Quit the Midol: Alternatives to Menses Pain

truth about midol

This one is for the ladies. After having one of the most painful first days of my life, I felt inspired to write this post. When I was younger, I used to take Midol for period pains. It was the only thing that helped, but I couldn’t help feeling like I was doing my body harm for the price of taking away discomfort. Even just the few seconds it was in my mouth, it tasted like I was swallowing poison. I figured anything that tastes like that can’t be good for you. So I started doing a little research….

Basically, Midol is a version of Ibuprofen. Depending on what type of Midol you are using, you may be putting your body at risk, mainly the liver and kidneys. For example,”Midol Maximum Strength Menstrual may harm your liver,” Midol Complete research says, “Severe liver damage may occur if you take this product with other drugs containing acetaminophen or if you consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product”(Midol Maximum, Midol Complete). Even regular Ibuprofen “and other NSAIDs inhibit prostaglandins, and that can cause a problem [in the kidneys] because prostaglandins dilate blood vessels leading to the kidneys. Inhibiting prostaglandins may lead to kidney ischemia (dead tissue from decreased blood flow) and thus acute kidney injury”(Orrange).

So here are some alternative ways to make peace with the pains:

smoothiePeriod Smoothie:

2 bananas

1/2 cup strawberries

1-2 tbsp Cacao powder

1/2 cup of spinach

1 coconut water

Optional:

2 tsp Chia Seeds

1 tbsp flax seed oil

Bananas contain B6 and potassium, both of which can help ease bloating and water retention, while adding strawberries “helps to reduce a heavy menstrual flow, stress and irritability, and prevent anemia by increasing iron absorption” due to its vitamin C components (Orenstein, Merriment). Fresh fruits in general are good for fatigue and irritability during menstruation because of their natural fibers which are introduced slowly to the body and then converted into more energy (Merriment). Spinach is the go-to for menstrual cramps since it’s chock full of Folic Acid, Vitamin E, B6, and Magnesium (12). Coconut water is a great flavor in any smoothie, plus it’ll help to keep you hydrated. Surprisingly, coconut water is more hydrating that regular water because its chemical structure is similar to our blood. I also like to add in a little bit of chia seeds and flax seed oil to get some good oil, Omega-3, and antioxidants in the body. Chia seeds are full of protein, Vitamin B1, B3, E, zinc, copper, iron, flavinols (such as quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol), phenolic acids (such as caffeic acid), and lignin. Plus, Chia seeds have an antioxidant rating higher than “blackberries, mango, noni fruit, grapes, pineapple, or carambola” (Why). Allow your food to be your medicine, I promise it will serve you longer in this life than anything else.

IMG_2646In addition to the smoothie, treat yourself lady!

Get your butt into a bath, and scent it with essential oils like lavender and tea tree — or whatever your favorite scent is — even add bubbles and candles if you’d like! You may be surprised to find that this is the quickest relief to any of your pains and it’ll take away the physical stress on the body in no time. Set yourself up with a tall glass of water (of which you should continue to refill through out the day to keep your body hydrated and feeling good) and Chamomile or Peppermint tea. Chamomile can “relieve muscle spasms and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps” (Orenstein). In general, this will help reduce anxiety and stress that can and often does occur during menstruation. Peppermint tea is also good because it can help relax constricted muscles, especially the ones located on the uterus’ wall (Goodwin).

When you’re not in the bath, set yourself up with a hot water bottle to place on your stomach. These bottles are a lifesaver and deeply help to reduce pain, especially in the night when it can be hard to fall asleep.

Additionally, a lot of women crave dark meat on their period, however, this is not the best time to consume it. Really, what your body is craving is the vitamins and minerals that can be found in the smoothie above. The reason you want to avoid dark meats is because they can contribute to your hormones, therefore increasing your moodiness and pains. An alternative is to cook yourself up a nice salmon meal (follow link to find recipe) as it is full of omega-3, B6, and vitamin D (Orenstein). All of these components will will help to relieve breast pain, irritability, and fatigue.

IMG_2473 salmon salad

And if that’s not enough, and you find yourself tempted to reach for that bottle of Midol, here’s something different you can take. I am fortunate enough to work for a Master herbalist in my home town. She makes a variety of herbal formulas for just about everything. However, for the pain I just can’t beat, I take her Mense-Soothe. Works like a charm! (She also carries a formula for PMS). And good news: We ship! Just go to www.dancingwillowherbs.com and you can order a bottle of your own to see for yourself.

Mense soothe

So here’s a list of things to try next time your cycle comes around! Mainly, just go slow, take care of, and be kind to yourself! You work so hard the other 28 days, give yourself the space to be unruly, angry, tired, and crampy. Hopefully these help! As always, feel free to leave a comment bellow! Let me know what you think and if you thought this was helpful ❤

Oh, ONE MORE THING! Speaking of periods…If you haven’t, you should watch this video of a poem written by an amazing women… it’s titled The Period Poem. It’ll change your view of periods forever. Blessings to Dominque Christina for writing and inspiring all women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vu2BsePvoI

Much Love ❤

Sources:

“Midol Maximum Strength Menstrual: Indications, Side Effects, Warnings – Drugs.com.” Midol Maximum Strength Menstrual: Indications, Side Effects, Warnings – Drugs.com. Drugs.com, 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

“Midol Complete – (Acetaminophen) Side Effects, Dosage, Uses, Interaction – PDRHealth.” Pdrhealth. PDRHealth, 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

Orrange, Dr. Sharron. “Is Ibuprofen/Advil Bad for My Liver and Kidneys?” GoodRx. GoodRx, 30 July 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

Orenstein, Ben. “8 Foods That Help Fight PMS.” EverydayHealth.com. Ed. Niya Jones. Everyday Health, 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

Merriment, Mary. “Food Remedies That Reduce Symptoms of PMS.” HubPages. HubPages, 4 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

“12 Best Foods for Fighting Menstrual Cramps.” Heal With Foods. Heal With Foods, 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

“Why Chia Seeds Are Good for You (and the Healthiest Way to Eat Them).” Heal With Foods. Heal With Foods, 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

Goodwin, Lindsey. “Peppermint Tea Health Benefits and Side Effects.” About Food. About Food, 2015. Web. 26 Sept. 2015.

Image from: http://diannemalone.com/blog/?p=1950

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