Find out how red wine and other home remedies can help keep your menstrual cramps at bay.

 

Many women are no strangers to painful menstrual periods. In severe cases, they may even have difficulty walking.

“It (The level of pain) really depends on the amount of prostaglandin released,” said Dr Candice Wang, an obstetrician & gynecologist at GynaeMD Women’s Clinic. “Some ladies have higher amounts in their body, causing their uterus to contract a little bit more.”

While painkillers are commonly used to relieve the agonizing cramps, here are some alternative remedies that you could try.

 

  1. Red wine
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Glass of wine. Photo by: Melanie Koh

 

As odd as it may sound, a glass of red wine a day could help relieve menstrual cramps for some. A study done by the Kainan University’s School of Healthcare Management in Taiwan found that resveratrol, a component found in red wine, can reduce uterine contractions—a common cause of menstrual cramps.

Resveratrol is derived from the skin of grapes. So if you’re not up for alcohol, drinking grape juice or eating grapes (with the skin of course) should do the trick as well.

 

  1. Ginger Tea
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Ginger Tea. Photo by: Melanie Koh

Possessing anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is able to inhibit the syntheses of prostaglandin, which reduces your cramps. According to a study by BioMed Central Complementary Alternative Medicine, ginger is a safe remedy. Drinking ginger tea 2 to 3 days before a menstrual cycle starts could significantly reduce the duration of pain, the study added.

 

  1. Chamomile Tea
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Chamomile Tea. Photo by: Melanie Koh

Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects. A study by the American Chemical Society has shown that chamomile increases the level of glycine, a chemical that reduces muscle spasms and helps relieve tension in the uterus. Drinking chamomile tea a few days before the pain sets in can help relieve menstrual cramps.

While these home remedies could provide some relief, Dr Candice said it’s still best for those experiencing extreme pain to get a medical examination.

“If the pain is so bad till it disrupts your daily life—if you can’t even get out of bed to go to school or work, or if it’s associated with very heavy bleeding that’s causing you to be very giddy from losing too much blood, then it’s good to get yourself checked,” cautioned Dr Candice.

 

About the author: Melanie Koh

MelaniefaceA total Korean junkie, Melanie loves all things Korean, from food to dramas to bands and music. She can also read and converse in Korean. She’s also a photography and break-dance enthusiast. If you can’t find her at the library or Starbucks (she loves doing her school work at these places), she’s probably practicing her head-spins and footwork in the studio.