. Along with thousands of user reports, there is some science to back this up.
Want to know more? Check out: Does CBD work for Cramps?
15: Take a Bath
This is something you may already be doing, but taking a nice, hot bath can do wonders for making you feel better during your period. Heat can do wonders for a whole lot of things, including this problem.
Get some candles, relaxing music and perhaps even a book or magazine.
16: Hit the Gym for Menstrual Pain
If you feel like you have a tiny boxer fighting with your ovaries every month, you’re not alone. It’s something that happens to many people. In fact, 37 million women in the United States reported having menstrual pains (including cramps) or pre-menstrual syndrome in the last year.
Period cramps always suck. Their intensity can sometimes be so severe that it impairs everyday functioning. You might wish you could just stay in bed with a heating pad all day. But, this usually isn’t an option–there is work to go to, school to attend, and kids to look after.
If you have places to be and people to see, but your lady friend has just burst in without knocking, follow along to learn how to get rid of period cramps fast while still maintaining an active lifestyle.
How To Get Rid of Period Cramps With Exercise
Although it might not be the most appealing activity during that time of the month, exercise can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your cramps. The increase in blood flow caused by exercising can make your cramps go away. Or, be lessened even a little bit.
Stress is also known to worsen muscle spasms, which is essentially what constitutes a cramp. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and thus directly reduce the severity of cramping.
Types of Exercises
Although you might not be too thrilled to work out while on your period, especially if you’re working out with a sanitary pad and not a menstrual cup, you may be happy to hear that the last thing you want to do is vigorous, strenuous exercises. So cardio and weightlifting might be off the table if you’re trying to reduce period cramps. Yay!
Instead, try some low-impact, aerobic exercises, like swimming, walking, or yoga. It’s always good to get outside too—try a walk, hiking, or a short bike ride. Anything that involves a movement of your pelvis can also help reduce the pain.
If you don’t have time to hit the gym or your local yoga studio, here are some great exercises to try at home. They require no equipment and come with a very handy video to show you exactly what to do!
Duration of Exercise
Ideally, you should be aiming at 30 minutes of low-impact exercise every day to help with the cramping. It might sound like a lot, but the benefits received from taking the time to work out are astounding.
If you’re a busy gal and know you don’t have a full 30-minute break throughout the day, consider breaking up the exercises into two 15-minute sessions, or three 10 minute ones. Whatever works for you! The key is to fit in whatever amount you can.
You could do one exercise session in the morning and one in the evening. Building a routine is the most important part of this process.
If you’ve tried this method and still feel a slight cramping pain, don’t hesitate to incorporate other essential treatments! One of the most well-known remedies is making sure you’re drinking enough fluids. Don’t forget to also eat healthy foods to supplement your blood loss.
I Have Serious Menstrual Pain
Okay, so your period cramps are above and beyond the normal? You might have Dysmenorrhea. There are various causes for it, including some things related to the normal menstrual cycle, while some are related to underlying conditions.
The good news is that there are various treatment options for it. It really does depend on the cause, so please check with your doctor for help with that.
Learn more here: Dysmenorrhea Causes and Treatments.
How to Stop Menstrual Cramps Forever?
Okay, so if you have very, very painful periods that impact your daily life, then you might want to know how to stop your period forever. There are some possible ways to do this, including extended cycle birth control as well as surgery to remove the uterus.
These are serious things that require medical intervention, so please have a talk with your doctor about the options. And of course, if you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ll need to have a regular menstrual cycle, so your situation might be a bit more complicated.
Menstrual Cramps: What can I Expect When I Visit the Doctor?
If you go to your doctor about severe menstrual pain, here’s what you can expect.
Your doctor will probably ask you about your medical history, as well as perform a physical exam. They’ll look at your pelvis for signs of abnormality and infection.
They may order other tests such as:
- Other imaging tests (CT scan or MRI)
Some of the treatment options your doctor may recommend include over-the-counter pain killers, hormonal birth control, or surgery.
Are painful periods good or bad? In general, if you have mild cramps, it’s not a big deal and doesn’t require a visit to the doctor.
Severe cramps, or some other problems with period pain? You’ll need to check in with your doctor.
Keep a Journal
When you visit your doctor, it can be helpful for a proper diagnosis if you keep a journal of your pain. At what point during your cycle does pain occur, and is there anything that brings relief?
You could also keep track of your flow…how many days, how heavy, etc. Things like PMS and mood swings can be useful information as well.
I Have Cramps All Month
Are you in perimenopause and have menstrual cramps all month? It’s not so uncommon due to some seriously fluctuating hormones. You can learn more about it here:
What about Cramps and Pregnancy?
A possible sign of early pregnancy is mild cramps. You’ll often experience them in your lower back or stomach. These can last for a few weeks, or even months during pregnancy and are usually quite normal.
However, if you have a history of miscarriage and are trying to get pregnant, check in with your doctor to be certain that nothing is wrong.
Learn more about this here: PMS vs Pregnancy Symptoms
Natural Cures for Cramps: Have your Say!
How to get stop period cramps: drugs or natural? And, what are some of the natural ways to get rid of cramps that you like to use?
Leave a comment below and share your wisdom. Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.