by Daniela Freda, CA Licensed Acupuncturist
Specializing in Women’s Health
Stuck in the monthly cycle of pain? In last month’s article I wrote about the two categories of menstrual cramps and the importance of getting properly diagnosed. In this month’s article, I share some supportive natural remedies to soothe menstrual pain.
4 Natural Solutions to Soothe Menstrual Cramps
This is part 4 of my series on Women’s Menstrual Health. If you suffer from menstrual cramps, the following remedies are comforting ways to bring relief during your period.
1. Apply heat.
The number one menstrual cramp soother is heat.
Use a hot water bottle or heating pad on your belly for 20-30 minutes as needed to alleviate cramps.
A hot bath is another cozy way to ease menstrual pain. Add in some bath salts, essential oils, and light some candles for extra pampering.
2. Stay away from cold iced foods two days before and during your period.
I know this might sound strange, but it really does help! My patients are often surprised by how much better they feel with this simple shift in their diet.
In Chinese Medicine we believe cold foods cause the body to contract and tighten, thereby worsening cramps.
Just like using ice on an injury causes blood vessels to contract to stop bleeding, so do iced foods cause menstrual blood flow to stop, causing the body to require stronger contractions to push out the blood.
I recommend avoiding iced foods like ice cream, iced water, and frozen fruit smoothies before and during your period. Instead, feast on warm cooked foods and drinks like hearty soups, whole grains, steamed vegetables, and hot teas.
3. Sip herbal tea.
Chamomile, fennel, ginger, and red raspberry leaf make delicious herbal teas that are specific to support menstruation and ease cramps.
Drink three cups a day of these warming teas to help you feel better.
4. Load up on foods rich in magnesium.
Magnesium relaxes muscles and decreases cramping which helps reduce menstrual pain.
There’s nothing quite as comforting as a bowl of warm chicken soup! Bone broths are an excellent source of magnesium (as well as calcium and other minerals).
Other great sources of magnesium include halibut, legumes and seeds such as navy beans and sunflower seeds, almonds, dark leafy greens, apples, figs, grapefruit, corn and whole grains.
These four remedies are really helpful to ease discomfort. For even more relief, I suggest experiencing the healing powers of Chinese Medicine. As I wrote in last month’s article, studies support the use of this natural approach for treating menstrual pain. With regular acupuncture and herbal treatments, Chinese Medicine can effectively get you out of the monthly cycle of pain for good.
Daniela Freda is a CA Licensed Acupuncturist, based in San Francisco, CA; specializing in Women’s Health. To learn more about Daniela, please check out her bio below and read all of her articles in the Daniela Freda SF BAWJ Author Library.
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Category: Women's Health
About the Author (Author Profile)
Daniela Freda is a SF Acupuncturist and Herbalist specializing in Women’s Health. Licensed in CA, she holds a Master’s in Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In her private practice in San Francisco, Daniela integrates acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and nutrition to address women’s health concerns. She offers a natural approach for women’s health isssues including easing PMS and menstrual cramps, regulating cycles, preparing for pregnancy, and migraine. To learn more about Daniela’s practice, please visit DanielaFreda.com.