When it comes to my body, I have one rule: try natural remedies first.
This one is for the ladies, we are such strong human beings. We go through a lot being female...we wear many hats, so why not let every month when Aunt Flo knocks we greet her with a smile 😊 Our monthly cycle does not have to be extremely painful, a painful cycle can be obsolete. Although I know some of us suffer from menstrual difficulties and other things, it is okay to be knowledgeable so that we can help each other and possibly find alternatives for ourselves or our friends. Before heading to your local pharmacy to pick up over-the-counter drugs, that may have adverse side effects, try natural remedies first that do good for your body. We're in this together! Literally... Let's get started..
As we all know, our menstral cycle is regulated by Hormones. The monthly fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone (and other hormones like FSH and LH) largely controls a woman’s cycle. There are theories that these hormones can interact with certain brain chemicals, creating real symptoms during these times.
Optimally, when these hormones are in balance and working correctly, the fluctuation of hormones may cause little to no discomfort or symptoms. On the other hand, if these hormones are out of balance, a variety of symptoms may occur.
Transparent moment: I am a true testament that these remedies that I mention below work. In the past, I would be the first one to pop an ibuprofen for a headache or head to the doctor at the first signs of a cold. I didn’t really care how it was relieved, I just wanted whatever was going on to stop. The same was true around that time of month— cramps.. I just wanted them to stop. The pain would leave me bedridden, unable to move, so much pressure my legs would go numb. It even got to the point where I would take ibuprofen the day before my period was supposed to come on just so I wouldn't feel a thing. I felt alone and misunderstood, I thought to myself...there has got to be a way out.
here is what i found
#1. The Diet Change
Going plant-based with my diet has changed the severity of my cramps significantly. I can actually go through my day without resorting to taking painkillers every 3 hours because I'm crippled with pain, I'm no longer nauseous or feel super fatigued. Not only did changing my diet reduce the severity of my menstrual pains, but also it reduced the length of my cycle from 5-7 days to 3-4. If anything, that alone made me continue a plant-based diet. I understand being plant-based isn't for everyone, so I'll share other things I did prior to becoming a non-dairy Veggie. At minimum, try staying away from inflammatory foods that will exacerbate the pain during your cycle, ie. alcohol, processed foods, dairy, etc. but that's a topic for another post 🥰.
#2 Coconut Oil with Essential Oils
This one may seem odd at first but if you give it a try I promise you will never go back to pharmaceuticals. Mix coconut oil (a carrier oil) with essential oils for cramps. Rub it onto your lower abdomen, back, or neck and shoulders for tension. Try this on freshly showered skin (or just lay a warm rag on your skin first to open your pores). This is the most direct route. Essential oils are beneficial when massaged into the part of your body that is achy.
#3. Chamomile Tea
Herbal teas, specifically chamomile, are not only tasty and soothing, but also good for cramp prevention. It is an anti-inflammatory and an antispasmodic so it will reduce cramping and pain. A study released by the American Chemical Society discovered that drinking chamomile tea increases the production of glycine, an amino acid that reduces muscle spasms.
#4. Heat Heat Heat!
Warm showers/baths, heating pads, hot oil massages, warm hugs, warm everything. Heat naturally relaxes muscles and acts as a soothing agent for cramps. It can be coupled with everything listed above to make the soothing properties even stronger.
#5. Blackstrap Molasses
If you can, purchase a bottle of organic, unsulphured blackstrap molasses. It helps with heavy bleeding and excessive cramping due to its high concentration of iron, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins. It is a fast acting remedy for irregular and painful menses. Recommended dose is 1 tbsp/day about 5 days before the start of your cycle.
#6. 100% Organic Cotton is your best friend
Pure, cotton tampons and pads are much better for your vagina and health. I've heard friends complain about tampons worsening their cramps or even making them nauseous. Switching to a better quality tampon or pad will help prevent that. Here are a few brands to try: Target brand , Cora Tampons and Pads , and many other Organic cotton tampon and pad brands you can find at your local health food stores. If you want to be even more green and eco-friendly try using a Diva Cup but that's also not for everyone. Lastly, cotton underwear during your cycle is not only comfortable and gentle on our vagina, but will also absorb any leakage that happens to “flo” through. Cotton undies are also super durable, which is much needed for Aunt Flo’s visit. 🌸
#7. Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry leaf tea has long been known to help prepare and strengthen a pregnant mother's womb for delivery of their child. What I've noticed is drinking raspberry leaf tea two days before my cycle and during my cycle has helped me tremendously with my menstrual cramps, mood swings, and overall energy levels. It has a mild taste somewhat like chamomile, but does so much good. Here are some pictures of the brand I use. The "Plant Story" explains it in a little more detail.
#7. Drink more water
This tip is often overlooked. Your uterus is a muscle, muscles need more hydration when they are being worked. As we know, during our cycle our uterus is working overtime to shed its layers. During pregnancy, our uterus works quadruple overtime or more. Which is why staying hydrated before, during, and after is always encouraged.
The effectiveness of each of these individual methods will vary by individual, but using all seven together may be your best bet; regardless, we can all survive Aunt Flo together! Leave a comment below if you have any experience with any of the remedies listed above. I would love to hear your stories!
Till next time,
Hello world! I am Chérie Jade, I am passionate about promoting a holistic lifestyle and encouraging preventative practices for day to day healthy living.