The Modern Period
Many women currently live with heavy, unmanageable and painful periods. Overexposure to pollutants, toxic foods, and stress all contribute to excessive menstrual hemorrhaging. Many women have accepted their unbearable cycles, believing that pain and excessive bleeding is normal. Contrary to this belief, your period should be an intimate time of release and renewal. The truth is, no woman of any age should be crippled by her menstrual cycle.
Plenty of synthetic drugs are on the market for the purpose of suppressing our period symptoms. Although these pharmaceuticals may prove to be useful in the moment, their synthetic constituents make our symptoms tolerable without actually improving the quality of our cycle. In fact, some medication may actually worsen your cycle in the long run.
However, mother nature always provides. At Ashe Vibes, we have created a list of our favorite botanicals for period cramps and heavy bleeding. These herbs have been utilized by women herbalists for ages and continue to help women in need today. these herbs regulate flow, balance hormones, reduce inflammation and eliminate muscle spasms and at the very top of our list is no other than Cramp Bark.
About Cramp Bark
Viburnum Opulus, commonly known as Cramp Bark, comes from the shrub native to both North America and Europe and is generally found in woodland areas. For centuries the bark has been used by herbalists as an aid for many illnesses and various Native tribes included the bark from these branches in many healing remedies. This herb is primarily revered for its ability to relieve the body of tension. However, out of the many medicinal uses found in this bark, the main healing property of cramp bark lies right within the name.
This herb is a well-known aid for easing the pain associated with menstrual cramps. Boiling the bark releases active constituents that act as an all-natural muscle relaxant. Understanding the key actions of cramp bark will allow you to effectively apply this herb for self-use. There are four key actions within cramp bark that assists with pain relief: antispasmodic, sedative, astringent and relaxant.
Key Actions of Cramp Bark
When our bodies sense pain, muscle spasms ensue and nerve impulses cause our muscles to contract. The antispasmodic constituents within cramp bark activate muscle relief, allowing tension to ease and pain to cease primarily in the uterus and pelvic floor. This botanical’s sedative effect acts on the nerves as a soothing agent to reduce stress and irritation throughout the entire body. This means that cramp bark can also reduce pressure in the back, bladder, breasts and head during your cycle. As a sedative, cramp bark allows you to unwind and achieve restful sleep. In this way, Cramp bark is excellent at reducing mood irritability.
As an astringent, cramp bark strengthens and tightens tissue within the body. By constricting your blood vessels, this helps reduce bodily secretions which promotes proper blood circulation and flow. Lastly, the relaxant properties aid in the dispelling of tension, allowing the body to go through its natural healing cycle.
Preparation Dosages & Precautions
Because cramp bark is tough to break down, a decoction method must be used. Tinctures and syrups may also be useful, but we found that drinking a hot cup of tea adds that special therapeutic touch when on our periods. To prepare a decoction, add 4 grams of dried cramp bark to 3-4 cups of boiling spring water. allow the herb to boil with the water for at least 15 minutes. Be sure to cover your pot and reduce the heat down to a simmer once it reaches a boil. Once finished, strain the remaining extraction from the cramp bark into a heat safe mug. Finally, squeeze the remaining fluids from the cramp bark with a muslin cloth into your mug to ensure you extract all the medicinal properties. Although you are more than welcome to add sugar to this extraction, it is recommended that you drink it unsweetened. If you choose to add a sweetener, opt for coconut sugar, agave, or stevia instead of processed sugar.
Drink up to three times daily for the duration of your cycle. If you keep track of your monthly cycle, drink one cup a day for two days leading up to your cycle to avoid the onset of discomfort all-together. If pain or bleeding is unusually uncomfortable, reach out to your qualified health provider right away. Remember to always ask your doctor about the use of herbal supplements before using. Always test your reaction to an herb before ingesting an entire dose by applying a modest amount onto the skin and then inside the cheek.
For a powerful herbal blend containing cramp bark to help battle period discomfort try Ashe’s Slaying the Dragon Herbal remedy.
Additional Uses of Cramp Bark
Though cramp bark is known for relieving menstrual cramps, there are many other ailments it can help rectify. Here’s a list of conditions cramp bark may help alleviate:
high blood pressure | poor circulation
weakness in joints | asthma
Pelvic Spasms | heavy bleeding
muscle spasms | Kidney Stimulant