Menstrual periods can be a pain—literally. Who could blame a gal for getting a little cranky around that time of the month? Relief is what’s wanted, of course. But pain pills can have side effects…and they don’t help at all with certain period problems, such as slow flow.
Better: Consider trying some good old granny wisdom. Home remedies for cramps, flow problems and those oh-so-tender breasts have been handed down from woman to woman for generations. They really work—and there’s no worry about overdosing or side effects, I heard from Andrew L. Rubman, ND, medical director of the Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines in Southbury, Connecticut. Products are sold at health-food stores. Dr. Rubman’s recommendations for…
Cramps: Apply a castor oil compress. An old-fashioned hot-water bottle alone is enough to soothe menstrual cramps for some women. But if that doesn’t do the trick for you, castor oil can help. What to do: In a resealable plastic bag, soak a washcloth in a half-pint of castor oil. Remove the damp cloth and place it directly over your bare lower belly (taking care not to let it touch any clothing or other items that might stain). Cover the cloth with plastic food wrap, then top with a hot-water bottle or heating pad. Let it sit for as long as you feel benefit. Why it works: Castor oil appears to be a good medium for allowing the heat to penetrate deeply, stimulating blood flow and helping cramped muscles relax. Also, though evidence is scant, some experts suggest that castor oil’s ricinoleic acid soaks through the skin and reduces hormones that can trigger cramps. The compress can be stored in the plastic bag and reused as often as desired.
Suppressed flow: Drink dark berry juices. Suppressed flow means that your period is slow to start, the blood is dark and stringy, your belly is bloated and the flow takes forever to trickle off. Solution: Compounds such as polyphenols and flavones in dark berry juices may help regulate activity of the mucous membranes in the uterine lining, thus producing a more consistent flow, Dr. Rubman said. Try drinking eight ounces per day of a dark berry juice, such as pomegranate or blueberry…or stir a teaspoon of a freeze-dried, powdered dark berry juice extract (such as Navitas Naturals) into a beverage twice a day. Continue until symptoms abate. If suppressed flow is a recurrent problem for you, a preventive strategy is to start your “juice therapy” a few days before your period is due and continue until the bleeding stops.
Sensitive breasts: Try hops tea. In two cups of boiled water, steep a tablespoon of flaked dried hops for five minutes, then strain out the hops and drink the tea hot. Repeat several times daily or as needed. Alternative: Buy freeze-dried hops extract capsules (Dr. Rubman recommended the brand Eclectic Institute) and take two capsules to start, then one as needed to alleviate breast pain, for a total of four or five capsules per day. Hops have been used for centuries as a nervine (an agent with soothing effects on the nerves), decreasing pain sensitivity and calming both body and mind, Dr. Rubman said. Hops tea also reduces anxiety and promotes sounder sleep—welcome bonuses always, but particularly at “that time of the month.”
If simple self help remedies don’t work and you want to get your women’s health issues addressed naturally without drugs or synthetic hormones, give us a call at Crossroads Holistic Health Center, 1-760-751-2208.
Learn more at http://www.newnaturalmedicine.com
Source: Andrew L. Rubman, ND, is medical director of the Southbury Clinic for Traditional Medicines in Southbury, Connecticut. http://www.Naturopath.org