Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help Menstrual Cramps?

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So, how to use apple cider vinegar (AVC) to improve a menstrual cramps?

Simple, when you notice the onset of first cramping pain, take about one or two unfiltered /organic apple cider vinegar. Then mix with hygienic /filtered clean water. And then drink it! If you don’t like with the taste, you can add lemon or organic honey to expand the flavor [5].

Since the use of AVC to specifically treat a certain health condition is an unproved treatment, there is also no official guideline or recommendation on how to take and use it. In general, many people take 2 teaspoons of this vinegar a day.

What else you should concern?

In general, AVC is safe for most women – even if there is no reason why you need to take it. But if you take it as supplement for daily medical treatment, you should discuss first with a physician /doctor!

In other words, the answer is dependent on how you want to use it. For instance, if you take and use it as a salad dressing, there should be nothing to worry.

But if you have a plan to use it daily to specifically treat certain health problem, it could be a little risky. Here are some potential risks of AVC you need to know [3]:

  1. The use of AVC may be not too recommended in people with diabetes. The reason is due to this vinegar is pretty high in chromium that can be potential to affect the insulin levels.
  2. Theoretically, there is a chance for AVC to interact with laxatives, diuretics, and some medicines used to treat heart disease & diabetes.
  3. The use of this vinegar is also not too recommended if you have hypertension, osteoporosis, and certain health conditions that can lead to potassium deficiency. The reason is due to AVC may be potential to cause low potassium levels in long term.

Additionally, like other vinegars, AVC is rich in acid – in fact acetic acid is its main ingredient. For this reason, the use of AVC should be diluted with water before you can swallow it.

To keep safe, it’s much better to discuss with your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements – particularly true if you are also taking certain medicines.

Foods to ease and improve menstrual cramps

While the effectiveness of AVC and how to use it to help treat menstrual cramping pain are unclear and may be still debatable, there are some foods that have been confirmed can work effective to improve cramps before and during menstrual period.

These foods are foods that are rich in the following nutrients [6]:

  1. Vitamin B3 such as paprika, tuna, and bran.
  2. Zinc such as oysters and skinless breast poultry.
  3. Vitamin E such as almonds, peanut butter, and sunflower seeds.
  4. Fiber such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. But if you are experiencing diarrhea before and during menstruation, you should temporarily restrict foods high in fiber until your body is ready for fiber.
  5. Magnesium such as pinto beans and cashews. See more foods high in magnesium in this section!
  6. Vitamin B6 such as chickpeas, bananas, and oatmeal.
  7. Omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory agent) such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed.
  8. Calcium (it can help improve the muscle tension) such as broccoli, kale, or other dark-leafy veggies. If you want to add milk as your dietary calcium, prioritize low-fat milk!

The nutrients mentioned above can help control the balance of the production of hormones called prostaglandins. These hormones play a key role on how strong the smooth muscles of your uterus to contract before and during menstruation.

Too over production of prostaglandins means the stronger contraction, more menstrual cramps and pains you will experience, as noted before.

The dietary adjustments may not provide a fast result to improve the menstrual cramping pain. Typically, it can take about weeks or even months to see the improvement.

But dietary changes are easier to implement, long lasting, and great for your overall health – the advantages that you cannot find in over the counter /pain reliever medicines.

Other general guidelines you need to follow!

These include:

  1. Keep active with moderate and regular exercise. This can provide tons of health benefits. Exercise is confirmed can help improve symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome), including for menstrual cramping pain.
  2. Try eating frequent small meals throughout the day instead of taking 2-3 bigger meals a day!
  3. Watch on your sodium /salt intake! Sodium can retain water – it is not only bad for your blood pressure and cholesterol, but also can worsen menstrual pain.
  4. And restrict caffeine and alcohol, because they also can be bad for your menstrual cramps and pains.
Citations /references:


All of these sites accessed on Jan 2014


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