Benefits of Ginger for Menstrual Cramps

Benefits of Ginger for Menstrual Cramps
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An eighth of a teaspoon of ground ginger power is tested head-to-head against the leading drug for the alleviation of painful periods.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I previously described how ginger works as well as the leading drug in the treatment of migraines, described as “one of the most common…pain syndromes,” affecting as much as 12% of the population. You call that common?

How about menstrual cramps, that plague up to “90 percent” of younger women? You can tell this was written by a guy, because he emphasizes the absenteeism and all the “lost productivity” for our nation—but it also just really hurts.

So, can ginger help? A quarter-teaspoon of ground ginger—ginger powder—given three times a day during the first three days of menstruation, and pain dropped from like a seven on a scale of one to ten, down to a five—whereas, in the placebo group, there was no significant change. Most women in the placebo group said their symptoms stayed the same, whereas those unknowingly in the ginger group said they felt much better. A subsequent study found that even just an eighth of a teaspoon three times a day appeared to work just as well—dropping pain from eight to a six. But then, the second month—down to a three. “[T]he alleviation of menstrual pain was more remarkable during the second month of the intervention.” And, they’d only been taking the ginger for four days, not the whole month—suggesting that it might work even better if women use ginger every period. 

What about the duration of pain? A quarter-teaspoon of ground ginger, three times a day, not only dropped the severity of pain from about seven down to five, but decreased the duration, from a total of 19 hours in pain, down to about 15 hours—indicating that three-quarters of a teaspoon of ginger powder a day, for three days, is “a safe and effective way to produce” pain relief in college students with painful menstrual cramps, compared to placebo (capsules filled instead with powdered toast). But, women don’t take breadcrumbs for their cramps. How does ginger compare to ibuprofen? An eighth of a teaspoon, four times a day, of ginger, for three days—or 400 milligrams of Motrin. And, the ginger worked just as well as the drug of choice.

If you do take the drug, though, I was surprised to learn it may be better to take drugs like ibuprofen and Naproxen on an empty stomach, as this may speed up the pain relief, and help keep people from taking higher doses.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: brenkee via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I previously described how ginger works as well as the leading drug in the treatment of migraines, described as “one of the most common…pain syndromes,” affecting as much as 12% of the population. You call that common?

How about menstrual cramps, that plague up to “90 percent” of younger women? You can tell this was written by a guy, because he emphasizes the absenteeism and all the “lost productivity” for our nation—but it also just really hurts.

So, can ginger help? A quarter-teaspoon of ground ginger—ginger powder—given three times a day during the first three days of menstruation, and pain dropped from like a seven on a scale of one to ten, down to a five—whereas, in the placebo group, there was no significant change. Most women in the placebo group said their symptoms stayed the same, whereas those unknowingly in the ginger group said they felt much better. A subsequent study found that even just an eighth of a teaspoon three times a day appeared to work just as well—dropping pain from eight to a six. But then, the second month—down to a three. “[T]he alleviation of menstrual pain was more remarkable during the second month of the intervention.” And, they’d only been taking the ginger for four days, not the whole month—suggesting that it might work even better if women use ginger every period. 

What about the duration of pain? A quarter-teaspoon of ground ginger, three times a day, not only dropped the severity of pain from about seven down to five, but decreased the duration, from a total of 19 hours in pain, down to about 15 hours—indicating that three-quarters of a teaspoon of ginger powder a day, for three days, is “a safe and effective way to produce” pain relief in college students with painful menstrual cramps, compared to placebo (capsules filled instead with powdered toast). But, women don’t take breadcrumbs for their cramps. How does ginger compare to ibuprofen? An eighth of a teaspoon, four times a day, of ginger, for three days—or 400 milligrams of Motrin. And, the ginger worked just as well as the drug of choice.

If you do take the drug, though, I was surprised to learn it may be better to take drugs like ibuprofen and Naproxen on an empty stomach, as this may speed up the pain relief, and help keep people from taking higher doses.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: brenkee via pixabay. Image has been modified.

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