it's that time of the month, and you're in pain. While cramps are pesky, reaching for drugs to stop them could make your problems grow.Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin (ASA), ibuprofen (Advil), mefenamic acid (Ponstel), naproxen (Naprosyn) stress your kidneys, liver and gastrointestinal tract, possibly impairing your ability to keep your hormones balanced.
Rather than risk fudging up your beautiful feminine workings, why not address the real causes of your monthly pain?
RAGTIME BLUESF or many women, clearing cramps is a simple matter of avoiding junk-food insults to the womb and making sure to regularly defuse stress, wherever it comes from. Lowering your critter consumption will help, too. Meat, eggs and dairy products increase your series-2 prostaglandin levels (these compounds with the fancy name increase smooth-muscle contractions like the kind in your womb).Go for the calming prostaglandins, series-1 and -3, found in fish and flaxseed oil blends. Evening primrose oil is the best-studied source for its anti-inflammatory properties and is touted for PMS (one 500mm capsule twice a day after meals, and seek advice if taking aspirin regularly, anticoagulants or epilepsy meds). It takes several weeks to work, so hang in.
To head problems off at the pass, get 1,200 mg daily of calcium. Recent studies show it's a premier premenstrual remedy. Plus, your body needs calcium and magnesium (400 mg or more daily -- build up slowly, and if you get diarrhea you've taken too much). To aid utilization add 50 mg of B6 to stave off muscle hypersensitivity.
Crimps in the belly can also be alleviated by crampbark tincture (black haw), ginger, sexual penetration and eating fruit to prevent constipation. For extreme moments try Magnesia phosphorica, nicknamed "homeopathic aspirin." Dissolve in warm water and sip.
If your cramps are accompanied by pains shooting down the back of your legs, you might have a tightened psoas muscle (deep inside your back). If that's the case, you need massage and the help of a well-informed yoga or Pilates instructor.
Last but not least, many of the world's older cultures consider "moon time" prime time for dreaming, shamanic activity, prophetic utterances, sacred sex rituals and womanly wisdom-gathering. Take a few hours after work or school to tune into your intuition and do whatever your bleeding body wants.
EXPERTS"Drink three to four 6-ounce cups of red raspberry leaf tea (made with three to four rounded tablespoons per litre of water) for 10 days before your period. Chances are there will be no PMS, lighter flow and fewer cramps. Over three to four cycles there will be a drastic change. Drink at room temperature.'
"Cramps indicate liver imbalance. Caffeine, alcohol, sugar and spicy foods overheat the liver. Alpha-lipoic acid and milk thistle support the liver."
Author, Hormone Heresy: What Women Must Know About Their Hormones
"Magnesium is good. Fresh lemon juice squeezed into hot water increases liver detox, so does beet root and dandelion. Dealing with stress is important, as is water consumption."
Nana Chang, ND
"Menstrual tension is a result of the conflict between a woman's heart and the tribal rules. Know your inner conflicts.'
Massage therapist, yoga teacher