Menstruation is the monthly uterine bleeding cycle in women that occurs due to the process of ovulation. A regular and normal menstruation indicates a good reproductive health in women.
Menstrual cycle is controlled by a number of associated hormones. Any imbalance in these hormones may result in menstrual problems.
Adolescence marks the onset of puberty in teenagers which is regulated by various hormones that fluctuate in this phase. Menstrual problems occur as a result of hormonal imbalances.
The symptoms of menstrual disorders may sometimes be difficult to notice therefore it is necessary to be aware and careful of your reproductive health as ignorance may lead to serious symptoms.
Disorders of menstruation include painful cramps, heavy bleeding, absence of menstruation and less or infrequent bleeding.
Here is an overview of some common menstrual problems:
Menstrual cramps refer to the pain in lower abdomen before, during or after periods. The cramps don’t have an identifiable cause but it may result due to other disorders.
Around 5-15% of women have cramps severe enough to restrain them from performing daily activities properly.
Premenstrual syndrome includes the physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms that occur due to menstrual cycle. It involves becoming moody, irritable, anxious and having headache, nausea, backache, constipation, fatigue, bloating etc.
About 5% of women have severe PMS called premenstrual dysphoric syndrome.
Menorrhagia ( Heavy Bleeding)
When a woman loses more than 1 ounce of blood during a menstrual cycle, the disorder is known as menorrhagia or heavy bleeding. It may long for more than 7 days.
Amenorrhea ( Absence of Menstruation)
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation despite pregnancy or breastfeeding period. It may be symptom of a serious disorder.
It can be of two types:
- Primary: Menstrual cycle didn’t start
- Secondary: Menstrual cycle stop after its onset
It may be due to hormonal disorder, fibroids or birth defects
Oligomenorrhea(Light or Infrequent Menstruation)
It is said to occur when the gap in your menstrual cycle is more than that of 35 days.
It is a common problem in adolescent girls and do not necessarily reflect a serious medical issue. The menstrual flow may be light in comparison to a normal blood flow.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
It is a very common menstrual disorder which involves irregularity of periods and high amount of male hormones.
Around 5-10% women are affected with PCOS across the globe.
If not treated on time PCOS may become the cause of infertility in women.
Some of the factors that influence the development of menstrual problems are stress, weight, pregnancy etc.
It is important to treat and cope up with menstrual problems to avoid further complications or other serious symptoms.
Menstrual disorders can be treated by medication, surgery and by certain lifestyle changes. Some drugs that are used to treat menstrual disorders are acetaminophen, NSAIDs, oral contraceptives.
Some lifestyle measures that can help in preventing or curing menstrual problems are taking a healthy diet and avoiding junk food, regular exercise and maintaining menstrual hygiene.
How Turmeric Benefits in Menstrual Problems
Turmeric is known to have various benefits in treatment and prevention of menstrual problems:
- Turmeric combats premenstrual syndrome
- Curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties which reduces pain.
- Turmeric is a phytoestrogen and helps in fighting amenorrhea.
- Turmeric acts as anti-spasmodic agent.
- Turmeric helps in reducing depression and mood swings.
- Turmeric helps in treating irregular menstruation.
- Turmeric reduces bloating and gastric symptoms.
- Turmeric provides protection from infections.
Best Ways to Take Turmeric in Menstrual Problems
Disclaimer – There is no particular prescribed dose of turmeric defined for menstrual problems. Based on the studies and reader’s reports we have summarized various ways of taking turmeric which could benefit in menstrual problems.
The dosage depends in terms of the formulation of the turmeric supplement and severity of the health condition. Here is the recommended dose:
Fresh Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots are a great addition to diet but the quantities we consume are not sufficient to cause significant therapeutic effect in menstruation associated conditions.
Recommended intake: 1-3g or ½ inch long piece of root sliced or chopped. You can also juice it and a take it with a pinch of black pepper. This can be a part of your fresh juices or taken individually. You can make Golden paste from fresh roots.
Further Read – Is fresh turmeric better then powder?
However if you take turmeric powder straight with black pepper then it would be 1-2 g of turmeric powder with a pinch of black pepper.
In terms of teaspoon that would be 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper powder twice a day.
Start with small doses and increase gradually. Avoid taking it on an empty stomach. You can make Turmeric capsules at home.
Maximum dose: 1 tsp of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper thrice a day
Golden Paste combines heat, black pepper and healthy fats to increase the absorption of turmeric.
It is highly recommended to take this paste after/with meals and to avoid taking it close to other medications. (Read Does Turmeric cause acid reflux? Black pepper in GP: Does it cause drug interaction?) Here is the recipe.
You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose by ¼ teaspoon every week. Continue till reach a dose of 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day (1 tsp 3 times a day).
This is the ideal dose of Golden Paste where you should experience relief. Some individuals do fine on small doses while some need larger doses.
Thinking of other ways to take Golden Paste read 10 ways to take Golden Paste
Maximum dosage: 1 table spoon 2-3 times a day only advised if you are comfortable taking it and not experiencing gastric side effects.
Turmeric tincture is great for pain relief and curbing inflammation.
Take 10-30 drops 2-3 times a day depending on the condition. It can be added to teas, juices or smoothies.
Maximum dosage: 20-30 drops 3 times a day
This is a good option for tea lovers and who want to skip the taste of turmeric paste. Here is the recipe for Turmeric Tea.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
This is just perfect when it comes to combating pain naturally. You can find the recipe for Turmeric Milk here.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
The recommended dosage for supplements is 300-400mg 2-3 times a day for standardized 95% curcumin extract.
However the dose would differ based on the formulation, hence it is best to consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Avoid taking turmeric supplements on an empty stomach and at the same time as taking medicines. Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
Turmeric in diet is absolutely safe. Turmeric supplements should be taken with care. (Read Side effects of Turmeric)
If you are taking blood thinners, turmeric supplements should be avoided. Turmeric can be included in diet in small doses. If suffering from a bleeding disorder consult a doctor and herbalist or naturopath before taking turmeric.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of pregnancy and lactation. Discontinue use of turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of gall bladder obstructions. (Should you take turmeric if you have gallstones?)
Turmeric may interact with certain medications like stomach acid reducing drugs, diabetes medications, blood thinners. Avoid taking turmeric supplements at the same time as medicines.
Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
If harrowed by turmeric stains here is how you can take care of them.
A normal menstrual cycle reflects good reproductive health of a woman. Any abnormality in hormone levels lead to menstrual disorders.
Menstrual disorders should be treated on time to avoid further complications and serious disorders.
Turmeric has shown various therapeutic efficacies in treating menstrual problems.
It is a natural aid in reducing menstrual symptoms.
Right dosage of turmeric can provide relief from menstrual disorders.