Published on: 02/22/19
When it comes to natural relief for menstrual pain, it would seem we must dig deep to find a remedy that really works.
These days, the most popular pain relief for menstrual pain options are those oft-used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) pharmaceutical pills. However, relying on pharmaceuticals is something it seems many of us would prefer to avoid.
In this article, we thought we’d uncover:
- Causes of period pain
- The hormones involved in female reproductive functions
- Natural pain relief options for period pain
- CBD for pain
- CBD for menstrual pain
Unfortunately, alternative options for natural pain relief for menstrual pain, seem few and far between. So before we launch into options of natural relief for menstrual pain, let’s try to understand why it even occurs.
Why the pain?
Discomfort can usually be accredited to things such as diet, general health and stress levels, but usually the biggest influence on pain during that time of the month comes down to a couple of important hormones; estrogen and prostaglandin.
A spike in prostaglandin; a hormone that controls inflammation, blood flow, the formation of blood clots and more, may cause heavy bleeding, cramps and inflammation, while excessive estrogen in the blood is said to be one of the main contenders for painful menstruation prompting symptoms such as:
- Heavy periods
- Breast tenderness
- Premenstrual irritability
- Developing fibroids
So, in order to help you get through next months painful periods, here are some natural pain relief tips for finding natural relief for menstrual pain.
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1. Cut Caffeine
There are several herbal teas that have proved effective for achieving natural relief for menstrual pain, but first you might need to ditch the coffee.
We know this one might be tough, but coffee is the enemy of your period pain. Coffee is a known pro-estrogenic beverage, which means that it worsens estrogen dominance; something that causes symptoms like:
- Menstrual cramps
- Heavy bleeding
- Breast tenderness
If the idea of quitting coffee altogether is too challenging for you, just try and avoid it just before and during the week of your period, or at least during your heaviest days.
A first-class antiseptic and digestive aid, cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and has a mild analgesic effect, which may be why it is traditionally used for treating pain, sore throats, fevers and inflammation.
A recent study that looked at the effects of cinnamon on menstrual bleeding and systemic symptoms suggested that the women in the study who had the cinnamon experienced less severe pain and nausea, and bleeding lasted less time compared to the placebo group.
Cinnamon Tea Recipe:
- Gently boil a cinnamon stick (no need to break it up) in 1½ cups of water for 15-20 minutes
- Allow it to cool for 10 minutes
- Strain and drink neat or add natural sweetener/alternative milk to taste.
Warning - Cinnamon also contains coumarin which is a natural blood thinner, so make sure you take care if you’re already on blood thinners.
3. CBD for Pain
There is increasing evidence that cannabidiol (CBD) could provide us with the long-awaited answer to natural relief for menstrual pain by decreasing levels of prostaglandin.
US wellness company Foria are currently conducting a full-blown medical trial studying the effects of CBD for pain during menstruation to see whether CBD for menstrual pain could be the next big natural and safe pain reliever for menstruating women.
Plus, with none of the horrible side effects of ibuprofen and opioids CBD for menstrual pain may just prove to be the next best natural pain relief option yet.
Ginger has been a popular natural pain relief and nausea remedy for time immemorial, with proven anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects.
Ginger Poultice Recipe:
- Make a ginger paste by whizzing it in a blender or chopping it finely,
- Put it inside a piece of muslin or a dishcloth that you’ve soaked in boiling water,
- Let it cool just enough so that it won’t burn the skin,
- Apply the poultice directly over the pelvis or stomach area,
- Keep the poultice hot by placing a hot water bottle over it,
- Leave it in place for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cramps subside.
Flaxseed is a great supplement to any diet with its omega 3 fatty acids and fibre, but the real MVP here are lignans. Lignans are fibre-associated compounds found in many plant families and in very high concentrations in flaxseed, but it’s also believed to help with menstrual pain due to its relationship with oestrogen. Plant oestrogens like lignans are far weaker than other endo oestrogens, which according to studies, binds to your body’s oestrogen receptors, freeing them up from heavier oestrogens and reducing overall oestrogen activity. This is an easy ingredient to include in your yoghurt or cereal every day.
6. The Brassica Family
Upping your intake of the brassica family, by eating more veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage—especially in the first two weeks of your cycle—may also help to relieve symptoms.
These vegetables contain protective compounds called indole-3-carbinol and DIM, which are responsible for clearing excess estrogen from the body. An easy and tasty way to improve the symptoms of oestrogen dominance.
Now this might sound a little crazy when you’re doubled over in pain or lying down with a hot water bottle, but brisk walking, or any type of physical activity, can help to ease pain during that time of the month. Any type of aerobic exercise that makes your body pump more blood around will help to release endorphins that counteract the prostaglandin, thus reducing cramps.
Exercising three to four times a week is good for your overall health, but it is especially important if you’re prone to painful menstrual cramps.
There are, it would appear, more ways than one to go with the flow.
Note: These remedies do not take into account other health factors like endometriosis, other illnesses/conditions or cancers of the reproductive system.
Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Endoca and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or cure. Endoca CBD products have not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).