Natural PMS Relief
As a woman you have probably googled how to get rid of cramps before! But do you know there are natural PMS relief methods to get rid of period pain before you hit up that Ibuprofen or Aleve?
In fact taking nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can cause kidney problems, constipation, ringing in your ears, dizziness, heart burn, stomach pain, etc. to name a few!
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As a former sufferer of endometriosis, I shudder to think how many Aleve, Tylenol, and aspirin I downed in my desperate attempt to escape from the pain tearing my insides apart!
When I would go to the doctors for help, they only prescribed STRONGER medication like hydrocodone. Now I have kidney problems and I do my best to avoid urinary tract infections. Coincidence? I think not!
Do you or you kiddo have frequent UTI’s or do you have one NOW? Check out my post on the most commons signs of UTI and natural ways to relieve UTIs in women and children!
Tips for Period Pain Relief
Here are some natural ways to relieve period pain that I have discovered or used over the years. Try them and see, they just might work for you!
So, you might shudder at the thought of eating all veggies, but you might want to try sticking to the green stuff when on your period! Endotoxins in meat and dairy products produce inflammation in the body.
This is the opposite of the pain and inflammation we are trying to stay away from on your period! Instead try getting your fats via healthier means by eating fish, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, etc.
Greens contains a lot of healthy protein and amino acids that you need. They naturally help to reduce inflammation and restore your gut health.
J.J. Smith developed a green smoothie cleanse that I am a huge fan of. Her green smoothie recipes are the best I have ever tried.
Check out this post to learn more about the benefits of green smoothies and how to get your hands on some delicious recipes!
Cramp bark is such a great name as it is exactly what it can be used for! Cramp bark containsw methyl salicyclate which helps to relieve your period pain and reduce inflammation.
Often when you are on your period you have problem with bloating. Cramp bark helps to reduce fluid retention and bloating.
A study done in 2010 also showed that people who were treated with the berry extract found significant endometriosis improvement.
It may also interest you to know that cramp bark has been used to prevent miscarriages and is the herb of choice by United Kingdom herbalists.
You can buy cramp bark in many forms including capsules, tinctures, tea, and bulk. Cramp bark can be easily found online or at your favorite natural health food store.
I recommend this brand as one of my most trusted and favorite brands.
To 1 cup of water add 2 teaspoons of dried cramp bark, bring to a boil, and simmer for up to 15 minutes. You can drink this up to 3 times daily.
Please consult your doctor first if you are on blood pressure medication or using lithium. You should also avoid taking cramp bark if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Fennel & Ginger
Love licorice? Fennel is a bulbous plant with long stalks and feathery green leaves. The bottom looks like an onion and it is in the carrot family. If you have ever had a sip of fennel tea, you know fennel taste like a mixture of licorice and anise with a fragrant and aromatic taste.
Fennel is jam packed with good for you phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Fennel is jam packed with good for you phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins. In fact too many to mention, but here are some: Vitamin A, B-6, C, E, & K, iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and folate.
Fennel is also a natural estrogen source.
Fennel helps with cramps because it works by relaxing your muscles. The reason we experience pain with cramps is when our uterine muscles starts contracting in overtime. When that happens our blood flow is reduced to uterus and we experience pain.
Because fennels helps to relax your uterine muscles you may notice a slightly heavier blood flow.
If you feel as if you are bleeding too much or if you struggle with naturally heavier periods, 1/8 tsp. of ginger taken 3 times daily can help you to reduce your blood flow by half!
Think of fennel as nature’s ibuprofen.
Fennel extract was tested against mefenamic acid, which is in the same class as NSAIDs, and the results were phenomenal. Fennel gave participants relief from their period pain just as well as mefenami acid without the side effects!
In fact, the majority of women began the study in severe pain and ended up pain free after taking the fennel extract! Fennel also helps to relieve symptoms of nausea and weakness.
In another study comparing fennel extract and a placebo, 52% of the women reported the treatment as excellent with a significant reduction in pain within an hour.
Avoid taking fennel if you suffer from breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids which are hormone sensitive. For other conditions see here.
Ways to Take Fennel
For relief from period pain, you can use fennel essential oil and rub in on the bottom of your feet or on your stomach. Whatever fennel oil you use please be sure that it is organic like this one. You do not want to introduce unnecessary toxins into your body!
You can also add fennel very easily to your diet. As mentioned previously, the entire fennel plant is edible. Add the stalk to your homemade stock or as a delicious accompaniment to soups and stews. Slice fennel up with some onion, sautee the mixture and enjoy your tasty side dish. Fennel also adds a delicious kick to your usual sandwich toppings of tomatoes and lettuce! The leaves can also be used as an herbal seasoning.
Another favorite of mine is drinking fennel tea! You can purchase either the pure fennel tea or find it in many delicious combinations! This brand is the one I have sitting on my countertop. I love relaxing after a long day with a yummy, aromatic cup!
I also found this one that has fennel AND ginger, how cool is that!!!!
However, for fastest results, the fennel seed extract will probably work best. Drinking fennel and eating fennel are suggestions on how to get your body prepared for your time of the month and lessen the likelihood of period pain!
As a past chronic anemia suffer, I have long known how important iron is for your body to function properly. I also take iron pills whenever I experience weakness on my period! So it was no news when I read about a recent study that recomended foods rich in non-heme iron as a way to help PMS symptoms.
Serotonin, one of the feel good neutrotransmitters in your brain needs iron to be produced. Researchers found that women who ate plenty of non-heme rich foods were less likely to suffer from PMS symptoms. In fact taking 20 mg of non-heme iron daily reduces chances of suffering from PMS symptoms from 30-40%. Taking a recommended dose of zinc also seemed to help with PMS symptoms.
Non-heme rich food
Non-heme iron and heme iron are both present in meat. However, as mentioned above, you might want to stick to eating more veggies to help get rid of pain during your period. You can also get non-heme iron from nuts and seeds, beans, fruit, grains, eggs, and dairy.
Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains a whopping 7.2 mg of non-heme iron. Whenever I feel my iron levels dropping I often make homemade molasses cookies. Such a delicious way to get your iron! Cooked spinach is another great way at 6.4 mg of non-heme iron a cup! It’s important to cook the spinach as the oxalates in raw spinach blocks iron absorption. Beans and lentils such as soybeans, chickpeas, red and white beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, red, green, and yellow lentils, are all one of the higher source of non-heme iron.
Other sources of non-heme iron are broccoli, chickpea, firm tofu, tempeh, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, baked potato with skin, prune juice, dried apricots, cashews, almonds, and pistachios. This is not an exhaustive list but should give you a great start!
If you have problems with anemia, here is the gluten-free, vegan, and non-gmo iron I currently take. When trying to build your iron up it’s important to that you consume iron with Vitamin C as it helps with iron absorption. This supplement includes the Vitamin C for you so you don’t have to worry about this extra step plus it’s a safe supplement to take during menstruation.
Ladies, for years I suffered from horrific, doubled over, vomit inducing, endometriosis pain. And do you know what I thought helped my unbearable period pain? That’s right, I drank cup after cup of strong black tea laced with sugar! Little did I know sugar produces inflammation in the body and caffeine creates more cramps!!! Although it tasted great going down, the effects of the caffeine would generate more cramps and the vicious cycle would continue.
Avoid caffeine at all costs. If you must have coffee, switch to de-caf which has a much lower dose of caffeine. However, Amazon and your local health food stores have rows upon rows of delicious herbal teas which help rather than harm! Try peppermint, chamomile, spearmint, ginger, or fennel for starters or go for a delicious combination like the bedtime tea. Look at it this way, would you rather have coffee or cramps?
Natural PMS relief can be achieved in many ways such as a vegetarian diet, using cramp bark, taking fennel and ginger, avoiding caffeine, and making sure you are getting enough non-heme iron. You don’t have to suffer you can get rid of period pain fast and in natural ways! I hope this post helps you find the relief you are looking for. Please share what you do to help with menstrual cramps naturally!