Painful menstruation can be debilitating and is more common than you may think. Severe menstrual cramps can make it difficult for some women to make it to work or even just to get through the day. Fortunately, there are home remedies and over-the-counter medications including Midol you can use to get some pain relief. From pumpkin seeds to clary sage essential oils, there are ways to relieve painful cramps.
Tea is renowned across the globe for its potent health benefits. From decreased pain symptoms to increased energy and better overall health, this healthy beverage can get you back on your feet. The best part about tea is that it also tastes great!
If you suffer from painful periods, check out our list of the best teas for cramps. They'll help soothe menstrual pain and get you feeling back to normal in no time. Want to pick up some tea to help relieve cramps today? Check out our collection of the best teas for cramps right here.
Ginger tea is made from the rhizome of the ginger plant. It is a slightly spicy tea that boasts a tingling flavor and anti-inflammatory properties. You can use fresh or dried ginger or ginger powder to brew this anti-inflammatory tea. Simply add a teaspoon to boiling water and steep for 5 to 7 minutes.
A study published in BioMed Central examined the effects of ginger on dysmenorrhea—the medical term for menstrual cramps. The randomized, controlled trial consisted of 120 participants with moderate to severe menstrual cramps. The patients received either 500 milligrams of ginger or a placebo three times a day. Researchers found that the group that consumed ginger had significantly lower severity of pain and a shorter pain duration (1).
A second study published in Phytotherapy Research found that ginger also helped to control heavy menstrual bleeding. The study consisted of 92 participants who received either ginger or a placebo. The participants that took ginger demonstrated a significant decrease in blood loss (2). Researchers think regular ginger consumption may help to alleviate period cramps and reduce heavy blood flows.
Raspberry leaf tea is made from the leaves of the red raspberry plant. It has long been used for women's health in traditional medicine practices in Europe. The tea offers a robust flavor similar to that of a fruity and tart black tea. It's a full-bodied tea and features a delightfully sweet aroma.
A study published by the European Medicines Agency found that red raspberry leaf tea helped to minimize spasms associated with painful periods (3). The tea boasts anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce muscle spasms that can cause cramps. According to additional research, red raspberry leaf tea has been used in herbal medicine to strengthen the womb and prevent excessive bleeding (4).
Chamomile tea is made by infusing the delicate blossoms of the chamomile plant in hot water. Chamomile tea is a medicinal herb that is famous for its natural calming and sedative effects. Chamomile tea has been extensively researched and shown to have beneficial properties for improving sleep and relaxation (5). The sedative effects of chamomile tea may also help to ease cramps and PMS symptoms.
Chamomile tea is naturally caffeine free so you can consume it before bedtime to enhance sleep and get cramp relief. A study published in the Iranian Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Infertility found that chamomile tea helps treat painful cramps. The study consisted of 80 university students that drank either a placebo or two cups of chamomile tea every day. The participants consumed the chamomile one week prior to menstruation and during the first five days of their menstrual cycle. Participants that drank chamomile had significantly lower pain symptoms, distress, and anxiety (6).
Chamomile tea helps to decrease blood pressure and stress by triggering chemical reactions in the nervous system. The tea also helps to decrease inflammation and improve circulation to help boost relaxation.
Peppermint tea is an invigorating herbal tea that can help boost mood and decrease pain. The tea has shown promise in improving exercise performance and decreasing cramps and muscle pains.
A study published in 2016 found that peppermint tea helps to reduce period pain. Researchers compared mint tea to mefenamic acid—a common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication used to treat menstrual pain. The results showed that mint was just as effective as the NSAID in treating pain from menstruation. Researchers point to menthol in mint tea as the active ingredient behind these benefits (7).
Green tea is a natural diuretic that can help decrease water retention and alleviate period symptoms including bloating and cramps. The tea contains powerful catechins that help to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation to soothe the pain.
One study showed that green tea may help treat uterine fibroids—a common cause of pain in the lower abdomen. The study of 33 women with fibroids showed that people who consumed green tea had significantly lower pain severity and improved anemia. Researchers attribute these benefits to the tea catechin known as EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate (8).
Fennel tea is made from the seeds of the fennel plant. It is known for its anti-carminative properties and it is used in traditional medicine to treat bloating, gas, and digestive issues. This tea also helps to soothe stomach cramps by decreasing inflammation.
A study published in the AYU Journal investigated the impact of fennel tea on menstrual pain. The study consisted of 50 young women with severe menstrual pain. The patients received either fennel tea or a placebo. Fifty-two percent of participants who drank fennel tea reported an excellent improvement compared to just eight percent in the placebo group (9).
Cramp bark tea comes from a plant native to the forests of England and Scotland. The tea is made from bark shavings that are stripped during early autumn. The plant is related to honeysuckle and features a flavor that is bitter and pungent. The tea also offers a cooling sensation and piquant aroma.
Studies show that cramp bark helps to prevent cramps in smooth muscle (10). The bark is also a known muscle relaxant, helping to reduce pains from workouts and activity. This benefit can help soothe period cramps which occur in the lower abdomen.
If you suffer from debilitating cramps, it's a good idea to talk to an Obgyn or a healthcare professional. They can check for more serious conditions including uterine fibroids and certain types of cancer. For minor to moderate cramps, drinking tea can offer much-needed pain relief.
Tea is a great herbal remedy for treating menstrual cramps and period pain during that time of the month. Many of these teas are also beneficial in relieving cramps caused by exercise and strenuous workouts. Pour yourself a cup of tea using loose leaf teas or a couple tea bags and toast to less pain.