One of the biggest myths surrounding periods is that pain and cramping cease when a woman has children or when she is close to menopause. While it’s true that your cycle can change depending on the decade of your life, pelvic pain and heavy bleeding can be bugbears right up until menopause, owing to irregular estrogen levels and fibroids. If you have strong pain, irregular bleeding or very heavy bleeding, a visit to your gynaecologist is indicated. Once they confirm that all is right and that pain can be caused by ovulation, or low/irregular estrogen levels, natural supplements can do plenty to reduce your symptoms, ensure you have a better sleep, and reduce pain and cramping.
This vividly hued, blue-green algae, usually taken in powder or pill form, can help quell cramping and pain. Spirulina contains a very high level of protein, as well as the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which has anti-inflammatory properties and which normalises hormone levels. Spirulina, a powerhouse of nutrients such as calcium, Vitamin B1, iron and antioxidants, can increase your energy on the first days of your period (when you tend to feel tired and sleepier than usual) and reduce bloating and water retention caused by the accumulation of acidic waste in your body. Of course, there are many reasons to consume spirulina daily including its immune-boosting, cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant properties. Spirulina can even help soothe allergy symptoms, making it a great all-rounder to add to your daily smoothie or juice. Another GLA booster is evening primrose oil, which can relieve menstrual cramps, thus boosting the regularising effects of spirulina.
Go Toxin Free
To reduce toxic build-up in your body while you have your period, consume an extra healthy diet in the days leading up to, and during, your period. Shop for plenty of organic seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy protein sources, and Omega-3-rich walnuts and healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil. Avoid toxins such as caffeine and soda drinks, which can lead to water retention and discomfort.
Try Adaptogenic Herbs and Essential Oils
Adaptogen herbs (including Panax ginseng and Ashwagandha) are a unique class of healing plants that have three properties in common: they are non-toxic, they increase our ability to fight non-specific stressors, and they have normalising abilities – i.e. they are able to regularise out-of-whack hormone levels, and regulate both high and low blood pressure. Essential oils such as lavender, thyme and sandalwood can also be used to promote relaxation, reduce stress-related hormonal imbalances, and improve progesterone production.
To combat cramps the natural way, power up on spirulina, adaptogenic herbs and essential oils, and take the time to prepare healthy meals so you have all the nutrition you need to eliminate toxins, fight bloating, pain and stress, and feel more energetic than ever – even on the first day of your period.
This blog was written by guest blogger Jane Sandwood. Jane’s a freelance writer and editor who’s been on an enduring quest to be as healthy as possible, having overhauled her diet and fitness program along the way. She really felt passionately about sharing some tips with our community.