Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

Last Modified on Sep 11, 2014

Natural treatment of menstrual cramping often involves a variety of home remedies and supplements. Treatments including apple cider vinegar serve to balance the body while supplements supply the body with key nutrients for overall health. Home treatment options are often safer and less abrasive to the body than mainstream options.

What are Menstrual Cramps?

Also known as dysmenorrhea, menstrual cramps can be described as dull, throbbing or aching in the lower abdomen. Typically, women experience cramping right before and throughout their menstrual cycles. For many women, menstrual cramps present a mere discomfort or annoyance; however, some females experience severe cramping that interferes with their everyday activities each month.

During the female menstrual cycle, the uterus contracts to expel its lining in response to hormone-like substances. Higher levels of these substances are associated with more severe cramps. Additional factors may contribute to menstrual cramps including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and cervical stenosis.

Home Remedies for Menstrual Cramps

Several different treatment options are available to aid in the management of menstrual cramps. Often diet and exercise are enough to control these symptoms; however, additional options may offer relief of more intense menstrual cramping. Natural options including apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses and calcium offer support for the symptom that relieves cramping.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a powerful detoxifying agent. This tonic is also rich in calcium and potassium, which ease the cramping of muscles in the uterus. With these properties combined, apple cider vinegar relieves issues associated with menstrual cramping and other symptoms of menstruation.

Blackstrap Molasses

Derived from the sugar refining process, blackstrap molasses is a nutrient-rich syrup. This grade of molasses boasts high amounts of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 and selenium. These nutrients reduce cramping by minimizing blood clots, relaxing the muscles and restoring the system’s nutrient level.

Calcium

Calcium is a vital nutrient that supports general bone and muscle health. In relation to cramping, however, calcium helps regulate muscle tone, which in turn, relieves cramping.

Women experience different levels of cramping in association with their periods. Some women may experience no cramping while others undergo a great deal. In any case, regular exercise paired with adequate nutrition and regular supplements relieve dysmenorrhea and other menstrual cycle symptoms.

Additional Pages of Interest
Heavy Menstruation Remedies
Amenorrhea Remedies

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Most Popular Remedies:

Blackstrap Molasses14 YEAS
Apple Cider Vinegar5 YEAS

User Reviews



Aloe Vera   1  0   

Posted by Saab (Vancouver, Canada) on 08/07/2008

[YEA]  re: pure aloe vera gel for severe Menstrual cramps (dysmenohrea)... I have had extremely severe cramps for 20+ yrs. Have taken many prescription medication ibuprofen, and others (25 mg codeine Tylenol, every 4 hrs) for 4-5 during my periods; every month of the last 20 years. Tried ACV remedy , helped abt. 25%.after 6-8 mths. Tried pure Aloe Vera gel (lily of the valley) 1 tsp every morn, then as needed during day. helped 80% in the first time try.

Posted by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
08/08/2008
120 Posts
Hi Saab, A good magnesium supplement goes a long way in alleviating PMS/mentrual problems. Good old magnesium does a lot of different things in our bodies and many of us today are running deficits of it. Don't wait until PMS starts, to take it.
Posted by Tehani
Los Angeles, California
08/12/2010
Mix 1 heaping size tablespoon of instant caffeinated coffee(any brand), using very little warm water to dissolve it, about (1/3 cup). The idea of this is to have a shot of coffee without being obligated to drinking a whole cup of it. I would recommend using a straw to drink your shot, so your teeth don't get stained. If your cramps are still there within 5-10 minutes later, by all means, drink another teaspoon of it using the same amount of water. When the effect fades off, repeat the same process as if your taking a cramp pill. Since I'm not a coffee drinker, I didn't feel any jitters or shaking at all, in fact it MAY encourage a bowel movement within a few minutes or so.
Posted by Faye 008
Iloilo City, Philippines
01/13/2011
... 2 things---- 1> mix about 8tbsp of Milo or choco frink powder to half cup of warm water. Drink it while it's hot. Then... 2>hot compress... Fill bottle w/ warm water, wrap it with towel then leave it on top of abdomen.. It works better than any pain reliever.. works for me and my friends.
Posted by Bekah75
Edmonton, Canada
11/29/2011
Been reading this thread and wanted to say that apples are loaded with magnesium... The comments about ACV and a magnesium supplement would both work? I have been really heavily bleeding for months... Will try this... Thanks!

Apple Cider Vinegar   5  0   

Posted by Amber28 (Houston , Usa) on 01/22/2013

[YEA]  Honestly I can't believe ACV is working, but it is! I was up late the other night feeling depressed about my period because for the last 5 years I've had issues (but I've always had major cramps and a heavy flow since my period started when I was younger. I would take 3 midol before feeling any relief from cramps and then 2 more later). Anyway in 2008 my period began and didn't stop, I didn't have health insurence so I didn't know what to do. Finally my mom suggested a natural hormal cream which worked but my cramps were really bad and I hated taking the cream because it gave me acne and my hair started falling out. So then a few years later I tried another natural hormonal pill and it worked a little bit but not really. I've been very discouraged. Then I came across this site and read all your posts about ACV and I felt hope. I called my hubs and told him to pick me up some after work (with straws ;-) ). I was praying "please please please work for me!! " I couldn't drink a glass of water with a spoon of ACV fast enough. An hour or so later I went to the restroom and the bleeding was almost all gone. I drank another glass and an hour later it was completely GONE and my hubs and I were able to be intimate again FINALLY. How did it work so fast? In less than 5 hours this thing I've been suffering with for years cleared up? Sadly though when I woke up the next morning I was bleeding again, so I drank another cup of water and ACV and BAM the bleeding is gone. Do I need to drink this ongoing all day? Honestly I wouldn't care if I had to because it's worth it. I may buy some ACV pills though. Honestly I have no clue why this works, but it is. It makes me mad that no docs are talking about it. That women have to suffer, pay money for toxic pills, get surgery and cry themselves to sleep over this when ACV has been out there the whole time and docs don't tell anyone!

Posted by Amber84
Houston, Tx, USA
01/31/2013
2 Posts
Hi. I registerd so my account name is diffrent. But I'd like to say that I took ACV four times a day for the first 2-3 days but then I dropped it down to once and day and I'm perfectly fine. I'm still in shocking that I'm healed. I need someone to pinch me and make sure I'm not dreaming.
Posted by Mrs.kennedy0711
Nocona, Texas, United States
04/07/2013
I just started the apple cider vinegar to try and help my period.. I have been bleeding for over a month and went through 3 boxs of tampons.. I am really hoping this helps because I am ready to stop!!! All I am wondering about is do I have to keep drinking it all through out the month or just when I am bleeding??? My doctor told me I can't have babies so I am trying everything I can to try and have one!!! Plz I need all the feedback I can get!!!
Posted by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe
04/07/2013
Mrs.kennedy0711, have you tried Blackstrap Molasses?
Posted by Anon
Anon
04/07/2013
Hi, Quite a few of us can sympathise- this is all too common but not normal. If you have been bleeding for over a month you should ask your doctor or nurse to check your blood count for anemia - sometimes anemia makes the bleeding worse. As a desperate measure to stop or lighten the flow you can do either or all of the following- drink 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a half glass of water- whilst the flow is heavy drink this 3 times a day- it may well stop the flow altogether. The other cure is 1 tablespoon of black strap molasses 3 times a day- you will need to drink plenty of water with this. In England our doctors merrily prescribe a drug called transemic acid for this which also works well but there are side effects eg headaches so natural is better. Heavy periods are a sign of oestrogen dominance, this is a precancerous condition and should be taken seriously. You need to look at your diet.
Posted by Ky Mama
Clinton, Ky
04/07/2013
707 Posts
I would definitely do the Apple Cider Vinegar daily. Blackstrap Molasses may also help a lot. It helps with lots of female issues. 1 Tablespoon Morning and evening. This will help your iron levels too, which can't be good with all that bleeding.

Ten years ago I was bleeding every two weeks. An Ob told me that I would have to take an antibiotic and birth control pills to fix my cycle or I would never get pregnant again. (The antibiotic was because she said I had a blocked fallopian tube and I only have one, having lost one to a tubal pregnancy many years ago. ) I threw away her prescriptions. I researched natural progesterone by using that for three months I was able to regulate my cycles. (I didn't have to use it forever. ) I have had three children since then in spite of the doctor's threats.

I am 46 and my cycles are better than they have been in all my life. I think it may be because of daily Apple Cider Vinegar for a couple of years. I have always been a heavy bleeder but it isn't so bad now. (And usually it gets worse when you get older. ) I know it would be better if I kept up with the Blackstrap molasses but I don't like it. :)

Posted by Sarah (Melbourne, Australia) on 01/12/2011

[YEA]  ACV cured me of heavy bleeding and cramps

For the last three years I was victim of heavy bleeding and I had to feel embarrased infront of my coleagues for sometime when my flow was uncontrolable. For the last months I was feeling excruciating pain also before periods and only spotting occured for one day. Everytime I took it to pregnancy and didnot take any medicine for pains for fear of pregnancy. But later everytime got periods. Then I came to know about ACV. From the last two weeks I have started taking Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in water for three times. And today my period started without discomfort. I didnt have any PMS symptom this time. Felt energetic. Very less bleeding as I used to have earliar. I am so happy to have found the remedy. I always searched for remedies for heavy bleeding but didnot know about acv. Thanks earth clinic.

I must add that I have started little bit exercise past one week and also taking fish oil supplements.

will Apple Cider Vinegar also reduce my tumor on submandibular region?

Posted by Bushra
Kwoolon, Hongkong
01/14/2012
Hey just saw your message regarding heavy blood flow my periods are very irregular got them today after almost 3 months and sometimes my periods doesn't stop without taking any medicine so I am really worried as I have just moved to hong kong and don't know any good dr here. Just read your message so can u tell me about ACV so can I get over the counter? Will really appreciated if you can reply me soon.
Posted by Rafia
Kowloon, Hong Kong
02/15/2012
Bushra I'm from Hong Kong. You get Apple Cider Vinegar in the vinegar section in the supermarket. It's not a medicine. It's vinegar u can use in salads etc but it is known to help with many things.

I had an awful period this mth and last mth I was in a detox had 6 day period but it was so easy no cramps everything so I was trying to figure out what it was. Now I realise it's the Apple Cider Vinegar pills I was taking and I also think the chia seeds which are higher in omega 3 and 6 than fish oils did the trick. I am going back to the Apple Cider Vinegar and chia :)

Posted by J
US
06/10/2014
I am 13 and started at 11...heavy flow, cramps get worse everytime...clots are huge and hard..i am just scared
Posted by Mama To Many
Tennessee
06/10/2014
707 Posts
Dear J from US,

I am so sorry you are having this trouble. Yes, large clots and bad cramping would be scary and uncomfortable!

Would you be able to enlist the help of your mother or grandmother in this situation? If you are having heavy bleeding, you could be anemic, which could lead to fainting or other problems. You really need to have someone older who knows you who can help you monitor your symptoms and make sure any remedies you try are suitable for you and are working for you.

If my daughter was dealing with this problem, the easiest thing to try would be Blackstrap Molasses. One Tablespoon a day, every day of the month, has helped many with cramps, heavy periods, clotting, and other period problems. Some people take it straight off the spoon (my children do.) I like it better mixed in some milk or in a mug of Dandy Blend, an herbal coffee substitute. It also helps with anemia from heavy periods.

Others have found that Evening Primrose Oil can help with cramps and period problems. You can read some stories about that here:

http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/home-remedies-for-menstrual-cramps3.html#eveningprimroseoil

Some other things I would have my daughter do in this situation would be to eat less animals products and soy products and more vegetables and fruits.

Please do let me know how you are doing! I hope you are feeling much better soon!

Love,

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Christy (Mechanicsburg, Pa) on 06/02/2010

[YEA]  Thanks for the heads up about diluting the vinager. I never thought about that!

I want to add my voice to the chorus of "YAY ACV!!" I had horrible horrible cramps - once so bad I went to the ER worrying something was very wrong. They did an examination AND and ultrasound and found nothing. I bled so much that I couldn't go to work because I'd be useless there. It was really horrible.

I saw all these sites about supplements and things and I am not one for the holistic approach. I took my advil or muscle relaxers anything really just to stop the pain - but of course they made me bleed worse.

So when I tried ACV I was astounded! I have often said - short of a miraculous healing, I have never ever eveeeeeer seen something work so well!

My bleeding all but stopped. My cramps went AWAY!!! I can't even begin to tell you of the relief!

They suggested mixing ACV with apple juice - I also do it in iced tea and sometimes v8 fruit juice. It doesn't taste the greatest but man oh man....It's a more than fair compromise for how effective it is.

I've been using ACV for about 7 months now and everytime I use it - it works like a charm. I need to make sure to start drinking it before my period, or I do have a day of groaning while I wait for it to take effect.

I usually took 1 tablespoon with an 8oz glass of water, juice, tea etc - but lately I've been adding it to a full sized bottle of tea or juice and kinda eyeballing it. Still works though I'm thinking I should probably start measuring again just to control the amount of acid going into my stomach.

Also drinking it through a straw may be a good idea. I notice my lips get a little chapped during the time I take it - probably from the acid in the vinager.

But I can't stress enough - even with the minor annoyances ACV is AMAZING. If you have a really horrible period and think nothing will help you - try ACV!! It's less than $1 and a total life saver!

Posted by Crista (Pekin, Illinois) on 10/27/2008

[YEA]  Apple Cider Vinegar for Menstral Cramps

I actually was taking the ACV for my sinuses and it ended up helping me with my cramps. I was still very tired and used a heating pad cause my back was aching, but not to the point of needing to take main medicine like I always have had to before. Usually my cramps make it so hard to concentrate on anything, and I just lay around for a day. I am in college and i was able to do my homework without problems because the pain was hardly there. I don't take ACV 3 times a day. I just started two weeks ago using it and I just use about 3 tablespoons of ACV and 3 tablespoons of honey in a tall coffee mug so about a 16 ounce container. I bet it I used it more it would have helped even more, but my husband doesn't like the smell of the vinegar so much :-) It is also clearing my sinuses quite nicely. I think I may be stopping my nasacort for my Rhrinitis soon. The ACV seems to work better, and I am starting to really like the taste.

Posted by Joyce
Joelton, Tn
10/30/2008
120 Posts
Hi Crista, Menstrual problems are another thing that good old magnesium supplements help. It is amazing what all this mineral does in our bodies.

Posted by Amy (Marietta, Georgia) on 09/27/2008

[YEA]  I read on your site that ACV was great for bloating, PMS, and menstrual cramps. So, in the morning and at night I began drinking 1 tablespoon ACV in 8 oz. water with honey or agave nectar to sweeten. Bloating was gone within 1 day. A couple of weeks later, I had no cramps with my period, and the bleeding only lasted 3 days. Usually, I have to take ibuprofen for one day b/c of cramping and general pelvic pain.

The next month, I forgot to keep up with the ACV (it's not something I crave!), and it was one of the most painful 3 days of a period I've had in a very long time. So, I remembered the ACV treatment the next month. My period sneaked up on me again. No pain at all. I only use the natural ACV with the "Mother". It helps to mix up a couple of quarts at a time and keep it in the refrigerator.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Valerian   1  0   

Posted by Linsa (Columbus, Ohio) on 03/14/2009

[YEA]  For mentrual cramps, esp. before bed I take 1 T. raw applecider vinegar with 2 capsuals of valerian root. I take another thing called "aunt flo cramp relax" and it's amazing! I can't believe how well I sleep even when I should be awake in pain. I also eat a lot of bananas and b complex.

Black Tea   1  0   

Posted by Mabel (Kampala, Uganda) on 03/05/2009

[YEA]  Hi, first and foremost i would like to thank EC, am so greatful for this website, it's such a blessing! Black tea has always been my remedy for stomachach and menstrual cramps. One just needs to boil a cup of water, add tea bag and take it hot (not very hot though) with no sugar (sour but helps) or add 1 tsp of honey if you cannot stand the taste. This will solve your stomach problems!

Posted by Lisa
Auburn Hills, Michigan
12/21/2010
This is for Jill in Chicago... I have been bleeding for 7 months straight and its so bad. I'm just in tears right now because I've been through 3 tampons tonight and in so much pain. Did you ever figure out what was causing your bleeding?
Posted by Pam
Wyoming, U.s.a.
12/21/2010
I hate to say it, but if you are bleeding that heavily and for that long, I think you should see a doctor asap. At least get a diagnosis and take it from there.
Posted by Dee
Melbourne , Australia
12/22/2010
Lisa if you look under the "Remedies for Menstrual Issues" section in this website you will see many people have used Apple Cider Vinegar (organic with the mother in it) to stop their menstrual flow. One person had been having the problem for six months and the ACV immediately stopped it. 1-2 tblspns in 8 oz water. Best of luck.
Posted by Self
Ny
12/22/2010
Lisa,

1) have you tried the remedy Jill used with success? She was drinking 2 tbspns of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV) in 1/2 cup of water 3 times a day. Drink plain water after to rinse the mouth. ACV has helped others with heavy periods too, perhaps because of its alkalizing effect and ACV may help emulsify fat which can disrupt hormones and cause menstrual troubles.

2) Diet is important too. Keep a diet of fresh vegetables, some legumes, whole grains, frutis and nuts. Limit hormone filled milk and meats. Limit sugar. Limit fatty, fired foods, including vegetable oils. Cook with modest amounts of extra virgin coconut oil. It is more stable at high temps and the body can burn it off more easily. The foods I lsited to avoid or at least limit, block the actions of the hormones and can cause menstrual troubles too. Drink dechlorinated and defluridated water too.

3) To help clear out vegetables oils that often stay trapped in the liver causing congrestion, take 1 tbspn of lecithin granules (a fat emulsifier) before a meal, several days a week, for a few months at least.

4) Some are also helped by regular exercise, but you may not feel you have the energy for it. Make sure to check your iron levels sicne you bleed a lot. For this level of bleeding, be sure to see a physician too (preferably a naturopath).

5) Have you also tried the Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses (BSM) remedy? Mix one to two tablespoons of BSM in one cup of warm water and drink once a day for several days a week for a few months at least. This remedy is even more popular than the ACV for menstrual issues and has a lot of success.

Blackstrap Molasses   14  1   

Posted by Converted (Sydney, Australia) on 01/09/2014

[YEA]  Organic unsulphered blackstrap molasses truly helps with period cramps. I've had severe cramps on first day of period and always relied on painkillers. Started taking 1 tablespoon of BSM every morning in one cup of warm water 2 months ago.

First month I noticed a reduced flow but pain still there. Second month having nearly finished the jar, I had my first PAIN FREE period in more than 10 years! Miracle!

I have ovarian cysts so I suspect the BSM has reduced the cysts. I also occasionally took with 1 capful of ACV. Please try BSM it tastes great like malty coffee and don't worry about sugar levels.

Posted by Tina (Altoona, Pa) on 11/18/2013

[YEA]  Blackstrap Molasses has been an incredible relief for monthly cramps that were becoming intolerable. I am 46 years of age and I have tried multiple remedies. The beet juice was also effective but molasses is quicker and easier to take. I got lazy and skipped a month and the terrible monthly pain returned. I highly recommend!!

Posted by Katherine (Seattle, Wa, Usa) on 10/10/2011

[YEA]  I usually get cramps worst at night and in the morning. Last night about an hour before bed, I ate between 1 to 2 tablespoons of BSM and although I had cramps when I went to bed, I know I did not have them all night because I woke up a couple times (unrelated) without any. Also, in the morning, when they are usually the worst, I had none! I've now been awake for about three hours and still no cramps! I am SOO happy!

Posted by Amy (Salt Lake City, Ut) on 07/28/2010

[YEA]  Happily amazed! Blackstrap molasses works for cramps. After a decade of 7 day periods with heavy clotting combined with 800 mg of ibuprofen every 4 hours to manage the pain, this last period I took absolutely no medication and experienced only mild discomfort. In addition, my period only lasted 4 days. One month ago I began taking one tablespoon of organic unsulphered blackstrap molasses (diluted with warm organic soy milk to taste), one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed with a glass of water, and one small beet (canned in water). I did this approximately 5 out of 7 days a week. I usually did this in the morning and took each separately. After reading posts for cramps, fibroids, and ovarian cysts which often mentioned beets, acv, and bsm I decided to combine them all. It works.

Posted by Courtney
Kailua, Hi
08/29/2013
Just an FYI that the estrogen in soy can also cause menstrual symptoms to be worse (this was certainly the case for me). I mention this since you said you were drinking soy milk. I drink almond milk now. :)

Posted by Liberty (Eden, NC) on 05/06/2009

[NAY]  I'm a 35-year-old female. I've been diagnosed with PCOS, other than that I have no diagnosed illnesses although I suspect a thyroid disorder even though the test comes back normal. I do not take any precription medication. Ever since I started my period at age 12, I've had horrible cramps that I have to treat with a lot of pain medication and a heating pad. The cramps have lasted a day or two and my period has lasted 3-4 days. I started taking 1 tbsp. a day of Plantation blackstrap molasses about 2 months ago after reading what great experiences other women have had in curing cramps. My experience has been terrible. Since I started on the molasses, my period has extended to 5 days with more severe cramping each day. I know that treatments don't work the same for each person, but I'm very curious as to why the molasses caused this reaction. Any ideas?

Posted by LaToya
Chicago, IL
06/12/2009
Hi Liberty, have you tried using an organic brand of Blackstrap Molasses. I don't think I can mention brand name here, but the kind I use is organic and also unsulphered. I purchase it from a health food store. I don't think the grocery store molasses has the same health benefits. I hope the organic brand works for you.
Posted by Liberty
Eden, NC
06/14/2009
Hi LaToya. Thanks for responding! The brand that I used said it was organic. I truly am baffled why my reaction to it was bad; however, I haven't given up. I'm trying other remedies I've found on this site.
Posted by Zakiyaa
Northwestern, Pa, Usa
05/11/2010
was your molasses unsulphured?? if not, the sulfur in the molasses could be causing the cramps to get worse.
Posted by Kay
Atlanta, Ga
03/01/2011
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS]   I agree with the others. 1- Make sure you are using the Unsulphuredd BSM 2- Use 1 TBSP 2x a day in an 8 ounce bottle of water.

Everyone's body reacts differently but your reaction seems outside the norm.

I was experiencing sever "flooding" whch began 02.21.11 I read the reviews and began taking it in the morning 02.22.11 By 02.24.11, I had no cramps, flooding turned into a regular flow and the clotting disappeared.

I will say, an unexpected side effect was flatulance and loose stool, but that went away by the 6th day.

If you don't have high blood pressure, you may want to research usage of Golden Seal as well. But, I prefered the immediate results from the BSM.

Good luck to you.

Posted by Karen (Foxboro, MA) on 05/05/2009

[YEA]  I just wanted to tell my experience with blackstrap Molassas was almost instant! I have been suffering for years with very heavy periods that come every 21 days! After getting my tubes tied my periods went to hell. Very heavy, clots, bleeding every 21 days for 5/7 days with MAJOR cramps!
I found this website and decided to give it a try! I started the morning my period started. I took a tablespoon that morning and again that evening. Continued that each day. To my surprise, within 3 days..my period STOPPED! That is the first time in 3 years that I didn't have a long, heavy, crampy period! I am a believer!! Now if I can just get my period back to a 28 day cycle..I will be TRHILLED!!

THANK YOU!!!

Posted by Tina (Rochester, NY USA) on 03/24/2009

[YEA]  Black Strap Molasses and menstrual cramps: I started taking 1 TBSP of organic black strap molasses in my coffee a couple of days before my period. I ordinarily have to take (2)ibuprofen every 4 hours for the first 2 days. This month I cut way back on the frequency of the ibuprofen. It seems like the black strap molasses is having a positive effect. I will know better next month. I do not like taking medication, so any natural remedy is a welcome change.


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