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Relieve menstrual pain naturally with fennel seeds

Menstrual pain

(NaturalNews) Painful periods (or primary dysmenorrhea), affect up to 90 percent of all women at some stage in their lives. Pain associated with the menstrual cycle can range from mild to severe discomfort, with up to 8 percent of women not being able to leave their home or bed.

For many years, fennel seeds have been successfully used in the Mediterranean area to ease menstrual cramps and symptoms related to PMS (premenstrual syndrome). They are a cheap, safe and natural solution, and could help millions of other women around the world, too.

However, these cheap little seeds can't bring in much money for drug companies, so NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and oral contraceptives are still, for most women, the recommended treatment to ease and control the pain. Both of these treatments have have been linked to serious, even life-threatening, side effects.

This is something that saddens Dr. Michael Greger, M.D., physician and New York Times bestselling author, one of the few physicians out there who sees the true power of nature and food on our health and well-being.

"It just kills me that we didn't learn about these kinds of things in medical school. But there's no physician outreach or ad budget for something you can buy anywhere for 6 cents a month," he wrote on Medical Daily.

Effectiveness of a herbal drug

Multiple studies show fennel seed to be an effective and safe treatment that works as well as, or even better than, many over-the counter drugs, but without adding harmful side-effects such as rash, diarrhea, anemia, autoimmune reactions and kidney failure.

In a 2002 study, 55 high school age, menstrual pain suffering girls, were either given a fennel extract or mefenamic acid (an NSAID) for two months.

80 percent of the girls in the fennel group, and 73 percent of the mefenamic acid group, reported complete relief or pain decrease. They also found that 80 percent of the fennel group no longer needed rest, compared to 63 percent in the mefenamic acid group.

A second study, released in 2012, tested the effect fennel has on pain intensity. One group was given fennel extract, while another group was given a placebo containing wheat flour. The study showed significant differences between the two, confirming the effectiveness of fennel extract.

Another study, published in 2013, found that fennel can be effective in reducing the severity of dysmenorrhea. The only downside volunteers reported was the unpleasant taste.

And it doesn't stop there. Fennel not only helps control the pain. A study published in 2014 found fennel seeds to be an effective treatment for other menstrual related issues such as nausea and weakness, too.

Downside of using fennel

One downside of fennel is that women tend to bleed 10 percent more compared with control groups. A study published in 2003 showed that the pain associated with the menstrual cycle is probably caused by overly contracted muscles in the uterus, which leads to blood reduction.

However, when fennel is used, researchers believe it relaxes the muscles which could be the cause of the increased blood loss.

But nature has an answer for that, too. Another study, published in 2015, found ginger powder to be very effective at controlling cramps and heavy menstrual bleeding. The only thing you'll need is one eighth of a teaspoon, three times a day.

Considering these results, fennel and ginger can be used effectively to relieve menstrual pain and reduce the intensity of the bleeding, thereby improving the quality of life of millions of young women around the world. They're cheap, easy to use, and have fewer side effects than other chemical drugs available on the market.

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