Women got the short end of the stick when it comes to a lot of reproductive matters. The monthly visit from “Aunt Flow” is no exception. Changes in temperament, period pain levels and perception, cravings and more- can make life tough. A plethora of lab-made and pharmacy-distributed medicine options are available to help keep the body in check. Before you head to the drugstore consider natural options for period pain and discomfort as well as other monthly female issues.
Why Periods Suck
The majority of physical and emotional symptoms between ovulation and period stem from imbalances caused by a change in levels of estrogen, progesterone and other hormones. Consequently, these temporary changes alter levels of pain tolerance, water retention, foster a lack of sleep and bring on the blues.
Monthly aches and irritation for women have been present since nearly the dawn of mankind. Through the ages, researchers and distraught husbands fearing for their lives, have made a few discoveries on their quest for ways to ease pain and discomfort associated with periods. Here are 10 natural options for period pain and discomfort along with a multitude of other female concerns.
Maca is a member of the broccoli family, high in minerals and essential fatty acids. It is native to central Peru. Maca boosts hormone production amongst other things. This boost regulates signals to the brain. Glands produce the hormones the body needs when regulated.
Hormone imbalances are a key factor in monthly symptoms for women. Increased fertility, energy and athletic performance are associated with Maca. The vegetable is administered orally in the form of powder or capsules.
The human body contains its own endocannabinoid system. This system assists in regulation of other systems such as the nervous, immune, digestive and endocrine systems. All of these areas have an effect on the body’s various responses, including a boost happiness and decrease of the blues.
CBD is the non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid of Cannabis sativa, and the subject of a number of studies for various health benefits. CBD is available in an oil form, added to edible items, or topically used for certain benefits.
3. Lemon Balm
A compound contained in lemon balm increases the brian’s level of neurotransmitters which reduce all those unpleasant digestive issues. This leaves you feeling better both physically and emotionally. Lemon balm also provides mild sedation for more restful sleep.
It is a perennial herb from the mint family and is cooked into food and added to salad in its original form, or made into tinctures, essential oil or one of many teas which serve as natural options for period pain and discomfort.
Studies show that many women experiencing difficulties during and prior to their monthly cycles have a magnesium deficiency. A number of women’s health issues link to deficiencies of this mineral.
Magnesium can be obtained from eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole-grains. Recommendations for Women between the ages of 19 and 30 are to take 310 milligrams daily, and 320 for women over 30 years old.
Chasteberry is a traditional remedy grown in temperate climates and is native to the Eastern Mediterranean. It is a fruit that resembles peppercorn. The wives of Greek soldiers believed it to help them remain fertile while their husbands were in battle.
On a scientific level, chasteberry effects the release of a hormone called Prolactin from the pituitary gland. This helps to regulate hormones. Chasteberry is available in the form of liquid, capsule or powder.
This herb “gladdens the heart.” The saying pertains not only to a more positive outlook on life, but also to actual heart health. Mother’s Wort was named because of its prevalent use for easing the anxiety of pregnant women. It is said to help start delayed periods or even delayed childbirth. Likewise, Motherwort is shown to help even out irregular heart beats, especially those caused by stress or anxiety. This herb is applied topically to the abdomen, used to make tea or administered as a tincture or capsule.
7. Cramp Bark
The name says it all for this one. Cramp bark is used to alleviate muscle spasms, even uterus and ovarian cramps . It is often made into a tea. Native Americans used cramp bark as a diuretic for uncomfortable fluid retention from monthly cycles. Furthermore, in 1894 cramp bark was added by the U.S. Pharmacopeia as a botanical for fluid retention and period pain.
8. Activated Charcoal
This is not the stuff you use on the barbeque grill! A monthly detox with activated charcoal the week prior to menstruation may help to clear out extra toxins that could add to cramping.
Activated charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positive change toxins and gas to bond to it. The recommended dose for activated charcoal is two capsules daily the week prior. Remember to drink lots of water when taking any sort of cleanse. Activated charcoal comes as a powder or in capsules.
9. Red Raspberry Leaf
As the name implies, red raspberry leaf is from the leaves of raspberries. This substance serves as a uterine relaxant and is high in magnesium. Therefore, less uterine cramps may be noted. Red raspberry leaf is consumed internally in the form of a tea or applied topically to the abdomen. Many teas contain caffeine which can increase cramps. Because red raspberry leaf tea is caffeine free it is probably an ideal choice.
10. Vitamin D/ Calcium
Calcium and Vitamin D work hand in hand to alleviate cramps, pain, fatigue and mood swings. As a result of the body lacking sufficient levels of vitamin D, calcium cannot be absorbed. Vitamin D is also important for magnesium absorption.
Numerous studies across the globe have associated higher levels of vitamin D and calcium with lower physical and emotional symptoms between ovulation and periods. Both vitamin D and calcium are available as supplements while also found in food. Milk is known to be high in calcium and vitamin D.
Choosing Natural Options for Period Pain and Discomfort That Work for You
Educate yourself before choosing natural options for period pain and discomfort. Determine what is best for you. It is always a good idea to let you doctor know about any supplements you are taking. This is especially true if you are being treated for any other conditions. Supplements also includes those which are “natural” and do not require a prescription.
If all else fails try:
- Glass of wine
- Warm bath
- Good book.
And someone should bring you flowers. Seriously, you deserve them.