Friday, November 9, 2007

Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

Cramp- Ease Massage Oil

Massage approximately one teaspoon of the following oil over your abdomen and lower back twice a day to relieve cramps.
2 ounces almond oil
6 drops marjoram essential oil
8 drops lavender essential oil
6 drops ginger essential oil
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil

Combine oils in a dark-glass bottle and shake well. Store tightly in a cool, dark place.

Hot compresses for Menstrual Cramps

Add three drops of marjoram, four drops of lavender, and three drops of ginger essential oils to a basin of hot water. Soak a thin cotton dish towel in the water and wring it out. Place the hot, wet towel over your abdomen and cover with a thick, dry towel to retain the heat. Change the hot towel as soon as it begins to cool, replacing it with a fresh hot towel. Continue placing hot compresses over your abdomen for 15 to 30 minutes.

Hot Bath for Menstrual Cramps

Hot baths are wonderful for relaxing the body and mind and easing cramps. Add ten drops of lavender and four drops of marjoram essential oils to a bathtub of comfortably hot water and soak for 20 minutes. For additional muscle-relaxing properties, add two cups of Epsom salts, which are rich in magnesium, a natural musclerelaxing mineral. Hot sitz baths are also excellent for relieving uterine cramps. Add five drops of lavender essential oil and two drops of marjoram essential oil to the sitz bath if desired.

Gentle Menstrual Cramp-Ease Tea

3 teaspoons fresh ginger root, grated
3 teaspoons chamomile
2 cups water

Simmer ginger root and water in a covered pot for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add chamomile. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, sweeten if desired, and drink as needed.
For more severe cramps, use the following Cramp Relief Formula.

Menstrual Cramp Relief Formula

1 ounce cramp bark extract
1/2 ounce valerian or hops extract
1/2 ounce white willow bark extract
1/4 ounce ginger root extract

Combine extracts in a dark-glass bottle and shake well. Take 1/2 teaspoon of extract in a small amount of warm water every two to three hours as needed to relieve menstrual cramps.

Most Popular Herb for Menstrual Cramp

One of the best-known herbs from ancient China is dong quai (Angelica sinensis), a root with an earthy, sweet flavor that is considered to be the most important tonic herb for women in the Chinese herbal pharmacy. Both Chinese and Western herbalists prescribe dong quai to ease menstrual difficulties and maintain reproductive health. Because dong quai has muscle-relaxing and pain-relieving properties, it is helpful for easing menstrual cramps, and it has an overall balancing effect on the reproductive system. Researchers have identified phytoestrogens (plant hormones) in dong quai that help to regulate hormones.

This popular herb is found in many herbal formulas for women. For best results, it should be taken over a long period of time-at least three to six months. Dong quai is nontoxic, but do not take it during menstruation, because it stimulates bleeding. Take the herb during the first two weeks of the menstrual cycle, discontinue the week before menstruation begins and during the week of menstruation, and then resume taking the herb when menstruation ceases. Dong quai is most commonly available as a liquid extract and in capsules. Take one-half teaspoon of extract or one capsule three times a day.