Q: Are there any natural remedies for menstrual cramps? A: There are many natural remedies for the treatment of menstrual cramps, says Regina-based naturopathic doctor Julie Zepp. To help you better understand where cramps come from—the pain and discomfort is actually caused by the uterus (which is a thick muscular wall) having a contraction in an attempt to rid itself of the uterine lining. The first natural cramp remedy is taking the mineral magnesium, which acts as a muscle relaxant to help quickly alleviate discomfort. There’s an added bonus to taking magnesium for your cramps: it will help balance your mood and promote better sleep. Essential fatty acids, such as the omega 3s found in flax and fish oil, are a second natural remedy. These are wonderful for reducing pain and inflammation, says Zepp. When purchasing these, look for wild sources of fish that are guaranteed free of heavy metals. The third option, Cramp Bark, as its name suggests, is great for alleviating menstrual cramps. Zepp suggests people take the herb in tincture form (alcohol-or glycerine-based liquid extract). Although it has an odd smell, it tastes quite sweet and works very quickly without side effects, says Zepp.
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