Menstruation is a natural phenomenon of a woman’s life. For some it may be just like a usual monthly cycle while for others it may be painful and bothering keeping them low with mood swings. Symptoms like cramping, bloating, mood swings, lower back pain, headache, fatigue, heavy bleeding are the common ones. Menstrual cramps are due to a chemical called prostaglandin that causes the contraction of uterine muscles during menstruation.
Menstrual pain is like cramping. Many describe it like dull or throbbing pain in the lower abdomen that radiate pain to the lower back and thighs and even buttocks. These Cramps generally subside after the first two to three days of the period. Some women feel cramps just before the onset of their cycle too.
Some factors that increase the chances of menstrual cramps, such as reaching puberty at an early age, family history, genetics, heavy bleeding during periods and unhealthy habits like smoking, a sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical activities, consuming excess alcohol and taking drugs without prescription. For some woman menstrual pain disappears after child birth while others complain of cramping pain similar to that of labor while they are mensturating. To ease the pain and discomfort, there are several over-the-counter medicines. However these medicines are not safe on a long run. Usually pain killers like paracetamol and Meftal are consumed by women every month not knowing its side effects.
Here are some simple natural home remedies which is effective and relieve symptoms faster and even prevent cramps.
Ginger Tea : Tea using dried ginger or fresh ginger can be prepared. Add honey or sugar for taste, avoid milk. Ginger can effectively reduce period pain, as it plays a key role in lowering the levels of prostaglandins. It also helps make periods regular and fights tiredness and mood swings associated with premenstrual syndrome.
Massage with warm Sesame Oil (Gingely oil) and heat application : Sesame oil is rich in linoleic acid, and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Massaging lower abdomen with warm sesame oil followed by a little heat application with hot water bag or patch can benefit a lot.
Fenugreek Seeds : Soak 2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a glass of drinking water overnight and drink it early in the morning on an empty stomach. Fenugreek seeds contain chemical compounds such as diosgenin and isoflavones. Both of these mimic properties of oestrogen helps to ease the menstrual cramps.
Cumin Seeds : A cup of water boiled out of two tea spoon of cumin seeds can reduce period pain. Cumin has a relaxing effect, and its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties are useful for for getting rid of menstrual cramps. Cumin or jeera can be used in another way too. Also one part Jeera powder , mixed with half part jaggery and made into pills. This pill has to be taken is taken 1-2 days prior to expected date of menstruation. After taking this, a cup of water can be consumed.
Exercise : Believe it or not but light exercising during menses increases circulation to the pelvic region and releases endorphins to counteract the prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that cause the uterine muscles to contract during menstruation). Doing yoga asanas such as Pranayama (Anulom Vilom) and shavasana (the corpse pose) while menstruating eases pain and helps the body to relax. It also helps if you lie on your back with your knees bent. It is important to exercise regularly for your overall health, but it is especially important if you’re prone to painful menstrual cramps.