Cramps got you down? We feel you. There are tonnes of tips and tricks out there for calming the cramps - some effective, some folklore - but one that comes up again and again for good reason is ginger. This flowering plant, originally from Southeast Asia, is considered one of the healthiest spices on the planet. It has been found to help with nausea, weight loss, high blood sugar, and much more, but we love it for its ability to soothe menstrual cramps. Happy days! Let’s take a closer look at this handy spice.
Ginger has certain compounds that are thought to help protect against increases in inflammation. It does this by inhibiting your body's production of prostaglandins. Recognise those? They are one of the chemicals responsible for triggering the muscle contractions that shed the lining of your uterus. Menstrual cramps have been linked to excessive production of prostaglandins, so it is believed that consuming ginger - whether as a dietary supplement, in tea, or something else - can help reduce cramps.
Yup. Unlike many superstitions about how to manage pain when you’re on your period, consuming ginger actually has a lot of research to back it up. In recent years, multiple studies have been done to assess the effectiveness of ginger on dysmenorrhea (period pain), and the results are really positive.
Not only has it been linked to reducing period pain, but it is thought to help control heavy bleeding, too. One clinical trial in 2015 treated 92 women who suffered with heavy menstrual bleeding. They were given either ginger or a placebo for three menstrual periods, and the study found that levels of menstrual blood loss dramatically declined in those participants who received ginger.
Another study showed that students with primary dysmenorrhea who were given ginger for 5 days noticed a statistically significant relief in the intensity and duration of their period pain, while another study did a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled test on 70 students that showed ginger could significantly reduce their total PMS score in terms of severity of mood, and physical and behavioural symptoms. Looks like science is backing ginger, and we’re convinced!
If you’re wondering how to use ginger to see the same benefits, there are a few ways. The first is to stick on some Spice Girls and consume as much Geri Halliwell as possible - sorry, not sorry. If that doesn’t work, here are some actual ways to introduce ginger into your system to help with period pain.
One way to get your fix of this amazing spice is to drink ginger tea. You can often buy tea bags and loose leaf tea with ginger in it, but if you want to make it as strong and effective as possible, you may want to brew it yourself using some fresh ginger root - you can often buy this at the supermarket. Peel it, cut it up into very thin slices, and boil them in water for 10-20 minutes, depending on how strong you like it. Then simply strain it, let it cool, and drink! If you find it to be a little too strong and bitter for your taste, you can add some lemon or honey to calm and sweeten it. It can give any daily smoothie a healthy kick of goodness when added, too.
Ginger root can also be eaten in its raw form for faster results, or added to food, but if you’re not a fan of chewing on anything so strong and spicy, there’s another quick-fix way to get the benefits...supplements.
Yoppie's Super Soother period cramps supplement harnesses all the good stuff from ginger to make menstrual pain management easy. We’ve combined ginger and a whole lot of other key ingredients (10, in fact!) found to help keep pesky cramps at bay. Your daily dose of this plus a chorus of ‘Spice Up Your Life’ and you’ll be good to go!
Have you tried ginger for period cramps before? We’d love to know how it worked for you. Shout out in our private Facebook group or drop us a note on Insta @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, PMS supplements and more delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox, which is a whole lot less pain to worry about each month.
This content has been fact checked by Yoppie's nutritional expert, Shona Wilkinson.
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