- Women's Health
How to Get Rid of Period Cramps
I’m sitting at my desk drinking passion flower tea. Last month I experienced some killer cramps and I was determined that this month would be different. I've done a few things to get rid of the cramps that inevitably come every month (unless you’re pregnant, but that’s a whole different story.) Let me share with you some of the recipes that have helped me learn how to get rid of cramps.
Drink passion flower tea
It relaxes the mind and muscles. This tea is often used as a spasmolytic, which means that it helps relieve the spasms of muscle, which is exactly what cramps are. This tea has really made a difference for the better. It has decreased my menstrual cramps immensely. I do cramp, but the cramps are so much lighter and shorter than before I started drinking this tea.
After I drink the passion flower tea, I feel a sense of calmness and my thoughts seem to align better. It reduces the stress and anxiety that usually come along with cramps, and the world just seems brighter!
Do you take painkillers for period cramps?
Stay away from caffeine
Although caffeine has some awesome benefits for the body, stay away from it during your period, and even a few days before it comes.
Caffeine is the opposite of the passion flower tea. Caffeine actually causes muscle spasms. Those are terrible news for your uterus, since it just means your cramps will get worse.
I go to the extremes and I stay away from anything that contains caffeine, which includes my beloved green tea.
There are other sources of caffeine that might surprise you. Here’s a few of them:
- Decaf coffee – Less caffeine than regular, but there’s still caffeine in it.
- Soda – even the decaf
- Ice cream
- Pain relievers – Some of my favorite brands contain caffeine as the main ingredient.
- Energy drinks
- Breath fresheners
Drink ginger tea
Here's a little known fact: ginger can compare to ibuprofen to alleviate pain! Wow! Of course, it is not ibuprofen, so it won't get rid of your pain as quickly, but if you drink plenty ginger tea before and during your period, it can work wonders.
Cut a ginger root in small pieces and boil them in water for 15 minutes. Remove the ginger pieces, and add sugar or honey to the remaining water.
Hot rice sock
If you don’t have a hot water bag and don’t feel like buying one you can just fill an old sock with raw rice and knot it. Place the sock with the rice in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds and voila! You now have a hot rice sock that can very well replace a hot water bag.
Stay away from salt
Salt causes you to bloat, and bloating increases menstrual cramps. Stay away from salt 72 hours before your period and continue until your period ends.
If you find it super hard to completely stay away from salt, at least decrease your consumption. Don’t eat salty snacks or processed foods.
So it turns out that potassium is really good to get rid of those annoying period cramps, so eat foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, plums and peaches.
When the body is low on potassium, the uterus muscles will begin contracting but they won't be able to relax, which is what causes that horrible, horrible pain that a lot of women are familiar with.
So start eating bananas and other foods high in potassium even before your period arrives. That way, when it does come, your body will be prepared to better tolerate it. And, of course, it also helps to keep consuming potassium during your period.
Drink apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar regulates clotting, which will make you period easier to "slide out" and thus cause less contractions. It will also relax your muscles to ease the pain of period cramps.
Some women also say that apple cider vinegar reduced the amount of blood lost during period and that it even made their periods shorter. Ooh-la-la! I want some of that goodness!
Here's how you can take apple cider vinegar to get rid of period cramps:
Dilute 2 tsps of ACV in water and drink once a day before your period arrives. You can also continue to drink this dilution during you period, and if the cramps are too intense, drink it every 5 hours.
How bad are your period cramps?
Hot water bag
This feels like heaven when you put it on your belly! Heat relaxes the uterus and helps it contract less. During my period I love to take long, hot showers and just let the hot water run on my belly. After the shower, if the pain continues, I just use my hot water bag and leave it on for as long as I want. You can also sleep with it on you and you will feel way more relaxed.
Get some cinnamon
Cinnamon is also great because, much like passion flower tea, it relieves muscle spasms and alleviates bloating, which happens a lot during those hated days.
You can either boil some cinammon twigs in water and drink the liquid, or boil water and add cinnamon powder. I prefer to boil the twigs because it tastes better, but that's just my taste.
Stay away from foods rich in saturated fats
These types of fats increase the negative effect of estrogen, which increases the pain and cramps experienced during PMS.
Exercise definitely gets rid of cramps, but during my period I usually don’t feel like exercising, especially if I’m cramping. So exercise a few days before your period arrives and you will feel the difference.
You don’t have to do any heavy exercising during your period. Just get up for a small little walk or walk around your house.
Wear comfortable clothes
During my period I can’t even stand the sight of skinny jeans. I wear sweat pants all day long (or very comfortable pants if I have no choice). Feeling comfortable is super important to prevent stress which only leads to increased pain.
Do everything possible to relax. Classical music does the trick for me. Put on your favorite relaxing music, lay down, close your eyes and kiss those cramps good-bye.
Periods are never fun, but I hope that this list will help you know how to get rid of cramps, and make your life a little easier.