Acupressure for Women : Acupressure Points for Menstrual Cramping
The Drug-Free Way to Soothe Cramps
You may want to hold off on popping a pill for period pain: Taking a few drops of thyme oil might ease menstrual cramps better than OTC drugs like ibuprofen, according to a new study published in theCaspian Journal of Internal Medicine.
For the research, 84 women between the ages of 18 and 24 were split into three groups. The first group received 200 mg of ibuprofen and 25 drops of placebo essential oil (taken directly or mixed with half a cup of water), another took 25 drops of thymus vulgaris (or thyme) essential oil and a placebo capsule, and the last group took the two placebos. Participants were instructed to take their respective doses at the beginning of their menstrual cycles and continue every six hours. Pain intensity was self-reported by the women over 48 hours.
At the end of the experiment, both the thyme and ibuprofen groups experienced cramp relief, but surprisingly, the pain subsided the most in the group who took thyme oil. The reason behind this is still unclear, but previous research has found that thyme has specific antispasmodic effects—particularly easing cramps—and doesn't cause gastrointestinal complications (which have been associated with ibuprofen in other studies), says lead study author Roshanak Saghebi, M.D.
That said, should you try this out for yourself? It's worth a shot, says Saghebi. Since essential oils can be expensive, and it's difficult to weed out high-quality products from cheap imitations online, your best bet is to go straight to the herb. Use about 8 to 10 grams of thyme and leave it in a mug of boiling water for 10 minutes before drinking, Saghebi recommends.
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