With a name like *gingercures*, it was only a matter of time before a post on ginger showed up, right?? 😊
Like other “warming” spices such as curcumin and cayenne, ginger has long been known for its anti-inflammatory effects and is often included in herbal remedies for pain relief. Now studies have shown that ginger is effective for menstrual pain specifically.
In a double-blind study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 150 college-aged women were given either 250 mg. of ginger rhizome powder OR 400 mg. of ibuprofen four times daily for three days starting from the onset of menstruation to compare pain relief outcome.
The result: Ginger was just as effective at easing cramp pain as the ibuprofen.
Better yet, MORE women in the ginger group became completely pain-free than those who took the over-the counter (OTC) medications.
What’s the science behind it? Ginger contains compounds that reduce inflammation, decrease painful spasms in the uterus and block the production of prostaglandins (hormone-like chemicals that contribute to period pain).
HOW TO TAKE IT?
Start with 1 cap (ginger root, 550mg) per day on day 18 of your cycle. Continue this dose until you get your period.
Increase to 1 cap twice a day for days 1-3 of your period. You need not take it the whole time, just the first few days when you get cramps.
If this does not provide improvement on the first cycle, increase the dose to 1 cap twice a day on cycle day 18. Continue this dose until your period. Use 2-3 caps as required for discomfort on day 1-3 of your period.
While it's common to feel some discomfort in your abdomen, back, and thigh area while you're menstruating, if you have pain on a regular basis, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor. In some cases, menstrual pain can signal a condition such as uterine fibroids and endometriosis.
For menstrual pain that is not caused by an underlying condition, there is evidence that ginger may help to relieve symptoms (and what is nice is that there are none of the bad side effects that come with OTC medications, and it is also good for digestion!).
Final Note: Talk to your doctor before taking ginger if you have diabetes, a heart condition or bleeding disorder. And as a potential blood thinner, ginger should not be used within two weeks of a scheduled surgery.