Menstrual cramps are seen as something that women just have to deal with, but around 80% of women will experience menstrual cramps at some stage in their life (1). This is why this article compiles a list to help you find the best tea for cramps!
When women experience such painful cramps, it is known as dysmenorrhea, which can be so severe that one might suffer from nausea, diarrhea, or even fainting. From 13% to 51% of women call in sick to work because of it (2).
Taking painkillers every month can harm your body, so what better way to fight those cramps than a natural remedy like tea?
Tea is not only delicious, but it has been used for centuries for its array of health benefits. Tea is a great way to ease your pain from period cramps and drinking tea for menstrual cramps is so much better for your health.
Why suffer from menstrual cramps when a cup of tea could ease those pains?
If you like anything with mint, then this is the tea for you. Peppermint tea has a refreshing smell with a cooling sensation. It is famed for helping combat nausea which can be a side effect of cramps. The menthol in peppermint is the ingredient which produces so many of its health benefits.
Studies have shown menthol helps relieve period pains even more so than some anti-inflammatory medications (12). This isn’t surprising as the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that peppermint has an anesthetic effect to help reduce pain (3).
Peppermint tea increases blood flow which relaxes muscles and can ease headaches. And peppermint is from an herb known for its carminative qualities which prevents gas, so if you suffer from bloating during your period then this could help.
Your energy levels and focus can suffer during your period, especially with those painful cramps, but fret not cause peppermint oil can help reduce that. One study showed that those tested during a cognitive test felt less fatigued after using peppermint oil (4).
So you don’t need to cancel life just because it’s that time of the month again, simply drink some peppermint tea to clear your mind and get on with your busy schedule.
While peppermint tea can reduce fatigue and brain fog, it can also improve your sleep because of its muscle relaxing benefits.
This spicy tea has compounds called shogaols and gingerols which have properties that make it an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Ginger tea can reduce the production of hormones from the prostaglandins group that help the uterus contract, making it a great tea for menstrual cramps (5).
Ginger is another great tea for nausea, even just inhaling the exotic smell can ease any sickness.
A study by BioMed Central showed that it reduced pain in menstrual cramps and it significantly reduced the intensity of that pain (5). And Loma Linda University found that there was a significant decrease in pain experienced while drinking ginger tea (6).
You may need to drink three or four cups a day to get the benefits. Sweeten it up by adding a spoonful of honey and a splash of lemon for added vitamin C.
This fruity tea has a robust flavor and is full-bodied with a sweet aroma. It contains a plant compound called Fragarine and it has been traditionally used in European medicine for ages.
The National Institute of Health found that this compound helps tighten muscles in the pelvic area which could help reduce cramps. Raspberry leaf also contains iron which can help with heavy blood loss during your period (7).
Fennel tea is made from the seeds of the fennel plant. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and it is known for treating bloating, gas and digestive issues.
In a study in the National Library of Medicine, they found that fennel helped relieve period pain by inhibiting contractions of the uterus, shortening periods, and decreasing blood loss (2).
Made from bark shavings, this is a tea you may never have heard of before. The plant is related to the honeysuckle, it has a bitter and pungent flavor, it provides a cooling sensation and it is native to the forests of Scotland & England.
The bark contains a compound called methyl salicylate which can have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. It also contains catechins, flavonoids, and phytonutrients (plant chemicals) which provide health benefits. They help to stop spasms, ease nausea, and are a muscle relaxant making it the perfect tea for period cramps (8).
This delicate tea is known for its calming and sedative effect. Chamomile decreases blood pressure which helps it lower pain and anxiety, so it’s perfect for that miserable time of the month.
Its sedative effects help you sleep better or just help you rest as cramps can be exhausting. It’s also caffeine-free so you can drink it at bedtime then sleep like a baby, or at least attempt to.
Chamomile increases glycine, a chemical that relieves spasms. The Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research showed it has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects and that it could improve period pain if used before the pain begins (9).
To get the greatest benefit you need to drink two cups a day for around five days and you need to start drinking it before your period is due. This may not be easy for those with irregular periods.
Green tea has long been used for its myriad of health benefits. It can help fight against colds and even cancer. It has polyphenolic compounds called catechins, the main one being EGCG, which neutralizes free radicals. Free radicals are atoms which can cause damage to cells causing chronic disease and ageing (10).
With its anti-inflammatory polyphenol content and flavanols it can reduce bleeding and improve iron absorption.
A study conducted in China found that green tea was one of the most useful for period pain (11).
Green tea can be taken by itself or it can be flavored with lemon, apple, or other flavors. It has a subtle and delicate taste, and it should be steeped in hot water for a few minutes or more to extract the polyphenols which produce so many of the health benefits.
Keep in mind that it can be particularly sensitive to light, air, and moisture, so make sure to store your teas in air-tight containers, away from any light, heat, or humidity. Also make sure not to store your flavored teas beside any other scents like spices as tea leaves can absorb these scents.
In general, all teas have health benefits. There is a huge variety of flavors ranging from bitter and bold, to sweet and delicate, that even non-tea drinkers are sure to find a flavor that suits their taste buds!
And the best part is that a comforting cup of hot tea is a natural way to relieve those pesky period pains. It can relax you, boost your mood, and get rid of headaches and nausea.
So, before you pick up those painkillers, why not try one of the teas we mention here first and see if it helps?
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of tea if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.