Menstruation is one such occurrence in a woman’s life that makes her cry for her mother every month without fail. From bloating to discomfort to truly terrible cramps, periods are a roller-coaster ride—the relief for which one often finds in painkillers.
But before over-the-counter remedies came into the picture, there were our mums standing between us and the cruel clutches of menstruation, equipped with a natural ingredient that is till-date touted as a cure-all. I am talking about ginger.
In my teenage years, smooth-sailing periods were the highlight of my life. I was perhaps the only one in my friend circle who could boast of pain-free periods. Then, I entered my twenties and my menstruation cycle decided to eff me over. From my colleague to friends, everyone offered me just one solution: a friendly-neighbourhood painkiller which is known offer period relief.
That’s when my mom came to my rescue
One fine evening, I came home clutching my stomach–when I really just wanted to pull my uterus out–and asked my mom if we had the “M-pill” at home (you know which one I’m talking about). But she had a better solution.
Within minutes my mom offered me a cup full of piping-hot ginger tea. Minus the milk and tea, mind you. My mum promised me that this simple brew of ginger steeped in boiling water was going to offer me the pain relief that I horribly needed.
So, did it work?
Absolutely! Sure, it wasn’t as quick as a potent painkiller, but within the hour my pain substantially reduced. Another cup before going to sleep, ensured that cramps didn’t wake me up in the middle of the night and I had uninterrupted slumber.
Why is ginger considered a miracle ingredient when it comes to menstrual cramp?
Well, as always, the answer lies with science. A 2012-study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Science journal found that girls who consumed ginger powder in a pill form during those five days experienced less pain—both in terms of intensity and duration—versus those who didn’t.
In fact, a 2018 research in the Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that ginger was as effective in reducing menstrual pain and cramps as an OTC painkiller.
While I am sure that my mother had no idea about these studies and many others like these, her solution to my menstrual woes was bang on.
And thanks to my mom for that!