Menstrual cramps are a painful herald of the monthly menstrual cycle. While some women experience less cramping than others, and the severity of cramps can vary from month to month, any cramping is unpleasant and uncomfortable.
Since some common cramping medication like acetaminophen can have dangerous side effects, it’s better to try natural cures. As usual, nature’s cure doesn’t cause any side effects — just relief. Here are 5 menstrual cramp cures every woman should know.
Even though water retention may be one of the painful side effects for some women on their periods, drinking water actually helps you avoid many menstrual pains. Even bloating and water retention are avoided through drinking water!
If you’re having cramps, warm or hot water works best as it increases blood flow to the skin, helping relax cramped muscles. Have a tall glass when you begin to feel pain.
Not everyone is a big fan of water, but fortunately nature has an answer. Water-based foods can also keep you hydrated and reduce cramping, including watermelon, cucumbers, celery, lettuce and certain berries.
Using ginger isn’t just a folk cure for menstrual cramping: it’s a scientifically proven remedy. The University of Maryland Medical Center says ginger can be used to treat painful menstrual periods as well as pregnancy-related sickness. Eat some ginger or even drink some natural ginger ale to help calm your stomach and soothe your cramps.
Whether you get it from dairy products, almonds, leafy greens, sesame seeds or some other source, calcium is a great way to reduce the pain of menstrual cramps. If you are between the ages of 19-50, you should have about 1000 milligrams of calcium every day.
Taking calcium as a supplement can have potential side effects such as kidney stones, so try to get as much calcium from your diet as possible. It’s better to get your minerals the natural way rather than relying on pills if you can!
With its high levels of carotene — as well as its cancer-fighting vitamin C — papaya makes a great fruit to fight cramping. In addition to easing menstrual cramps, papaya is low in calories, helps in digestion, is good for your skin and even contains iron and calcium. It’s a delicious, sweet way to feel better during your monthlies.
It’s been used to help with colds, allergies and even cancer, and now you can use it for cramps. Cinnamon acts as a great source of calcium, iron, dietary fiber and manganese, each of which help reduce the pains of menstruation. Plus, it tastes great!
Avoiding These Foods Helps With Menstrual Cramps
In addition to knowing the 5 cures above, every woman should know which foods can actually make cramping much worse. Since bloating and water retention make cramping much worse, you should try to stop bloating before it takes place. Avoid these foods to help prevent pain:
Carbonated drinks (which you shouldn’t be drinking anyway for many other reasons)
Alcohol (which causes bloating)
Fatty foods (which weigh you down and make you feel gross)
Caffeine (which increases tension — replace it with a ginger tea)
Even though monthly cramping is a part of life for some women, there are natural remedies you can try to ease the pain and even cure cramps. Try the cures above the next time you start your period.