For many women, menstrual cramps are a fact of life. Period pain can be a minor nuisance or a debilitating condition that causes many women to miss work, skip important events, and simply feel miserable. While many women reach for medications and prescriptions that can help improve pain, there are also holistic options that can make your menstrual cycle easier.
Drinking tea is one of the best herbal remedies for treating menstrual pain. The beverage is delicious and taking the time to sip a cup of tea can help boost your mental health too. Banish period pain and stop dreading that time of the month by trying these best teas for menstrual cramps.
Chamomile tea is a wonderful, stress-reducing tea. Studies show that this herbal tea may work directly to affect GABA receptors in the brain to help induce relaxation and reduce stress. If you get anxiety known your period is coming — along with painful cramps — this tea may help thanks to its calming effects (1). Chamomile tea also boasts natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation that causes period pain, cramping, and bloating.
Additional research shows that chamomile tea is particularly useful for lower abdomen cramps, also known as primary dysmenorrhea. One such Iranian study found that women with period cramps had significant improvements in pain when they consumed chamomile tea twice daily for one week before their periods and during the first five days of menstruation (2).
This herbal tea is a popular herbal remedy that has been used to help support women's health including boosting fertility and offering pain relief for period cramps. According to the European Medicines Agency, raspberry leaf tea helps to reduce muscle spasms that can cause painful cramps (3). That's because the tea boasts anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce inflammation and improve blood flow. Research published in Botanical Medicine for Women also shows that raspberry leaf tea may help to reduce the amount of bleeding women experience during their menstrual cycles (4).
Best of all, this herbal tea offers a tart fruity flavor with earthy notes that are commonly found in black tea. It's a real treat from its delicious flavor to its extensive health benefits.
Ginger is another home remedy that can offer pain relief for people who suffer from painful menstruation and heavy blood flows. A randomized, controlled trial found that women who took ginger during the first five days of their period had significantly reduced symptoms of pain and bleeding compared to placebo (5). Additional research published in Iran found that ginger helped to control heavy menstrual bleeding in high school-aged girls (6).
Fennel tea offers natural anti carminative and antispasmodic effects that help to reduce bloating, inflammation, and cramping. In a study compared to placebo, fennel tea showed a significant impact on improving pain associated with menstruation. More than half of the study participants who consumed fennel tea reported cramp relief compared to just eight percent of participants who took a placebo (7).
Peppermint is a medicinal herb that has been used for everything from healing wounds and lowering blood pressure to improving digestion. The tea offers a deliciously tingling sensation and vibrant taste thanks to a high concentration of menthol. The tea can be made using dried loose leaf tea, fresh tea leaves, or be added to smoothies for an indulgent treat.
A study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research found that peppermint tea had a profound effect on pain reporting during menstruation. The study showed that peppermint tea was just as effective as mefenamic acid — an NSAID used to treat period pain (8).
Green tea is one of the most popular natural remedies in the world. It's packed with antioxidants and healthy ingredients like tannins, catechins, and flavonoids that are beneficial for human health. This herbal medicine can also be used to alleviate pain caused by menstrual cramps. The tea works to reduce period pain by decreasing inflammation and working as a natural diuretic. It may also help to treat uterine fibroids (9).
Research on turmeric has shown potential health benefits when it comes to pain in the human boy. Numerous trials and studies show that turmeric may help to alleviate pain associated with arthritis as well as menstrual pain (10) (11). Add some powdered turmeric to hot water and drink a cup of this tea daily for a week prior to your period and at least three days into your menstrual cycle.
Cramp bark tea comes from the leaves of a flowering shrub that is native to Northern Europe. The tea is also known as guelder rose and high-bush cranberry tea. Historically, the tea has been used to help alleviate pain, though research on the plant is more limited compared to these other menstrual cramp teas. One study published in Journal SOGC found that an herbal formulation containing cramp bark helped to improve symptoms of PMS including cramping (12).
Period cramps are uncomfortable and for some people, they can be devastatingly severe. For mild to moderate cramps, drinking tea may help to soothe symptoms and calm your nerves. For severe pain, it's a good idea to visit your gynecologist as painful cramps may be a sign of more serious issues including endometriosis.
When that time of the month rolls around, grab a piping hot cup of tea to help yourself relax and alleviate menstrual pain. The simple act of enjoying a cup of tea can help you unwind and focus on your well being. Cuddle up in a cozy chair or lounge in your plush bed, add a few essential oils to your diffuser, and sip your way to feeling better. If you suffer from truly painful periods or severe menstrual cramps, try pairing one of these best teas for menstrual cramps with ibuprofen to further relieve pain symptoms.
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