How to deal with period cramps? Can you get rid of period cramps fast naturally without using synthetic medications?
Is relieving period cramps with natural home remedies real? What’s the root cause and long term solutions to stop period cramps for good? This is what I’ll address in this post.
Why Are Period Cramps Painful?
Painful periods that occur even when the reproductive system is relatively healthy is called primary dysmenorrhea. It’s is usually caused by prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that are responsible for uterine contractions (when the uterus is expelling its inner lining). The higher the level of prostaglandins, the more severe the menstrual pain.
If you’re experiencing unbearable period pain that tends to increase with time or excessively long and heavy periods, then you might have the second type of dysmenorrhea. Which is usually caused by abnormal hormones or uterine issues (underlining pelvic diseases). In this case you need a specialist.
How To Get Rid Of Period Cramps Fast Naturally
In general pain and discomfort are not normal for your body. It is always an indication that something deep inside is not right. Your body is sending messages through pain to get your attention.
And what the most of us do? We reach for anti-inflammatory drugs just to cover the symptoms, not even knowing that these drugs come with serious side effects and don’t address the cause.
I was one of those women, I took the common conventional treatments for painful periods – birth control pills and ibuprofen. The painkillers were my best friends when I struggled with crippling cramps during my teens.
Being on pill for several years helped a lot in reducing the symptoms. But once I’ve decided that I don’t want artificial hormones circulate in my system anymore, my skin, cramping, bleeding and PMS got even worse than they were initially. I was experiencing severe hormonal disruption.
Until I discovered the real root cause of unbearable period pain (inflammation) which is often treatable with some lifestyle and diet changes, high quality supplements and natural home remedies. And more importantly, these remedies helped me get rid of menstrual cramps pains permanently!
Natural Home Remedies For Period Pain
You can definitely manage and stop period cramps fast without medicine! The pain relief drugs only block the inflammation rather than treating the cause of the inflammation. Fortunately there are a number of natural home remedies that helped me get rid of period cramps fast naturally which I’m going to address in a minute.
As for hormonal contraceptives, they provide only a temporary relief of PMS symptoms and period cramps but they may also have serious adverse side effects in the long run. This is also the last solution you may want to resort to.
After intensive research and experimentation I found that natural home remedies for relieving period cramps work better and gentler. The results can be seen fast, without any side effects and last for a long time.
These are my favorite, most effective and fast acting natural home remedies for period that work every time:
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Note: Everyone’s body is different so you may want to try and see which of these home remedies works best for you, sometimes only a tea can make a huge difference.
Relieving Period Cramps With Magnesium Oil
The use of magnesium for menstrual cramps is always a smart idea. Many women who struggle with PMS and painful periods are deficient in magnesium and usually the higher the estrogen or progesterone, the lower the magnesium level.
Best type of magnesium for menstrual cramps: Magnesium Oil.
Magnesium oil isn’t actually a oil, it’s consistency is more like salt water. By rubbing it on your skin, particularly your lower abdominal area, the magnesium is absorbed quickly (20 minutes) through the skin into your bloodstream bypassing the digestive system.
How to use: it is recommended to spray between 5 – 10 sprays around the body then massage the solution into the skin. Eight sprays provides approximately 100mg of magnesium (it depends on the brand).
Magnesium oil works fast by acting as an antispasmodic that relives the pain, accomplishing what pain medications typically cannot – simultaneously address the symptoms and causes of pain (magnesium deficiency).
A great product and brand that I specifically use is this magnesium oil. This is not a sponsored product, juts my personal experience.
While magnesium supplementation has been shown to be effective against menstrual cramps on its own, according to studies the severity of premenstrual syndrome can significantly decrease when combined with vitamin B6 supplements.
Magnesium also assists in the activation of vitamin D which in turn helps regulate calcium levels, and together were found to be beneficial for PMS and general health. So try to get regular sun exposure as well!
Best Herbal Teas For Menstrual Cramps
From personal experience every time I’m drinking herbal tea for menstrual cramps, the amount of pain diminished considerably within a couple of hours. So which tea helps menstrual cramps and how it works?
- Nettle Tea: nettle’s calcium and other phytocomponent content can significantly reduce the severity of menstrual cramps by lowering inflammation and even make your flow lighter. It cleanses the body of metabolic wastes through the kidneys and liver, also enhances the ability to process estrogen more effectively.
- Raspberry Leaf Tea: will help reduce the period cramps by both relaxing and toning the uterus. Red raspberry leaf is rich in vitamins and minerals, containing vitamins C, E, and A, a variety of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. It also contains essential trace minerals such as zinc, iron, chromium and manganese.
- Yarrow Tea: studies have found yarrow to be one of the best herbs to effectively minimize severity of dysmenorrhea and stop heavy periods. It’s anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions relieve inflammation and congestion of the uterus. It also has an extraordinary ability to stop heavy bleeding and improve circulation to the reproductive organs. Studies also found yarrow to be more effective than chamomile flowers. Note: do not use while nursing or pregnant. This plant is quite bitter so I prefer to combine it with other herbs: 1 part nettle, 1 part yarrow and 1 part raspberry leaves.
Related: Best Tea Blend For Period Cramps
Relieve Period Pain With Heat Packs
How does a heat pack help relieve period pain?
Heat applied to the pelvic area makes an excellent, immediate reliever for period pain. It works by increasing uterine blood flow thus providing relaxation for the smooth muscle of uterus.
Most drugstores carry heating pads – electric, chemical, and microwavable. This little heat pack is my savior each time I have unbearable period cramps.
I like that it has a very soothing herbal smell and is equipped with a belt which makes it easy to use and walk around the house. A hot shower also works fine if you don’t have access to a heating pad.
Relieving Period Cramps With Essential Oils
Anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic essential oils, rubbed on the lower abdomen are a very effective natural home remedy for menstrual cramps.
I have experienced best results with clary sage, juniper berry, roman chamomile and yarrow. And the most powerful essential oils for heavy periods – Frankincense and Helichrysum, both with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Dilute 5-6 drops of one (or a combination of 2-3) essential oils in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil or coconut oil and massage in a circular motion for 5 minutes 3 – 4 times a day. I usually make the mixture in advance.
I like to use coconut oil because it solidifies at low temperature and is easier to scoop with your fingers.
CBD Oil For Menstrual Cramps
CBD is a natural plant extract derived from Cannabis. This plant that is absolutely fantastic in cases of simple spasmodic dysmenorrhea, or painful contractions of the uterus. More and more women are reporting that CBD and THC products are the best tools they have for relieving period cramps .
The compounds found in cannabis – the cannabinoids – have been found very effective at suppressing both pain and inflammatory processes. Numerous randomized clinical trials have demonstrated safety and efficacy for the use of cannabis in central and peripheral neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer pain without side effects.
Why is cannabis so effective? The answer is in our Endocannabinoid System, which is a biological system full of cannabinoid receptors present in all our body including immune cells. When we use cannabis, the cannabinoids of the plant bind with the receptors in the body and help to promote homeostasis and thus balance our hormones and reduce pain all over out body.
How Do You Take Cannabis For Menstrual Cramps?
There’s the option to take cannabis orally, via inhalation, directly on the skin or via your birth canal by making suppositories.
The product I used personally is from Nu Leaf Naturals, and I’m 100% satisfied by it’s purity and it’s effectiveness, I take it orally – only 10 drops! It’s doesn’t have any other ingredients, and additives, just organic virgin hemp oil and full spectrum CBD oil (whole-plant extract). And if you do some research you’ll find out that this is the best from the best on the market right now.
Why Women Have Period Cramps?
Period cramping is caused by spasms and contractions in the uterus and pelvis (that work to eliminate the uterine lining and blood), and decreased blood circulation.
Usually women experience menstrual pain the first few days of menstruating. When the pain begins days before a woman’s period (or later after) accompanied by severe lower back pain, it’s best to see a doctor to determine whether you have an underlying condition like endometriosis, uterine fibroids or Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases. In this case, a pelvic exam and more tests are needed.
In most cases of PMS (premenstrual symptoms), heavy menstrual bleeding, irregular menstrual cycle, unbearable period pain including lower back pain are common symptoms of hormonal imbalance and thyroid gland malfunction. And most hormonal imbalances are a reflection of lifestyle over a long-period of time: months, years or even decades.
What Can Cause Hormonal Imbalances?
Hormone levels can be influenced by external and internal factors including stress, fluid changes in the body, vitamin and mineral levels, infections and environmental toxins. In these days we are exposed to more human-made chemical toxins than at any other time in the history of the human species.
- Stress (emotional or physical) – contributes to endocrine dysfunction, it releases cortisol hormone in the body which leads to a depletion of progesterone and thyroid hormones .
- Poor dietary habits – highly processed foods, soft drinks, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and saturated fats create inflammation and dysbiosis in the gut (imbalance of good and bad bacteria) which translates to constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and acid reflux. This inflammation suppresses the hypothalamus and pituitary gland which are controllers of the hormones . Inflammation due to allergies have the same effect.
- Nutritional imbalances – deficiencies of Calcium, Magnesium , Zinc, B Vitamins.
- Synthetic chemicals – when a foreign chemical enters the body it confuses our body’s natural hormones. They mimic hormones and keep the body from producing real hormones. Common sources of chemicals:
- Solvents, emulsifiers, adhesives (paint, nail polish, household cleaners, cosmetics, personal care products)
- Non Stick Cookware: including Teflon and silicone
- Hormonal birth control (pill, shot, ring, implant)
- Heavy metals
- Non-organic meats (animals raised with hormones to grow quicker)
- Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
- PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyl) from industrial waste.
- Liver congestion – when the liver is congested, it cannot break down excess hormones efficiently . As the major organ of internal detoxification, moderate liver problems create an excessive toxic load in the body. This toxic load can cause digestive upset, lymphatic swelling, headaches and fatigue. You can’t have a healthy endocrine system without a healthy liver.
- Thyroid conditions – hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, goiter, thyroid nodules etc.
Based on the assumption that you would want to solve the problem from the root and have long-lasting positive effects, then you need long-term solutions. For this you need to address hormonal imbalances and learn how to deal with period cramps without involving synthetic medication.
Here is how to get rid of period cramps for good naturally:
How To Deal With Period Cramps And PMS (Long Term Solutions)
- CHANGE YOUR DIET: Avoid white sugar, processed white flours, so called “low fat” processed foods, artificial colors and additives.
- Include healthy fats (coconut oil, flax seed oil, olive oil, hemp oil, avocado) in order to absorb the fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K.
- Reduce eating too much soy or grain based foods (pasta, bread). These foods can reduce the liver’s ability to detox excess estrogen.
- Eat real whole healing foods (predominantly plant based, add grass fed meats as a condiment).
- Zinc, B Vitamins and Magnesium are important nutrients which are needed for hormonal modulation, muscle relaxation (reducing production of stress hormones) and to decrease inflammation. Magnesium is also involved in processes that allow your body to produce estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and balance them. It works together with B6 to manufacture progesterone . B6 also promotes anti-inflammatory effects and assists with the healthy detoxification of estrogen. Vitamin B6 is high in yams, leafy green vegetables and legumes. Zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds, grass fed lamb and beef, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), nuts etc.
- Omega-3 oils . Flaxseed oil, hemp seed oil and fish oil contain omega 3 essential fatty acids, which acts on the inflammatory pathways of Prostaglandins.
- Adaptogen herbs that are adapting their functions to your body’s needs, herbs should be used in small dosages over long periods of time (3 months, up to a year) to gently correct imbalances:
- Wild Yam – enhances estradiol hormone binding to estrogen receptors and induces transcription activity in estrogen responsive cells thus regulating the production of estrogen. Wild Yam (good source of B6 and C Vitamins) is also often prescribed by herbalists to relieve menstrual cramps and chronic pelvic pain due to its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. For me it showed great results when used combination with magnesium supplementation.
- Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus). It was shown to contribute to the treatment of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), alleviation of pain and infertility disorders . Chasteberry has also been shown to have hormone modulating properties in vitro. It helps balance out the ratio of progesterone to estrogen, slightly raising the levels of progesterone.
- Ashwaganda – has shown impressive results in lowering cortisol levels and balancing thyroid hormones  (great for under-active thyroid). It also has neuroprotective, anti-anxiety, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai). Is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote blood circulation and treat menstrual disorders like dysmenorrhea. It’s bioactive component – Z-ligustilide inhibits the contraction of uterus and improves microcirculation. It also has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects that contribute to the mechanisms of relief of menstrual symptoms .
- Liver herbs and foods– such as Dandelion, Schizandra, Milk Thistle are beneficial to support the liver in order to process hormones adequately. Include beets in your diet (beet smoothies or beet juice helps detoxify the liver).
- Spend at least 30 minutes outside each day if possible. The sun is important for vitamin D which is critical for mineral absorption. The body uses magnesium to convert vitamin D into its active form (needed for proper calcium absorption).
- Calcium – calcium and magnesium are closely related minerals in therms of their assimilation. Calcium cannot be absorbed without a proper balance of magnesium, when calcium intakes are higher than magnesium intakes, then magnesium deficiencies develop. So taking calcium supplements in pill form is not necessary, abundant levels of calcium can be found in foods, instead focus on magnesium supplementation.
- Eliminate foods that causes intolerances and allergies.
- Eliminate caffeine and drink plenty of water or infused water (6-8 glasses a day).
- Must include vitamin D3 in your diet if you live in a colder climate where sunlight is reduced.
- Increase consumption of leafy greens – they have B vitamins, fiber and minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron.
There is no magic pill and healing will not happen overnight. Be patient, be consistent and healing will follow through.
It’s important to find a balance that works for you. I personally experienced great results with: Chasteberry in combination with magnesium oil, a healthy whole food organic diet, green smoothies (with dandelion greens) or beet juice. The use of essential oils locally and drinking herbal teas mentioned above (during menstrual days) also helped – these actually work the fastest for relieving period cramps.
If you tried any of these or other natural remedies for menstrual cramps, I would love to hear about your results in the comments below.
The content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Speak to a doctor if you have severe symptoms and make further investigations into why you are experiencing severe menstrual cramps. Tests are of benefit to find the cause behind your symptoms.