As many as 80% of women will undoubtedly experience period pain during their lifetime. Not only is this a shocking statistic, but at least 10% of these women will have pain severe enough to affect their daily lives.
Some women live on painkillers for a few days at a time each month, others battle with hot water bottle after hot water bottle to try to relieve their menstrual cramps.
But if you don't like painkillers and you're unsure of other options then there's no need to continue searching! You're in the right place to find out the best nine natural remedies for menstrual cramps.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Yes, you read that right!
There are certain foods that are known to have anti-inflammatory properties so eating more of these around that time of the month could help relieve your menstrual cramps. Much like a pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory tablet would!
So which foods should you be trying to eat more of?
Eating chia seeds, turmeric, chamomile tea, cinnamon and spirulina will help your body to reduce unwanted inflammation and ease the severity of your period pains.
2. Heat Therapy Does Work
We admit, making countless hot water bottles isn't ideal for being able to relax when you're suffering from menstrual cramps, never mind your electricity bill!
But heat therapy does work in easing the severity of your pain.
Consider purchasing a bean-filled heat bag that you can pop into the microwave to heat up, lie on your back with the heated bag on your tummy area and let the heat soothe you.
If you don't want to do that, you can place a cloth in hot water and place it on your lower abdominal area as well.
3. Using Essential Oils
Lavender oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil can all assist in giving you some relief when Aunt Flo visits each month.
By mixing a few drops together into a serum, you create a lotion with anti-inflammatory properties! Simply take the serum and massage it gently into your lower abdomen and lower back.
Peppermint oil is another essential oil that has pain-relieving properties and the instructions are just the same!
4. Bath in Epsom Salt
Buying a bag of Epsom salt could be the answer to solving your menstrual cramp problems.
Pour yourself a hot bath, and then mix in 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt, grab your favorite book and soak for as long as humanly possible.
Epsom salt, which is also called magnesium sulfate, has both pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties so when you lie in a hot bath that contains it, your body is able to absorb it through the skin and thereby relieving your period pain.
5. Omega-3 Supplements
Omega-3 is found in different fish such as sardines, mackerel, salmon, and even anchovies. But if you don't fancy going on a fish-only diet at that time of the month, then you can purchase fish-oil capsules or Omega-3 supplements over the counter in many drug stores and online.
This remedy is not likely to remove your period cramps entirely, however, women who take omega-3 supplements report experiencing far less stomach cramping. Not only that, but it is said that when the cramps do come they are much less painful and don't last for as long a time!
6. Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Many people with lifestyles focused on fitness are already familiar with magnesium and its positive properties. But now you know that it helps with menstrual cramps too.
You can increase your magnesium intake through a change in diet by including more nuts, whole-grain foods, seeds, and leafy green vegetables, all of which include high, natural levels of magnesium.
Or, you can purchase nutritional supplements specifically geared for increasing the level of magnesium in your body. Magnesium performs many tasks such as boosting muscle and nerve function, promoting a healthy heart rhythm, regulating blood sugar levels, and improving bone health.
7. Taking CBD Oil
Not sure what CBD oil is? CBD, also known as Cannabidiol is a natural compound found in cannabis, but fear not, this oil will not make you high.
CBD oil is known to have anti-inflammatory effects as well as promote pain relief, not only for period pain sufferers!
Ensure that when you purchase CBD oil though that you're buying from a reputed seller, look into other customer reviews or better yet, buy through an actual reference. Because the product can be quite pricey, you want something that isn't too diluted.
Just a few CBD drops will relieve your menstrual cramp pain, help to regulate your mood swings and assist in reducing breast tenderness as well. Find out more about it here.
8. Try Acupressure
Sounds almost like acupuncture, right? But it isn't.
Acupressure is a traditional healing form that is based on similar principles as acupuncture minus the needles.
The idea here is that by simply applying pressure to the right places you can relieve your menstrual cramp woes. How do you find the right spot?
Feel around your foot for the bony part of your inner ankle, from there, use your finger to draw a line up your lower calf, approximately 2 inches from your inner ankle. Just beside the shin bone.
With your strongest finger or even your thumb, gradually apply pressure to this area. Hold the pressure for at least three minutes. You can do this numerous times during the day to find some pain relief.
9. Meditation and Relaxation
Mental stress can increase the severity of your menstrual cramps, so one of the best ways to combat this is through focused meditation and relaxation. Best of all, it doesn't cost a cent!
Ensure that you're eating properly and getting enough rest during those rough days of the month. If you're feeling weak, take a seat and put your feet up. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
Simply learning to take time out during your period can mean that you'll likely be able to reduce the severity of your cramps if you're relaxed enough.
Moving Forward With Natural Remedies for Menstrual Cramps
Now that you've seen our comprehensive list of natural remedies for menstrual cramps, you're able to start your battle against the red!
Commit to trying one or two at a time, and give it at least two cycles to see if the remedy is working for you.
If after all of these, nothing is giving you pain relief, then it is advisable to seek medical advice.
Need more health advice specifically for women? Head on over to the women's health section of the blog to find some great content!