If you’re not a fan of popping ibuprofen for menstrual cramping, explore alternative remedies. As always, consult with your physician and medication list in case of contraindications. Most of these therapies below are available at a health food store. It’s best to consult an integrative medicine specialist or guide to herbal remedies to research for yourself.
Cramp bark extract. Try to add a few droplets of this extract on those crampy days. Follow the bottle’s instructions. You can dilute the woodsy taste a little by placing a few droplets in a small amount of orange juice to disguise its intense flavor. It’s not the best beverage you’ll ever taste, but still, the natural antispasmodic properties may be worth it!
Evening primrose oil. The healing properties of this yellow flowered plant are a constant in the alternative therapy world. It comes in capsule and oil extract forms. The anti-inflammatory properties are prized as a relief agent for premenstrual syndromes.
Hot water bottle. The barrier of cost is low for a hot water bottle, and this option is reusable. Put your feet up, grab a soft blanket, and rest the bottle against the abdomen. It’s a mini-spa homemade moment all to yourself. If you don’t have one, consider soaking a washrag or hand towel in hot water, ring out the excess, and place flat against the abdomen too for temporary relief.
Essential oils. Consider using lavender, rose, chamomile, or jasmine as aromatherapy options for PMS. Use a few drops in an aromatherapy vaporizer. If you don’t have a vaporizer, place a few drops on a cotton ball. Lie down and place the cotton ball facing up on your shirt—don’t rub the oil directly on your skin but just rest it below your nose. The fragrance will waft and be a nice respite.