The pain that you experience during a period is caused when the uterus sheds its inner lining. At this time of the month, your body produces hormones called prostaglandins, which trigger the contraction of the uterus to help expel the lining and this is what causes the throbbing pain of menstrual cramps. Not everyone experiences menstrual cramps, but about three out of every four women do and, for around one in ten women, those cramps can be severe enough to interfere with normal daily activities. Whether your period pains are severe, or mild, it’s still not something anyone looks forward to, so let’s take a look at ten tips on how to ease period pain.
1. Apply heat
It’s the muscles of the uterus contracting that is causing the pain and, if you apply heat to the area, it will help to relax the muscles, and reduce the pain. You can buy-over-the-counter heating pads, or you could just use some hot water in a bottle and hold that over your abdomen. Don’t discount heat as just being an old wives tale, it really is a good tip on how to ease period pain.
2. Get out in the sun
Studies have proven that Vitamin D, which is created by exposure to sunlight, can decrease the severity of menstrual cramps. Though you might not be feeling like taking a long walk, getting out in the sun for an hour two really could ease your period pains.
3. Cinnamon tea
Another great tip on how to ease period pain is to drink cinnamon tea. Cinnamon has anti-spasmodic properties that will help to relieve menstrual pain. You can make a delicious cinnamon tea by adding a half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a glass of hot water, along with a tablespoon of honey, and some lemon if you like. Drink this twice a day and it will reduce the severity of the muscle spasms that are causing the pain.
4. Blackstrap molasses
An old and trusted tip on how to ease period pain is to drink blackstrap molasses and milk. Blackstrap molasses contains minerals, vitamins and selenium, which will help to soothe the muscles of the uterus and stop blood clots forming. To take blackstrap molasses, mix two teaspoons of it with a cup of warm milk (use almond milk or coconut milk, if you are lactose intolerant), and drink it as soon as you start to experience any pain.
Bail is a very effective herbal remedy for period pains, because it contains caffeic acid, which has pain killing properties. Add some fresh basil leaves to almost boiling water (85°) and leave it to cool. You can then drink the basil water at any time your experience discomfort, and it will help to reduce the pain. Or another way to include basil in your diet is to add it to your freshly made green smoothies.
If you are experiencing quite severe period pains, then you won’t feel like a full workout, but some exercise will reduce the pain. Just taking a brisk walk will get the blood circulating and it will release endorphins that act to reduce the cramping in your muscles. Try to do at least some exercise during your periods and it will help ease the pain and discomfort.
Ginger is another herb that is known to reduce the levels of prostaglandins and so it can help reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. It’s also a great energy booster, so it will help fight off the fatigue that can be caused by periods too. You can make your own ginger tea by grating a small amount of fresh ginger and adding it to almost boiling water (85°), then wait for five minutes, and it’s ready! It tastes great if you add a spoonful of honey and a squeeze of fresh lime juice to it.
9. Warm water
The advice of doctors to women who experience severe menstrual cramps is to stay off alcoholic drinks for a while, because alcohol can aggravate the problem. The simplest and purest remedy for period pain is a glass of warm water. It increases the circulation and the warmth of the water will help to reduce the cramping sensation as well.