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Menstrual Pain Remedies

Menstrual Cramp Remedies, dysmenorrhea, painful periods

Menstrual Pain Remedies

If you have menstrual pain, you know that it’s no joke. Some women have it worse than others, so menstrual pain remedies may be on your mind when your period comes every month. Is there anything natural that could be helpful?? And we aren’t limiting our research to just supplements or food – we’re looking at ALL the things.

One of the main mechanisms for menstrual pain is an increase of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are triggered when progesterone levels drop at the end of the cycle and that is what triggers you to start your bleed. Obviously with menstrual pain, there is an excessive amount of prostaglandins, which produces inflammation. That’s why NSAID medications are effective against menstrual pain – it decreases prostaglandins and inflammation.

Menstrual Pain Remedies


I know this may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re in pain, but I’m all about utilizing our body in ways we need to! A study done in 2020 observed that women with painful menstruation had lower levels of oxytocin in the serum. When you orgasm, oxytocin and dopamine is released (neurotransmitters that are “feel-good” and oxytocin can increase pain tolerance). While there are no direct studies with an orgasm and menstrual pain, this potential option is free and low risk, so you might as well try it!

Essential Oils

In a review paper, it took a mix of randomized controlled studies and explored different essential oils and how they help with menstrual pain. Essential oils were used in a variety of ways from oral use (which I don’t recommend without working with an aromatherapist), topical, and inhalation. I would naturally steer toward more of a topical application and massage. Oils that were tested:

  • Rose
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Thyme
  • Ginger
  • Clary Sage

It was stated to find a moderate level of evidence of using essential oils for menstrual pain. This option is also a pretty low cost {Team Plant Therapy for essential oils!} and low risk! You can’t go wrong with a nice essential oil massage while you’re in pain. *This one is considered a band-aid/short term remedy, we want to continue understanding why this is happening in the first place!*


Speaking of prostaglandins, they are made from arachidonic acid (aka omega-6). Due to the increased levels of prostaglandins that impact painful periods, it’s beneficial to “balance out” omega ratio by increasing omega-3’s. Omega-3 can reduce prostaglandin production and decrease inflammation. Around 3 grams of omega-3 has been shown to help lower inflammatory markers CRP and prostaglandin production. Since we are a food first type of practice, this can be done by increasing seafood in your diet. If you don’t eat enough or don’t like seafood, a supplement of omega-3 can help!

In addition to omega-3, a study showed that combining vitamin B1 with fish oil was better than a placebo for menstrual cramps.


A magnesium deficiency could be another reason why menstrual cramps are painful. Magnesium plays a role in the relaxation of uterine muscles and can inhibit prostaglandin production. A high quality study showed that 300 mg of magnesium can reduce menstrual symptoms.

A study took vitamin B6 and magnesium and showed that the combination was better at reducing PMS.


A triple-blind study (this is a really good quality study) showed that supplementation of boron reduced the severity and duration of menstrual pain compared to the control group. Boron has anti-inflammatory qualities and can inhibit an enzyme called COX from making prostaglandin.

With all these nutrients being associated with menstrual pain remedies, micronutrient deficiencies come to mind. You may want to check in on your overall micronutrient status, which we can do via blood, to ensure that you don’t have any other missing puzzle pieces. Your micronutrient status should be checked yearly to ensure that you aren’t having micronutrient deficiencies.


This one is pretty self-explanatory, but should be noted on here because it is a natural way to reduce the pain. But, this remedy is truly a band-aid and solely just symptom relief. When we think of menstrual cramps, we want to understand what is happening physiological that is allowing this to happen. Usually, the answer lies within diet and lifestyle.

Want to dive deeper instead of menstrual pain remedies?

We love help women use food as medicine to balance hormone and improve digestion. While you may want to jump right into hormone testing, we may want to take a couple steps back first to ensure that OTHER areas of the body are good. Sex hormones are followers, NOT leaders. So, if there is a problem with sex hormones, they are typically responding from other areas of the body.

Ex: Gut bacteria is imbalanced -> increased levels of enzymes in the body -> increased reabsorption of estrogen trying to leave the body -> estrogen dominance.

Ex: Stress is high -> delays ovulation -> irregular cycles -> progesterone balance is poor due to impaired ovulation

Another aspect of health that we should check-in on is environmental exposure. Women who are exposed to air pollution are 33x more likely to develop dysmennorrhea compared to lower air pollution areas.

This is truly helping you get to the ROOT CAUSE approach and not just put band-aids on the issue (even if it’s a natural band-aid, but they have a place too! To make you more comfortable while you’re on this journey!)

It’s not just ONE thing, it’s most likely a combination of dietary issues, movement, environment, stress, and sleep. These foundational layers of health work together and ultimately make up the health of your body.

If you need help, don’t hesitate to schedule a free intro call with our team to learn more about you and what you have going on + we can guide you towards the best lab to start with and how to work with us!

Lahana Vigliano
Avatar for Lahana Vigliano
Lahana Vigliano

Lahana Vigliano is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and CEO of Nuvitru Wellness. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition Science and Masters Degree in Nutrition Science and Functional Medicine. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition. Lahana and her team help support women who struggle with weight loss, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, and many other lingering issues that leaves women not feeling their best. She uses food as medicine, as well as herbs and supplements when needed, to support her clients. She looks at the whole body holistically making sure women are understanding how nutrition, sleep, stress, and their environment impact their health. Connect with her on Facebook + Instagram (@nuvitruwellness).