I have some news for those women who, like me, experience really rough periods. Primary dysmenorrhea is a medical term to describe painful periods without a causative known disease (endometriosis causes secondary dysmenorrhea). Up to 50% of women experience these incredibly life altering, painful cycles.
I have called off many days or work, skipped school, and canceled fun events with friends / family due to my period. My life revolves around my cycle. Ibuprofen barely cuts it! It can be rough on the stomach, as I have come to know first hand. Acetaminophen doesn’t touch my pain at all! I have even resulted to taking Vicodin – leftover from a previous dental issue. I can’t help but think, “there has to be a better way!”. How did women handle it before these drugs stepped into our world?
After watching a fascinating video by Michael Greger, M.D., I began to do some personal research. It seems ginger might be an option for those who are experience a similar issue.
Ginger is well known for its’ effects on nausea and vomiting. It has been used for over 5,000 years as a medicine! Along with its’ antiemetic properties, ginger seems to have an antispasmodic / anti inflammatory effect.
A randomized, controlled trial with people who have primary dysmenorrhea has shown a significant decrease in severity and duration of pain. This trial concluded that 1,500 mg of powdered ginger is effective as a pain reliever for menstrual cramps. Other trials show that 750 mg per day has been shown equally effective at relieving pain.
For the record: Forget about that Canada Dry Ginger Ale, whose ingredients are: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, green tea, sodium benzoate, ascorbic acid, calcium disodium EDTA. Where is the ginger in that?
I’m talking about real ginger! It is available in powder form, which is probably the easiest way to take it. If you like the taste, there are also delicious dried ginger treats! However all trials I found showed specifically powdered ginger, probably due to the ease in measurement.
Interested? Powdered ginger isn’t hard to come by. You can get it at your local pharmacy or grocery store! You can also get it here!