Most women experience an uncomfortable feeling in their lower abdomen and back when menstruating. The main reason for this is that your womb’s muscles contract and relax to eliminate its built-up lining. Oftentimes, menstrual cramps result in pain. You can take an over-the-counter drug to ease your discomfort. But, if you’re looking for drug-free methods, here are some natural ways to relieve menstrual cramps.
1. APPLY HEAT
As mentioned, menstrual pain is due to the contraction of muscles in your uterus. Fortunately, there’s a simple remedy you can do to ease this discomfort. Applying heat to your lower abdominal region can help relax your muscles and improve your blood flow. To do this, you can use a heating pad or heat wrap. If this is not available, you can fill a plastic bottle with warm water. Another excellent option is to take a relaxing bath. Adding a few drops of essential oil, like lavender, will not only soothe your pain but calm your mind, as well.
2. SIP AN HERBAL TEA
Another excellent remedy to ease your period pain is to drink a warm cup of tea. However, not all kinds of herbal tea products are effective. As much as possible, try to avoid tea products with caffeine because it may worsen your discomforts. Instead, you can try ginger tea. In fact, sipping ginger tea is one of the best natural ways to relieve menstrual cramps due to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties comparable to ibuprofen. Aside from that, you can also start sipping a cup of chamomile tea a week before your period. Basically, this sweet-tasting beverage can increase your body’s production of glycine, an amino acid that relaxes your nerves and reduces muscle spasms.
3. MASSAGE WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
Aside from those natural remedies, you can also improve your blood flow by massaging your lower abdomen. Using essential oils, like lavender and clary sage, may yield best results. However, keep in mind that essential oils are potent products that can damage your skin. Diluting these products with a carrier oil (almond or coconut) will decrease its strength. Moreover, always test the product on a small portion of your skin to avoid allergic reactions or irritations. A better option is to go to your favorite spa and get a full-body massage designed to make you feel good during your period.
Most women avoid working out when they have their period. But, did you know that exercising is one of the natural ways to relieve menstrual cramps that provide exceptional results? The main reason is that exercising lets your body produce more endorphins, a mood-boosting hormone that also possess pain-relieving properties. Plus, exercising can also improve your blood flow. Remember, you don’t have to do strenuous workouts if you don’t want to do these types of exercises. Instead, you can do low-intensity activities, such as walking, Tai Chi or yoga.
5. CHANGE YOUR DIET
Food cravings are common a week before or during your period. The good news is that eating the right kind of foods can help ease your menstrual cramps and pain. As much as possible, you have to avoid fatty, salty, and sugary foods. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can also worsen your condition. Instead, you can eat calcium-rich foods, such as hummus and leafy greens. Keep in mind that the mineral calcium can aid in reducing menstrual cramps. Magnesium is another mineral that can soothe your discomforts. The most common sources of this nutrient are legumes and nuts. Lastly, anti-inflammatory foods, like berries and cherries, are also known to alleviate pain.
6. CONSUME MORE WATER
The last in this list of natural ways to relieve menstrual cramps is consuming more water. As you know, bloating is a common problem during your menstruation, which can worsen your discomforts. Drinking about six to eight glasses of warm water can prevent bloating, increase your blood flow, and relax your contracted muscles, soothing your menstrual cramps and pain. To flavor your water, you can add lemon, cucumber, or mint. Another great option you can try to increase your water intake is to eat hydrating foods, such as lettuce, spinach, and citrus fruits.
Overall, your monthly period doesn’t have to be uncomfortable and distressing. Having a healthy lifestyle coupled with these natural remedies can make a difference.
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