Monday, September 26, 2011

Menstrual Relief

Pain relief/painful period products…

Almost every woman I know has painful and problematic periods. I’m tying this in with pain relief, as they are similar in results; pain being the problem, inflammation being the root problem.

Why do periods hurt? Once an egg has been released from the ovaries, natural chemicals called prostaglandins are produced. These chemicals play a large part in the body's mechanism to pain tolerance and inflammation. The uterus is, after all, a muscle and contractions can be, quite painful. Cramps may also be more painful because there is a reduction of blood tissue in the body during menstruation and therefore oxygen supply to the muscles wall of the uterus during the contractions cause a tighter muscle.

Some women also suffer from fibroids, endometriosis, lupus, hormonal imbalances and many other factors which can contribute to painful periods. Instead of looking at each individual cause, lets loop them all together and attack the root cause of the pain, which are-the prostaglandins which cause the pain in most inflammatory situations.

There are certain foods that can increase and decrease the amount of prostaglandins in the body. For example-if you consume crappy foods that are not good for you like chips, white sugars, white breads, white pasta…candy, dairy and red meat-these are all foods that can cause inflammation in the body and thereby increasing your production of prostaglandins making your body feel more pain to things like headaches, bruises, joint/muscle pain and you guessed it-cramps. This can also contribute to dark circles around the eyes and redness in the body including acne and facial inflammation. It’s essentially making your body more prone to inflammation and the result is PAIN, puffiness, redness...all symptoms of inflammation. This stays true in most cases of inflammatory conditions from acne to arthritis, and adopting a more anti-inflammatory diet, I think is a large factor to achieving not only a healthy body, but avoiding a lot of unwanted future ailments. Woop, woop!

Above all natural pain relief formulas and pills, supplements etc… I’d recommend a more alkaline diet as a first and vital step in the path of pain relief. By increasing your anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, salmon, greens and eliminating foods that cause inflammation like potatoes, heavy oils, refined sugars, white pasta and breads is very important, as removing those foods will be extra beneficial. After just having done a 21 day alkaline diet with Genuine Health, I can tell you what a huge improvement it made on my pms/cramps. While usually bed ridden with a hot water bottle duct taped to my abdomen, and 2 xtra strength tylenols every 4 hours, I was in very, very minimal pain and did not need to take any over the counter pain killers. I was really surprised at the result in terms of energy, pain relief and even my skin texture and complexion improved significantly.

Because there is a lack of blood iron in the body during menses, that means there is also a lack of oxygen which can also cause pain, so deep breathing can also be a bit of a relief in such things as yoga and meditation or anything relaxing. In any situation, oxygen is always good for the body, even taking three deep breaths can be beneficial during your day.

But, in terms of products here ya go:

Arnica is a homeopathic formula, taken internally in this case. Arnica is a muscle relaxant and is also beneficial for bruising, both internally and externally and muscle pain. Although I am in that very small percentage of homeopathic remedies either not working or having a reverse effect, I can take arnica quite safely at a 30ch potency. You take 6 tiny pellets under your tongue within no meals or anything else in your mouth half an hour previously. I find this a wonderful muscle relaxant for things like heavy cramps, sore muscles and headaches. Homeopathic preparations in health food store will be about $6-10 and will contain about 100+ small pellets in a lactose or sugar based formula. I was so relaxed when I took this for the first time at work that I had to go take a break and enjoy being chilled out for a bit and not do anything that required human interaction, as the only words I wanted to say was “ uuuhhhhh”. However, everyone is different, and it is a difficult job if you do not have a homeopath to chose a potency, as they range quite a bit. I’d recommend taking the base level which is a 30ch and if it does not work, chose a higher potency.

PURICA-RECOVERY FORMULA: This stuff rocks. It is expensive, but it rocks. One large bottle will be in the $60-70 range, but it works like a charm. The bottles are large because you have to take a lot of capsules in one day; anywhere from 6-10. This isn’t the most popular anti-inflammatory because of the price and the amount of pills to take, but I really like this products and saw more results in it than taking a cheaper product both in quality and price. This is an all around anti-inflammatory that one would need to take on a regular basis. Not trying to make you spend money, but it has super pure ingredients ranging from anti inflammatory berries, msm, glucosamine, magnesium, green tea extract and vitamin C; all good things. This original formula was intended for horses, dogs and cats who had arthritis and injured limbs, but the company started to develop a similar formula for humans on account of the popularity of the product and success rates with their animal customers. I didn’t notice anything for about 10 days, but after that 10 day stretch-nice skin, great energy and most of all-no cramps. I was originally taking it for a rotator cuff injury in my arm, and noticed significant healing improvement so much that my physiotherapist also noticed a difference in my range of motion and cut my physiotherapy time in half.

SERRATIA PEPTIDASE: Taken from the culture of the enzyme that silk worms produce to escape their cocoons, this enzyme is a natural miracle for eating away dead tissue in the body. This enzyme was recently discovered in the past decade to treat unwanted and dead tissue including internal scar tissue, fibroids and even small tumours in the body. It has a significant anti-inflammatory affect and is a common treatment for osteoarthritis, sinusitis and removing the plaque from heavily clogged arteries. Pretty cool. It is taken from the culture of a silk worm, so no worms are harmed during this process and there are no silk worm farms somewhere where they work the little guys to their death. Enzymes, are essentially, the human body’s main defence against pain and inflammation. Many companies make this formula, but so far, the highest potency is made by the company ENEREX:

This company actually has a few formulas to help with inflammation. They have ZYFLAMED (a combination of herbs and foods) they gave DAILY GINGER, which has proven effects on the body’s production of those pesky prostaglandins, TURMERIC FORCE, which they consider to be the top anti inflammation herb in the world as well as many other health professionals and cultures. If you want anti-inflammatory products, this is the company to go with. Turmeric is getting more popular in Canadian and western culture, but India, China and many other countries all over the world have been using this herb for thousands of years. Here is a link to make your own Turmeric Tea.

OMEGA 3: Omega’s have powerful anti inflammation properties to them. I’d recommend a high level potency from Ascenta, who have a great 3:1 ration of DHA/EPA, proven to help not only memory and cell structure, but also-inflammation. Or, Genuine Health makes a great omega called Omega Glow. It has a great ratio of fish oils, but also a very impressive formula of bilberry, vitamin C and vitamin E. Also, great for acne and skin conditions. I take 4 capsules a day of it and really notice a difference in my skin. I notice when I am out or don't take it, my skin does not look as lovely.

Quercetin/Vitamin C/Bromelain/CoQ10/Gogi/Green tea/Vitamin E…
and all the others I forgot. All these things are great helpers, but most of these components are found in food. The issue with these and inflammation, is that often people need high doses to make a difference with pain unless they eat immaculately and their bodies are a little more in tune and pure. The amount of capsules and milligram doses for these items would be astounding and expensive, and seriously, if you eat a well balanced diet, I wouldn’t bother going for these guys. Don’t get me wrong-they’re great, but they are too widely available in foods to take them on an individual basis unless recommended by a health care professional. If you can get these from food so readily, get them from food, you don’t need a lot of it. Just a consistent diet of it.

What about all those herbs for hormonal problems: Black cohosh, Vitex, cramp bark, yellow dock, dandelion, wild yam chaste tree and certain combination's of them?
Hormonal herbs, I do not have the patience for. And, I am a herbalist. To find what herbs work for you, you need to do a trial and error. Because herbs are so natural and so particular to the phytochemicals matching with your own personal body chemistry, I would recommend either to see a personal herbalist who can assess your own body, or to do them individually once a month to see which ones work for you. It’s a pain, I know. But, if you are dedicated to doing the herbal route, start with FLORA’s floressence detox herbal tea or detox concentrate to see if it helps. It has a combination of all the top liver cleansing herbs, which is more likely a liver problem and not necessarily a uterus problem. Most of these herbs are also diuretics which help to take the physical pressure off of the uterus from the bladder and kidneys. I am also not a fan of taking herbs in a dried form, as liquid is a little more stable in keeping the needed nutrients from the active plant.

There are so many companies who make herbal blends it is hard to tell how they extract the elements of the plant needed and how your body will react to it. I’m not saying dont try herbs. Just as a general rule, either plan to go all out and get the right one, or risk wasting your money. I’ve had a success with a ginseng based formula called KAMA by Kami Sante.
This product is a combination of different kinds of ginseng and de-stress related herbs. This tended to help with the PMS aspect, and also for sleep and stress.

Top Anti-inflammatory foods:
The Conscious's top 10 anti-inflammatory foods

Stay tuned for our first video blog where we put natural menstrual products to the test! And our pH soap test on all the natural bars of soap we can get.

Jessy Cooke

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the great informationl. I love ginger.

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