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Itis absolutely mind-boggling how often traditional doctors advise patients to take Advil every 4 hours during their time of month to relieve menstrual pain. As a woman myself having struggled with terrible cramps every month, I’ve had countless doctors brush me off with “just take Advil or birth control to alleviate the discomfort,” when I explain my agony.
Ginger: A Holistic Alternative to NSAIDs for Period Cramps
Ladies, it’s time to stop suppressing the pain. Let’s get to the ROOT of the problem (pun intended)! Though period cramps have become viewed as “normal,” they can be incredibly debilitating for some women. It gets to a point where it becomes impossible to focus at work and school. For a week out of each month, even just barely making it through the days suddenly feels out of the question.
The good news is that there is a body-friendly alternative to these pills that will curb the great discomfort that comes with Aunt Flo. Ginger is that alternative. A surprisingly effective one, too!
According to Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not To Die & Founder of NutritionFacts.org, ginger can work as well if not better than Advil to alleviate excruciating menstrual cramps, without the dangerous side effects of acetaminophen:
A study found that even just an eighth of a teaspoon (of ginger) three times a day appeared to (alleviate menstrual cramps), dropping pain from an eight to a six and, in the second month, down to a three. What about the duration of pain? A quarter teaspoon of ground ginger three times a day not only dropped the severity of pain from a seven down to a five but also decreased the duration of total hours in pain from 19 hours down to about 15 hours, indicating that three quarters of a teaspoon of ginger a day for three days is a safe and effective way to produce pain relief in those with painful menstrual cramps. How does ginger compare with ibuprofen? An eighth of a teaspoon of ginger powder four times a day for three days versus 400 milligrams of Motrin were put to the test, and the ginger worked just as well!
Why doctors don’t share this simple, yet valuable bit of information more often with patients (or at all?) remains a mystery. What we do know though, is that ginger is super accessible and in just about everyone’s kitchen!
If you suffer from stomach cramps during Aunt Flo’s visits, try incorporating an abundance of ginger root & powder in your cooking. You’ll feel it pay off.
Of course, a holistic approach to health will also require you to look at the bigger picture and consider making other lifestyle changes to reap the greatest cramp-curing benefits. For example, eating less inflammatory foods and more fresh vegetables is a good start. Yes, ginger can work as well if not better than ibuprofen. But, if the individual is still mindlessly indulging in meat, dairy, eggs, and a ton of refined sugar… chances are, the results aren’t going to be the same as those with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Instead of sugary drinks, try making your own healthy ginger ale at home with:
For sparkling water, you can invest in a soda stream or purchase bottled sparkling water of your choice. Grate an inch of ginger, and add it into the sparkling water. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice (to taste) and stir well. If you desire a sweeter taste, add a little bit of coconut sugar. Enjoy it with ice, or room temperature!
Photo Source: Юлія Вівчарик on Unsplash
In addition to conscious eating with ginger, exercising everyday for at least 30 minutes, using non-toxic sanitary pads, and getting an average of 8 hours of sleep each night will go a long way in helping your body heal and function optimally — on and off menstruation.
What are some of your favorite natural remedies for relieving menstrual cramps?
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