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Painful Cramping Menstruation
( Dysmenorrhea )

The occurrence of menstrual cramps in women is very debilitating and causes a great deal of discomfort and pain. The severity of the attack can force the menstruating woman to take to bed as long as the bleeding lasts. The normal treatment for these cramps is the consumption of antipyretics like aspirin and similar medications. The rectification of the problem is not accomplished by using these medications, even though the use of such drugs may effectively suppress the pain and discomfort. In contrast to the medications which suppress only the symptoms of the condition, many herbal therapies can offer an alternative and effective remedy not only to the symptoms but also to the treatment of the condition. These therapies have achieved a very good success rate when they are taken by women suffering from the cramps over a long period of time-full recovery has been achieved in many cases.

In many women, about ten days preceding the beginning of menstruation, the levels of blood calcium begins to drop and this lowering of the levels of blood calcium continues till three days into the menstrual cycle. The appearance of muscular cramps, sudden headaches, problems with water retention, muscle aches, problems like depression, and insomnia are caused by this deficiency of calcium in the blood. Some of these physical symptoms affect women with PMS as well and these symptoms of cramping are not exclusive to those suffering from dysmenorrhea.

Supplements and herbs

Women with a tendency to suffer from menstrual cramps can benefit by following these helpful hints which will enable them to prevent monthly cramps form occurring to them.

To ensure that the body has an adequate level of calcium in the blood, all women who tend to suffer from cramps must increase their dietary intake of calcium at least ten days prior to the start of their monthly menstrual period. Food groups that have a high amount of easily digestible calcium, such as the sesame seeds, the tahini, sesame butter, common yogurt, seaweeds like kelp, hizike along with other types of seaweeds, all sorts of dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, the common parsley, the spinach, any green fresh sprouts, and some herbs such as the comfrey, the raspberry, and the nettle must be included in the daily diet. Patients can also benefit from using Floradix or some other calcium supplement on a daily basis-these must be biochelated for easy absorption. Women must also ensure that they do not depend to too great a degree, on the use of supplements get their necessary amounts of the essential mineral calcium. Dietary intakes of high calcium foods daily are the best option to ensure adequate levels of blood calcium over the long term. Supplements are not substitutes for a good dietary source of calcium and a supplement cannot replace proper nutrition in the long term. Patients suffering from cramps can also drink three to four cups of the Hormonal Regulator Tea daily, every three weeks per month-this will effectively beat back incidence of cramps which are repetitive. Ten days prior to the beginning of the menstrual cycle, patients can drink three to four cups of a High - Calcium Tea made from herbs. Women must also avoid eating or drinking very cold things, during the moon cycle, especially if menstrual cramping tends to occur during this time.

Topical treatments can be resorted to in order to bring some relief from cramps. Using a warm compress or a heating pad along the pelvic area during cramps and drinking the Cramp - Tea once every fifteen minutes or so can reduce the intensity of the cramps-this must be done when cramps begin, until they stop occurring. The tincture form of this herbal blend can also be very effective in treating menstrual cramps in women who tend to be affected by such cramps. The painful sensations which come with the cramps can be effectively relieved by drinking the root tincture of the valerian herb. The herb has specific and effective remedial actions on the muscles and ligaments in the pelvic region and valerian is also an effective nervine herbal tonic-all women affected by cramps must use this herbal remedy on a regular basis. Valerian has an excellent action in bringing instant relief from muscular cramps, it can also blunt the pain of muscle spasms, and it can ease backaches which are caused by tired muscles after physical exhaustion. The important thing to remember is that remedies made from the valerian herb tend to be dose dependent in their effects, thus the total effectiveness of the herbal remedy will largely depend on the administered dosage. Taking large amounts of valerian is not known to cause side effects, while it is still wise to start the dosage regimen using small amounts at first. The most effective effects from the use of valerian can be seen when the remedy is utilized in fairly large doses over a long time. The topical use of the oil of the pennyroyal herb is also advised for relief from cramps, this oil is extremely toxic if it is consumed. The oil will however, provide speedy and excellent temporary relief from the pain of the cramps when applied to the affected areas. This oil can be used to massage the lower stomach and pelvis of the patient. Using the undiluted oil may not be suitable, as the essential oil is very strong, diluting the pure oil with some olive oil is advised, and this is particularly suggested for women with very sensitive skin who may not enjoy the use of the pure oil, which is harsh on the skin. The oil must not be allowed anywhere near the vulva or in the area of the vaginal lips. If the pennyroyal oil is accidentally smeared into these areas, it will cause a great deal of irritation and it can also burn the delicate membranes making up the vaginal walls. This oil can still be a very helpful and healing remedy, when it is used with care-sparingly and wisely applied, it can bring relief from the pain. Place an herbal poultice made from fresh and finely grated ginger on the pelvic area and put a heating pad over the lower back at the same time for relief from the pain of the cramps. This particular treatment is extremely soothing which usually produces very quick relief from the pain of the cramps. Moreover, this very effective poultice is also very easy to prepare at home using a few ingredients. Patients can also prepare a full pot of very strong ginger tea, by adding some grated fresh ginger to cold water. This water containing the grated ginger can then be brought to a low boil and allowed to slowly simmer, keeping the lid tight for about ten to fifteen minutes-this will allow the ginger to infuse into the water gradually. The tea can then be slowly allowed to cool slightly. A clean cotton cloth can then be dipped into the tea to absorb the excess fluids, this must be wrung out. The dry towel can then be placed as a topical measure on the affected pelvis, the hot poultice must be place cover the cloth. A thick towel can then be used to cover the poultice, this will allow the poultice to retain heat. The poultice can be left on the pelvis for fifteen to twenty minutes at a time or till the whole poultice has cooled down-when it must be removed. This poultice treatment over the pelvis can be repeated, till the pain of the cramps disappears or is considerably eased in intensity. A heating pad can be placed to cover the outer enveloping thick towel, so as to keep the poultice hot for a longer period. Cramps can also be alleviated by the use of nervine tinctures. These preparations are particularly desirable for use by young women who need relief from cramps while they are at school. The results obtained from these nervine tinctures are often rapid as these tinctures tend to be very concentrated and are very rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.

Homeopathy

All the homeopathic remedies given here can be used in the treatment of menstrual cramps. To treat the acute pain which comes along with cramps, the appropriate remedy can be taken once every thirty minutes or once every hour- this dosage can be carried out more frequently if and when necessary. If the medication used is the right one, then relief from the pain of cramps will usually be experienced within the space of a few doses as treatment progresses. The required remedy can be taken in repeated doses as dictated by the physical symptoms which appear. The remedy can be used in a preventive role for the control of cramps in the next menstrual period-this can be done whenever, a given remedy has already been identified as working well to bring relief for the woman.

  • Belladonna
    Belladonna is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of menstrual cramps when the symptoms include the presence of a very strong and bearing down sensation in the pelvic region, this feeling is so intense that the woman feels that everything inside her body would come out with the menstrual flow. Physical symptoms include the presence of a flushed face and a bloated facial profile. Affected women also complain of the appearance of painful sensations, which start just before the beginning of menstrual flow, they also often experience a harsh and throbbing headache at all times of the day and night during the menstruation period. Psychological symptoms experienced by such patients include intense fury and anger; the woman may also be affected by delirium, and has a desire to escape her situation. Affected women also tend to menstruate early before the usual time, and the menstrual flow tends to be very heavy and excessive. The blood given off by the body is always bright red in color, the flow consists of very hot blood, and it is usually clotted up. The condition of the patient can often worsen when she is exposed to jarring motions, symptoms are also worsened by exposure to harsh light, to being touched, to sudden motions, symptoms are also usually aggravated in the afternoon, and on being exposed to loud noises. The condition of the patient can greatly improve when some physical pressure is applied to the body, when the person bends over backward, and when the person rest for adequate amounts of time throughout the course of the day. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Belladonna as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the condition.
  • Chamomilla
    Chamomilla is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted by cramps during heavy menstrual flows. The physical symptoms are so intense that they are often unbearable and resemble labor-like pains which radiate all the way into the thighs of the woman. Physical symptoms also include the giving off of menstrual flow which is generally dark in color, and streaked with clotted blood, the flow comes in occasional gushes. This form of the condition is often a direct effect of emotional or mental problems which beset the person. Another physical symptoms experienced by most women who suffer this form of the condition is an increase in sex drive. Psychological symptoms tend to include great irritability, the person often gets angry very easily, she is also easily offended, and suffers from constant restlessness. The mood of the woman may be very changeable, and she suffers capricious moods all of the time. Physical symptoms can also include the presence of chill running up and down the body, and the giving off of hot perspiration, along with extreme thirst at all times. The woman may also experience the flushed of the face or of a reddening of the cheek on one side of the face. The condition of the patients can greatly worsen during the night time, when she takes coffee, when she is lying on her back, and the presence of this condition in girls at puberty causes severe symptoms. The condition of the woman may improve on the application of heat as topical treatment, the use of a cold compress and being rocked gently can also alleviate the symptoms. The presence of one or more of these symptoms in the woman requires the immediate use of Chamomilla as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the condition.
  • Cimicifuga
    Cimicifuga is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of women who suffer menstrual cramps along with their periods. The physical symptoms can include the presence of extremely intense pains all across the pelvic area, which radiate down to the thighs; these painful sensations often increase in intensity with the increase in the amount of blood flow. The painful sensations are intense and the woman is borne down due to the harsh sensations. The woman may also experience pains that resemble electric shocks. The woman also suffers from heavy feeling in the limbs, and usually experiences a backache as well. The menstrual flow tends to be dark in color, and the blood given off is often clotted over, the smell of the flow tends to have a very offensive odor. Psychological symptoms experienced by such women tend to make them gloomy, and they often sink into a black depression. The psychological symptoms also include the fear of becoming mad. The physical symptoms can also include the presence of muscle and spinal pains. The condition of such women usually worsens in the night time, the symptoms also worsen due to damp weather, the symptoms are also worsened by cold weather, and symptoms are aggravated by sudden motions, symptoms can also be worsened by exposure to drafts, they also get aggravated when the woman is sitting down, the use of alcohol and the exposure to loud noises also worsen symptoms, the left side of the body tends to be generally more affected than the right. The condition of the woman can improve on exposure to warm weather, when some pressure is applied to the affected area, symptoms also improve in the open air, and moving gently, resting and lying for sometime, and eating food also tends to improve symptoms. The presence of one or more of these symptoms in the woman requires the immediate use of Cimicifuga as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the condition.
  • Colocynthis
    Colocynthis is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of women who suffer from menstrual cramps during periods. The physical symptoms include the appearance of sudden cramping attacks which resemble cutting feelings, the muscle is cramped over, and there tends to be a numbing pain. These sensations radiate out from the navel to the genitalia, they are accompanied usually by nausea, vomiting. These types of pains usually appear before the beginning of menstruation. The woman may cry out or jerk out suddenly due to the coming of sudden spasms in the body. The women also tend to suffer from excessive menstrual flows. Psychological symptoms can include intense and persistent irritability, the woman may become very touchy, and may burn with barely suppressed anger at all times, she suffers from imagined wrongful indignations. The condition of the woman often worsens as a reaction to supposed emotional insults, the symptoms are also aggravated during the night, and lying on the painless side of the slightest motions, or eating also generally worsen the severity of symptoms. The condition of the woman tends to improve on being exposed to warm weather, and when the woman doubles up symptoms may improve, the application of hard pressure, taking rest, gently moving about, and being touched also reduce the severity of symptoms. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Colocynthis as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the condition.
  • Nux vomica
    Nux vomica is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of women who suffer from attacks of menstrual cramping during menstruation; these often come along with symptoms such as twisting pains in the pelvic area. Physical symptoms also include the presence of a generalized soreness all across the abdominal area. Other symptoms are the presence of nausea, along with some pain in the back, pain in the bladder or in the whole body as such. Physical symptoms can also include the development of constipation which comes along with a constant urge to defecate. The menstrual flow also tends to be irregular, and is at times profuse and can also be scanty at times; the flow is typically black color blood. The woman is also affected by tension, and suffers muscular spasms. Psychological profiles of patients include very critical personalities, the woman may be very impatient, she is often a workaholic and extremely driven. This form of condition can often be triggered by the long term abuse of stimulants, and certain medications, or even by some spices. The condition of the patient can greatly worsen on being exposed to cold weather, symptom also worsen when the woman gets wet, symptoms also worsen under pressure, being touched, exposure to light and noise can also increase the aggravation. The condition of the patient can improve when she is well rested and on the application of heat. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Nux vomica as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the condition.

Recipes

HORMONAL REGULATOR TEA
Use four to six tablespoons herb mixture per quart of water. Add herbs to cold water and bring to a slow simmer. Keep pot covered. Simmer for twenty minutes. Strain. Drink three to four cups daily.

HIGH - CALCIUM TEA
  • 2 parts oat straw,
  • 2 parts nettle,
  • 1 part horsetail (also known as shavegrass),
  • 4 parts peppermint,
  • 2 parts pennyroyal,
  • 2 parts comfrey,
  • 4 parts raspberry leaf.
Use four to six tablespoons herb mixture per quart of water. Add herbs to cold water and being to a slow simmer. Keep pot covered. Remove from heat and let infuse twenty minutes. Strain. Drink three to four cups daily.

CRAMP-TEA
Use four to six tablespoons of herb mixture per quart of water. First decoct the cramp bark and ginger root for twenty minutes, simmering slowly over low heat. Turn off the heat and add the pennyroyal and valerian root to the mixture. (Valerian and pennyroyal lose their herbal essence if decocted and are best prepared by infusing.) Steep an additional fifteen to twenty minutes. Strain. Drink one-fourth cup every fifteen minutes until cramps cease.

CINNAMON GINGER TEA
Excellent for relieving cramps and painful menstruation.
  • 1 part valerian root,
  • 1 part ginger root (fresh - grated is best),
  • 1 part cramp bark,
  • 1 part cinnamon bark.
Use four to six tablespoons of the herb mixture per quart of water. Place cramp bark, ginger root, and cinnamon in cold water and slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for about fifteen minutes on low heat, keeping the pot tightly covered. Remove from heat and add valerian root. Let the mixture infuse for one-half hour or longer. Drink small amounts (one-fourth cup) every fifteen minutes until cramps have subsided.

PENNYROYAL RASPBERRY LEAF TEA
Excellent for relieving cramps and painful menstruation.
  • 2 parts pennyroyal leaf and flower,
  • 1 part motherwort,
  • 1 part oat straw,
  • 1/2 part yarrow leaf and flower,
  • 1 part raspberry leaf.
Add four to six tablespoons of the herb mixture to one quart of cold water. Keep pot covered. Over very low heat, bring just to the simmering point. Remove immediately. Drink small amounts (about one-fourth cup) throughout the day until cramps subside.

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