Menstrual Cramps are vaginal bleeding that happens as part of a woman’s monthly hormonal cycle. The working of a woman’s body is different from that of a man. Every month, a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy, and if no such activity occurs, then the female’s uterus sheds its inner lining and disposes of blood and aged tissue. This monthly cycle causes hormonal changes and adds physical hindrances like pain, mood swings, and loss of appetite.
The human body undergoes many cycles of changes and hormonal shifts. Naturally, our body functions in a particular manner to keep track of what we require and do not. Maintaining an ideal and healthy body allows us to stay free from infections and diseases while living a happy life.
Menstrual cramps are throbbing, aching cramps you get in your lower belly just before and during your period. They’re some of the most common, annoying parts of your period. They can strike right before or during that time of the month. Many women get them routinely. Cramps can range from mild to severe.
Cause of Period Pain
There are multiple reasons why women face period pain.
- PMS – Premenstrual syndrome occurs in about 90% of women. PMS starts a few days before the cycle and continues until the 2nd day of the process. Estrogen and progesterone levels drop, leading to fatigue, irritation, and menstrual cramps.
- PMDD – Premenstrual dysphoric disorder occurs in about 5% of women and is a very severe case of PMS. The symptoms are similar to what women face during PMS but much worse. Women face high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain with increased menstrual cramps.
- Fibroids – Uterine fibroids are non-harmful growths that exist in the uterine lining. They are small and cannot be seen with the naked eye. Some are big enough to change the shape of the uterus. Fibroids are expected during the period of childbearing and cause heavy menstruation and cramps.
- Ovarian Cysts – Cysts are large harmless sacs of fluid that form inside or on the body. Small cysts are natural and occur in every cycle; however, some women have large cysts in their ovarian lining that can cause acute pain and other complications. It is advisable to get medical treatment during those cases.
- Endometriosis – The endometrium (uterine lining) grows inside the uterus. In some cases, it grows outside the uterus and in other organs such as the ovary or fallopian tube. During menstruation, the endometrium gets trapped and cannot be excreted, which causes heavy bleeding, cramps, and inflammation.
Herbs that Reduce Menstrual Cramps
- Ginger – Ginger is readily available in markets and is used in various dishes and herbal remedies to treat pain. The spice used in ginger is used to treat menstrual pain caused by excess production of prostaglandins. Eating ginger or infusing it into dishes reduces secretion and menstrual cramps. Prostaglandins help the uterus contract during a period cycle and shed its lining. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that warm the body and relieve acute pain. Ginger is effective when taken before the menstrual cycle and reduces the duration of cramps. Ginger also helps to reduce inflammation and nausea.
- Fennel – Fennel contains anti-inflammatory properties along with anethole. It helps to relax uterine muscles and stop them from cramping up. Fennel seeds mixed with boiling water and honey are a preparation that is consumed three times a day to reduce menstrual pain. Fennel has been used for centuries and is an ancient herb known for its diverse effects. It is a warming herb that creeps into the uterine wall lining and stagnates the inflammation and cramping. The fennel causes a cold sensation in the uterus that stops blood flow and stops muscles from cramping up.
- Angelica Sinensis (Dang Gui) is used in herbal gynecology because of its effects on reproductive health. The herb is considered a blood mover and nourisher. Due to its antiplatelet effect, the herb enables smooth blood flow, which is required during menstruation. Blood is circulated before the period to smoothen flow and thereby decrease cramps. Post the period cycle, and the herb also helps to rejuvenate the body and rebuild lost blood. Dang Gui is used to relaxing the uterus when the muscles inside start to cramp. Blood stagnation is one of the main reasons for muscle cramping and pain.
- CBD – CBD oil is beneficial for pain relief and anxiety. Due to its natural properties, CBD interacts with the body and helps to balance bodily functions by removing stress and tension. Many people use cannabis flower to decrease anxiety and stress. These are common reactions for women on their menstrual cycle who continuously experience hormonal changes and mood fluctuations. CBD helps to calm the body down and bring it to a state of relaxation.
The many variants of CBD help to soothe the nerves and relieve the body of added stress during menstrual cycles without any side effects or unwanted symptoms.
- Parsley – This herb is available everywhere and used in various dishes as a condiment or topping. Parsley contains calcium, vitamin B, and iron. Parsley cleans the system and flushes out any unwanted waste. Parsley provides relief to women that suffer from water retention and bloating during period cycles. Parsley contains vast amounts of magnesium that have pain-relieving properties. The herb provides pain relief to women who suffer from bad menstrual cramps.
- Cinnamon – Although not traditionally a herb, cinnamon is readily available everywhere and used so often in cooking. Doctors commonly recommend cinnamon as a remedy for menstrual cramps and excessive bleeding. Taking 6-5 teaspoons of cinnamon with coffee or food can reduce acute pain during menstrual cycles.
Numerous herbs help in reducing menstrual pain and cramps. These herbs are affordable and available in multiple places, making them easy to purchase and use. There are also herbs such as Fructus gardenia, white peony, and safflower used in traditional Chinese herbal remedies. Light physical exercise and massages with essential oils help reduce pain and are another alternative that can be employed.
Menstruation occurs every month for a female between the age of 12 up to menopause. These herbs are valuable remedies that decrease menstrual cramps. They were used for decades and had no side effects. All people can use such easy treatments to reduce cramps and have a smooth cycle.