Keeping it real & personal in this post simply because us girls need to stick together and survive during that time of the month. If you’re not ready for the girl chit chat, I suggest skipping to the next blog post and I won’t be offended 🙂 but since I got so many suggestions from you all regarding how to help control symptoms, I figured I would share!
I recently experienced the most debilitating period cramps of my life. So much so that I felt nauseous from the pain and ended up getting sick/throwing up. After about two hours, the symptoms passed and I was able to get back to sleep for a few hours. I shared on Instagram stories the following day (my favorite & best way to crowdsource valuable info, fyi) and some of you thought it could’ve been a ruptured ovarian cyst, some thought stress amplified my usual symptoms… whatever the cause may be, I will now hopefully be prepared if it were to happen again thanks to your helpful tips!
Read below for all the natural (maybe a few unnatural) remedies for painful menstrual cramps. If you have any more additional ideas for ways to reduce / eliminate symptoms, drop them in the comments at the bottom of this post! 🙂
– goji berry tea (Asian remedy): soak 2 tbsp goji berries in boiling hot water. No need to add sugar, they’re naturally sweet! If you do prefer a sweetener, a touch of honey works great– my favorite is Wedderspoonn Manuka honey.
– red raspberry leaf tea to reduce cramps + length of period (Traditional Medicinals or Yogi tea makes a moon cycle tea with red raspberry leaf in it) / *also make sure it’s Leaf and not just red raspberry
– “your tea” fertility tea: helps to regulate hormones, not just for fertility!
– chocolate hormone balancing elixir: I made this during my most recent slew of negative symptoms and loved it! It felt so comforting and was filled with several great hormone-balancing ingredients. Get the recipe here.
– clary sage essential oil massaged into lower abdomen: *SO many recommendations on this one!!
– lavender or peppermint oil massaged into lower abdomen: good brands include doTERRA, Young Living, Mountain Rose Herbs and I just recently bought Dr. Axe’s Ancient Apothecary brand of organic oils
– CBD salve (by Rosebud/Lauren’s All Purpose), CBD oil. I have this one and really like it!
Supplements / Diet:
– vitex chasteberry: start taking 2 weeks before your period starts to lessen symptoms. I like this brand.
– magnesium supplements: recommendation to take once a day, but two a day from ovulation (day 14) through when you start your period. This is a great brand!
– ceylon cinnamon: incorporate in a warm, nightly tonic. try my hormone balancing elixir!
– Advil/ibuprofen/motrin: I haven’t used over the counter medications in years ever since trying to heal using holistic remedies instead, but these are definitely a last resort type of deal
– more strict with little to no added sugar to your diet before/during menstruation. Try my 7-day added sugar detox!
– little to no caffeine
– excess H2O!!
– sip water through a straw to help with nausea
– maca root supplement to help balance hormone levels. More info on maca here!
– stick to nourishing foods/beverages like soups or sipping on bone broth
– for some, it can be as simple as reducing gluten, dairy, sugar, soy from their diet
– omega 3s: either through fatty fish, or supplemental forms, omegas help with bloating, breakouts, and depression/anxiety that can come with PMS
– heating pad on lower belly and potentially a second on lower back
– abdominal massage: It may not sound comfortable to do at the time, but it can help relax the muscles
– deep breathing techniques: try this or this
– a warm/hot bath, although it may not sound doable at the time, it can help! Focus on deep breathing
– yoga poses: although it sounded horrible to think about doing while in pain, I tried cobra pose and it actually helped subside my symptoms slightly / help to stretch the muscles
– moxa heat packs: found on amazon
– see an acupuncturist: acupuncture helps calm the nervous system and causes the blood vessels to dilate, increasing the flow of blood. Well-nourished ovaries function more efficiently. More info here!
– epsom salts: not only is this super relaxing, but the magnesium in epsom salts is so good for cramps
– more sleep! Take a nap if you need to. Your body is working harder during your period, so if its asking for rest, listen!
– try a sauna: the heat feels great, can hep your period cramps, and can help to increase your blood flow. Also helps with detoxification of excess estrogen
Other tips to note:
– Oftentimes cramps are a result of blood clotting; blood not being able to pass through smoothly. Keeping your body warm can help to avoid, & in order to do that, try to refrain from cold beverages, smoothies, ice cream, etc.
– Listen to your body! There’s something to be said about taking a break from exercise the first 1-2 days on your period, especially if you’re feeling a dip in your energy, are fatigued, feeling off-balance, etc.