Stomach cramp is painful, sometimes to the point of being debilitating but there is no need to rely on traditional medication to ease the pain. There are some great natural health remedies that can be very effective.
Relieving Stomach Cramps
Stomach cramps can be caused by a number of things, such as illness or eating too fast to name a few, but there are several natural remedies that can help. These include:
- Mint – is commonly used to aid digestion. Better digestion means less likelihood of suffering from stomach cramps.
- Fennel and ginger – both are helpful for easing both nausea and pain.
- Eat and drink slowly – taking the time to chew properly and enjoy your meal can reduce the likelihood of suffering from cramps.
- Eat smaller meals more often – eating too much at one sitting can overstretch the stomach and cause discomfort. Aim for smaller meals eaten more often.
- Be cautious of cold drinks – drinks that are too cold and drunk too fast can cause temporary but painful stomach spasms.
- Eat more fibre – fibre aids digestion and can help to reduce stomach and intestinal cramping.
- Probiotics – these are the friendly bacteria that the body needs in order to digest food properly and fight off illness. An imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut can lead to cramping, nausea, constipation and diarrhea. A probiotic supplement can restore the balance and give comfort.
- Diagnose food allergies – food allergies can often cause stomach cramping. Identifying these allergies through methods such as elimination diets will allow you to exclude the allergen from your diet. In time, the allergen is removed from your system and as long as it is not reintroduced, you should not suffer from any further ill effects.
- Chamomile and calendula – these are antispasmodic herbs. They are best taken as a tea.
Relieving Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual cramps are a problem that many women suffer from. Thankfully there are several natural remedies that can help including:
There are several herbs that herbalists recommend that can help to alleviate the pain of menstrual cramps such as:
- false unicorn root
- cramp bark
- red raspberry leaf
- dong quai
- black Cohosh
Heat therapy is also valuable for treating menstrual cramps. This is as simple as sitting in a hot bath for 20 minutes, using a heat pad on the abdomen or lower back for 15 minutes, or sipping hot tea or broth.
Even though you may not feel like it, exercise can be great for relieving cramps. It reduces muscle tension and improves circulation. It doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise – even a walk will help!
Acupressure can help to relieve cramps. One point that is recommended is called Spleen 6. Feel for the bony point of the inner ankle. From there, draw an imaginary line up the lower calf from the inner ankle. The point is located about four finger widths from the inner ankle, and is just beside the shin, near the back of the calf. Use your thumb or forefinger at a 90 degree angle to gradually apply increasing pressure and hold for three minutes. Do not use this if you are pregnant or have broken or infected skin.
Magnesium is found naturally in foods and is also available in supplements. Some studies have shown that magnesium is more effective than a placebo for relief from cramp pain and it also reduces the need to take additional medication to control pain.
Omega 3 fatty acids can have a positive effect on menstrual cramps. Studies have suggested that compounds such as EPA and DHA can decrease prostaglandin levels, helping to reduce pain. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fish, fish oil supplements, flaxseed, and evening primrose oil, to name a few rich sources.