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Painful Periods? Try Cinnamon!

Your spice cupboard may contain a remedy for your time-of-the-month woes: research has shown that taking cinnamon at the beginning of a woman's period could reduce menstrual cramping. The double-blind study, published in Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, included 76 women, aged 18 to 30, with moderate primary dysmenorrhea—pelvic cramping around the time of menstruation that has no other known cause. Researchers randomly assigned the women into two groups: participants in the first group received two capsules of a placebo; participants in the second group received two capsules of cinnamon bark powder (420 mg per capsule), three times daily on the first three days of their menstrual flow. Birth control, known to reduce menstrual cramps, and pain relievers were not allowed during the study. The women reported on their pain, nausea, menstrual bleeding, and vomiting at regular intervals during the 72 hours of treatment. Here is what they found:

  • Women in the cinnamon group had less vomiting, nausea, and menstrual bleeding compared with women in the placebo group.
  • Women in the cinnamon group also experienced fewer hours of pain and less pain intensity during the 72-hour study period compared with women in the placebo group.
  • There were no adverse side effects reported by women in the cinnamon group.

This study’s findings suggest that cinnamon may be a safe and effective treatment for women with primary dysmenorrhea. It’s important to note that you can get approximately the quantity of cinnamon used in this study by adding a quarter-teaspoon of cinnamon powder to your morning oatmeal plus another quarter-teaspoon to your portion of a squash or curry dish in the evening. You can also boost your cinnamon intake by making it into a tea: boil 1–2 sticks of cinnamon bark in water for ten to fifteen minutes, cool, and enjoy. However, always consult your doctor before adding herbal remedies to your health regimen.

Source: Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal

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