6 Homeopathic Ways To Relieve Menstrual Pain
A Tincture Of Turmeric
Health gurus and trendy cafes have made it clear: turmeric is a trendy food right now, but despite its recent appearance in American pantries, people in South America and Asia have been using turmeric widely for thousands of years. It’s a key ingredient in many Indian dishes, and its rich color is also used as dye. Most importantly, turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. This effect can be credited to curcumin, the active compound found in turmeric.
So how effective is turmeric at relieving pain? Research suggests that it’s more effective at reducing pain and inflammation than aspirin and ibuprofen, the two most common OTC pain relievers. And as an added bonus, turmeric may also help relieve symptoms of PMS if you begin taking it before your period starts. It's just a matter of how you choose to take it.
Turmeric supplements are available in pills and tea, and of course, you can cook with It directly. but one of the best ways to take advantage of its anti-inflammatory benefits is as a beverage. Our Turmeric Tonic juice shot will give you a serious dose of curcumin, plus carrot, pineapple, lemon, and ginger, bright flavors that are a perfect swap for your morning coffee since caffeine can make cramps worse. Or if you’re craving something warm to start your day, whip up a sweet and spicy golden milk latte. Before you know it, you might find you’ve quit coffee altogether.
Like turmeric, everyone’s talking about probiotics and the importance of healthy gut bacteria these days, but these microscopic creatures can also do a world of good when it comes to menstrual pain. That’s because not all menstrual pain is cramping. There are lots of types of discomfort, including bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, and foods like natural probiotic yogurt can help ease this digestive distress.
Of course, if you’re lactose intolerant or experience inflammation from dairy products, this will make period symptoms worse, so what else can you do to get the same effect? You have a few options. First, there are plenty of other fermented foods that provide similar GI benefits, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. These fermented foods actually contain the freshest probiotic strains and are also more likely to contain the prebiotics that help the body support probiotic bacteria.
Maximize Magnesium Levels
One of the most common causes of menstrual cramps is low magnesium levels, and while only about 2% of Americans are actually magnesium deficient, as many as 75% aren’t getting quite enough and this fine line between deficiency and insufficiency explain why many women who experience no other signs of low magnesium may have serious menstrual cramps. Even marginally low levels of magnesium make menstrual cramps more likely.
So how can you make up the gap between the magnesium in your diet and how much you need? To get a jump on your cramps, pack in the magnesium by snacking on nuts or bananas, or even whipping up a superfood smoothie with tofu, bananas, flax, and fruit. If you’re in the mood for a more savory option, a light stir-fry or broccoli and tofu will also do the trick.
Don’t forget about Epsom salts, if you’re seeking a magnesium-based remedy for cramping. When you take a bath with Epsom salts, the body absorbs magnesium through the skin. Since high levels of magnesium can cause some digestive distress, this is a safe and soothing way to ease cramps without risking intestinal cramps, and the heat from the bath will also help relieve pain.
Put Chamomile In The Kettle
Perhaps one of the most traditional homeopathic remedies for menstrual pain is chamomile, and it’s used in several ways, including in the form of aromatherapy. Most women who swear by this remedy, though, take it as a tea, which is ideal because chamomile tea increases urinary levels of glycine, which is a muscle relaxant. Higher levels of glycine, then, can help minimize menstrual cramps and also soothe sensitive nerves.
Historically, chamomile was actually used for the most severe cases of menstrual pain, and it can also help soothe stomach pain and intestinal cramping associated with menstruation. You may have experienced this before, even as a child – chamomile tea is often offered to people who aren’t feeling well. And if you don’t care for chamomile tea, you can also prepare it as a tincture to be taken in water or directly on the tongue.
Get Your Greens
Obviously eating plenty of green vegetables is always good for you, but as your hormones fluctuate throughout your pregnancy, they play an especially important role, as cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts can moderate estrogen’s impact on the body. This class of vegetables also contains high levels of flavonoids that can reduce inflammation, thereby reducing menstrual pain.
It’s easy to work these nutritious greens into your diet, whether in salads, smoothies, or side dishes, but if you’re looking for a little variety or an on the go alternative, our Pure Greens juices (available in apple, lemon/ginger, or apple/lemon/ginger flavors) make it easy to load up on everything you need. All of these juices also contain celery, which can help reduce water retention during your period and minimize associated discomfort.
Among these powerhouse vegetables, we recommend focusing on Brussel sprouts and broccoli, which in addition to estrogen modulation, are highest in magnesium, as noted above, and also boast moderate levels of potassium and a substantial quantity of plant-based omega-3s. Though omega-3s from fish are preferable when it comes to blocking cramp-causing prostaglandins, it’s important that your diet contains a balance of both, and broccoli and Brussel sprouts will give you the most bang for your bite.
Consider Chinese Herbs
Chinese medicine, including practices like acupuncture, cupping, and tai chi, have thousands of years of history supporting their use, but Western acceptance of these practices is mixed. Still, the science is there, and a report assessing 39 different studies found that Chinese herbs may work better than OTC pain medications to relieve menstrual cramps. But which herbs, precisely?
When we talk about Chinese herbs in the context of menstrual pain relief, we’re generally talking about a combination of five herbs, including Chinese angelica root, licorice root, cinnamon bark, fennel, and red peony root. Part of what’s interesting about this combination, however, is that several of these – particularly cinnamon and fennel – are recommended individually, usually as tea, to ease period cramps in Western settings.
In many cases, it’s our own gut response to the phrase “Chinese herbs” that keeps us from pursuing a useful treatment, but it’s worth remembering that aspirin was originally made from tree bark and that much of modern medicine hinges on researching unique plant applications, despite the fact that traditional Chinese medicine has hundreds of uses we rarely consider.
If you ask a group of women about their menstrual cramps, you’ll get a variety of answers. Some women experience a twinge or two during the course of their periods, while others are nearly incapacitated. Regardless of individual experience, though, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, half of women experience at least 1-2 days of period pain each month.
Add cramps to menstruation-related fatigue and mood swings, and it’s not surprising women from time to time can be unfocused and irritable during periods– but what can we do about it? We can take pain medication or use hormonal birth control and hope for the best or, for a real solution, we can take our health into our own hands using homeopathic pain relief solutions.
For a more natural approach to managing menstrual pain, consider giving these six homeopathic pain relief remedies a try. It may not be what you’re craving, but some say it'll make you feel better than a box of chocolates.
Try These Homeopathic Pain Relief Solutions at Home
There’s nothing wrong with taking OTC medication or using birth control to manage menstrual pain, but why wouldn’t you start with natural solutions? Even hydrating, exercising, and using a heating pad can make a huge difference in the level of pain you experience each month. Combine these with healthy, diet-based changes, and it’s easy to see that doing what’s right for your body quickly translates into less pain and discomfort during your period.
At Pure Green, we believe that natural ingredients are their own cure for what ails us, and menstrual pain is no exception – it’s just a matter of treating your body with the respect it deserves. Because your body is under a high level of stress during menstruation, due to cramping, iron loss, and hormone fluctuations, it needs some special care. And that doesn’t mean eating a pint of ice cream and lying on the couch, even if that feels good at the moment.
When you pile on the sweet and salty snacks, you’re loading your body up with foods that are only going to increase inflammation; you’re feeding a craving, but not taking care of your body. When you feed it the highest quality ingredients and treat your body gently, on the other hand, which includes doing gentle exercise, you’ll begin to feel those cravings melt away. The problem is that many of us have lost our ability to listen to our bodies and interpret what they need. It’s time we get back to the source.