Natural recipes to a relieve the symptoms of the menstrual cycle.
Menstrual pain is definitely the worst part of getting your period, and when it’s that time of the month again, we find ourselves seeking out ways to ease the pain. However, it’s important to take a holistic approach when we treat the effects so that you’re not just easing the symptoms of pain, but alleviating the body and the mind as well. It's clear that there are severe cases where it's recommended by gynecologists to take medications for the pain, but if we have the option to turn to natural remedies before medication, we propose trying them since they are much healthier and there are so many different ways to do so!
1. Let’s start with essential oils.
Lavender oil is great for menstrual pain since it has so many distinct properties that can treat different symptoms. During our periods, when our uterus sheds its inner lining, it has to expand and contract to do so. This causes inflammation in our muscles and blood vessels, which induces painful cramps. Lavender oil has relaxing properties that relax the muscles and eases the pain. Applying and massaging some drops around our lower abdomen can help alleviate pain when we find ourselves having menstrual cramps.
Using this oil for aromatherapy can help relax our muscles as well due to its calming effects. Place a couple of drops in your hands, rub them together to activate the oil, bring your hands to your face, and breathe in deep. Let the calming effect of the oils relax you and help you feel more Zen. Focusing on the pleasant aroma is quite meditative, and it allows you to channel positive energy that spreads throughout your body.
2. Let’s make things hot!
Heat does wonders for your body when it comes to pain. Placing a heating pad against your abdomen can help relax the uterine muscles and the muscles around it, which can ease and relieve the pain of the cramps. If you don’t have a heating pad, you can easily make one with items you already have at home.
- Take a small, damp, folded towel and put it in the oven at 150°C.
- Let the towel heat up for 5 – 10 minutes. The thicker the towel, the longer it will need.
- Once it is warm, wrap the towel in a thin, dry clothe and place it on your abdomen for 15-20 minutes.
Hot baths also help soothe menstrual pain. Making it a ritual can be even more calming.
- Light a scented candle.
- Fill up your bathtub with warm water.
- Drop a bath bomb in a full bathtub. Our favorite is IDC Institute.
- Play your favorite relaxing music.
- Meditate and think about what you are grateful for and what goals you have for the week. Remember to always focus on positivity, and it will reflect on your body.
3. It's Tea Time!
Chamomile tea has endless benefits on our bodies. Among those are help with menstrual pain and other stomach problems. Chamomile tea relaxes the uterus and decreases the production of prostaglandins (a hormone that causes inflammation and pain). It also works as a digestive relaxant that can help ease stomach aches, nausea, or vomiting.
Fun fact: Chamomile tea also helps regulate sleep, boost immunity to prevent getting sick, help with colds, reduce stress, reduce acne, and help with anti-aging. Channel your inner superwoman and drink chamomile tea regularly!
4. Caffeine: Do or Don’t? Depends on you!
This one is tricky. It totally depends on your body. If you are prone to have tender or sore breasts, it’s best if you SKIP on caffeine during your period. Have trouble dealing with PMS during your period? Some studies show that caffeine blocks GABA neurotransmitters, which can result in increased heart activity and anxiety, and cause PMS symptoms to worsen. It can be a good idea to opt for decaffeinated green tea to help soothe cramps.
However, caffeine can also boost your energy levels if you experience lethargy during your period. So, starting your day with a cup of coffee or tea, for example, can help kickstart your day and improve your mood.
Be mindful of your body and decide what’s best for you!
5. Diet is key!
Your diet plays a huge role in the regulation of hormones in your body and can also combat uterine inflammation to ward off cramps. Avoiding trans and processed fats and maintaining a high fiber diet can help regulate estrogen levels throughout our menstrual cycles. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, avocado, or walnuts is also super important. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables is ideal to give your body a natural source of fiber. Fruits and vegetables like cherries, blueberries, squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers all have rich anti-inflammatory properties.
Here’s an example of a perfect meal during your period:
Baked Lemon Herb Salmon
- Heat oven to 200°C;
- In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of rosemary, 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, the lemon juice of 1 lemon, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil;
- Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet, and add the mixture to the salmon and place thinly sliced lemon;
- Add your favorite vegetable to the tray like bell pepper or asparagus
- Sprinkle sea salt and pepper to taste;
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Add leafy greens to bowl like kale or spinach;
- Add cherry tomatoes, a diced carrot, ½ diced avocado, ½ chopped mango (optional), a handful of chopped almonds or walnuts;
- In a separate bowl, make the dressing: squeeze half a lemon, ½ cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey;
Enjoy your salmon and salad with a big glass of water to stay hydrated throughout the day!
Don’t forget dessert! Enjoy 2 squares of your favorite dark chocolate or some fruit and Greek yogurt.