Continuing with our last article where we read about PMS(Read here if you haven’t: Pre-Menstrual Syndrome(PMS) 001, we will be talking about menstrual cramps today. I can feel the pain by just writing about it. I am sure you too can relate to it while reading.
Menstrual cramps or period pain
Menstrual cramps can be deadly for some. These are cramping aches and pains that typically affect the lower abdomen but it varies person to person. Some also experience pain in lower back, thighs or legs. Menstrual cramps usually occur because of the production of prostaglandins (a class of pro-inflammatory chemicals involved in triggering the muscle contractions that help the uterus shed its lining). Without getting into many details let us go ahead and read some of the natural ways to reduce the pain, straight from dadi ma k nuskhre waali book.
Natural ways to reduce the pain:
They have anti-inflammatory properties and antispasmodic compounds that help in reducing the muscle spasms in the uterus that causes cramping. Not only that, they have other benefits like stress relief and also good for people suffering from insomnia. Herbal teas are a good help in making irregular periods regular and fight fatigue associated with premenstrual syndrome.
I am listing here a few herbal teas that we can easily make at home and they will help you for sure. Please do not get scared by the weird combos. Trust me, these all are well tried and tested. I someone who had to take medicine for my cramps but now with these hacks I feel at much ease.
- Ginger + black pepper: Ginger is great in easing pain by lowering levels of pain-causing prostaglandins. It also fights with the fatigue commonly associated with premenstrual syndrome). You can make your soothing cup of ginger tea by taking a cup of water. Boil it with some grated ginger and ½ teaspoon of black pepper to it. Boil for another 5-6 minutes and the tea is ready.
- Carrom seeds( Ajwain) + Ghee: Take 1 tablespoon tea in a cup of water. Add 1 Tbs Sugar (if you need it), 1/4th Tbs Carrom Seeds (Ajwain), 1/4th Cup Milk and 1/4th Tbs Ghee. Bring it to a boil and the tea is ready. I got to know about this from Simmy Goraya I tried it and it worked for me. So credits to her.
- Tulsi + Poodina (pudina) + Sauf: Take 3-4 Tulsi leaves which are bigger in size and green in colour in a cup of water. Don’t take the one with black colour. Add 2-3 leaves of pudina and ½ tea spoon sauf to it. Bring it to boil and drink it to soothe your pain.
- Chamomile tea is one other which is believed to have pain-relieving properties. I have not tried this one but have heard a lot. Do let me know if you try in the comments
- Cumin seeds: Cumin has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties are useful for getting rid of menstrual cramps. You can simply boil a few cumin seeds with water and drink it as tea. Add sugar if you want.
- Fenugreek seeds (Methi) + salt: You can try this combo in two ways. One way is to simply take ½ tablespoon of fenugreek seed, a pinch of salt and just take it as a pill. Drink water over it. Another way is to soak it in water for 12 hours, and then drink up. This helps in weight loss also and is good for your liver, kidneys and metabolism.
Massage with oil
There are two types of oil, carrier oil and essential oil. Carrier oils are the ones which we use normally like almond oil, coconut oil, mustard oil etc. You can warm a little bit of any of these and then massage your tummy gently. Essentials oils are the ones like cinnamon, clove, lavender, rose etc in it. You can massage your stomach with these. Try using a blend of these essentials for best results. If not possible, then add a few drops of at least one of these essential oils to a carrier oil for an effective self-massage.
This is something I am sure you all are aware about. The heat helps in muscles relaxation and increases the blood flow to tissues thus reducing the pain. You can use a hot water bottle, hot towel, heating pad.
Light exercises and yoga
They have proved to be helpful for some. I know this is something you will kill me for but if you feel like giving it a try, you can go ahead. You can try starting from stretching. Stretches are best done when the body is warm (as it is after a bath or shower). Each stretch should be held for 30 to 60 seconds. Please do not push to the point of pain or discomfort.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device
This is not a natural way but If you are not into any of the above things you can try using it. TENS is a machine like a thing and is connected to the skin using adhesive patches with electrodes in them. The electrodes then deliver a varying level of electric current to stimulate nerves. These work by increasing the threshold for pain signals and stimulating the release of endorphins which are our body’s natural painkillers. You can buy it from Amazon. I haven’t used them so I am not sure how useful they are.
Note: if you’re experiencing regular or severe cramping, It is always recommended to consult your gynaecologist to see if you’re suffering from an underlying health issue that might be causing the pain like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or uterine fibroids.
I hope you like reading this article. Do mention in comments or here if you try any of these and find them helpful. I will be waiting for your feedback.
Happy menstruating 🙂