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What are the Best Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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Menstrual cramps, or dysmenorrhea, affect many women each month. They can be extremely painful and debilitating, though they typically only last for 24 to 48 hours after the start of the period. There are many home remedies for menstrual cramps to try that can help relieve the pain.

One of the best home remedies for menstrual cramps is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug. These can help to relieve the pain as well as to prevent the nausea and diarrhea that often accompany menstrual cramps. It is best to take the anti-inflammatories as soon as the pain begins to head it off; be sure to follow dosage instructions on the bottle.

Heat is another one of the best home remedies for menstrual cramps. Placing a heating pad or warm compress on the abdomen or taking a hot bath can make a big difference, and can help relax the muscles and relieve pain. Drinking hot tea can also help with the pain. Some people say that ginger root tea is quite helpful, and can also help to relieve nausea. For some people, caffeine may help to relieve symptoms, while it may worsen symptoms in others; this is an individual preference that must be determined.

Spices such as cinnamon, parsley, and basil, as well as mint, may act as home remedies for menstrual cramps. In addition, calcium and magnesium supplements are often helpful at preventing and relieving menstrual cramps. Others swear by taking fish oil supplements. Again, it is important to determine what works, and then stick with it.

Though it may sound unappealing, exercise is one of the best home remedies for menstrual cramps. Going for a brisk walk and doing some lower back stretches can be a big help, as well as a mood booster. Yoga and Pilates are also very relaxing and can serve as great home remedies for menstrual cramps. In addition, be sure to get enough sleep and to eat as healthy a diet as possible, avoiding salt to prevent bloating.

Finally, massage or acupressure can help to relieve menstrual cramps. At least one of these techniques should be able to help, by relaxing the muscles, increasing blood flow, or relieving pain. If the pain is especially unbearable, it may be helpful to curl up into a ball and pull the legs to the chest, with or without a heating pad against the abdomen. The worst of the cramps will generally pass this way.

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Discussion Comments
By elisaadair — On Apr 21, 2015

This article gives good home remedies for the menstrual pain. I think these kind of solutions should be adopted to recover from menstrual pain, as consuming drugs like the pain killers can have adverse effects to the body. This will really help the women to get cured from their monthly pains. I have been also reading more about menstrual from here cupissima.com

By Rotergirl — On Jan 30, 2014

I've always found lying on one side and pulling my legs up to my chest, with a pillow between my knees, was very helpful. And a heating pad. I never would have made it from menarche to Advil being made OTC without a heating pad. Those things are a gift.

Massage is also helpful. It helps release the tension in the uterine muscles, which gives nearly immediate relief.

And sometimes, for the over 21 crowd, a cocktail relieves cramps. It can be a glass of white wine, a rum or bourbon in cola, whatever. But a little booze can help -- maybe because it relaxes people.

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