Natural Ways to Improve Your Menstrual Cycle

Natural Ways to Improve Your Menstrual Cycle

“It’s that time of the month… don’t even mess with me…” Angie Stone sang out of my mother’s speakers. I was in the backseat, and one of her Godsisters sat in the front with her.

“You know what she means by that? Time of the month?” Mommy’s godsister teased, through a chuckle, looking over her shoulder at me. I shrugged.

“Paying rent?” I guessed, innocently. It was my first guess, but I quickly knew it was the other of the two monthly aggravations I’d heard adults complain about.

The ladies in the first seat burst out in sharp, condescending cackles of laughter. “Oh soon, soon you’ll know.” The book my mom had given about hitting puberty flashed across my memory. It had a one or two pages talking about it, but I never really understood what it was.

I’d heard people call her Aunt Flow, and by her name, she sounded like the carefree aunt with no children and a passport full of stamps and a mind and mouth full of ideas that were chaotic, grandiose, and breathtaking.

Our menstrual cycle is a complex, beautiful, and sometimes infuriatingly unpredictable dance of hormones that dictates so much of our lives. It can be a source of immense power and creativity, or it can leave us feeling like we're riding a hormonal rollercoaster blindfolded.

As women, we’re not always well educated on how to deal with Aunt Flow, but it can be a time of release, rest, and cleansing. Let’s explore some ways to have a smoother flow and be in better flow with your menstrual cycle.

8 natural tips for improving your menstrual cycle

Embrace a Nourishing Diet

What you eat has a profound impact on your hormones and overall health. Avoid heavily processed foods, articifial or highly processed sugars, hydrogenated oils, and MSG. Embrace a properly balanced diet filled with colorful, antioxidant, energizing, and satisfying foods - fruits, healthy fats, proteins, and other whole foods that will supply the body with quality nutrients you need. There are specific examples in the Period book if you need more guidance. 

You could even add herbs or supplements known to support hormonal balance, like ginger, turmeric, and chasteberry. Ginger and turmeric and good for circulation and soothing inflammation, while chasteberry offers gentle hormonal balance.

Certain vitamins and minerals can be your secret weapon for combating menstrual cramps and promoting overall uterine health. From fighting harmful inflammation to regulating hormones, these nutritional powerhouses might just be the key to a smoother, more comfortable cycle:
  • Vitamin C Rich Foods for hormone regulation, preventing fibroids and uterine cancer, immunity. We do not make this in our bodies, so we must get it from food. 
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids are essential for hormone production, circulation, reducing excess prostaglandin (high levels cause cramping), hormone regulation, and preventing fibroids and uterine cancer. 
  • Magnesium ensures healthy blood pressure and flow to the uterus, progesterone production, controls cramping, energy metabolism, liver detoxification.

I have a more exhaustive list of foods that are helpful for nourishing the body for healthy hormone regulation in the book PERIOD on foods to enjoy and avoid for healthy hormones, plus supplements ideas.


Move Your Body, But Listen to It:

Regular exercise does wonders for regulating your cycle and easing cramps. During your period, you can try gentle yoga postures, restorative walks in nature, or even dancing in your living room. Find activities that feel good and move your energy in a positive way. But remember, your menstrual cycle is a month long journey. You can maximize your workouts by customizing your workouts for the different phases of your menstrual cycle. For more information check out Period.

You may find you can aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise more on certain weeks of your cycle. Pay attention to that. Remember, your body is unique. Listen to its signals, and don't overdo it. Overtraining can actually stress your system and disrupt your cycle.


Prioritize Sleep:

Speaking of stress, getting enough sleep is crucial for hormonal balance. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, avoid screens before bed, and make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. A well-rested body is a happy and hormonally balanced body.

Try calming meditations, take warm baths with essential oils, and create a nighttime routine that promotes deep sleep. If you want to learn more about how to get up to 2 to 5 more hours of sleep a night, read our premium article.

Manage Stress:

Stress is a major disruptor of the menstrual cycle. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga, meditation, spending time in nature, or journaling. Deep breathing exercises can also be a quick and effective stress-buster.

Herbal Allies:

Certain herbs have been traditionally used to support menstrual health. Some herbs that are great for overall womb health you could consider are yarrow, red raspberry, & ginger. I go into more details about each of them in this post. However, always consult a healthcare professional before consuming new herbs, especially if you have any underlying conditions or take other medications.

Other herbal ideas: 

  1. Ginger tea: This spicy root boasts anti-inflammatory properties that can ease cramping and discomfort. Bonus: it's also great for settling nausea!
  2. Chamomile tea: This calming herb is known for its relaxing properties, which can help ease anxiety and promote sleep – both often disrupted during PMS.
  3. Peppermint: This minty tea can help relax muscles and improve digestion, potentially reducing bloating and cramps.
  4. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: This herbal tea has been traditionally used to support uterine health and ease menstrual discomfort. Research on its effectiveness is ongoing, but many women find it helpful.
  5. Turmeric: This golden spice has powerful anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce cramping and pain. You can add it to tea, smoothies, or even stir it into warm milk.

Seed Cycling:

This practice involves consuming specific seeds during different phases of your cycle to support hormonal balance. Flaxseeds are often used in the follicular phase, while pumpkin seeds are used in the luteal phase.

There isn’t a lot of scientific evidence backing this up, but a lot of women find they have reduced cramping, breast tenderness, and hormonal acne when seed cycling. I believe it is because the seeds mentioned are all amazing sources of Omega 3, Zinc, and Vitamin E - which are important for womb health. I would personally throw hemp seeds in the mix, because it is a rich source of magnesium.

If you’d like, try it out for a few months and see if you like it or notice 
Again, research and consult a healthcare professional before starting seed cycling.

Track Your Cycle:

Knowledge is power! I recommend keeping a simple journal, tracking in your calendar app, or you could even download a period tracking app to record your cycle's length, flow, and any symptoms you experience. This information can be invaluable in identifying patterns and talking to your doctor if needed.

Celebrate Your Uniqueness:

Every woman's cycle is different, and that's okay! Don't compare your experience to others. Embrace your own rhythm and flow. Be patient with yourself, experiment with different approaches, and most importantly, listen to your body.
Remember, your period is a sign of your reproductive health and vitality. So, honor it, listen to it, and nurture it with gentle care.

Get a deeper dive in PERIOD. Learn more about your menstrual cycle and give you tools to help you build a better relationship with your period.





Regresar al blog

Deja un comentario

Ten en cuenta que los comentarios deben aprobarse antes de que se publiquen.