Many women experience pelvic and abdominal pain at the beginning of their menstrual cycle with symptoms ranging from severe pain to mild discomfort that can last for a day or two. Sometimes it feels like your uterus is escaping from you.
For many, they turn to pain relief medication while others turn to home remedies. However, as part of home remedies, you can turn to warm teas to help soothe the pain. In this guide, we have shared different teas that can help soothe your menstrual pain. Read on to learn more.
1. Ginger Tea
Ginger is effective at relieving inflammation, and can help alleviate the pain that comes with menstrual pains. The tea is prepared from the root of the ginger plant, which is readily available in most of your local targets.
Put two ginger root pieces for every cup of water in a small pot and boil for a few minutes. Then, turn the heat down and simmer for an hour. Strain the ginger from the water and drink. You can also purchase teabags with dried ginger and follow the package directions on how to brew them.
Studies in recent years prove that ginger can be quite useful for the relief of dysmenorrhea (the medical term for menstruation). A report published in Pain Medicine in 2015 sought to determine the effects of ginger in women with dysmenorrhea. Their analysis found that ginger was more effective in pain relief. (1)
Another report, published in 2016, examined the previously published studies on the effectiveness of the use of ginger for dysmenorrhea. Ginger is proven to be helpful in reducing pain severity. Both studies compared ginger to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug where ginger is more effective at reducing pain. (2)
Researchers, therefore, concluded that regular ginger consumption (2 -3 times a day) can alleviate period cramps.
2. Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry leaf tea is exactly what it sounds like: tea extracted from the leaves of raspberries. You can find red raspberries anywhere from health stores to local markets. It can also be found in pills or supplements form, but the most affordable way to use it is to prepare tea.
Raspberry leaf tea is known to regulate the menstrual cycle because it has fragrine, which tones the uterus. When the uterus is toned, it is more relaxed, and blood flows smoothly, which reduces cramps.
The tea is also a good source of assimilated calcium, which helps regulate the release of hormones that cause premenstrual syndromes like cramping and anxiety. To make a classic red raspberry leaf tea, put the raspberry leaves into a pot of water and let it simmer for five minutes. If you want it sweet, you may add honey or other sweeteners like sugar.
A study published by the European Medicines Agency found that Red Raspberry helped to ease painful periods. The tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the muscle spasm that results in cramps. Additional research also found that this tea was traditionally used to strengthen the womb as a way of preventing excessive bleeding. (3)
3. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic effects that relax your muscles and alleviates menstrual cramps. It’s best to brew chamomile tea and drink regularly to handle pains from cramps.
To make chamomile tea, boil a cup of water in a pot then add two teaspoons of chamomile tea, and leave it to infuse for 3 minutes. You can add some lemon or honey for taste. You can also infuse the delicate blossoms of the chamomile plant in hot water.
This herb is famous for its calming and sedative effects. In fact, extensive research has shown that it can improve sleep and help in relaxation. Its sedative effects may help ease painful periods and its symptoms. Chamomile tea is also free of caffeine, meaning you can consume it just before bedtime for better sleep and relief from pain caused by cramps.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that chamomile tea boasts compounds that may relieve symptoms of cold and relieve menstrual cramps. The study consisted of 14 volunteers who drank five cups of tea made from German Chamomile every day for two weeks. The daily urine samples were collected during the tea-drinking phase every day. The urine collected showed higher levels of glycine (4).
This is a chemical that relieves muscles spasms and can relax the nerves. It helps relax the uterus, explaining why chamomile tea may be used to relieve menstrual cramps.
Chamomile tea helps regulate blood pressure and boost mood by triggering chemical reactions in the nervous system. The tea also helps reduce inflammation and boost circulation to aid in relaxation.
4. Peppermint Tea
Apart from peppermint oil, peppermint tea can help reduce the severity of menstrual cramping or dysmenorrhea. The tea contains menthol, whose anti-spasmodic effect can help ease constricting muscles -specifically those in the walls of the uterus.
To prepare peppermint tea, boil fresh leaves and drink. You can also put a teabag of dried leaves in boiled water. For maximum benefits, it’s recommended that you drink peppermint tea while hot but not scalding.
A study published in 2016 by the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research showed how effective peppermint is in relieving dysmenorrhea. The tea was compared to mefenamic acid (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug).
According to this study, peppermint oil capsules were as effective as mefenamic acid in relieving painful cramps. Researchers found that menthol in mint tea may ease the symptoms caused by dysmenorrhea. (5)
Related Article: 8 Science-backed Mint Tea Health Benefits
5. Green Tea
Green tea acts as a natural diuretic that helps reduce water retention and relieve PMS symptoms such as cramps and bloating.
Numerous studies have proven that during monthly periods, a compound found in the uterus known as prolactin causes it to contract to help shed the inner lining. As a result, the blood vessels that surround the area are cut off and starved of oxygen.
Although the process occurs naturally, it can be excruciating, but using green tea may ease the discomfort.
The tea has powerful catechins that help improve blood flow and reduce pain. Green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps relax the blood vessels found on the uterine walls when they contract.
This allows more oxygen to circulate in around the body and in the uterus itself. The chemical has also been found to promote cognitive relaxation in the brain. Therefore, it helps release tension to keep you mentally and physically active.
Related Article: What is Green Tea? Origins, Taste And More
6. Fennel Tea
Fennel tea is made using the seeds of the fennel plant. The tea was traditionally used for its carminative properties and was a medicine to treat bloating and digestive issues.
This tea is used to alleviate pain during menstruation by decreasing inflammation. Are you experiencing painful periods? This drink helps regulate bleeding and soothe cramps.
Soak some fennel seeds in a glass of water for some hours (maybe overnight) and drink it early in the morning. Chewing fennel seeds also has a similar effect.
A study conducted by the AYU journal examined the impact of this tea on period pain. This study has 50 women with severe menstrual cramps.
About 52% of the participants who took the tea reported significant improvements compared to the placebo group. (6)
Related Article: Fennel Tea: Benefits, Side Effects and How to Make it
7. Cramp Bark Tea
This tea comes from cramp bark, a plant native to the forests of England, Scotland and North America. Historically, Americans used cramp bark as medicine for swollen glands, eye disorders and mumps. It was also used as a substitute for tobacco.
Today, the bark and root bark are used to relieve cramps, including menstrual cramps.
Cramp bark tea comes from shavings of the tree bark stripped during early autumn. The plant features a flavor that’s bitter and pungent yet offers a cooling sensation and piquant aroma.
The muscle is a known muscle relaxant and is used to ease muscle pain after workouts and hard activities. The bark can be used to alleviate pain in smooth muscle (7).
This attribute makes the cramp bark a useful herb to soothe period cramps in the lower abdomen. It has also been known to relieve severe cramping and its symptoms such as vomiting and nausea.
Cramp bark is traditionally prepared by placing 2 teaspoons of the dried bark into a cup of water. Then, boil it and let it simmer for up to 15 minutes. Consume 3 times a day to relieve cramps.
8. Cinnamon Tea
Similar to peppermint, cinnamon boasts anti-spasmodic properties that help fight menstrual pain. Another bonus property of cinnamon tea is that it acts as an anti-inflammatory, meaning it can offer pain relief to your cramps.
To make the tea, add cinnamon to water and let it boil for at least 15 minutes. You can add honey or milk to add some taste. If you do prefer, you can sprinkle cinnamon on your porridge or smoothie for a similar effect.
A study published by the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal to show the impact of cinnamon on menstrual bleeding and its symptoms. 76 women participated in the study. Those who took cinnamon had much-reduced pain and menstrual bleeding. (8)
Periods will never be fun, but there are many ways of making them a little more manageable. The above teas for menstrual pain will help offer relief and also benefit your health in general.