Menstruation is part of the life of every woman; menstrual cramps are very annoying problem for many women. In rare cases menstrual cramps are reason for worrying but they can disrupt the regular activities. They are caused by a hormone – like substance known as prostaglandin which causes the uterine muscles to contract during menstruation. Menstrual cramps are cramping or throbbing pains which are happening in the lower abdomen. There are many women who are experiencing menstrual cramps during and before the menstrual periods. There are some women who do not feel it. But also there are other women who have a lot of menstrual cramps and they can interfere with their daily activities. There are many problems which can cause menstrual cramps such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. The key for reducing the pain is to treat the underlying cause. Menstrual cramps which are not caused by some underlying condition tend to lessen as we are getting older and they in many cases are improving when the women has given a birth. There are some factors which can increase the risk of menstrual cramps such as taking illegal drugs, consuming excess alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, heavy bleeding during periods, genetics and reaching puberty at an early age.
Home remedies for menstrual cramps
Reducing stress: It is known fact that the psychological stress can increase your risk of menstrual cramps and their severity.
Yoga: There are some studies which are done when yoga is practiced during the period and it is said that it can combat the pain . Talk with some specialists which positions you can practice to get a relief from during your menstrual period.
Avoiding alcohol and tobacco: If you use these substances, then they can make menstrual cramps worse.
Water: It is recommended drinking hot or warm water because it increases blood flow to the skin and helps in relaxing cramped muscles. Also you should consume foods rich in water such as berries, celery and cucumbers.
Natural treatments for menstrual cramps
Ginger: This is one of the best natural cures which can ease menstrual cramps. It can lower the levels of the pain – causing prostaglandins. Also it can help you to fight fatigue which is associated with premenstrual syndrome and it can make irregular periods regular. You should grate a small piece of ginger and then you should boil it in one cup of water for 5 minutes. Strain it. Add a little honey and lemon juice. You should drink this home remedy three times per day during your menstrual cycle. Also you can add ginger in your food while cooking. Also you can suck on some ginger candies. 
Dietary supplements: There are many studies in which is said that Vitamin E, Omega – 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B – 1 (thiamine), magnesium supplements and Vitamin B3 can be very effective natural cures for reducing menstrual cramps. 
Heat: Using a heating pad, heat patch or hot water bottle on your lower abdomen or soaking in a hot bath can ease menstrual cramps. When you apply heat, then it can be effective as over – the – counter pain medication for relieving menstrual cramps. Also you can soak a towel in water, wring out the excess water and then you should heat it in the microwave for one minute. You should place it on your lower abdomen until the towel cools. You should repeat this natural treatment every few minutes until the pain is gone. Also when you take a hot shower you can get a relief from the pain and this can make you feel more relaxed.
Blackstrap molasses: Blackstrap molasses is also very effective home remedy for menstrual cramps. It is rich in selenium, Vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium. All of the mentioned elements can help reduce blood clots and soothe the muscles of the uterine walls. This in turn will lessen the menstrual cramps during the menstruation. Add 1 – 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses to one cup of warm milk. You should drink it as soon as you start having menstrual cramps and continue drinking it as long as needed.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon has anti – inflammatory, anticlotting and antispasmodic properties which can give you a relief from menstrual pain. Cinnamon is also rich in manganese, iron, calcium and dietary fiber. You should make cinnamon tea by stirring ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder into one cup of hot water. You should let it sit for 5 minutes and add a little honey in it. Then, sip it slowly. You should drink 2 – 3 cups of cinnamon tea one to two days before your period starts to prevent menstrual cramps. Also you can add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder and one tablespoon of honey to one glass of warm water. You should drink it 3 times during the first day of your period to get a relief from the pain. 
Exercise: There are some studies in which is said that the physical activity can ease the pain of menstrual cramps. [5,6]
Chamomile tea: This type of tea has antispasmodic and anti – inflammatory properties which can help relax the uterus and they ease the spasmodic contractions which are causing pain during menstruation. You should bring one cup of water to boil. Pour it into one cup in which has a chamomile tea bag. Cover it and let it steep for 10 – 15 minutes. Squeeze out the tea bag and you should add some honey or lemon juice as desired. You should drink at least 2 cups of chamomile tea per day during the week before your period.
Basil: This is also a very effective home remedy for menstrual cramps and pain. It has caffeic acid which has pain – killing or analgesic properties. Add one tablespoon of basil leaves to one cup of boiling water. Cover it tightly. Let it cool. Drink this home remedy every few hours to ease cramps. Also you can crush a handful of basil leaves to extract the juice. Add 2 teaspoons of this juice to one cup of warm water. You should drink this natural cure 3 times per day while you have pain. Also you can add fresh basil leaves to your food.
Parsley: This natural cure has two components known as myristicin and apiol which are very effective at stimulating the menstrual process and relieving menstrual cramps. Also it can help to regulate the irregular cycles. You should put ¼ cup of fresh parsley in a mug. Pour it one cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain this solution and drink this tea immediately. You should drink this home remedy during periods to minimize the pain. 
Papaya: Papaya is a potent anti – inflammatory agent which is very helpful in treating menstrual cramps. Also it has nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, calcium and iron which soothe the uterine walls and ease muscle contractions. You should include papaya in your diet before and during your period because this can help to minimize or eliminate the pain. 
Acupuncture: In this method extremely thin needles are inserted through your skin at strategic points on your body. There are some studies in which is said that this technique can help to give you a relief from the menstrual cramps.
Fennel: Fennel has anti – inflammatory, phytoestrogenic and antispasmodic properties which can help to relax the muscles in the uterus which in turn can give a relief from discomfort and cramping. In one cup of boiling water you should add one teaspoon of fennel seeds. Simmer this mixture on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove it from heat and then you should strain this tea. You should add one teaspoon of honey and mix it well. Drink this natural cure 2 times per day beginning 3 days before the expected start date of your cycle. Continue drinking it as much as needed for the menstrual pain. You should drink it hot for best results. 
Acupressure: Acupressure is similar technique to acupuncture. In this technique are stimulated certain points on the body. In this technique this is done with gentle pressure on the skin instead of needles. The research on menstrual cramps and acupressure is limited, but in these studies it is shown that the acupressure is more effective than a placebo in easing menstrual cramps.
Flaxseed: This natural cure is great for reducing the intensity of menstrual cramps. It has essential fatty acids that can stabilize the production of progesterone. Also this natural cure can improve uterine function and it can help treat fertility problems. If you suffer from menstrual cramps, then you should consume 1 – 2 tablespoons of flaxseed per day. Also you can sprinkle ground flaxseed over a yogurt, salad or cereal or you can put it in a smoothie. 
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