Posted on | December 7, 2011 |
How Herbal Teas Can Ease Menstrual Cramps
There are few things that can bring a busy woman to a complete standstill faster than menstrual cramps. It’s unfortunately one of those “suffer silently” type situations but that doesn’t mean you should do nothing about it! While there are many different medications on the market to help menstrual cramps and all the unfortunate aches and pains that come with having a period, there are more natural, holistic ways to settle the discomfort within. In fact, herbal tea is not only soothing but is known to help alleviate some of the pain associated with menstruation. Here are some herbal teas that may help take a bit of the pain out of your period.
Research has found that herbal tea, chamomile in particular, actually has anti-inflammatory capabilities and can also help calm the nerves. A study which was released in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry in January of 2005 added credibility to the ancient Chinese belief that herbs are the best medicine.
There are two main ingredients in chamomile that, when ingested, are seen in high levels in urine samples (as tested in the study), hippurate and glycine. The first hippurate is a byproduct of the flavoniods which are present in herbal tea and give it some of its health benefits. Hippurate is also known for its antibacterial activity which has been found to help fight off infection. The second, glycinen, has been found to actually reduce muscle spasm and relax the nerves, which is why it is thought to greatly help ease menstrual cramps.
Even when you take a less in-depth look at the benefits of tea, there is something very soothing about warm tea when you are uncomfortable. The simple act of sipping tea is associated with leisure and comfort.
In the same 2005 study, the participants who drank chamomile tea for 2 weeks and then stopped actually saw medicinal effects last for up to 2 weeks after they no longer drank the tea.
Other tea types aside from chamomile have also been associated with menstrual cramp relief. Some of the most popular are as follows:
- True cramp bark
- Raspberry leaf
Additionally, many women find relief from making a bath tea from these different herbs and soaking their discomforts away. For this type of bath, chamomile and ginger are excellent choices.
There are other things you can do to try and prevent this uncomfortable cramping as well. Studies have found that women who exercise regularly and keep their weight at a healthy number are far less likely to experience severe cramping. Also, women who take vitamin supplements that are rich in calcium and magnesium tend to experience less pain as well.
If you find that your cramps are unbearable, it’s a good idea to see a doctor just in case these are signs of a more serious problem.
Emily Murray is a contributing writer for KwikMed, the company recently appointed by Watson Pharmaceuticals.