How to regulate your menstrual cycle naturally

4 Ways to Naturally Regulate your Menstrual Cycle by Jesica Williams

Healthy Menstrual Cycle

In a world of rushing around, neglecting our self-care, and perpetuating chronically high cortisol (the stress response hormone), it's no wonder how we got out of sync with our natural state. By living the hamster-wheel lifestyle, we've invited all kind of unpleasant symptoms into our cycles by ignoring the signals our bodies persistently give us.

Luckily, we can get back to where we belong – in a beautiful, synergistic rhythm with ourselves. It's possible to be in a dynamic where we support our physiology to carry out the processes that it was born to do. A lot of the work is getting out of our own way, while also looking to a few practices, habits, and a little plant magic to help us out.

Move Your Body Daily

When you think about moving your body, you probably think of "getting fit" or "being in shape". But, now is a great opportunity to completely reestablish your relationship to fitness. Form a bond to movement that far surpasses the general, mainstream understanding of movement.

Our bodies are designed to move. From our bones, ligaments, tendons, to our muscles, our frames are made to sustain, endure, and take us places. Since everything in the body is connected, the movement that you create helps stimulate blood flow and lymphatic vitality throughout your entire body. These two components of movement are crucial, as blood flow carries nutrients to our vital organs and the lymphatic system is the waste disposal of your body.

This might seem distant from impacting your menstrual cycle, but here's why it's not. Your menstrual cycle is essentially a thermometer for how your whole being is functioning. Severe symptoms before and during your cycle can be indicative of underlying gut infections, a burdened GI tract, and/or a sluggish lymphatic system. Meanwhile, experiencing no uncomfortable symptoms can indicate that things are flowing & operating well "under the hood".

Everyone is different and the above simplification is not a hard and fast rule, it's simply something to consider and get curious about. You may hear some women say "this period has been worse than normal for me!" Thus, it's just a reminder that our lifestyle, stress, nutrition, and movement all impact your cycle because you are one exquisite, interconnected being.

If you think about it this way, you’ll consider symptoms like mood swings, cramps, heavier, or lighter flow than normal as communication from your body. It's letting you know that something if off. This doesn't necessarily make the symptoms any easier to endure, it's just a way to reframe them to promote a sense of understanding with yourself.

This all leads back to the idea of finding an exercise or movement routine that feels good to you. Everyone is different; one woman might feel completely restored and fulfilled with a yoga class, while others thrive doing some heavy lifting.

An additional caveat to consider is that a great time to taper back your high-intensity training (if you are a real go-getter) and increase your nutrient/caloric intake is the week before your period. If you are undernourished, under recovered, and exhausted, you increase the likelihood that you will experience unwanted PMS symptoms.

Also worth considering is that neglecting yourself during this week leading up to your bleed (your late luteal phase) can trigger fat stores to stay put. So, for those focused on body composition, this can be a huge realization. Thankfully, it's as simple as becoming and staying more aware of your habits throughout your cycle.

Look at Your Nutrient Intake

Getting adequate nutrients in the body is vital for your organs to do their jobs. Thus, you’re supporting your cycle in a roundabout way using Bioavailable Foods - everyone is different and prescribing one diet for everyone is not effective nor does it make sense given that we are all bio-individual. A simple way to recalibrate your eating is to pay closer attention to your digestion. Furthermore, if you get backed up easily (constipated), this might indicate a gut imbalance.

Some things to play around with can be:

  • food combining (there are many different food combining practices)
  • cutting back on omega-6 PUFAs especially when they’re found in baked or fried foods (the fragile polyunsaturated fatty acids are prone to decompose during heating contributing to inflammation within your body and also irritating your gut lining)
  • incorporating more greens to give the gastrointestinal tract an alkalizing boost

Rethink Water Consumption

Most of us are already abundantly aware that we are all chronically dehydrated. As a society, we tend to reach for stimulants and food before we reach for water. With your cycle in mind, it's helpful to take inventory of your water consumption and make some improvements.

Not only can an increased water consumption volume help to support your eliminatory organs, but adding biocompatible minerals (also commonly referred to as electrolytes) can help significantly. Adding electrolytes to your water literally adds conductive capacity to the water and makes it more hydrating for the body. In other words, it makes your water more usable for your cells and supports your whole physiology.

You can start with a tiny pinch of quality pink Himalayan salt in your water. If you're looking for more flavor, you can seek out an electrolyte mix or powder you enjoy. Something to be aware of is that most electrolyte mixes are disguised as a healthy additive for your water. In reality, many of them contain a large amount of sugar or artificial sweeteners, additives, and other unwanted ingredients.

Look for brands that use a natural, low glycemic sweetener (if any sweetener is used), and give the ingredients a look before you just grab something off the shelf. You're looking for trace minerals, many that you may recognize like magnesium, potassium, and sodium.

Look to Herbal Allies

Nature has an innate capacity to support our physiology, yet we often forget that. If you look at many herbs that are widely available (quality matters, find a trusted source online or in your local community), there are many that have applications specific to supporting the female menstrual cycle.

The key to herbal use is consistency. Because these are not artificial, chemical-ridden pharmaceuticals, some herbs may take time to provide their full impact. Simple ways to include them daily are taking tinctures and/or drinking tisanes (another word for herbal tea). Tinctures can be consumed directly into your mouth, but can also be added to your tea, smoothie, morning shake, etc.

In regards to herbal tinctures, you may find the best compatibility with glycerin-based tinctures if you’re sensitive to alcohol. Many high-quality, mindfully sourced apothecaries offer glycerin-based options nowadays. So, finding suitable options shouldn't be too painstaking. Many brands prefer to use alcohol in tinctures because it is a great solvent. In other words, it has the capacity to extract plant constituents, active ingredients, and compounds that don't possess the quality of being water-soluble.

4 Natural Ways to Regulate Your Menstrual Cycle

It may feel overwhelming to consider and practice awareness throughout your cycle. However, the good part is that it's within your control and entails managing your habits. Many unpleasant symptoms can be helped over time by incorporating targeted herbs, hydrating with trace minerals, exercising mindfully, and being a conscious eater.

If it's too daunting to tackle all of these wellness facets at once, start with one. By making one change at a time, it’s easier to make that habit stick before making the second change. Think of it as a snowball effect. Once you get the momentum going, it’ll build and give you more force to keep moving forward.

Jesica Williams wellness blogger and self-care expert Feelmoregooder

Author Bio:

Jesica Williams is a holistic wellness blogger at Feelmoregooder, est. 2012. Her experience includes NCAA volleyball nominee for All-American, a degree in Exercise Science, and a decade+ of wellness research & journalism.

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