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Turmeric is a popular Indian spice that is added to most dishes for enhanced flavour and colour. However, did you know that turmeric is known to fight pain and mood swings during menstrual cycle too? During periods women need all the help they can get as the hormones in their body keep changing making it difficult for them to stay in one mood. They also go through a lot of pain as well as gastric symptoms which can make it an uncomfortable experience. Turmeric fights all these symptoms and balances hormones. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, turmeric is effective in alleviating pain in the stomach during menstruation. Here are all the benefits of turmeric during periods.
Benefits of Turmeric in Periods
1. Helps fight premenstrual syndrome
Curcumin, the main compound in turmeric, has a potent anti-oxidant property which eases the pain and inflammation caused during PMS.
2. Reduces pain and malaise
Turmeric, with its antispasmodic and anti-oxidant properties, eases pain , malaise and general mood swings during your period. Curcumin inhibits the activity of inflammatory enzymes such as COX and LOX and reduces the production of prostaglandins which are hormones that cause pain and inflammation. They also inhibit the migration of immune cells which helps in combating pain.
3. Natural source of Estrogen
As a natural source of estrogen, an important hormone governing menstruation, turmeric can have a significantly positive effect on irregular periods. For a woman to be in the best of health, it is important that she have balanced estrogen levels. Imbalance can cause numerous health problems including irregular periods. Turmeric compounds regulate and support estrogen hormone levels.
4. Aids menstrual cramps
One of the most commonly reported symptoms of periods are menstrual cramps. Anti-spasmodic properties of turmeric can help women get relief from this symptom.
In an animal study conducted to understand the anti-spasmodic effects of turmeric, high doses of curcumin were given which helped to inhibit contractions and relax the smooth muscles of the intestine and uterus.
5. Reduces mood swings and depression
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is a condition in which women face severe depression, irritability and mood swings prior to menstrual cycles.
Curcumin influences chemicals in the brain and reverses effects such as stress and helps manages mood swings, sleep disturbances and depression associated with menstruation.
Women sufferinf from PMS who have been given curcumin have reported high levels of Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that help is in learning and memory.
Ways to use turmeric for periods
- A tablespoon of turmeric can be added to your regular glass of milk
- Turmeric powder can be used while cooking most Indian dishes like curries and vegetables.
Expert tips while using turmeric for periods
- Avoid turmeric if you are pregnant or lactating
- Avoid turmeric if you are on medication for diabetes
If PMS and other symptoms become unmanageable, visit your doctor immediately.