Beyond the medicine cabinet: Natural remedies for period pain
Period cramps can be a pain in the…abdomen, but sharing ways to ease symptoms is one of our favorite things to do. If you want to close the medicine cabinet and explore natural remedies, we have a few ideas you can try.
Cut down on fat, sugar, salt, and caffeine. If you’re thinking, “But that’s all I eat when I have my period,” we feel you. This one may not be easy, but it can significantly help you avoid that bloated feeling. Try eating complex carbs or calcium-rich foods such as whole grains, beans, salmon, and spinach.
Hit the gym. Exercise releases endorphins, which act as a natural pain killer and mood-booster! Try a gentle yoga class or throw on your headphones and use a treadmill, elliptical, or bike for a more rigorous workout.
Drink more warm water. Cold water can worsen stomach cramps, but warm or hot water increases blood flow and helps relax cramped muscles. To find out how many ounces of water you should be drinking daily, multiply your body weight by 67 percent. Free apps like iDrated, Waterlogged, and Daily Water are great ways to stay on track.
Experiment with essential oils. You can use essential oils with a diffuser or by gently massaging them into your abdomen. The oils known to alleviate menstrual discomfort are lavender, clary sage, jasmine, ylang-ylang, bergamot, neroli, geranium, and majoram.
Eat magnesium-rich foods. Try eating more dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens), nuts and seeds, fish, soybeans, avocado, bananas, and best of all, dark chocolate! Depending on the severity of your cramps, a magnesium supplement may be helpful, but always consult your provider before taking any medications.
P.S. If your periods interfere with your ability to live your life, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to your health care provider about your options.
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