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Try cinnamon to soothe menstrual cramps and tackle heavy bleeding

It is a safe way to reduce cramps and sail through your periods without much fuss.

Painful menstrual cramps makes it difficult to go about doing even regular chores. While many women take painkillers to counter this problem, there are certain home remedies and herbs that go a long way in giving relief from menstrual cramps. Cinnamon is one such herb, which helps in soothing period pains and also provides respite from heavy bleeding. Here are few things you need to know if you take painkillers during periods.

A study published in Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal in 2015 has written extensively how cinnamon can give relief from painful cramps and other symptoms of dysmenorrhea (painful period) like nausea, fatigue and heavy bleeding.

How dysmenorrhea affects women

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Dysmenorrhea is common in young women aged between 18 to 30 years. The report also suggests that in the USA, it accounts for an economic loss of 600 million working hours and two billion dollars. While there are no data to suggest such socio-economic losses in India, through experience, we know that many women stay bedridden during this period because they are unable to overcome abdominal spasms and hence take leave from school or work. A remedy to overcome this pain is always welcome and cinnamon that is present in almost every Indian kitchen seems like a harmless herb to try. Here are 10 more reasons to try cinnamon.

How cinnamon helps

In fact, during the study, 76 women were asked to participate who were divided into two groups of 38 individual, each. One group was given a placebo capsule containing starch, three times a day while the other group was given cinnamon capsule containing 420 mg of it for the same duration. A visual analogue scale or VAS, which is a psychometric response scale used to measure pain, was used to assess the severity of pain and nausea. After 72 hours of the experiment, it was seen that the group that had cinnamon scored lesser on the severity scale of pain and had fewer bouts of nausea and vomiting.

Dysmenorrhea or painful periods is a result of increased release of prostaglandins (lipids that have hormone like effects) from the uterine walls during menstruation that causes the muscles of the uterus to contract and lead to colicky, spasmodic and labour-like pains in the lower abdomen. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties. The main element of cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde which has antispasmodic effect and the other element eugenol reduces the effects of prostaglandins and lessens inflammation, concluded the study. This is a reason why cinnamon could be used as a pain reliever during menstruation.

How to use cinnamon

Here are a few ways in which you can use cinnamon as a pain-reliever:

  • You can have a cup of cinnamon tea to soothe the menstrual pain.
  • Add half-a-spoon of cinnamon powder to a warm glass of water and drink it. You can squeeze half a lemon and add honey to it for flavour.
  • Add cinnamon powder to your curries and dals.

Image source: Shutterstock

Reference:

Jaafarpour, M., Hatefi, M., Najafi, F., Khajavikhan, J., & Khani, A. (2015). The effect of cinnamon on menstrual bleeding and systemic symptoms with primary dysmenorrhea. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 17(4).

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