Teas for Period Pain

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Painful Periods

What causes period pain?

Period pain is common but not necessarily “normal.” It falls into two distinct categories: primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea. Specifically, primary dysmenorrhea, or period pain, results from excess inflammation and, as a result, usually responds well to natural treatments such as herbal teas.

However, if painful periods persist despite making foundational lifestyle changes, nutritional adjustments, and trying herbal remedies, you should consider evaluating potential secondary causes. For instance, one of the most common secondary causes of period pain is endometriosis.

So, while primary dysmenorrhea is often manageable with natural remedies if these treatments do not alleviate your symptoms, then it is important to investigate other potential underlying issues.

How to reduce period pain immediately?

First and foremost, if you are seeking to reduce period pain quickly, here are several effective methods:

  1. Apply a Heating Pad – However, use caution if you are also experiencing heavy bleeding, as the heat might exacerbate the flow.
  2. Relax in a Warm Epsom Salt Bath – This method can help ease muscle tension and provide relief.
  3. Do Gentle Stretches/Yoga – For example, you can follow routines from Boho Beautiful to gently stretch and alleviate cramps.
  4. Use Topical Essential Oils – Specifically, you can dilute essential oils in coconut oil or, even better, use St. John’s Wort Oil (see Dr Whelan’s Fullscript) for natural pain relief. Wintergreen, peppermint, and fennel essential oils are all effective choices as well. Additionally, applying topical castor oil (with a pack like the Queen of the Thrones) combined with one of the above essential oils can provide even more relief.

Teas for period pain

Drink Teas for Period PainHere are several types to consider:

  • Red Raspberry Tea – First, this herb acts as a fantastic uterine tonic and is rich in minerals.
  • Cinnamon Tea – Cinnamon is a great circulatory stimulant and antispasmodic. Additionally, it pairs well with crampbark, an herb that can be added to cinnamon tea for relief. Moreover, cinnamon is a styptic that reduces heavy menstrual bleeding and a carminative that warms the digestive system and improves blood flow. Finally, it also lowers blood sugar and reduces inflammation.
  • Ginger Tea – Ginger is a warming, anti-inflammatory herb with pain-relieving properties. It also helps reduce bloating.
  • Chamomile Tea – Chamomile acts as a nervous system relaxant and digestive aid, helping to alleviate nausea.
  • Turmeric Tea – This root herb contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. You can either steep fresh root in hot water or mix the spice into hot water. Note: Turmeric stains yellow easily.
  • Dandelion Leaf and Root Tea – Dandelion root supports liver cleansing and relieves constipation, while dandelion leaf acts as a kidney tonic and diuretic for water retention and bloating caused by blood stagnation.

Ways to prepare herbal teas for period pain

Many teas are available in teabag form, which makes preparation convenient. For a stronger effect, steep the tea bags for several hours or even overnight.

Pre-made tea bags can provide synergistic herbal blends, such as Periodic Blend” by Earth Mama Organics.  This blend includes cinnamon, red raspberry, and ginger, along with several key herbs:

– Lady’s Mantle: A fantastic herb for toning the uterus.
– Lemon Balm: Known as the “gladdening herb,” it promotes uplifted moods and relaxation.
– Nettle: A powerful reproductive herb that balances estrogen and progesterone, reduces inflammation, detoxifies the body of harmful estrogens from plastics and pesticides, and provides essential minerals like iron and magnesium to reduce menstrual cramps and bloating.

Traditional Medicinals “Healthy Cycle” blend features a range of supportive herbs to alleviate period pain and alleviate PMS symptoms:

– Raspberry Leaf: Known for its benefits to menstrual health.
– Ginger: Aids in digestion and reduces inflammation.
– Chamomile: Calms and soothes, promoting relaxation.
– Dandelion: Supports liver function and detoxification.
– Nettle: Rich in minerals and excellent for maintaining healthy hormone balance.
– Licorice: Helps to balance excess estrogen, which can contribute to PMS symptoms.

When possible, making an herbal infusion will provide more effective results. This technique involves using the loose-leaf herb and steeping in hot water for several hours to extract more of the compounds. Loose-leaf herbs are generally fresher and more potent than those found in teabag form. A great resource for loose-leaf herbs is Mountain Rose Herbals.

Other tips for painful periods

Consistency: Drinking at least 1-2 cups of any of these beneficial herbal teas daily throughout the menstrual cycle will provide the most benefit.

Relaxation: The parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) is foundational for deep healing to take place. Most of our culture is in the “sympathetic,” or “fight or flight” nervous system state, which raises cortisol and creates further inflammation in the body. Deep breathing, doing less intentionally and mindfully, practicing meditation like yoga nidra or “non-sleep deep rest”, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, and gentle exercises like walking or stretching are all excellent ways to support your cortisol balance.

Anti-inflammatory nutrition: Avoiding ultra-processed foods (anything with an ingredient list that you can’t pronounce or don’t cook with in your kitchen), will help reduce inflammation in the body. These include packaged baked goods, cereals, crackers, chips, processed meats like hot dogs, microwavable meals, and pizza. Reducing sugar is also helpful for reducing inflammation as sugar creates large blood sugar changes, which creates inflammation in the body. A whole-food, anti-inflammatory diet through your cycle can go a long way in supporting an easier pain-free period. Foods to emphasize include vegetables, fruits, eggs, organic meats, and omega-3-rich foods like salmon, sardines, mackerel, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.


“Normal” period pain is mild pain for a day or two when the period starts. It responds to painkillers and does not prevent you from attending school or work.  It should disappear with natural treatment. If it doesn’t, then there is another cause that must be addressed.

Preventing most period pain can be achieved through anti-inflammatory nutrition and medicinal teas.

Many natural, at-home remedies can be used immediately for period pain including easy-to-prepare teas such as chamomile, ginger, cinnamon, dandelion root and leaf, turmeric, and red raspberry leaf tea.

Get a doctor who listens to you: To become a client of Dr Whelan, start by completing this application.

The practice of Dr Jessica Whelan offers in-person visits in northeast Vermont, conveniently located near St Albans, Colchester, Georgia, Fairfax, Fairfield, Burlington, Essex, Williston, Montgomery, Enosburg, Sheldon, Berkshire, Underhill, Jericho, Jeffersonville, Cambridge, Shelburne, Milton, Swanton, Highgate, Richford, Stowe, Waterbury, and more.  Virtual visits via telehealth are also available.

About Dr. Jessica Whelan

Dr. Whelan is a licensed naturopathic doctor in Vermont and is affiliated with the FertilityCare Centers of America as a Creighton Model Practitioner and Medical Consultant.

She specializes in women’s hormonal health, helping her clients achieve optimal fertility, better moods, greater energy, deeper sleep, and easier, predictable, pain-free periods.  Dr Whelan treats teens and women of reproductive age throughout perimenopause and early post-menopause.

Her approach is rooted in enhancing the body’s innate healing capacities. She utilizes treatments including nutrition, lifestyle medicine, botanical medicines, and cooperative hormone replacement therapies.

Choosing Dr. Whelan as your women’s health expert guarantees exceptional care. Dr. Whelan listens to your concerns and identifies the root causes of your health issues. She also provides preventive care to help you achieve your best possible life.