Natural menstrual pain remedies
I think it’s safe to say that most people know they can take an ibuprofen or Tylenol for menstrual pain and cramps. However, these pharmaceutical options overlook the many natural period pain remedies that are available. While some of them may not be available at your local pharmacy, they do not contain the side effects and precautions many pills do.
Here are natural cramp and period pain remedies to consider:
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How can I relieve menstrual pain naturally?
Pain during and before menstruation can happen on many levels. It can be a light discomfort all the way up to debilitating pain. I’ve had days that are so bad I don’t want to move and other days that are completely cramp-free! While I do take the occasional ibuprofen, it doesn’t come without consequence. It irritates my stomach and is a blood thinner. Even though Tylenol doesn’t irritate my stomach, I worry about the side effects of acetaminophen on my liver and kidneys. Why can’t I use something without these side effects? I can! Luckily, there are many natural menstrual pain relief options available. Here are some to consider:
1. CBD Oil
CBD oil, also known as hemp oil, is a natural menstrual pain relief option. I’ve tried several brands and am currently using Plus CBD. What’s CBD oil? CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant. However, unlike marijuana, it doesn’t contain THC. CBD oil works with the same brain receptors in a different way to provide some of the benefits the plant has to offer without the high.
How do you take CBD oil? I personally like CBD oil drops that I simply eat and CBD oil balm that I rub right over my uterus. You can also vape CBD oil however, I have found that it irritates my throat and lungs (I’m asthmatic). I also like the CBD oil for tension headaches and neck pain. With the balm, I rub it right on my temples and neck for relief and edibles seem to be a fast way to get relief.
2. Switching to reusable menstrual products
Not long after I first switched to reusable menstrual products including cloth pads and a menstrual cup, I got the very first pain-free period of my life! Usually, I have a good 2-3 days of solid cramping before my period starts, however, with reusable menstrual products, the cramping isn’t debilitating and doesn’t interfere with my life.
After this happened I started researching to find a link between disposable menstrual products and period pain. What did I find? I’m not the only one who has had this experience. While there aren’t any studies I could dig up, many menstruators have found that their period pain reduces and some even experience a lighter cycle! How? It’s speculated that the toxins in disposable period products are to blame.
Thinking of switching? Check out this great list of cloth pad and menstrual cup shops!
3. A TENs Unit
If you have had a TENs unit, chances are it was prescribed by a therapist for pain. What’s a TENs unit? The battery-powered device has electrode patches that get strategically placed on your skin to relieve pain. When you turn it on, you should feel a tingling sensation. If turned up too high it can often cause a muscle contraction. This unit stimulates the body to produce it’s own natural painkillers and can be placed anywhere on the body. To confuse pain signals going to the brain some persons place the device right over the painful area.
Recently, a company came out with a unit specifically for menstrual pain called the Livia. However, I won’t be trading in my inexpensive $30 4-lead TENs unit for this $158 2-lead TENs device. The one I have serves the same purpose and I also use it on other areas of my body like my neck and shoulders for tension pain.
Yoga for menstrual pain? Yes, Yoga. Like the TENs unit, exercise is well known to release the body’s natural painkillers. Have you ever heard of a runner’s high? Yoga can help release these chemicals while also providing a slow stretch to sore muscles, strengthen your core, reduce tension and help promote relaxation. Plus, some poses are specifically known to relieve menstrual pain and promote overall wellness.
Exercise helps release the body’s own natural painkillers. Whether you prefer running, lifting weights, pilates, dancing, kickboxing…literally anything that gets you moving can release these endorphins. The release of endorphins is well known to relieve pain and boost your mood! (1)
While you may not feel like moving during your menstrual cycle, taking a brisk walk or participating in some seated activities may be just what your body needs. Don’t want to bleed while you’re running? There are brands that make menstrual cups for exercising! They are firmer and less likely to bend and fold while you’re moving your pelvic floor around. I personally use my lunette 2 for running and summer swimming with my kids.
6. Eat Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is a well known period craving for many. I personally get a killer craving for a brownie on day 2 or 3 of my cycle! There is a local health food shop that makes these amazing dark chocolate vegan brownies that are amazing. I had to bee-line there the other day just to get one. While I may be hungry for a brownie, I should be reaching for a dark chocolate bar. Dark chocolate has been shown to reduce stress hormones and improve mood! In a study, participants ate 1.4 oz of dark chocolate daily and persons with high anxiety levels had decreased stress hormones with dark chocolate! (2)
7. Amber Jewelry
Have you heard of amber teething jewelry for babies and toddlers? The same benefits can be applied to adults! How does amber jewelry work? When authentic amber warms on your skin, it’s reported to release a natural substance, succinic acid, that helps relieve pain. Does it work? Some say yes and others say no. Perhaps it does release this succinic acid or perhaps it’s the power of the mind. Either way, if it works for you…great! If not, it’s attractive jewelry!
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