Ayurvedic remedies for managing menstrual pain

Let’s talk period!

For so many women, this really is the dreaded ‘time of the month.’ Some have it worse than others but it is safe to say that general symptoms include cramps, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, mood swings and low back pain. That said, one’s cycle can also differ from one month to the next. You may find that some months are pain-free or bearable while others are, simply put - excruciating! While painkillers may feel like the only option at times, there is still much we can do to support our body as well as to get through the pain. According to Ayurveda, the menstrual cycle essentially is our body’s monthly cleanse but it is also considered a vital sign of health. It is a helpful indicator that shows up every month to let you know how your body is doing. So, while we may tend to be distracted by external factors and responsibilities, this really is a time to turn inward, rest and support your body. Here are a few effective Ayurvedic remedies to help alleviate period pain:

1. Stay warm and increase circulation by drinking warm herbal tea. Ginger, cinnamon, cumin-coriander-fennel and chaste berry are excellent options.

2. Massage your lower abdomen with warm sesame oil using gentle circular strokes.

3. Apply warmth to your lower abdomen with a hot water bottle.

4. Boil 1 tsp of black sesame seeds and a ¼ tsp of jaggery/cane sugar in ½ a cup of water. Drink this every morning (with sesame seeds) starting 3-5 days prior to menstruation.

5. Eat 1-2 dates daily, during and 3-5 days prior to menstruation.

6. Consume foods & fruits that are rich in iron. Especially leafy greens, beetroot, spinach, raisins, pomegranate juice and amla (Indian gooseberry).

7. Eat light, warm, unprocessed cooked foods. Broths and soups are best. Avoid salads and raw foods.

Remember, it is important to support your body not just during your period, but especially a few days prior. So, stop dreading your period! Instead tune into your body and prep yourself for a smooth cycle.