It seems like a monthly plague. The throbbing, cramping pain in your lower abdomen that women know to be menstrual cramps. At times, the pain gets so intense it radiates to your lower back and spreads to your inner thighs.
Menstrual cramps come with being female, but how do you get relief?
For many women, menstrual cramps can feel debilitating. They may be temporary, but when they hit, all bets are off because sometimes these cramps can last for days on end. To make matters worse, some women even experience nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and headaches.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- What are menstrual cramps and why do women get them?
- Natural remedies for helping with menstrual cramps and PMS
- How CBD can help with menstrual cramp pain
What are menstrual cramps and why do women get them?
Menstrual cramps occur when the lining of the uterus contracts during monthly menstruation to expel the lining. Prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that are involved in pain and inflammation, trigger these cramps.
Most women experience some amount of cramping and pain before and during menstruation, even if they are generally healthy. However, sometimes, disorders can cause abnormally difficult periods.
Causes for extremely painful menstrual cramps include:
- Endometriosis. Uterine tissue becomes implanted outside your uterus, most commonly on your fallopian tubes, ovaries or the tissue lining your pelvis.
- Uterine fibroids. Painful noncancerous growths in the uterine wall.
- Adenomyosis. The uterine lining begins to grow into the uterine walls.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease. Sexually-transmitted bacteria infects the female reproductive organs.
- Cervical stenosis. The cervical opening is so small it impedes menstrual flow.
Regardless of whether you have a problematic reproductive system, there are all-natural remedies you can try to hopefully provide some relief.
Natural remedies for helping with menstrual cramps and PMS
Most women, at some point in their life, look to OTC pain meds like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) to decrease their pain. These non-prescription meds work fairly well for most women and are generally considered safe. However, if a small dose (200mg every 4 hours) doesn’t work for you and you are taking larger doses, the side effect can become serious. Long-term use of these prostaglandin-inhibitors can cause stroke, high blood pressure, and decreased kidney function, among other things.
So for many of us, moving away from pill-popping and looking for more natural alternatives is important.
Here are five common and worthwhile all-natural menstrual cramp remedies to test for yourself.
A 2012 study showed that applying a heat patch at 104°F worked as well as taking NSAIDs for the pain. For this purpose, there are electric heating pads that can be placed on your abdomen or back, or temporary, disposable heat patches with an adhesive back that can be applied when you are on the go
Exercise is excellent for us at any time of the month, but especially when we’re on our periods. In fact, women who exercise regularly tend to have lighter, less-painful periods. But if you’re not into a heavy run during that time of the month, yoga is one way to get the benefits of exercise in a more relaxing way. Exercise, including yoga, release endorphins which naturally make us feel positive and happy. It also helps loosen muscles, encourages deeper breathing, and decreases stress.
For some proven period-pain-reducing poses, check out this list by Yoga Journal.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are more than just pretty smelling drops to add to soaps and candles. Quality essential oils can be expensive, but they are a potent blend of terpenes and other chemicals that have proven medicinal properties. One such essential oil, lavender, has been shown to greatly reduce pain and inflammation. Always apply essential oils to the body in a carrier oil or add to a diffuser. Don’t swallow!
Try Taking Supplements
While scientists aren’t quite sure why, an influx of certain vitamins and minerals can help decrease pain. Try upping your daily dose of these for some period cramp reprieve:
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin B-1
- Vitamin B-6
- Magnesium and zinc
- Vitamin D
Acupuncture is the practice of partial insertion of very thin needles into various parts of the body. While the needles are so thin you typically can’t even feel them, the body recognizes the micro-trauma and floods the insertion points with fluids and chemicals to ‘heal.’ This rush creates different effects in other parts of the body which has been meticulously mapped over over hundreds of years worth of careful study.
Acupuncture has been shown to reduce period cramps and discomfort by more than 50%. Acupuncture can be expensive, but it is a very safe and effective method for controlling menstrual pain.
How CBD can help with menstrual cramp pain?
Although much research still needs to be done, studies show that CBD appears to affect a certain group of molecules that are key to the inflammation process. When inflammation occurs, pain isn’t far behind.
That’s why there’s so much interest in CBD and its applications to pain in general. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies for pain abound, but as interest in holistic treatments grows, so does the interest in CBD products and their ability to support a healthy pain and inflammatory response.
So how do you use CBD for menstrual cramps?
One way is to purchase a topical CBD products that can be gently rubbed into your abdomen. Many find this to be not only effective, but rather enjoyable as you get a little massage too.
One of the most common ways of taking CBD is by taking a sublingual tincture. Full spectrum CBD is effective for helping our bodies manage their pain responses, but there are also CBD products that are fortified with additional extracts and vitamins proven to support us before and during menstruation.
CBD products fortified with Vitamin D, B-12, Calcium, or other extracts like Black Cohosh and Evening Primrose oil are providing you with additional hormonal support. So, when these products are consistently taken over the course of weeks and months, we have a better chance of developing a healthier reaction during menstruation.
Bespoke Serenity can be taken safely every day. It’s fortified with a unique blend of full-spectrum CBD, Vitamin D, Mucuna Pruriens Seed extract, and the hormonal health boosters Evening Primrose oil, Chasteberry, and Black Cohosh extract. Just place your dosage under your tongue and hold it there for one minute. Then swallow. When consistently taken, it can provide excellent menstrual cycle support.
We know periods are an ever-present source of exhaustion, pain, and sleepless nights. But there is relief. Give these easy and proven home remedies a try to see if you get some relief!