Natural remedies for period cramps and PMS – Netdoctor

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Cramping getting you down? Try these natural menstrual pain remedies.
If you consistently dread that time of the month and always feel uncomfortable during your period but you’re reluctant to rely on painkillers, you’ll be pleased to hear there are a number of natural remedies that may combat painful menstrual-related symptoms.
Nutritionist Amy Morris shares her favourite natural remedies and nutritional tricks to ease period pains:
Making small changes to your diet, such as reducing high-fat foods, and boosting your fruit and vegetable intake can help to ease period pains. Eating the right kinds of foods will help your hormones revert to an equilibrium which could help your body to combat some of the more unpleasant ‘time of the month’ symptoms. Anti-inflammatory foods such as chia seeds, spirulina, and turmeric will reduce unnecessary inflammation in the body and help to ease period cramps.
There is something very soothing about sipping warm tea when you are suffering from period pains. Herbal teas, especially chamomile and peppermint have anti-inflammatory capabilities that can help to soothe and relieve cramps. Research shows that glycine, which can be found in chamomile tea is effective in reducing muscle spasms and relaxing the nerves, helping to also make you feel better. Drinking plenty of fluids is important to ensure the body stays hydrated, while also reducing that bloated feeling.
Studies have shown that young women and adults taking omega-3 supplements experience far less stomach cramping, due to a decrease in prostaglandin levels. In addition to less frequent cramping, if and when cramping did occur, it was found to be less painful and for a shorter period of time.
To ensure you’re getting adequate amounts of omega 3 in your diet try these omega-rich foods.
Marjoram oil and Clary Sage oil have been said to help to reduce the duration of period cramps by helping muscles to relax. Massaging these oils around the key areas (lower abdomen and back) could relieve tension for some women.
Alternatively, aromatherapy has many further interesting benefits, such as reducing anxiety and stress. Try peppermint, rosemary or eucalyptus to encourage healthy sleep habits or soothe a headache.
Feel-good chemicals are predominately released during exercise (and when you eat chocolate). An increase in endorphin levels helps to reduce pain and improve your mood. So, instead of caving into your cravings, get outside and get active. Any aerobic exercise, such as walking, running or swimming, is recommended, for at least 30 minutes at a time, and can help to take your mind off your period cramps.
Severe menstrual cramps have been linked to a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium helps to regulate nerve and muscle functioning, and therefore an increase in magnesium-rich foods can help to relax your muscles. Magnesium can be found in many foods including fish and nuts, as well as leafy greens. Additionally, magnesium has been found to alleviate PMS depression, nausea and constipation.
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