That time of the month… At best, it’s an inconvenience, at worse, you up with menstrual cramps so bad that you are not leaving the house (make that your bed)!
The all too common approach to dealing with menstrual cramps is popping painkillers. Some women even get on birth control just for easier periods. Painkillers might not seem like a risk since they are so commonly used, but overuse is being link to some serious risks including heart attacks. So you should it’s wise to avoid them unless absolutely needed.
Before we get to the treatment of cramps themselves, there are some things that you can do to help reduce cramps from occurring in the first place.
Did you know that switching to natural feminine care products like cloth pads and menstrual cups can reduce cramps? The chemicals used in the production of many menstrual products can cause a lot of issues. For example, plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development and are linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates — which give paper tampon applicators that smooth feel and finish — are known to dysregulate gene expression, and DEHP may lead to multiple organ damage. Besides crude oil plastics, conventional sanitary pads can also contain a myriad of other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances. Synthetics and plastic also restrict the free flow of air and can trap heat and dampness, potentially promoting the growth of yeast and bacteria in your vaginal area.
Watch What You Eat
Avoiding sugar, caffeine, and estrogen mimicking foods like soy while consuming healthy fats like coconut oil and avocado can make a big difference in the reduction of cramps.
Getting enough magnesium is said to help reduce menstrual cramps. Most of us are deficient in magnesium so eating plenty of magnesium rich foods and applying magnesium oil is a good idea even if you don’t suffer from cramps.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Red raspberry leaf tea is a wonderful all around uterine herb and it can help relieve cramps and other period related issues like PMS.
Move Your Body
Exercising is something we should all do however, exercising at least a few times a week helps your body reduce cramps naturally by getting more blood to your muscles.
Now that we know what we can do to lessen cramps, here’s the recipe for that menstrual cramp relief salve because sometimes no matter what you do, you still need some extra help when cramps do arrive!
DIY menstrual cramp relief salve
- 1/2 cup arnica oil (great for aches and pains, you can learn how to make infused oils here – but if you are pressed for time you can get it premade)
- 1/2 oz beeswax
- 30 drops clary sage essential oil (great for regulating cycles and improving moods.)
- 30 drops lavender essential oil (well known relaxing herb, also is a pain reliever.) 20 drops bergamot essential oil (mood brightener.)
- 15 drops ginger essential oil (great at relieving pain and lessening cramps.)
- Place arnica oil and add beeswax in a small saucepan or double boiler.
- Heat over low, stirring until the beeswax is melted.
- Remove from heat and add essential oils. Stir to fully incorporate.
- Transfer your salve mixture to a container of your choosing.
- Allow salve to cool before covering with a lid.
Apply menstrual cramp relief salve to lower abdomen, back, or wherever you are experiencing cramps, massaging into the skin. Reapply as needed.