There’s no need to sugar coat it: Being on your period sucks. This is especially true for individuals with chronic illnesses, such as endometriosis or adenomyosis (via Healthline). From cramping to hormonal acne breakouts to unhealthy food cravings, trying to manage your monthly cycle can be a living nightmare (via The Mayo Clinic). 

While having your period is an individualized experience (i.e. not everyone’s symptoms are the same), there are a few things you can do to help ease dysmenorrhea or painful menstrual periods (via the Cleveland Clinic), such as drinking herbal tea and avoiding inflammatory foods and beverages such as dairy, red meat, and alcohol (via Madamenoire). Other home remedies include taking Midol or an all-natural option like De Lune Cramp Aid, a “high-potency herbal relief” for period cramps, and plugging in a heating pad (via Verywell Health).

The best teas for relieving menstrual cramps

Thanks to its all-natural calming effects, chamomile has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries (via Molecular Medicine Reports). According to the Journal of Pharmacopuncture, chamomile tea has “antispasmodic properties” (or agents that prevent muscle spasms) that have been proven to reduce dysmenorrhea. It’s also caffeine-free, which means it won’t keep you up all night if you decide to enjoy a cup before bedtime (via Healthline).

If chamomile isn’t your cup of tea (see what we did there?), peppermint tea has been shown to improve one’s mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and fatigue, in addition to relieving the severity of menstrual cramping (via the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research). The oils in peppermint may also help to boost your energy levels, making peppermint tea an ideal alternative to your morning coffee (via Well + Good.)

If you suffer from severe dysmenorrhea, you should definitely talk to your doctor as it could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis.

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