About half of all premenopausal women develop cramps at some point during their menstrual cycle.
For most women, the cramping causes mild to moderate abdominal pain for up to a few days each month.
However, it is estimated that up to 10% of the women who feel cramps experience severe cramps. Pain medication isn’t the only answer.
Menstrual cramps are the result of uterine spasms which occur as it is expelling the lining.
The resulting uterine tension impedes the blood flow to the uterus, which causes more cramping. There is a relationship between the level of toxicity in your body and the severity of menstrual cramping. Smoking makes the problem worse.
Chemicals in cigarette smoke constrict blood vessels including those that go to the uterus. These chemicals also add to the body’s toxic load.
Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Many women use pharmaceutical analgesics to relieve menstrual cramp pain. Analgesic medications can help and may be needed if the cramping is severe. However, these drugs are not free of side effects and in the long run, they can make the situation worse as they add to the toxic load of your body. There are things that one can do to relieve the problem of menstrual cramping. Some of the things that you can do include: making changes to your diet, taking the vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements and doing exercises.
What you can do for menstrual cramps
Vitamin, mineral, and other nutrient supplements?
The following nutritional supplements will assist with increasing blood flow and decrease the actual cramping. They are calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids (in evening primrose oil), edible linseed oil, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc. These can be obtained in a good multivitamin and mineral supplement.
Herbal muscle relaxants
Black cohosh, black haw, chaste berry, Dong Quai, Evening Primrose, kava, and raspberry are herbs that are used to treat menstrual cramps.
Other herbs that are also traditionally used are passionflower, yarrow, and yucca. These herbs have plenty antispasmodic compounds that relieve muscle spasms and therefore also cramping.
Many of these work whether used internally or externally. So you can use them as an herbal tea, add them to baths or both. You can also use the essential oils from some of these herbs and rub these into your abdomen.
Wild yam, blue cohosh, cramp bark, black haw, and motherwort help to relax tension in the uterus and cervix.
Garlic, cayenne pepper, ginger, rosemary and ginkgo Biloba can be used as a circulatory tonic to ensure that you are getting sufficient blood flow to all areas including the pelvis.
Skullcap, lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, or vervain can be used where there are general tension and stress. You can add hormonal balancing herbs such as a chaste tree or false unicorn root.
Two herbal mixtures that will help calm menstrual cramping are as follows:
1. This liniment is applied to sooth muscle tension and relieve menstrual cramps. All of the herbal ingredients have anti-spasmodic agents.
2 parts lemongrass
2 parts lemon balm
2 parts eucalyptus
2 parts lemon thyme
1 part oregano
1 part rosemary
1 part thyme
Olive oil or unscented massage oil
In an appropriately sized bowl combine the herbs and sufficient oil to cover them. Allow this to stand overnight. The next day strains out the herbs.
Massage the oil onto your abdomen and any other areas of muscle tension. You can use the oil at room temperature or slightly warmed if you wish.