5 Natural Supplements For Painful Periods {treatments that bring relief!}

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About 8 months ago, my 15-year-old daughter and I were searching for relief from painful periods.

We turned to a book — Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden, an Australian naturopathic physician (here it is).

Within an afternoon, we read it, side by side as we both leaned in towards the book, making comments as we went. I wasn’t afraid to dog-ear pages or highlight certain sections — she has many pearls of knowledge and wisdom! When we finished, I opened my computer to order supplements right away.

Do you understand the cause of menstrual pain? Do you know how to correlate your PMS symptoms with nutritional deficiencies? If not, I highly recommend Lara Briden’s book, as she uncovers many subtleties this short article cannot about YOU and YOUR body.

5 Natural Supplements For Painful Periods {treatments that bring relief!}

Once we read the book and ordered our supplements, it took only one month for my daughter and I to feel better! Perhaps you can too. Here are some of my favorite supplements from Lara Briden’s book. I also share one I learned from my local doctor.

#1 — Magnesium

“Magnesium is your number one supplement for period pain.” –Lara Briden, Period Repair Manual, 2nd edition, page 263

Quick break from our list, okay? I need to interject a word that is new for many of us and that will help us to better understand the “why” of our pain. The word is prostaglandins.

Prostaglandins are fatty acid compounds found in cells throughout the body. They play a role in causing inflammation and uterine contractions. Depending on the type of receptor to which prostaglandins bind, they stimulate either a negative or a positive effect in the body. They regulate hormones and inflammation, induce labor, affect digestion and stomach health through acid and mucous production, and play a major role in painful periods.

Prostaglandins are released during menstruation when the epithelial layer of the uterus sheds. Because prostaglandins cause the uterus to contract during labor, their release during menstruation causes a similar sensation and pain! (Source and source.)

Magnesium works to prevent period pain by reducing prostaglandins. Taking additional magnesium during acute period pain is also effective. (Source.) Lara recommends 300 mg magnesium glycinate taken 1 to 2 times daily. (Find magnesium here.)

#2 — Virgin Cod Liver Oil

Although Lara mentions fish oil, I’m going to take her recommendation a step further by zeroing in on the best kind of fish oil: virgin cod liver oil. It’s hard to discuss any health issue without mentioning virgin cod liver oil (source). We use it in our home to prevent illness, to improve dental health, and yes, to balance hormones.

Virgin cod liver oil provides omega-3 fatty acids which “are precursors to the series 3 prostaglandins (which balance and outcompete inflammatory prostaglandins)” (Period Repair Manual, 1st edition, page 206).

The adult dosage for virgin cod liver oil is 1/2 to 1 teaspoon daily (find it here). Personally I take 3 gelatin capsules daily instead, because I strongly dislike the taste.

#3 — Curcumin

Lara recommends turmeric in her book as a supplement for period pain, yet again I will be a little bit more specific. Curcumin is the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric which makes it so helpful for reducing prostaglandins. (Learn more about curcumin here!)

Like cod liver oil, curcumin must be taken every day of the month to prevent painful periods, yet can also be taken for acute pain, like magnesium.

My family uses this brand. Dosage is one capsule daily.

#4 — Zinc

Zinc, too, is anti-inflammatory! It also supports the thyroid, making it a great choice for general hormone-balancing. Zinc encourages blood circulation within the uterus. We take 30 mg of this brand daily, with breakfast. Never take zinc on an empty stomach or it can make you feel sick.

#5 — Magnesia Phosphorica Homeopathic

My naturopathic doctor suggested the Magnesia Phosphorica homeopathic for me when my cramps worsened during perimenopause. Although the above supplements have reduced and improved my and my daughter’s symptoms considerably, I still carry Mag Phos around with me in my purse, and my daughter always has some in her backpack. I don’t like to be without it, just in case…

The pellets work for terrible acute pain, especially when used immediately at the initial onset of cramps. They can be used repeatedly to reduce pain during acute period pain. They’re both effective and affordable. Mag Phos is especially recommended for those who find themselves curled up in pain and who may find some small relief from a heating pad or hot bath.

Take 3 pellets, under the tongue, and allow to dissolve whenever pain begins.

In my mind, these are the 5 most important supplements to use as your first line of healing and balancing for period pain. However, there are others we use daily that are also worth considering! Read Lara’s book to learn more about alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), iodine, and several others that may meet your individual needs.

What about foods? Which foods are estrogenic and making your period pain worse? Read this post: Period Pain Foods: What to Eat and What Not to Eat to Reduce Menstrual Cramps, to learn how your diet affects your monthly cycles and what you can do about it.

Check out these resources for more information on female health!

What natural remedies have you found to be the most helpful for period pain?

We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).

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