Fenugreek – Your New Period Buddy?

My sister brought fenugreek back from their trip to Egypt last year (just before the pandemic hit) and I put it in the spice cupboard thinking I would use it in curries and various other dishes. To cut a long story short it got completely forgotten until my friend found it about a month ago, some of it had broken free from the bag and was producing a strong spicy smell in the cupboard. My sister used this spicy seed to aid breast feeding, this was not why she gave it to me, but it got me thinking. I have always suffered with menstrual cramping and if it was good for breast feeding mothers was its benefits related to hormones, well a quick Google actually found medical evidence that it does have significant benefits in reducing blood sugar level and assisting with period pain on the WebMD website, with that I invoked the “why not?” principle and made a brew in my lovely teapot that my dad gave me for winter gift exchange.

1 in 10 women suffer with dysmenorrhoea which affects their day to day life, now there are a varying number of factors which can affect these things, stress levels and weight are by far the biggest culprits. I have often suffered with dysmenorrhoea and it is I will admit largely due to my weight, I know this because as I have lost weight it has improved, but if I am stressed often this good work is undone and I am reduced to a hot water bottle or even a lie down. Exercise is actually one of the better solutions for dysmenorrhoea but it is not always the thing we want to do, so fenugreek tea which although it tastes a bit strange is delicious with honey in and I hope after a few days of drinking it I will start to see the benefits myself.

We all have our favourite coping mechanisms for when we are having our period and for the most part I am lucky that it doesn’t affect me too much (in so much as I now have the determination not to fixate on it) the pain is still there and unfortunately the mood swings do rear their ugly head at inappropriate times but life goes on and so must I. Having said that I am a firm believer of if you find something that helps use it! Some of us take ibuprofen which is fine (within reason) and others use a hot water bottle again fine, but is it worth letting it rule your whole day? I have come to the conclusion that life is too short to wallow and if that’s how you cope then that’s fine but the more present I become the more aware I am that the world carries on without you and I don’t really want to be left behind. A positive mindset will by in virtue lessen the impact of your periods because it is less likely to affect your day. I’m not saying that positive women don’t get horrible periods but you don’t hear about it so often.

Tips for a Happy Period

  • Fenugreek tea – you can buy it in tea bags or as leaves/seeds and brew yourself – helps with bloating from water retention and blood sugar level.
  • Fabric pads – in my experience the biggest difference I made to my period was buying reusable pads, the chemicals in the disposable pads were creating pain and allergic reactions which stopped as soon as I switched. It might be a gross thought but have a thought for your vagina once in a while.
  • Exercise – a restorative yoga session free with Down Dog App will help with the aches and pains of menstrual cramping it also help with overall mood or if you don’t fancy thank a walk around the block will suffice.
  • Vitamin B6 – studies have been somewhat inconclusive but it has been found to assist with PMS and PMDD and improving your mood.

If you feel like your hormones might be truly out of sync then a trip over to see my friend NourishedNaturalHealth and take her hormone test, she is incredibly knowledgeable and as extensive experience with these matters including PCOS, know that you are not alone in this struggle – the stresses of work and environmental factors have been exacerbating our periods for years, its time to take charge and have a happy period.

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