Menstruation or period days could really be hard for women to hold on, with the cramping aches and pains in the lower abdomen, and also in lower back and thighs. These cramps or pains are also known as menstrual cramps or dysmenorrheal and are thought to be caused due to excess levels of prostaglandins. Period pain usually occurs just before and during the first few days of menstrual period of women. Some women also experience nausea, headaches, loose stools, and dizziness during their menstrual period. There are several ways to deal with period pain and it is always essential for you to consult with your doctor to get rid of the pain and cramps during menstruation. However, you can also try out some of the herbs that might actually help you ease period pain in some cases. So, this is what we are going to talk about in this article. Read below to know about some of the herbs that help you ease period pain.
Herbs That Help You Ease Period Pain:
Fennel seeds could be one of the best remedies for period pain. According to a study conducted in the year 2012, it was found that these seeds were more effective than a placebo in controlling severe cases of menstrual pain. (1) On average, women began the study with 6 out of 10 menstruation pain and after 5 hours of taking fennel seeds, they rated the menstrual pain just a 1 out of 10. It must be mentioned that these seeds are not just better for period pain or cramps than placebo pills, but they are hold their own against a very potent pharmaceutical painkiller.
As per a study of severe menstruation pain among some high school students, fennel seeds were found to treat the period pain as well as the mefenamic acid or a type of NSAID used to treat period pain. (2) And guess what was more exciting in this? This got no side effects in the students group that took fennel seeds; while in case of the group that took mefenamic acid, side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, autoimmune anemia, skin rashes, and kidney toxicity were noticed.
It must be stated that these seeds also show relief against fatigue and nausea linked with menstrual bleeding, reduce the duration of the menstrual period and also improve overall feeling of well-being in women when taken over several menstrual cycles. (3)
Cinnamon is another herb that helps you ease period pain. In one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, few university students were provided either with cinnamon, ibuprofen, or a placebo so as to address severe cases of menstruation pain. Cinnamon showed a much better pain-relieving ability when compared to the placebo, however, slightly less effective than the painkiller ibuprofen. (4) However, the period pain in the group that received cinnamon was reduced from 7 out of 10 to less than 2 out of 10 all throughout the course of treatment.
Moreover, in another trial, cinnamon was also found to reduce the volume of bleeding during the menstruation cycle and also reduced vomiting and nausea during the period. (5)
Ginger root is one of the best herbs that help you ease period pain. A double-blind, placebo controlled trial has shown that when ginger root was administered for 2 days before the menstrual period and 3 days during the period, it reduced not only the severity but also the duration of menstrual pain. (6)
The reduction in period pain was not just superior to placebo; subsequent studies also found that the relief from pain that came from ginger was more equivalent to both mefenamic acid and also ibuprofen. And, because ginger has got no side effects, researchers in this trial concluded that it can be actually used as an alternative treatment for period pain.
Researchers have found that ginger root was quite effective at relieving several symptoms of PMS including lower back pain, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal problems, headache, nausea, and muscle and joint pain. (7)
It must also be noted that ginger not only helps you ease period pain but also reduces the amount of menstrual bleeding. It was found from a study of 93 women, overall bleeding volume was significantly reduced by using ginger. It was concluded by the researchers that ginger root must be considered as a highly effective treatment for menstrual loss of blood and for the promotion of quality life in young women. They even complimented ginger for being less expensive, easily available and easy to use, and for having very few side effects than several other approaches.
As per one study that was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Chemistry, it has been mentioned that chamomile tea has got excellent pain-relieving properties and it helps in relaxing the uterus and reducing the prostaglandins’ production; thus decreasing the period pain.
In one report of 2008, scientists sized up around 39 studies which involved a total of 3475 women and they concluded that Chinese herb might alleviate the period cramps more effectively than the OTC medications. (8)
Most of the study participants were provided with formulas containing 5-6 chinese herbs, like fennel fruit, Chinese angelica root, cinnamon bark, licorice, and red peony root. The review stated that there was fair evidence, but the trials were of very poor quality.
As per a survey that was published in the year 2014 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, the herbal formula recommended most frequently for primary menstrual cramps in Taiwan, is “Dang-gui-shao-yao-san” and it contains Dang gui or Angelica sinesis and Peony powder, and it is believed to have anti-inflammatory and sedative compounds. (9)
This is one more herb that helps you ease period pain. Corydalis is in fact one of the most frequently recommended herbs for easing out menstrual pain in Chinese Medicine. A study has found that this herb was included in more than 30% of formulas given for period pain. (10)
Dehydrocorybulbine or DHCB is one primary active component present in corydalis, and it has been shown to be quite effective in reducing both inflammatory pain as well as the pain that is produced any damage caused to the nervous system. (11) Corydalis has got similar effect as morphine, and it does not have any concern over its tolerance or its dependence.
Frankincense And Myrrh:
The pair of Frankincense and myrrh helps you ease period pain. They are used traditionally in ancient medicine to combat inflammation and also combat pain associated with menstruation and childbirth. There is new research that is also helping us understand how exactly the two ingredients work together for relieving pain. (12)
Modern research has even confirmed that frankincense and myrrh have got anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing or analgesic properties. In case of animal studies, these two herbs were also found to be great anti-inflammatory and they even worked together for relieving pain. (13)
Curcuma zedoaria is one of the plants in turmeric family. It contains a curcumin or a chemical constituent, which has been known to reduce chronic pain and inflammation.
The curcuma family is even especially adept at reducing period pain, and specifically, curcuma has shown at reducing uterine contraction and also spasm, which can result in worst and most painful period cramps. Curcuma even had blood thinning actions, such as aspirin. (14)
It is strictly advisable to consult with your doctor about the proper dosage, and usage of this herb before using it to ease period pain.
Pycnogenol Or French Maritime Pine Bark Extract:
Pycnogenol is extracted from the bark of the pine tree. This is a supplement that was actually found to diminish pain significantly and reduce the requirement of analgesic pain medication among some group of women suffering from period cramps in one study of the year 2008. (17) One more small study during the year 2014 also found a reduction in period pain when taking pycnogenol and an oral contraceptive for 3 months on a row. (15)
However, there is another review that claims that no sufficient amount of evidence has been found in regards of the effectiveness of pycnogenol for other chronic conditions.
Cumin is one of the best herbs that helps you ease period pain. You can prepare herbal tea using cumin seeds and drink the tea to reduce pain during menstrual period.
Cumin has got a relaxing effect, and the anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory abilities of cumin are quite beneficial for getting rid of period pain.
So we talked about some of the herbs that help you ease period pain. If you are using herbs of any other alternative medicines or any specific diet for treating period pain or cramps, it is always important for you to consult with your doctor and know about the pros and cons of your herbal or alternative treatments. You must also note it on a strict basis that if you have severe cases of menstrual pain or cramps, it could be a sign of a problem that actually require a doctor’s assessment.