Why the cramps?
Understanding why you have cramps is the first step to solving the problem.
Every month, the uterine lining builds up, prepared for pregnancy, but if no fertilization occurs, the lining has to be shed, hence, the menstrual flow.
Of course, that’s what we were taught in Biology class, but what we might not have been taught is that, to shed the uterine lining, the uterus has to contract to help release it, and that’s why we have cramps. So, menstrual cramps is kinda like ‘mini labor’.
But not all women have severe menstrual cramps, for some, it’s between mild and severe, while some women don’t even notice the it.
I’ve experienced it; the excruciating pain that would bring me down on my knees while walking, send me sprawling on the floor in the middle of the night and make me scramble for the walls of the restroom for support whenever I had bowel movement. It was that terrible. I would take pain killers, I use a heating pad and avoided sugar as much as I could, but nothing really worked, until I tried out some home remedies.
Severe menstrual cramps might also be associated with underlying health conditions like cysts, infections, fibroids, endometriosis, and etc, and this might need medical attention to correct. But if you have severe cramps and additional health problems have been ruled out, the you could try out these simple natural home remedies.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is a type of vinegar made from cider of apple must. It is a rich source of potassium and calcium that ease the muscles and suppress cramps, and it helps reduce the rate of blood loss and prevents clotting which is caused by severe uterine contractions.
Adding a teaspoon of ACV to a cup of water and drinking before every meal can really help ease menstrual cramps.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which helps you relax and ease your muscles, including your uterine muscles.
You could eat fresh pineapples or have a cup or two of fresh pineapple juice during your menstrual period. Note that canned or cooked pineapples have lost their bromelain content and might not help ease your cramps.
3. Ginger Roots
Ginger has many medicinal benefits and one of them is easing menstrual cramps. It helps lower prostaglandins, a hormone that aids strong contractions, this, severe menstrual cramps.
You can chew fresh ginger to ease the pain immediately, or boil a piece of crushed ginger with a cup of water for ten minutes, then strain the water and add lemon and honey to it and drink.
(this one works well for me).
Add a teaspoon of fresh cinnamon powder to your cup of tea, cereal, pap or your meal for instant pain relief. Cinnamon is a natural herb and spice is known to ease spasms and reduce inflammation.
5. Basil Leaves
Basil leaves are what we know in Nigeria as scent leaves. They contain caffic acid that is a natural pain killer and can relieve the cramps.
To make basil tea, place some dried or fresh leaves in a kettle or teapot and add a cup of water to it. Boil the water for a few minutes and strain. Add a few drops of lemon and honey to the tea. Drink the basil tea twice daily to get relief from menstrual pain.
6. Stay Hydrated
Water may see just like ‘water’, but it really solves so many problems. It helps flush out toxins in the body and prevents bloating. Drinking enough water also prevents the body from retaining liquids, and you’ll be comfortable.
These natural home remedies should ease your cramps and discomfort, but if you’re suffering from an additional problem, it is advisable to consult a physician.
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