Ancient herbal medicine passed down through generations teaches us that women have always suffered menstrual pain and have always been seeking relief. These days, the conventional wisdom of western medicine generally prescribes NSAIDs or birth control pills to mitigate menstrual pain. But long-term use of NSAIDs can be harmful, and birth control is not a viable solution for all menstruating women. Here are some vitamins and supplements with some evidence of relieving menstrual pain:
Thanks largely to estrogen, women especially need calcium in their diets to prevent osteoporosis. But did you know that calcium also relieves physical and emotional symptoms associated with PMS? These effects were observed in women who took 500mg twice daily and in another group that took 1200mg daily. Many calcium supplements are formulated alongside vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.
Magnesium and Zinc
These trace minerals aren’t a cure-all, but women who experience painful cramps might want to check for deficiencies. A lack of magnesium and/or zinc has been associated with more painful menstruation.
The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil have a similar effect to NSAIDs. In fact, patients with arthritis and back pain found relief from taking fish oil instead of ibuprofen. Researchers conclude that fish oil is a safer alternative, especially for regular or recurrent pain.
In China, women are still prescribed herbal medicine for menstrual pain. Herbal medicine has developed over centuries in many different cultures. All traditions tout cures for menstrual pain, labor pain, menopause symptoms, and for aiding pregnant women. Of all the traditional herbs for menstrual cramps, chasteberry has the most promising research behind it. Some herbs, such as Dong Quai (also known as Angelica root), are not safe for pregnant women. Supplements containing such ingredients should carry a warning label.
Is your current vitamin manufacturer creating safe supplements for menstrual pain? If not, contact Healthy Solutions. We’re cGMP certified and test each raw material we work with.