When you experience your monthly cycle, varying levels of cramping is normal to feel. But as we all know, it can interfere with our daily lives and make us essentially incapable of functioning throughout the duration of a menstruation cycle. Some see going for teas instead of over the counter medication, to be a more preferable alternative.
Keeping in mind that evidence supporting the fact that teas can help with menstrual symptoms is weak, there has been some research done supporting this claim, so take it with a grain of salt. You may try some and actually find that it helps alleviate your cramps. Either way, you can try them for relief or for general comfort to improve your mood with a warm beverage. So below you will find 9 teas that may help with your menstrual cramps.
For a long time we have used ginger for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Ginger tea is made from dried, powdered spicy ginger root. Nowadays, ginger tea is normally used as a home remedy for many maladies, one of which are menstrual cramps. It helps relieve physical pain and reduce inflammation, if present, in your body. This is due to it being rich in anti-inflammatory compounds: gingerol and shogaol. And can help with bloating that usually happens when we have our periods.
In 2018, a study was published and found that when the participating 168 college female students took 200 mg of ginger every 6 hours it reduced their menstrual pain. This was compared to a drug called Novafen, and ginger was found to be about the same in relieving pain. So next time you feel your period coming on, try having a cup of delicious ginger tea instead of a pill and see if it helps.
A review published in 2015 found that when the participating women consumed somewhere between 750-2,000 mg of ginger powder in the first several days of their period, it helped alleviate the pain of their periods.
Red raspberry leaf tea
Red raspberry leaf tea comes from the leaves of raspberry plants. It has a similar, light, taste to black teas, and does not taste similar to how raspberries taste. And although not backed up with scientific proof, there are people that say consuming red raspberry leaf tea helps strengthen the uterus. If this is the case, then it should make your uterine contractions even worse! But as we said there is not much research performed in this topic, in spite of its long history of use. Even a relatively recent animal study was not able to find said effect in mice.
Another great natural alternative to drugs is fennel tea. It helps relieve you from pain and cramps and it is rich in antioxidants such as quercetin and vitamin C which aids in reducing inflammation. A small study found that when the participating girls took 30 mg of fennel extract 4 times per day for the first time three days of your period. With results showing a significant reduction of pain experienced.
Much like other teas mentioned in this article, there are more anecdotal supporting these claims than confirmed research. However peppermint tea nonetheless is very comforting when you drink it. Whether it be for a sore throat or painful stomach cramps. Now there are those that state menthol present in peppermint oil, giving it the cooling sensation we are familiar with, reduces uterus contractions.
Chamomile tea that we drink is made from their flowers, and it has a nice, mild taste. Even though it does not have a direct effect on menstrual cramps, it can help you get better sleep. And a study with 1000 female college students found that poor sleep is linked to more extreme menstrual complications.
A small study with 118 female participants found that when you take 250 mg of chamomile 3 times per day, starting a week before your period. When they did this, it was found that taking chamomile results in less bleeding compared to the group that was taking a placebo.
The results from another study found it reduces pain experienced from menstrual cramps. The study was published in the Iranian Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility, where the participants drank 2 cups of chamomile tea per day for a week and for the first 5 days of their menstrual cycle. This was carried out for the duration of 3 months.
As your period approaches, your estrogen levels begin to drop, when this happens you can feel that you have less energy. And we usually just reach for a caffeinated drink, such as coffee or teas. We would recommend that you try green tea, which should give you more energy and may help in alleviating your cramps. Green tea has a mild earthy flavor that many enjoy and it has been used for thousands of years in Chinese herbal medicine.
You should note that it is also rich in antioxidants and can help reduce any bloating you may have due to its anti-inflammatory effects. It also has a compound that scientists suggest might help you to relax and feel more calm (L-theanine). A study also found it can relieve menstrual pain when compared to other teas.
In ethiopia thyme or “tossign tea” is one of the most popular teas. It is used for medicinal purposes and it also has a delightful aroma. Thyme tea can be great for the flu, colds, and tonsillitis, which tend to try to ruin our enjoyment of winter. Thyme is popular in cooking, which is a good thing as it has several health benefits. When ingested as tea it has an earthy flavor that some people enjoy!
One single study found that drinking thyme tea was linked to a 63.2% diminished menstrual pain. This study was conducted on 252 Ethiopian teenagers. But keep in mind that this was only one small study, and till now no other study was able to achieve the same/similar results. So it may help with menstrual cramps but more research is needed to ascertain any potential effects.
Oolong tea is a mix between green and black teas, so it can offer some of the health benefits of both. Meaning that it also has some helpful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The study that found an association with green tea and decreasing period pain, also found a link with oolong however to a weaker effect.
Cinnamon is a delicious spice we can use on a daily basis in our kitchen, depending on how much you love cinnamon. But it should be noted that it has been used for centuries in natural medicine. It can help in reducing menstrual pain, improving digestion and blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon has many beneficial properties, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidants! As a tea cinnamon has a sweet, spicy taste that is made from dried cinnamon. There is some evidence which supports its ability to reduce inflammation; to which in turn may help reduce bloating that comes with menstruation.
Precautions to keep in mind
As mentioned, there is relatively slim scientific evidence to support these teas abilities to help in decreasing pain experienced from your monthly cycle. Now the teas mentioned in this article that have some evidence to support their positive effects are thyme, ginger,oolong, and green teas. But even with the supporting evidence, it is still weak evidence; especially for those that only have a single study.
Moreso for the studies that were able to find a link between ginger and a reduction of menstrual cramps, they used ginger powder as supplements instead of tea. So therefore, whether ginger tea can exert this benefit or not is yet to be seen.
You should also avoid most herbal teas if you know that you are pregnant. There are 2 teas that we recommend you to avoid while you are pregnant, red raspberry leaf tea and parsley; as red raspberry leaf and parsley might induce uterine contractions so it is best to avoid it. And finally, if you find that over the counter medicines and home remedies to be ineffective in reducing your cramps then we recommend that you speak with your healthcare provider.