Cramp- free days: 11 non-toxic ways to eliminate period pain.

Published on 23 January 2024 at 12:12

For many women with menstrual cycles, the monthly arrival of Aunt Flo can bring not just the inconvenience of searching for pads, cups and tampons but also the unwelcome guest of period pain. Whether it is a dull ache or a throbbing discomfort, unfortunately dealing with menstrual pain is an all too common experience which we are taught is completely normal and it is something we need to put up with….well ladies, this is untrue.

The good news is that you do not have to let period pain disrupt your life. In this blog post, we will explore a range of strategies and remedies to help you bid farewell to those cramps and welcome a more comfortable menstrual cycle. Say hello to health optimised and pain-free periods!

What are menstrual cramps?

Menstrual cramps, also known as dysmenorrhea are common and experienced by many. These cramps are characterised by pain and discomfort that typically occurs in the lower abdomen and sometimes radiates in the lower back and thighs. Menstrual cramps can range from mild to quite severe and vary from person to person.  The primary cause of menstrual cramps is the contraction of the uterine muscles. During menstruation, the uterine muscles contract to help shed the uterine lining, which is then expelled from the body as menstrual blood. These contractions are necessary for the menstrual process but can also lead to cramp like sensations.

Various factors can influence the intensity of menstrual cramps, including hormone levels, stress, lifestyle factors and underlying medical conditions. Fortunately, there are many strategies and remedies available to help manage and alleviate menstrual cramps. Let us explore these further:

1. Heat therapy

Applying heat to the lower abdomen and lower back can help relax the uterine muscles and reduce cramp pain. You can do this with a heating pad, using a hot water bottle, a hot bath or a ginger compress.


2. Magnesium

Increasing your intake of magnesium rich foods or incorporating an Epsom salt (which contains magnesium) bath into your routine can not only be beneficial to your health but also help with those cramps and here is why:

  • Magnesium is known to help to relax muscles, including the uterine muscles. This relaxation can help to reduce the intensity of cramps.
  • Magnesium may also have analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, which can help to alleviate the pain associated with menstrual cramps.
  • Magnesium can also help to reduce inflammation in the body which can ease menstrual discomfort.
  • Magnesium helps to regulate calcium levels in cells. Imbalances in calcium can lead to muscle cramps.
  • Magnesium plays a role in hormonal balance which can impact menstrual symptoms. It may help regulate prostaglandins, which are the hormones that can cause uterine contractions and pain during menstruation.

Foods that are rich in magnesium are:

  • dark leafy greens: spinach, kale and swiss chard
  • nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, peanuts and pumpkin seeds
  • whole grains: brown rice, quinoa and oats.
  • Legumes: beans, lentils and chickpeas
  • Avocado
  • Dark chocolate
  • Bananas
  • Fatty fish

For an Epsom salt bath, add 500g- 1kg of Epsom salts into your bath and soak for 30 minutes. You will absorb the magnesium through your skin. If you do not have a bath, you could simply soak your feet in a tub with Epsom salts, its just as beneficial.

3. Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can offer support for managing menstrual cramps and associated symptoms. Omega 3 fats are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. Menstrual cramps are often caused or exacerbated by inflammation in the uterine muscles. Omega-3's can help reduce this inflammation, potentially leading to less severe cramping. Omega 3's can influence the production of prostaglandins which are hormone- like substances that play a role in uterine contradictions. Excessive prostaglandin production can lead to more intense menstrual cramps. Omega 3's may help to balance prostaglandin levels, they have mild analgesic (pain-relieving) effect, which can help alleviate the discomfort associated with menstrual cramps. Omega 3’s may also help to regulate hormone levels which can impact the severity of cramps.

To incorporate more omega 3 fats into your diet, consider adding the following foods into your diet:

  • Fatty fish – Salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and herring
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Hemp seeds
  • Algae oil

4. Exercise

When we exercise, we have an endorphin release. Endorphins are natural painkillers and mood enhancers. Engaging in exercise can help to reduce the perception of cramping pain and reduce stress levels which can lead to less severe menstrual cramps. Exercise promotes better blood circulation which can help ease muscle tension and reduce the intensity of cramps. Improved circulation can also help to minimise bloating which may make you feel more comfortable.

There are a few rules to think about when exercising during menstruation:

  1. Do more gentle forms of exercise as intense exercise can lead to more fatigue and worsened cramps. Yoga and stretching can actually help to relieve muscle tension and cramps.
  2. Hydrate, to replace any minerals that you may lose through sweat.
  3. Make sure that you listen to your body, if you are just too tired to exercise, save it for another day.








5. Aromatherapy essential oils

We can use essential oils topically in a carrier oil, in a diffuser and add them to a bath. Here are some essential oils that can help you with menstrual cramping:

  • Lavender oil – known for its soothing and calming properties.
  • Peppermint oil – has a cooling effect and may help to alleviate muscle spasms and reduce pain when applied to the lower abdomen.
  • Eucalyptus oil – provides a refreshing sensation and can help with relaxation.
  • Clary sage oil – this oil is often recommended for menstrual discomfort. It can help to balance hormones and reduce cramping.
  • Ginger oil – this oil has anti- inflammatory properties and may help to reduce inflammation and pain. It can be massaged into the lower abdomen.
  • Chamomile oil – this oil is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties. Using it in a warm compress may help ease cramps and discomfort.
  • Rosemary oil – has analgesic properties and may provide pain relief when applied to the lower abdomen.
  • Cypress oil – this oil is known for its vasoconstrictor properties; it is anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant which can help reduce the severity of cramps.  Apply topically to the lower abdomen, as a warm compress or a diffuser.

6. Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional healing technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to promote relaxation and alleviate various discomforts, including menstrual cramps. Here are some acupressure points that you can try:

  • Spleen 6 (SP6): Located about four finger widths above your ankle bone on the backside of the shinbone. Apply firm pressure to this point using your thumb or index finger. Massage in a circular motion for 1-2 minutes on each leg.
  • Liver 3 (LV3): Found on the top of the foot, in the depression between the big tow and the second tow. Apply steady pressure to this point with your thumb for 1-2 minutes on each foot.
  • Pericardium 6 (PC6): situated on the inside of the wrist, about two and a half finger widths from the crease of your wrist. Apply pressure with your thumb in a circular motion.
  • Lower abdomen (Sea of energy): Place your hands on your lower abdomen, just below your naval. Apply gentle, circular massage with your fingers for several minutes.
  • Kidney 3 (KD3): Located on the inner ankle, midway between the ankle bone and Achilles tendon. Apply firm but not painful pressure using your thumb or index finger for 1-2 minutes on each ankle.

7. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate and balance the body’s energy flow. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) menstrual cramps are often seen as a result of an imbalance of qi and blood flow in the body. Acupuncture aims to restore this balance by stimulating specific acupuncture points along meridians (energy pathways) in the body.  

Acupuncture can trigger the release of endorphins which are natural pain killers. This can help to reduce the perception of pain associated with menstrual cramps. Go to to find an accupunturist near you.












8. Herbal tea

Herbal teas can be a comforting and natural way to help alleviate menstrual cramps and provide relief from some of the discomfort associated with menstruation. Here are several herbal teas that are commonly used for this purpose:

  • Peppermint tea has muscle relaxing properties and may help ease abdominal cramping. It can also have a soothing effect on the digestive system, which can be beneficial during menstruation.
  • Chamomile tea is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects. This tea may help relax the muscles and reduce tension which can be beneficial for managing cramps.
  • Raspberry leaf tea is often recommended for women’s health, including menstrual issues, it helps to tone the uterine muscles and reduce the intensity of cramps.
  • Dong quai tea helps to alleviate menstrual cramps and regulate menstrual cycles. It is anti-inflammatory and has muscle- relaxant properties.
  • Fennel tea helps to reduce bloating and ease digestive discomfort. It has a mild analgesic effect which can help to alleviate cramps.
  • Black cohosh tea can help with hormonal balance, relieving cramps and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can hep to relax uterine muscles.
  • Cramp bark tea acts as a muscle relaxant and relieves cramps.
  • Valerian tea is calming, helps with sleep and is a muscle relaxant

9. Homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic remedies are based on the principle of ‘like cures like’ and involve using highly diluted substances to stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Some people turn to homeopathy to manage menstrual cramps and related symptoms. Here are some homeopathic remedies that can be used for menstrual cramps:

  • Magnesia phosphorica (Magnesia Phos)
  • chamomilla
  • Nux Vomica
  • Belladonna
  • Pulsatilla
  • Sepia

10. Herbs & spices

Here are some herbs which can help to alleviate menstrual cramps and related symptoms.

  • Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and can alleviate pain.
  • Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to relieve pain and inflammation. It is known for its potential to alleviate menstrual cramps and reduce nausea that can sometimes accompany menstruation.
  • Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce muscle spasms. It may also help to regulate blood sugar levels which can be beneficial for managing hormonal fluctuations during menstruation.

11. Cycle syncing

Cycle syncing is an approach to wellness and self-care that involves tailoring your activities, diet and self-care practices to the different phases of the menstrual cycle. The idea is that by aligning your lifestyle with your hormonal fluctuations, you can potentially improve your overall wellbeing and reduce symptoms such as menstrual cramps. Your cycle is broken down into 4 phases and here I explain,  what you should consider to optimise your health during your cycle.

  • Menstrual phase (days 1-5): In this phase it is essential to prioritise self-care and rest. Gentle exercise, like yoga or stretching and heat therapy are good choices during this phase.
  • Follicular phase (days 6-11 or first day of noticeable Cervical mucous): Oestrogen is rising during this phase. You may have more energy and experience reduced cramps. This is a good time for more vigorous exercise and focusing on more nutrient-dense foods to support overall health.
  • Ovulatory phase (days 11-16): This is an optimal time for social activities and engaging in more challenging workouts as your energy levels are typically higher.
  • Luteal phase (days 17 – 28+):  As your progesterone levels rise you may experience mood swings and increased sensitivity to pain. Focus on relaxation techniques and stress management. 

So there you have it, 11 non toxic ways to help you eliminate menstrual cramping. Remember that what works best may vary from person to person. It is essential to listen to your body and experiment with these natural remedies to determine which ones work for you. If your cramps are severe or persistently interfere with your daily life, it is advisable to consult your GP for further evaluation and guidance. It is advisable to consult with your healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your daily routine.

For more information on cycle syncing and how you can optimise your diet, manage your cycle symptoms and increase your energy, contact me to book a consultation.



The encyclopaedia of homeopathy by Dr Andrew Lockie MRCGP, FFHom

The encyclopaedia of complementary health – consultant editor Nikki Bradford.

New medicine, The complete family health guide (2005) – editor in chief professor David Peters.

Herbalism – an illustrated guide by Non Shaw (1998)

Renegade beauty By Nadine Artemis (2017)

In the Flo by Alisa Vitti (2020)

Fast Like a girl by Dr Mindy Pelz (2023)

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