Well ladies, we all know “that time of the month” is no fun and while many of us only occasionally suffer mild discomfort while we’re menstruating, others contend with painful cramps month after month.
There are several things you can try to help reduce the pain (such as resting with a hot water bottle or microwavable heating bag , a hot shower or bath, adjusting your diet), but you can also try some healing herbal teas, salves, compresses and other natural remedies.
I’ve combed through my notes and put together a page listing several different items that may help (including simple recipes), but first a couple notes about dietary adjustments that can make a difference…
- Increase consumption of water, leafy green vegetables, fiber, fish and eggs (start a week before you expect your period).
- Reduce consumption of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, deep fried foods, spicy foods and dairy.
Below you’ll find several brews, food additives (a generous sprinkle whenever it works), aromatherapy and massage recipes and a few other goodies.
You may have to go through the list until you find one that helps, but when you do find it…lucky you and stick with it!
Note: If you don’t usually have to contend with painful cramps and suddenly find it’s the norm month after month, have your doctor check things out to make sure you haven’t developed uterine fibroids.
Steeped Brews: (Drink teas no more than 3 cups per day)
- Ginger (1 tsp ground ginger/cup of hot water or warm milk)
- Cramp Bark (black haw): (2 tsp dried/quart of boiling water, simmer 15 minutes). Start at least 3 days before period starts.
- Pennyroyal (also helps bring on bleeding if late). Sip on no more than 2 cups per day. Caution: Do not use if pregnancy is suspected.
- Cinnamon (also helps with heavy flows)
- Yarrow (also helps with heavy flows). You can add a bit of honey to help with the taste.
- Raspberry leaf (start at least 2 days before bleeding is expected to start)
- Simmer slowly a grated piece of ginger root (about 1/4 cup) in 1 cup of water for 15 minutes, remove from stove and allow to cool down enough so it won’t burn. Dip cotton cloth, wring out excess and apply to abdomen.
Foot Soak: Mix a couple tablespoons of dry mustard to a bowl of hot water before submerging feet.
Aloe Vera : 1 TBS Aloe vera juice (3 times a day during the week prior of period).
Sprinkle on Food:
- Freshly ground flaxseed (2 to 4 TBS per day)
Add a few chips of rock salt to a small vial then add these essential oils…
- Drops: (4) lavender, (2) marjoram, (2) chamomile, (3) geranium.
- Cap so the salt will absorb the mixture. When you start to feel uncomfortable, uncap and breathe in deeply.
- Source: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Mindy Green.
Bath Booster: Try making a lavender bath salt , this scent is thought to be helpful.
Massage Aids (for abdomen and lower back)…Apply a hot water bottle, heated bag or towel after rubbing them in
*Numbers in () are the amount of drops to use for each
(1) ounce carrier oil
(2) clary sage
1/8 cup almond or olive oil
*Massage into abdomen each day one week prior
1/4 cup olive oil
Healing Salve (Rub into abdomen and lower back):
1 lb lard
2 to 3 handfuls marigold flowers (including leaves and stems, no roots)
- Directions: Melt lard on low then add marigold. Simmer for about 10 minutes, cover then remove from stove.
- Allow to cool until semi-hard.
- Reheat (on low) until lard is melted, strain then pour into sterilized glass mason jars. Allow to cool then refrigerate (seal with lid).
- Fill a large glass mason jar with 2 cups of marigold flower heads, cover with cold-pressed vegetable oil, seal with lid and leave for 6 to 8 weeks.
- Shake well daily.
- When it’s a deep yellow, strain through cheesecloth then store in a dark cupboard.
- Usage instructions: Rub into abdomen as needed.
If you are on medication or breast feeding, check with a doctor first before consuming herbal remedies to make sure they’re safe for you. Also make sure to only use flowers and herbs from the garden that are pesticide-free.
*Note: These are simply notes I have collected, they are not intended to be professional medical advice.