ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Midwife's Guide to Reducing Menstrual Cramps

Updated on March 25, 2012

Sharing my collection

Many of our modern food sources have been exposed to growth hormones, antibiotics and pesticides which play havoc with our own hormonal balances. Many women get relief by avoiding exposure to these chemicals by not eating foods most likely to have them or going "organic".

There is not a lot of scientific evidence to support the use of the supplements, herbs and other suggestions listed below. The evidence is the persistence of use of these treatments through the years and word of mouth of effectiveness. One of the most effective treatments for menstrual cramps is hormonal contraceptives, but some do not want to take them or can't.

I have collected this list of non-hormonal remedies and have passed them on to my patients for about 15 years and now will share them with you. As I tell my patients, I don't expect you to try this entire list at once. You may have to experiment to find which combination of recommendations will work for you. And as always, keep in mind that stress management and exercise are an important part of feeling well and keeping hormones balanced.

The List:

1. Stop dairy foods or change to organically produced dairy products. Ice cream, cottage cheese and yogurt are particularly guilty culprits.

2. Limit red meat and egg yolks to 2 times a week. Ideally use low fat cuts from organically raised sources.

3. Avoid refined carbohydrates like cookies, cakes, chips and crackers.

4. Increase intake of essential fatty acids like sardines, salmon and swordfish. An alternative is to use Fish or Flaxseed oil 500mg, 4 times a day.

5. Avoid trans-fatty acids. These are what makes oleo and shortening solid. They are also found in many prepared foods and listed as hydrogenated oil.

6. Take a good quality multivitamin/mineral supplement daily. It should contain a B complex.

7. Vitamin B6 100 mg Daily.

8. Magnesium 100 mg every 2 hours during the menstrual period or 3-4 times daily all month long.

9. Vitamin E (d-alphatocopherol) 50 mg 3 times daily

10. Cramp Bark Tincture (viburnum opulus) Follow package directions or 3-5 droppersful, 3-5 times a day. Take with Valerian for best effect.

11. Valerian (valerian officinalis). Follow package directions or 300-400 mg a day of 0.5% essential oil.

12. Ibuprofen 400 mg. every 4 hours. Take as soon as menstrual period begins. More effective if taken before cramping is bad. Ibuprofen taken through the menstrual cycle will also reduce the amount of bleeding.

Final word and mild warning

The supplements and herbs listed above are safe for most people. If you have any medical conditions or are on any prescriptions medications be sure to check with your health care provider or pharmacist to make sure there is no risk for side effect of interaction. Be wiser, ask.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Bea Wiser profile imageAUTHOR

      Bea Wiser 

      6 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Any type of squash will work. Some types may have more mag than others but I don't have the breakdown. I say eat what you love. Yum!

    • Lwelch profile image

      Lena Welch 

      6 years ago from USA

      That is an interesting way to know which have mag in them. For squash - does winter and summer squash work or just one of them?

    • Bea Wiser profile imageAUTHOR

      Bea Wiser 

      6 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Oh yeah, the GI side effect thing. Well , the best way to get any mineral or vitamin is in our food but even then there can be side effects. Foods with lots of mag. also have lots of fiber . Foods with magnesium include legumes, whole grains, vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables), seeds, and nuts (especially almonds). dairy products, meats, chocolate and coffee. You need to increase gradually to avoid the gas and diarrhea that bothers some.

    • Lwelch profile image

      Lena Welch 

      6 years ago from USA

      Do you have any tips for the larger doses of magnesium that you mention? I take 400 mg/day for migraines. I have played with the type of magnesium and thus far found 2 I can do at 400/day. I was up at 800 for about 2 months but when my cycle hit, so did the GI stuff. It wasn't horrid, but irritating enough to take the dose lower. I tried again with 600 a little later and had the same thing happen.

      For cramps and PMS I used to love the PMS escape drink mix. Cured my PM insomnia. Wish it was still around!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)