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Menstrual Cramps: Herbal First Aid

Menstrual Cramps: Herbal First Aid

The joys of being a woman are tough to remember when you’re doubled over with menstrual cramps. Our fertility comes with a price that can be difficult to pay with a brave face every month. Herbs are a woman’s best friend when it’s impossible to stay curled up in bed with a hot water bottle. All of the herbs mentioned below may be taken as tinctures or teas.

Herbal Allies for Treatment of Menstrual Cramps

Red Raspberry leaf is the best herb for cramps I’ve ever used. This plant is easy to grow, easy to harvest, easy to dry and easy to use. Best of all, its bland taste blends well with the other herbs, like peppermint or nettle, that I like to add to the tea mix I use to re-balance my body. Only use dried raspberry leaf or tincture made with dried raspberry leaf.

Crampbark is so named because of its treatment of cramps. Most formulas designed to ease women’s menstruation has some crampbark in it. The flavor is unpleasant to some but can be disguised with other aromatic herbs.

Warming herbs like cinnamon are not only tasty but serve as traditional treatments for cramps. The anti-clotting action of cinnamon is excellent for treating cramps and the aroma is soothing.

Ginger works on several body systems that are taxed during menstruation. It soothes the stomach, warms the blood and eases pain naturally. It can be combined with any of the herbs mentioned above in either its fresh or dried form.

List of Herbal Allies for Treatment of Menstrual Cramps

Nutrition for Treatment of Menstrual Cramps

Women with severe cramping often test low on calcium during their cycle. Foods like yogurt, kelp, or nettle that have high levels of calcium seem to taste particularly good just before a period. Nutritional supplements should also include magnesium to help with calcium absorption.

 

Sue Sierralupe

Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.


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