Do you dread that time of month when you menstruate? Those 3-4 days of menstruation are painful and annoying for many women. Prostaglandin, a hormone-like substance, contracts the uterine muscles which results in cramps. In medical terms, it is known as “dysmenorhhea”. For most of the women, cramps are the reminder of beginning of menses. The pain persists for 2-3 days. Contraction in uterus, excessive estrogen, smoking, and stress can aggravate the symptoms of cramps. It is often accompanied by nausea, headache and severe pain in the lower abdomen, pain in hips, lower back and inner thighs, vomiting, diarrhea and loose stools. Here is the list of tried and tested home remedies for getting rid of menstrual cramps quickly.
Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps
1. Hot Water Compress
Put a towel drenched in hot water over your lower abdomen to get relief from menstrual pain.
- Alternatively, you can use a bottle filled with hot water and place it on your lower abdomen to soothe cramps and pain.
Consume food rich in bioflavanoids like citrus fruits, mangoes, sprouts, brussels, broccoli, etc.
3. Iron and Calcium Rich Diet
Consume foodstuff rich in iron and calcium like milk, egg, legumes, green leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, chickpeas and soybeans, dried fruits like raisins and prunes, etc.
4. Curd and Bananna
Cook banana leaves in oil for a while, and mix them with curd. It makes a great recipe for cramps.
Add ginger to cakes, cookies, vegetables and tea. To prepare ginger tea, steep ½ tbsp of crushed ginger in a cup of boiling water and strain it. Sip this tea 2-3 times a day. You can also add cinnamon powder, lemon juice and honey to the tea. This is one of the best natural remedies for menstrual cramps.
6. Mustard Seeds
Steep some mustard seeds in water; or alternatively, add mustard powder in warm water. Dip your feet in it for 30-45 minutes. This is a great way to cure menstrual cramps.
7. Fennel Seeds
Chew some raw fennel seeds daily or as and when required. They also act as a mouth freshener, aids in digestion and eliminate the symptoms of menstrual cramps.
- Another option is to steep some fennel seeds in water. Strain this mixture and add some honey to it. Drink this herbal tea when your periods are about to start.
Consume 1 tbsp of flaxseeds daily throughout the menstrual cycle. Alternatively, mix 1 tbsp of flaxseeds along with yogurt or salad and eat it. This is one of the most effective natural cures for cramps.
9. Papaya / Banana
Have papaya shake or banana shake daily. This will help regulate and ease the flow of blood during periods.
10. Coriander Seeds
Steep some coriander seeds in 1 cup of boiling water, and strain this mixture when it reduces to half. Add some honey or sugar if required and drink it to get relief from menstrual cramps.
11. Sesame Seeds
Boil 1-2 tbsp of sesame seeds in water and strain this mixture. Let it cool down. Drink it throughout the day during periods.
12. Carom Seeds
Roast some carom seeds and have them with milk when you experience intolerable pain.
- Alternatively, ingest carom seeds with boiled water.
- If oil of carom seeds is available, then apply it on thighs and legs to get relief from menstrual cramps.
13. Oil Massage
Mix almond oil, lavender oil, cypress oil and peppermint oil; and apply onto the abdominal area to get instant relief from pain.
Drink carrot juice during your menstruation days. You can also eat raw carrot. This facilitates the regulation of blood flow during periods.
Drink a glass of milk everyday as it is important to take sufficient quantities of calcium in your daily diet, to stop the reoccurrence of cramps.
16. Blackstrap Molasses
Add one to two tbsp of blackstrap molasses to a cup of warm milk and drink it when menstrual cramps begin. Being rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium and vitamin B6, it helps soothe the muscles of uterine walls and lessens blood clots.
Mix some asafetida powder in honey and butter; and consume it.
- Or else, add asafetida while cooking food, to get rid of cramps.
Herbal Remedies for Menstrual Cramps
18. Aloe Vera
Include aloe vera juice in your diet along with honey to get rid of menstrual cramps.
Chasteberry is used to cure several gynecological problems including premenstrual syndrome, menopause, and menstrual cramps. Take 1-2 teaspoons of dried berries, and boil them in 1 cup of water. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Drink this decoction twice or thrice a day.
Drink parsley juice regularly to reduce the problem of irregular periods and cramps.
- Alternatively, put cucumber, carrot, beetroot and parsley in a blender and blend them to extract the juice. This must be taken regularly during menses to regulate and ease the blood flow.
Chew some leaves of basil every day. Or else, steep some leaves in water and strain the mixture. Mix some honey if required. This is very effective tea for menstrual cramps.
22. Raspberry Leaf or Green Tea
Drink some jasmine-flavored green tea or tea prepared from raspberry leaves to relax the abdominal muscles.
23. Mint / Wintergreen
Steep some peppermint or wintergreen leaves in water for 10-15 minutes and strain this mixture. Let it cool and then sip it throughout the day.
- Alternatively, you can even try chewing gum and candies containing peppermint.
24. Indian Lilac (Azadirachta Indica) Leaves
Crush 8-10 leaves of Indian lilac and form a paste. Take it along with warm water or a cup of buttermilk. It is a very effective herbal remedy for treating cramps.
Steep some cinnamon sticks in water for 5-10 minutes. Strain this mixture. Allow it to cool; and add honey. Drink this tea throughout your periods or just before its onset.
- Alternatively, you can sprinkle some cinnamon powder on your spring rolls, apple pie, etc.
26. Lemon Grass
Drink juice of lemongrass to treat cramps resulted due to periods.
Steep some thyme leaves in water for 5 minutes. Strain this mixture and then drink it after every half hour. This is very effective remedy for menstrual cramps.
- Alternatively, crush some thyme leaves and extract the juice. Mix this juice in one cup of water and sip it once daily.
28. Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
The juice or oil extracted from spikenard acts as a muscle relaxant and helps treat menstrual pain effectively.
29. Cramp Bark and Black Haw
Make use of juice or extract of this herb. It acts as an excellent treatment for severe menstrual cramps.
30. Black Cohosh
Extract some juice from the root of this herb and drink it. The medicinal properties of black cohosh naturally cure the symptoms associated with menstrual cramps.
31. Dong Quai
The juice or soup of this herb increases the blood circulation in the body and relieves muscle spasm.
Note – Women with heavy bleeding should not use this herb.
It is very effective in reducing cramps, uterine muscle spasm, stress, heart palpitations and nervousness related to pelvic pain. This herb helps in the same way as dong quai, and relaxes muscle pain / spasm in the abdomen.
33. Wild Yam
Root of wild yam must be used as an herbal remedy for menstrual discomfort and menopausal symptoms. Its antispasmodic properties help reduce the pain during periods.
Drink chamomile tea to ease pain. Add two tbsp of dried chamomile flowers to water and boil. This solution must be taken 1 week before you are expecting your periods, as it relieves pelvic muscles; thus, reduces menstrual cramps.
35. Jamaican Dogwood
The extract of roots, leaves and bark of this herb must be taken to get relief from pain and induce sleep.
36. White Willow Bark
Its bark is tattered and boiled to prepare oil, tea, or squashed into pills. For effective results, consume it on a regular basis for a week or more before your periods begin. The salicin content in white willow bark resists pain very effectually.
37. Evening Primrose / Borage Oil
Massage your pelvic and lower abdominal region with this oil to get relief from menstrual cramps.
- It is recommended to drink plenty of water daily to ease pain.
- Eat fruits and green vegetables having more water content like cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, berries, celery, etc.
- Practice cardiovascular exercises and aerobics daily. It increases the flow of endorphins, which is a natural painkiller. Practice restorative poses instead of strenuous physical activities during periods.
- Take hot water shower to relax your muscles, lower back and abdomen.
- If you find cold pack more effective, place some ice cubes in zip lock bag and cover in a towel. Place this over your abdomen.
- Consume fish or fish oil to get relief from hormonal imbalance.
- Take 7-8 hours of sound sleep.
- Avoid intake of red meat, vegetable fat, sugar, processed white flour and salt.
- Do not stay stressed.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes and belts during periods.
- Refrain from dairy based products.
- Reduce the intake of salt.