Are severe menstrual cramps normal?
Menstrual cramps are normal and a common sympton especially the days before or the first days of your menstrual cycle. But the moment they interfere with your everyday life, meaning you can’t participate in social activities or go to work, you should talk to your doctor about it.
How to relieve menstrual cramps naturally
I did a lot of googling on menstrual cramps and how to best treat them naturally. So far, my solution was ibuprofen, not very natural.
I wanted to look for solutions that support my body and hopefully, reduce the cramps and hence, my ibuprofen intake.
In a perfect world, the first day of my period would consist of loads of me-time, lots of sleep, slow PMS-Yoga, healthy foods and drinking litres of herbal tea and access to all the snacks I fancy. That’s my personal period-utopia but it is not always compatible with work and, well, life.
Running errands and keeping up the speed of my normal every day to day chores while having painful menstrual cramps is, simply put, hell. I know that better than anybody so I went looking for a solution that is more than just painkillers.
3 Important Things To Keep In Mind:
The key when you want to relieve menstrual cramps naturally lies in the following:
-) Accept them, don’t hate your body for them and work towards relieving pain in the most gentle way. Like I said, I’m not a big fan of just taking a bunch of painkillers and going on with your day full power as if nothing were going on in uterus town. It’s basically shedding its inner tissue - that is not nothing and takes up lots of energy.
-) If you feel like cancelling appointments, do it. Give your body the rest it needs, as best as you can. You’re not a machine that has to function to everyone's satisfaction 24/7 every day of the month. If you think of what your body is going through when it prepares for menstruation or during menstruation, grant it the rest it deserves.
-) Feed your body and soul with good things. A huge game-changer for me was switching from tampons to a Ruby Cup. My cramps decreased. And not having to change tampons every couple of hours felt like giving my vagina a soul vacation. I felt like through using my menstrual cup, I got more in touch with my body. I started listening to it, eating healthy and using more natural products to enhance my well-being.
Doing these things was the key to make peace with my period and I swear, that change of mindset made all the difference.
Here is my list of Top 4 products to relieve menstrual cramps naturally.
1. Tea To Relieve Menstrual Cramps
Drinking tea to relieve menstrual cramps is a no-brainer. It will keep you hydrated and when you use the right herbs (raspberry leaf tea for instance), it will ease the pain and loosen up cramps. But which tea actually helps against menstrual pain?
My all-time favourite is fresh ginger tea - no doubt. But it’s nice to vary between hot beverages especially during a long day at the office. The Femna Care Teas take that to a whole new level.
To enhance effectiveness it’s important to start the tea treatment already some time before you have your period. Here are two of the Femna Teas that help relieve menstrual cramps naturally:
Harmonizing tea that will help your body keep its hormones in balance, especially when you feel tense and moody.
How to use: Drink daily for 7 days before period starts.
The herbs chosen for this tea have traditionally shown to de-cramp, warm and relax the body. It includes, amongst others: ginger, raspberry leaves, lemon verbena, peppermint.
How to use: Take 1-3 cups daily, 2 weeks before menstruation. Continue 2 days into menstruation
2. Heat Treatment
Staying warm and toasty during my period is the most important thing to keep my mood from dropping to below zero and loosening up cramps. A hot water bottle is nice, but a cherry stone pillow is nicer. The stones in the cherry stone pillow act like a massage on the stomach, increasing blood flow hence decreasing cramps.
The Ruby Cherry Stone Pillows has just the right size to put it on your lower abdomen without being too heavy and pressuring your bladder (very important if you drink all that tea ;) ).
3. Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps
I’m a huge fan of the PMS Wonder Roll-On and Loosen Up Roll-On, also made by Femna. The oils in the PMS Roll-On have loads of comforting benefits, especially when everything seems a little overwhelming right before your period starts.
How to use them: I just dab a little on my wrist at work. The smell is relaxing and freshens up my mind when I’m battling fatigue. The PMS Roll-On contains Ylang Ylang which eases stress, Vetiver which relieves sleeplessness (yes please!), the Lemon boosts circulation and Orange eases water retention.
A nice little trick for at home is also to add a few drops of an essential oil that relaxes you onto the warm cherry stone pillow. It will slowly spread around you, calming and relaxing like the cloud of comfiness you need.
4. Can Marijuana help with menstrual cramps?
I’m sure you’ve heard about marijuana tampons, right? They’ve made a couple of headlines last year. Personally, ever since I switched to a Ruby Cup, nothing will ever make me use a tampon again - no matter what goodies might be in there.
Also, the idea of a marijuana tampon makes me wrinkle my forehead in scepticism, especially since there have been no studies done yet and does it mean it's the same dose for every person!?
So, everybody who also doesn’t quite trust the marijuana tampon might find the right medical marijuana product provided by our favourite Sister Whoopie Goldberg! She recently started her own medical marijuana product line that is said to work wonders in relieving menstrual cramps naturally.
I have not tried any of her products (yet), but I do see how they can potentially relieve menstrual cramps. Some studies that investigated pain treatment with marijuana show that the Cannabinoids seem to significantly block pain.
The biggest medical benefit of using cannabis for painkillers is if opiate painkillers render ineffective (such as with cancer patients) and have been, therefore, used to treat their pain mostly successfully.
So why not use them for menstrual cramps if you want to avoid taking painkillers all the time? I'd give it a shot.
When using marijuana to treat menstrual cramps, Whoopie Goldberg underlines that it's not about getting high: “For me, I feel like if you don’t want to get high high, this is a product specifically just to get rid of discomfort” in an Interview done by Vanity Fair.
And her products do sound alluring. For instance, her product “Savor”, which is medical cannabis coupled with raw, organic cacao is said to help with inflammation, sleep, pain, irritability, joint pain, and menstrual cramps, ”all while providing for a truly health beneficial experience.” Can we have some of that, please? :)
What works best for you?
Do you have any special products you can't do without when trying to relieve menstrual cramps with natural products? We’d love to hear about them!
Disclaimer: The author of this article is not a medical or health professional. The purpose of this blog is informative and to share an experience - not to give health or medical advice. You should always do your own research when it comes to your health.