Let’s be honest here, menstrual cramps are one of the worst things ever. You’re hanging around at home and suddenly this blinding pain renders you bed-ridden for several days. Sure, you could take some medication to curb the pain, but not everyone enjoys taking medication. Not only that but what happens if you’re out of meds? Are you going to run to the store with cramps? Probably not… You no longer need to worry about your period cramps, though! We’ve got a few natural remedies that will help end that pain in a pinch.
Break Out the Bottle
No, not that bottle — though it’s certainly tempting during this time of the month. We’re talking about the hot water bottle. Studies show that applying heat to your lower abdomen helps reduce the pain. Chances are we already have a hot water bottle lying around the house somewhere, so you should definitely take advantage of it when those pesky cramps hit.
Additionally, you don’t need to solely rely on your bottle. Even taking a hot shower can help loosen those muscles and do you a world of good. Sipping on hot drinks, like chamomile tea, can also help soften that pain.
(Try to) Hit the Gym
Working out sounds like the last thing on anyone’s mind when they have cramps, but it does work. If you notice that familiar rumble happening, it’s time to break out the exercise mat and get to work. There are lots of helpful yoga workouts you can do to help significantly reduce your pain. Healthline suggests engaging in some light yoga or pilates and even going for a walk. They add that the only thing you’ll want to try and avoid is excessive weight training.
Eat the Right Foods
Proper dieting plays a meaningful role during this time of the month. When you’re bogged down with cramps, the last thing you’ll want to do is eat salty foods or pound drinks. Remember that it’s important to stay hydrated during your period. So, when you eat salty foods, you’re actually dehydrating yourself and that’s a no-no.
What you want to do instead is focus on eating the right things. Things like brown rice, walnuts, chicken, and bananas can also do wonders for your pain. As we just mentioned, you’ll also want to stay hydrated, but that doesn’t only mean water. Indulge in some healthy snacks like cucumbers or watermelon to keep yourself on track.
Similarly, you can keep yourself hydrated with warm beverages like tea. Cinnamon and ginger tea have great benefits for anyone suffering from period cramps. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce pain while cinnamon can reduce your menstruation as well as curb symptoms of PMS. Raspberry tea has also been liked to reducing pain!
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Do the Deed
Wait a tick. We just said no workouts right? Well, if you didn’t know, hanky panky is actually pretty useful for ridding cramps. Not only that, but doing the do can help reduce stress, relieves headaches, and may actually contribute to shorter periods. As you can imagine, though, things can get a tad messy, so Medical News Today suggests using protection, hitting the shower, or laying down towels to prevent ruined sheets.
Pay Attention to Your Body
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that you need to pay attention to your body. Oftentimes, cramps are disregarded as nothing more than a regular period symptom. However, if your pain doesn’t respond to natural remedies or over-the-counter medication, it might be time to book an appointment. Additionally, if your pain only worsens throughout the week or if you notice a heavier flow, it’s time to check in with your doctor.
A common concern for many people is endometriosis ( Healthline describes this as “tissue similar to the tissue that forms the lining of your uterus grow[ing] outside of your uterine cavity.”) An underlying symptom of this condition is a painful period, which is why they’re not to be ignored. Heavy menstruation is also a warning sign, so be sure to monitor your cycle.
Period cramps are no fun, but they’re something we have to deal with on a regular basis. If you’re not the kind of person who enjoys OTC meds, hop on the natural remedies bandwagon and see which methods work best for you.