Dear readers, this post comes to you from my bed. Today has brought the delights of nausea, a banging headache, lack of appetite, aching joints, major cramps, and digestive acrobatics.
Yes, it’s that time of the month.
While the onset of the red tide may initially be something to celebrate (not preggo! Score!), the side effects generally have you willing to renounce all the plus points of being a woman (wardrobe diversity, bosom buddies, Gene Kelly) and wishing you had a Y chromosome.
The worst thing is that all these physical symptoms can render you pretty darn useless. It’s frustrating.
This time around, however, I’ve decided to turn this infernal time into something useful, rather than just spend the day clutching my tummy and rolling around in bed crying ‘why God, why?’.
Today I’ve taken matters into my own hands. I’ve turned myself into a human guinea pig and tried and tested all the natural remedies an Internet search provided, in the hopes that my experiments may serve you next time you get a visit from aunt Flo and cousin Red…
Here are my top 5 picks:
Ginger is always a trusty friend, but during your period, it gets promoted to bestie status. Ginger is a natural pain reliever and tummy settler. It’ll help bring your appetite back so you’re able to eat the wholesome, nourishing foods you know will do you good during this time.
Make ginger tea, by steeping three slices of ginger root in a mug of hot water for ten mins. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon (this is a great anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic). Sip. Repeat.
Then chew on the warm ginger slices for wellness-ninja brownie points.
Now your tummy’s sorted, it’s time to nourish yourself.
As we now know, turmeric is ‘the root of all fabulousness‘ (can we just take a moment to appreciate Ann’s amazing pun?). You’ll remember that it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory. And what are those joint pains and tummy aches you’re experiencing? Inflammation. So eat turmeric.
I set about making classic golden milk but, with pimping, it turned into something even more legit: anti-cramp turmeric oatmeal pudding.
Other things I used in my concoction were:
God bless essential oils. They’re powerful, soothing, and have myriad uses. Aromatherapy is a massive topic, that I’m starting to venture into tentatively.
I did a bit of research, and by chance I happened to have some powerful period-pain relievers to hand within my limited oil collection. Here’s what I did:
One drop of each in a teaspoon of carrier oil (I used hazelnut oil), massaged onto the back of the neck and shoulders.
What it does: both of these oils are relaxing. Ylang ylang also uplifts and eases depression, and lavender helps with stress and tension.
One drop of each in a teaspoon of carrier oil, massaged onto the belly in a clockwise motion.
What it does: peppermint is a powerful pain reliever and bergamot eases stress and tension. This massage will help relax your tight, unhappy tummy.
Other oils that are powerful for period pains are clary sage (hormone balance) and geranium. Unfortunately I didn’t have these to hand so can’t speak for their effectiveness, but do give them a go because they were the top picks across the board for this topic. I’m intrigued now, and will probably be heading to the Living Libations website to expand my collection within the next 28 days…
Ann and I are massive fans of the hot water bottle (or ‘hottie’ as my mum calls it. Ann came to stay last Christmas and at nighttime was offered a ‘hottie to go to bed with’. Hilarity ensued).
Try lying down in bed and placing one on your tummy, and one behind your neck. Then zen out to something awesome like Deepak Chopra’s guided meditations. Hopefully the essential oil massage you just gave yourself will still be sinking in, so the heat will also serve to help the oils to penetrate deeper.
I really pulled my finger out for this one. If it weren’t for the post this would never have happened. But, see how much I love you, I forced my aching pile of joints onto the exercise mat.
What’s really good at this time is yin yoga, which actually turns out to be more of a treat than an effort. This short yin yoga practise from our fave online teacher, Steffy White, is gentle, comforting and effective.
So there you go. Five things I tried this month that have helped me be slightly less than totally useless to the world today, which I think you’ll agree is a major win.
What are your tried and tested period pain remedies? Please share below. Let’s turn this into a conversation to support each other in surfing the crimson wave with ease and style.