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It’s that time of the month

Whole Naturopathy / Herbal Medicine  / It’s that time of the month
period pain

It’s that time of the month

With International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8th March, now is a good time to talk about periods. Having a positive mindset about your cycle can help reduce some of the negative emotions around it. Know that this can be a time to deal with emotions gathered over the last month and a chance to give yourself time for nurture and rest.

Whilst every woman’s cycle has it’s differences, a normal cycle is 28 days (give or take 7 days), last for 4-7 days (give or take 2 days), and loss should be 30ml-80ml (although this can be hard to measure). If your cycle is not within these parameters, or you experience the following, you should see your doctor:

  • Cramping that lasts more than a few days, is a stabbing pain, or pain with sex
  • Large, dark clots


Pain can be reduced with regular exercise and improved diet in the month prior to your cycle. Increasing vegetables, fruit, and protein whilst decreasing sugar and processed white grains can make a big difference. Try to eat a wide variety of vegetables not just the same few, and eat protein foods such as unprocessed meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory herb that also increases circulation to the pelvic organs and is used for period pain. A 2009 study found ginger to be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing period pain.1 Ginger can be consumed in stir fries, curries, or as a tea. You can boil fresh grated ginger in water, then strain and add lemon or honey to flavour. If you use a tea bag, leave the bag in the mug to make it nice and strong. Consume ginger regularly throughout the day and for a few days for best results.



Whilst your period may seem like the perfect excuse to sit down with a gourmet tub or chocolate ice-cream, dark chocolate is more likely to satisfy. Ideally eat 85% cocoa (or more), but you can build up to this if you’re not used to it. If you crave salt, swap chips (crisps) for popcorn or healthy alternatives such as kale chips.

Curb sugar cravings by going for something sour or bitter which can surprisingly switch off the craving. Try the juice of ½ a lemon or 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in water, or a small handful of bitter lettuce.

Herbal medicine offers natural options for regulating hormones, reducing pain, and regulating the stress response. We can make a custom mix of herbs to best treat your unique symptoms.


  1. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2008.0311

This advice is general in nature and not intended to be prescriptive. For individualised prescriptive advice, please see a naturopath or other health care practitioner.


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