Can Ginger Tea Help Menstrual Cramps?

Ginger is an herb which belongs to Asia as its natives. It belongs to a flowering plant family of Zingiberaceae. Ginger in the form of its root or stem is used to add flavors in various cuisines. Ginger is also one of the effective ancient herbal remedies to help heal different ailments. Ginger has been used in traditional science because of its effective constituents including gingerdiol, gingerol, gingerdione, capsaicin, beta-carotene, caffeine acid, and curcumin (1, 2).

Nowadays, drinking ginger tea is not just in trend but is adopted as a healthy herbal tea with several benefits. Ginger tea can help deal with motion sickness and can even help in preventing cancer. It is also well known to have anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects and thus helps in preventing a lot of health conditions (3).

Can Ginger Tea Help Menstrual Cramps?

Can Ginger Tea Help Menstrual Cramps?

Research suggests that the components present in ginger viz., gingerol and 6-Shogaol appears to be beneficial and helping against inflammation (3). These constituents of ginger act by inhibiting prostaglandin production which triggers muscle contractions in the uterus to shed its inner lining. It is also known to be true about ginger that its regular consumption in the form of herbal tea can actually help in reducing menstrual cramps and pain over time (4). A study done on students for treating primary dysmenorrhea gave effective results of ginger in helping to relieve pain duration as well as intensity (4).

Nearly 90% of women around the globe have experienced menstrual cramps at some point in their life if not always. Moreover, menstrual pain is partially explained by an increase in hormone production during that phase. It causes uterine contractions leading to cramps. However, ginger helps in reducing prostaglandin production in the body and hence can be one of its effectiveness reasons against cramps. This method of treating menstrual cramps is purely organic so no side effects can be a reason for concern even on prolonged consumption (5).

Ginger tea in a way exhibits anti-inflammatory effects and helps in relieving pain and inflammation as well. Since the ancient times, ginger roots have been used in Ayurveda for several benefits like helping with digestion, energizing effects and as a rich antioxidant source because of phytochemical constituents like gingerols, paradols, and shogolos present in it.

What are Menstrual Cramps?

Menstruation is a normal monthly vaginal bleeding or period which happens to be a part of a female’s reproductive cycle every month. Majority of women go through painful periods either every month or occasionally.

Dysmenorrhea is a known term for monthly painful periods and it is often accompanied by menstrual cramp which is a sort of throbbing cramping pain in the lower abdominal region. Few other symptoms that accompany the cramps include lower back pain, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea (5). Several other symptoms and problems appear at times before the onset of periods and it is termed as premenstrual syndrome or PMS.

Different medications and home remedies are available to treat and cure PMS as well as menstrual symptoms. Many people rely on alternatives for conventional medicines especially for long term use to avoid any side effects of the medications. A huge variety of herbs and dietary substances are available in the market to help with menstrual cramps. However, amongst all others, herbal tea like ginger tea has proven over time with sufficient data and studies to help with the cramps and other symptoms during periods.

Other Benefits of Ginger

It is believed that antioxidants present in ginger help in strengthening immunity and aids stress reduction (1). Inhaling ginger tea steam also helps in relieving nasal congestion and other respiratory troubles of common cold or flu due to environmental allergies.

Other benefits of this ginger involves relieving nausea, healing infections, boosting the immune system, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels and prevents pancreatic, colon and other cancers as well. With so many health benefits of ginger tea, it appears to be a natural or organic way to deal with a variety of diseases besides just combating with menstrual pain and cramps.

Ginger is also known to benefit and protect against several health conditions like:

  • Cholesterol problems
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Prevents heart attack
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Prevents blood clot formation.

How to Prepare Ginger Tea to Help Menstrual Cramp?

You need to take the ginger root and cut it into small slices. Always remember to take proper two spoons full of ginger slices for 1 cup of water. Take a pan filled with a cup of water and add two spoons of ginger slices to it. Boil the mixture and then simmer the stove or induction. Let it be on heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. After perfectly blending, strain the entire mixture and you can consume the tea.

You can also choose another way to make ginger tea by adding milk. Boil ginger root slices in nearly 1 cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from its heat and add 1-2 cups of milk as per your choice. Simmer the gas and let the milk boil up with ginger in it for five minutes. Although, ginger will always show its medicinal properties and effectiveness in both the drinks, yet an herbal ginger tea is mainly prepared with wholesome goodness without milk and other additives.

Are There Any Side Effects Of Ginger Tea?

As such ginger tea is a purely herbal and organic drink with no side effects. However, consuming anything in excess can produce some negative effects which are not really side effects of any herbal product. Some temporary effects which can appear after excessive consumption like more than 4 to 5 cups a day can be bloating, gas troubles, heartburn, and even nausea at times (1).

Effects might vary from one person to another and it also depends upon how much quantity of ginger is added in one cup of tea. A person having blood thinning medications must consume ginger tea in limited amount because of its blood pressure lowering and blood thinning properties.

It is also suggested to not combine multiple herbal products in a single concoction or herbal drink without knowing its impacts. Effects of ginger tea can get enhanced if any other herbal product with any of the similar property is added to ginger tea. This might require further reduction in ginger amount while making the herbal tea in order to avoid any negative effects.

Takeaway

Ginger has been used since ages in traditional medicine to current modern days as a simple home remedy in every house. It helps with a reduction in inflammation and is proven with several scientific researches to benefit human in several ways. So, consuming ginger tea is not just a simple herbal tea with few benefits but it actually helps in relieving pain mainly related to menstrual cramps, osteoarthritis or knee troubles.

Several different herbal teas are available in the market with various health benefits but ginger tea is a wholesome goodness and is simple and quick to make at home.

Ginger tea has a fresh good aroma and a delicious taste. Ginger tea is an all-natural way of preventing several diseases and promoting good health. Ginger tea besides its medicinal properties is a sure shot way of relaxing mind and soul in a simple, cheap, and natural organic way.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
  2. Mashhadi N. S., Ghiasvand R., Askari G., Hariri M., Darvishi L., Mofid M. R. Anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger in health and physical activity: Review of current evidence. International Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013;4:11–15 Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/
  3. Rahmani AH, FMA S, Aly SM. Active ingredients of ginger as potential candidates in the prevention and treatment of diseases via modulation of biological activities. Int J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol. 2014;62:125–136. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4106649/
  4. Rahnama. P., et al. (2012) Effect of Zingiber officinale R. rhizomes (ginger) on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a placebo randomized trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 12: 92. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518208/
  5. Proctor ML, Murphy PA. (2001) Herbal and dietary therapies for primary and secondary dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (3)CD002124. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11687013

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