Periods are a pain. They are natural but uncomfortable, at the very least. Period pains and cramping are symptoms that most women go through when Aunt Flo comes to town.
They can be the worst experience a woman has to go through each month with no shortcuts or cures. While we cannot stop these symptoms, period pain and cramps can be managed if you know the right tricks.
And no, we aren’t referring to pain killers or artificial drugs that make big promises they don’t fulfil or damage your stomach in the long run. Natural remedies are the safest bet and effective too. This is why we have done our research and found the most effective way to reduce period pains naturally.
1. Applying Heat
Using hot water and heating pads is an age-old practice to manage swellings, muscle aches, stiffness, flares, and period cramps. Applying heat to the stomach or lower back helps to relax the muscles and relieve the pain. Research has shown that the application of heat can be a substitute for ibuprofen.
If you’re at work and struggling with pain, I often use these stick-on heat patches. They’re not very good for the environment, but you can put them in your jeans or tights really discreetly!
Believe it or not, stretching and keeping active can help in reducing period pain. How does it work? Well, exercising releases endorphins, a hormone that promotes your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. This, in turn, boosts your mood and helps in managing those period cramps.
There’s a myth going round that you can only do light exercise when on your period. Tell that to the professional female athletes out there, or any woman who is on a sports team! They don’t take a week off when they’re ‘on’. Why? Well I know from personal experience that you’ll only feel better after a work out.
Whether you’re doing yoga, going for a swim or playing a team sport like rugby, netball or hockey, you’ll be amazed how much exercise will reduce cramps. In fact, the combination of being on your period and doing exercise means you’ll probably have an amazing night of sleep!
Talk to your doctor. With their recommendation, you can start taking supplements like fish oil, iron and vitamins. These are natural ways of improving your wellbeing and relieving internal inflammation. Medical studies have proven through trial groups that cod liver oil, vitamin B1, D, etc have shown positive effects in reducing menstrual pains. Periods can sometimes cause weakness, lower haemoglobin levels, and, in rare cases, nutrient deficiencies. Supplements are also prescribed for the same.
A multivitamin for women, taken daily, is likely to help you feel better through the whole month.
4. Herbs & Teas
Certain foods will help reduce bloating and menstrual pain. Turmeric, ginger, dill, carom, curcumin among others have been used since ancient times to relieve stomach aches, period cramps, bloating, mood swings, and other menstrual symptoms.
Chamomile tea is one of the best remedies that is natural and effective. It is used not just for period pains, but also has several other benefits. Jasmine tea, green tea, and mint are also popular for their healing properties.
5. Food to Avoid
Avoiding some foods is also a good idea. Heavy and oily meals can make you feel uneasy and bloated, which just adds to your regular pain. Steer clear from junk food and overly spicy dishes.
6. Food to Enjoy!
Time to eat more dark chocolate! Chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth, boost your mood and boost potassium which helps those cramping muscles to function.
There’s no better time to start a health kick than when you’re menstruating. Fill your plate with leafy greens, salmon and bananas. All will help with vitamins to help reduce your pain and improve your mood.
7. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Dehydration is your worst enemy. Drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water daily benefits your body in more ways than just soothing menstrual pains. Avoiding alcohol and upping your water intake reduces bloating, pain, and body aches, too.
Drinking more water will also help to regulate possible diarrhoea or constipation that menstruation may bring. Infuse your water with orange peels or lemon wedges. Hot or warm water is an even better choice.
If you want to keep an eye on how much you’re drinking, you can buy this bottle.
Tackle The Pain Every Month
Use these natural alternatives to help you with those monthly woes. Each body is different, so you have to figure out what works for you. Test different methods that suit your body. Be careful to only try safe, natural, and vetted methods.
If your pains are too severe for you to handle, we advise you to contact your doctor immediately and not rely on any homecare substitutes.