Soulager les douleurs menstruelles grâce aux plantes

Relieve menstrual pain with herbs

Jun 19, 2023

Better understand menstrual pain

Period pain , or dysmenorrhea, is a common menstrual condition. They correspond to painful and severe ramping sensations. Other symptoms can also occur such as digestive disorders (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), headaches or tremors.

There are two types of dysmenorrhea:

  • Primary dysmenorrhea , which corresponds to pain without underlying pelvic pathology, appearing for the first time around the age of 20 after the establishment of ovulatory cycles.
  • Secondary dysmenorrhea which is conversely caused by pelvic disease. (1)

Pain is the most common symptom associated with menstrual disorders. Many studies also confirm their very high prevalence. (2) Although the characteristics (intensity, location) may vary, the consequences remain significantly similar. Indeed, menstrual pain has a considerable impact on the quality of life of women as well as their level of well-being. The result is absenteeism at school/work, an alteration of social life, an interruption of sports activities, etc.

These pains, although sometimes trivialized, nevertheless prove to be a real handicap in the daily lives of many women. In an attempt to soothe menstrual pain , various drug treatments such as antispasmodics, anti-inflammatories and analgesics are now available. However, many French women prefer to turn to natural remedies , seduced by the many advantages offered by these alternatives.

In this context, herbal medicine appears to be a relevant possibility: absence or reduction of contraindications, side effects, drug interactions... However, it is necessary to know how to use plants.

7 effective plants against menstrual pain

  • Ashwagandha

This plant, also known as Withania somnifera , is native to India. It has been used for its many benefits for millennia as part of traditional Indian medicine. More recently, several studies conducted have identified its properties. It is mainly its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that play a role in reducing menstrual pain. This plant also helps to reduce anxiety, which is an aggravating factor for pain. (3)

  • Chaste tree

The dried berries of the chasteberry shrub are also used to treat various ailments related to the menstrual cycle: absent or irregular periods, painful chest, premenstrual syndrome... (4) By acting on hormonal balance and inflammation, chasteberry reduces significantly menstrual pain.

  • La Centella Asiatica

Also known as Gotu Kola or Tiger Grass, it is a plant widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps to fight against pain thanks to its antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic properties. At the same time, it promotes blood circulation. It also helps relieve heavy leg sensations induced by menstruation. (5)

  • Ginger

Ginger is also a formidable ally against menstrual pain. This plant, also native to India, has many benefits: muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-inflammatory… Numerous studies have also confirmed that ginger significantly reduces the intensity and duration of primary dysmenorrhea (6). One of them revealed in particular that the effectiveness of this plant was similar to that of ibuprofen in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. (7)

  • Meadowsweet

Among its actions, Meadowsweet notably fights against menstrual cramps by inhibiting the production of inflammatory prostaglandins. Its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects help relieve menstrual pain.

  • Feverfew

This medicinal plant is often used in the treatment of headaches . However, it also has many effective benefits for the relief of menstrual pain . In particular, it helps to soothe uterine cramps, regulate hormones while reducing inflammation.

  • horse chestnut

Finally, horse chestnut, scientifically known as Aesculus hippocastanum, is also a natural and effective remedy. It is mainly appreciated for its anti-inflammatory and venotonic properties.

Discover our food supplement for the Well-being of the Menstrual Cycle composed with Horse Chestnut.

Other non-drug tips

The application of heat

In addition to herbal medicine, some tips can relieve the ailments related to menstrual cycles. This is particularly the case with heat. To do this, simply apply a heat pack to the painful area (in the form of a hot water bottle, heating pad, hot compress, etc.). Its vasodilator and muscle relaxant action induces a decrease in contractions and spasms responsible for menstrual pain. (8) Focusing on the pleasant feeling of heat is also an effective method of distraction, allowing you to focus on something other than pain. Biologically, stimulation of thermal receptors can temporarily block or inhibit pain signals.

seated woman who has put a hot water bottle on her belly

The hygiene of life

Lifestyle also has a significant impact on menstrual pain. First of all, it has been proven that the regular practice of physical exercise and sports can reduce these pains. (8) At the same time, a healthy and balanced diet can also contribute to the reduction of dysmenorrhea. To go further, it will mainly be necessary to ensure that you avoid pro-inflammatory foods, increase magnesium intake while consuming enough fiber and hydrating yourself enough.

Limit aggravating factors

Some factors will, on the contrary, potentiate menstrual pain. We can mention in particular:
  • The sleep. Lack of sleep affects the perception of pain. This is why it must be in sufficient quantity and quality.
  • Tobacco and alcohol consumption. These are also known to aggravate pain: the objective is therefore to reduce or even stop these consumptions. (9)
  • Stress . Avoiding stressful situations and usingstress management techniques can help ease menstrual pain.

In short, to date there are many natural remedies to fight against menstrual pain. However, these pains should not be minimized or trivialized. Indeed, pain, regardless of its location or intensity, is primarily intended to be a warning sign. It is therefore important to consult a doctor when this pain appears to be unusual and/or too invasive: significantly affects daily life, worsens abnormally, is not relieved or only slightly relieved by medication, lasts before and after menstruation …

References :

  • Andersch B, Milsom I, An epidemiologic study of young women with dysmenorrhea, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology , Volume 144, Pages 655-660 (1982).
  • Mikulska, P.; Malinowska, M.; Ignacyk, M.; Szustowski, P.; Nowak, J.; Pesta, K.; Szeląg, M.; Szklanny, D.; Judasz, E.; Kaczmarek, G.; et al. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) —Current research on health promotion activities: a narrative review. Pharmaceuticals 2023 , 15 , 1057. https://doorg/10.3390/pharmaceutics15041057
  • Vidal, Phytotherapy in the treatment of painful periods (2023).
  • Rahnama, P., Montazeri, A., Huseini, HF et al . Effect of Zingiber officinale R. (ginger) rhizomes on pain relief in primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized placebo-controlled trial. BMC Altern Med Supplement 12 , 92 (2012).
  • Giti Ozgoli, Marjan Goli, Fariborz Moattar. Comparison of the effects of ginger, mefenamic acid and ibuprofen in women with primary dysmenorrhea. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 129-132 (February 2009)
  • Parazzini F, Tozzi L, Mezzopane R, Luchini L, Marchini M, Fedele L. Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and risk of primary dysmenorrhea. Epidemiology . (July 1994)

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