Ayurvedic Remedies For Menstrual Cramps
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Experiencing menstrual cramps can be extremely painful. It is common to feel uneasiness around the abdomen, lower back, and thighs, while menstruating.
While we may whine about the cramps and discomfort, we must understand that these cramps are caused due to contractions in the uterus.
With no possible way to deal with the cramps, we often resort to painkillers. What we fail to realise is that the consumption of these aspirins result into a number of side effects, including hormone imbalance, constipation, and weakened immune system.
What could be better than knowing that there’s an alternate and more convenient way to get rid of the cramps during menses?
In Ayurveda, we believe in integrating and balancing the mind, body, and soul. With the help of some natural herbs and ingredients, you can cure the cramps.
Here are few Ayurvedic remedies to cure menstrual cramps:
1. Use Asafoetida
Due to the antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, Asafoetida (hing) is considered to be a medicine for stomach problems. In a world where artificial aspirins are popular, it is recognised as a useful medicine. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and sedative properties, Asafoetida helps to ease menstrual cramps. All you need to do is to fry some Asafetida in a teaspoon of cow’s ghee and consume it before meals, during menses. It acts as an excellent muscle relaxant, which plays a major role in reducing uterine spasms, thereby relieving the pain.
2. Massage With Garlic And Sesame Oil
Garlic is rich in sulphur compounds, which makes it beneficial for the body’s functioning. In Ayurveda, sesame oil is used as base oil for 90% of the herbal oils. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of sesame oil make it an innate healing agent. To ease the pain during menses, crush 2-3 cloves of garlic in sesame oil and warm it for 15-20 minutes. Apply the oil over the lower abdomen and massage in a circular motion for about 10 minutes. This relaxes the stiffness of abdominal muscles, and reduces abdominal pain.
3. Use Castor Oil
Castor oil has been used for a number of reasons, for almost thousands of years now. Commonly used as natural treatment for everyday conditions like constipation and skin diseases, castor oil acts as a great laxative. Pour 8-10 drops of castor oil into the umbilicus and hold the oil for about 30 minutes. This helps the oil in getting absorbed into skin layers which in turn, reduces uterine contractions and facilitates easy menstrual flow. As a stimulant laxative, it increases the movement of the muscles, which help in getting rid of spasms in the uterus.
4. Fenugreek, Cumin And Flax Seeds
When combined together, fenugreek, cumin and flax seeds not only taste good, but also act as a great medicine that helps in healing. While fenugreek seeds have analgesic properties, cumin seeds and flax seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, a combination of all three serve as a great cure for menstrual cramps. You just need to prepare powdered mixture of fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and flax seeds, by combining in equal amounts, and then roasting, and grinding them. Consumption of the prepared mixture with warm water, regularly before meals, helps in treating menstrual irregularities, and reducing pain and irritation.
5. Ayurveda Therapy: Basti
In Ayurveda, Basti is done by introducing herbal substances like oil and decoction through the body, in a liquid medium. Administered through anal route, Basti is used to cure a number of lifestyle diseases. For relieving menstrual cramps, eight days of Basti therapy must be performed before menses. Oils like Sahachar oil and Dashamooladi Kashayam used on alternate days, reduce uterine spasms and improve functions of the ovaries. This facilitates easy menstrual flow, thus reducing menstrual cramps.
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6. Consumption Of Cow’s Ghee
Used as an active Ayurvedic medicine, cow’s ghee contains a number of nutrients that help in better functioning of the body. Besides possessing antiviral, antioxidant and antifungal properties, cow’s ghee also acts as a great pain reliever. Daily consumption of one teaspoon of pure cow’s ghee, before meals, can play an important role during menstruation. Ghee nourishes uterine muscles, fallopian tubes, and the ovaries. This helps in easing menstrual cramps.
7. Yoga Asanas
We stretch our body while engaging in Yoga,. This stretching helps in easing the pain caused by contractions of the uterus walls, during menstruation. Asanas like the Bhadrasana, Vajrasana and Bhujangasana are the most effective ones. During the menses, you should practice each of these asanas for 10 minutes. These not only help in relieving body ache, but also improve blood circulation in the body.
Your doctor may term painful menstruation as dysmenorrhea. Experiencing cramps during menstruation is something that most women dread. This time, you know exactly what to do when you’re experiencing menstrual pain.
Have a happy period!
Dr Vrunda Lotlikar is an Ayurveda expert at Birla Ayurveda. She is also a health council member at healthhunt.