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Prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding is called menorrhagia. It is a matter of concern as it disrupts a woman's daily activities  .
The average period of a woman's menstrual cycle is 28 days and the average loss of blood during periods is around 60 millilitres during those 4 to 5 days. And in the case of menorrhagia, there is over 80 millilitres of blood loss in one menstrual cycle  .
A woman suffering from menorrhagia passes out bigger blood clots and may experience anaemia due to the excess loss of blood.
Causes Of Menorrhagia
- Uterine-related problems (uterine fibroids, uterine polyps, uterine cancer, and ovarian dysfunction)
- Pregnancy-related complications
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Non-hormonal Intrauterine Device (IUD)
- Hormonal disturbances
- Inherited bleeding disorders
Symptoms Of Menorrhagia
- Heavy menstrual flow lasting for several hours.
- Heavy bleeding that requires more tampons and sanitary napkins.
- Menstrual bleeding lasting more than a week.
- The blood clots are bigger in size.
- Having constant cramps in the lower part of the abdomen during menstruation.
- Unable to perform daily activities.
- Tiredness, fatigue and shortness of breath.
A woman is said to have heavy bleeding when it lasts more than 7 days according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here are some home remedies you could try to stop heavy menstrual bleeding.
Home Remedies For Menorrhagia
Cinnamon is a spice that may bring relief from prolonged periods. It contains antispasmodic properties that help ease the blood vessels and stop heavy menstrual bleeding. A research study has shown that cinnamon improves the menstrual cycle in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)  .
- Grind 2-3 cinnamon sticks into a fine powder and add to a cup of boiling water. Boil it and leave for a few minutes. Drink it twice a day.
2. Omega 3 fatty acids
It is essential for women to increase their intake of omega 3 fatty acids during menstruation. Because essential fatty acids are said to prevent excess blood loss during periods by lowering the production of the hormone prostaglandin  . An increased concentration of prostaglandins in endometrial tissue at the onset of menstruation may contribute to heavy menstrual bleeding  .
- Consume omega 3 fatty acids in the form of oily fish, seafood, flaxseeds, etc.
3. Iron-rich foods
Heavy periods lead to loss of excess iron and iron is required by the body to make haemoglobin. Insufficient amount of iron in the body causes anaemia which is the result of very heavy periods. Eat more iron-rich foods like green leafy veggies, chicken, beans, etc. Also to allow better iron absorption, eat vitamin C-rich foods like bell peppers, citrus fruits, tomatoes and broccoli.
4. Lady's mantle tea
Lady's mantle is a powerful herb that can help relieve mild aches and pain associated with excessive bleeding. Many herbalists also believe that drinking lady's mantle tea can help make menstrual flow lighter . The leaves of the herb have strong contractile, coagulating and astringent effects which can help deal with heavy menstruation.
- In a cup of boiling water infuse a handful of dried lady's mantle leaves. Strain the tea and drink it thrice a day.
5. Shepherd's purse
This herb contains unique bioactive compounds that stimulate uterine contractions and help with blood clotting. Shepherd's purse also possesses anti-bleeding properties which treat heavy or long menstrual cycles .
- Infuse dried shepherd's purse leaves into a cup of boiling water. Strain the tea and drink it twice a day.
For centuries, chasteberry has been used for treating several menstrual problems including heavy menstrual bleeding. The presence of phytochemicals including flavonoids in chasteberry has been shown to influence certain hormones like prolactin, progesterone and oestrogen. Chasteberry promotes the release of high amounts of progesterone and stops the release of oestrogen which reduces heavy bleeding  .
- Boil a cup of water, and add the crushed chasteberries. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes and then drink it twice a day.
7. Raspberry leaf
Raspberry leaf is a medicinal herb that is used to alleviate problems associated with the menstrual cycle. The leaves have astringent properties which inhibit excessive bleeding and ease cramps during heavy periods, thereby calming the uterine and pelvic muscles.
- In 2 cups of water, add 2 cups washed raspberry leaves and bring to a boil. Strain and drink it thrice a day.
Yarrow is another herb that helps to reduce heavy menstrual flow caused due to uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts and endometriosis. Yarrow contains certain compounds called tannins which constrict the blood vessels and also tighten and strengthen the uterine tissues.
- Add 2 fresh yarrow leaves to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Remove the leaves and drink it twice a day.
Many herbalists use sage in the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding. Garden sage contains antispasmodic oils and tannins that provide relief from period pain and excess bleeding according to the Association of Women for the Advancement of Research and Education  .
- Add 2 tablespoons of fresh sage leaves to a cup of boiling water. Steep it for a few minutes. Strain it and drink it twice a day.
10. Black cohosh
Black cohosh aids in alleviating the symptoms of menorrhagia by regulating the oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels and decreasing the severity and duration of menorrhagia  .
- In a cup of water boil 1 teaspoon of black cohosh for 20 minutes. Let it steep for few minutes and strain it. Drink it twice a day.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that balances the female hormones and controls the heavy bleeding during menstruation. Magnesium also acts as a gentle muscle relaxant that eases uterine contractions and reduces cramps associated with heavy bleeding.
- Eat magnesium-rich foods like spinach, dark chocolate, sesame seeds etc.
12. Mustard seeds
Mustard seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids which help balance your hormone levels by decreasing high levels of oestrogen, thus regulating your menstrual flow. The anti-inflammatory properties of mustard seeds also aid in lightening heavy period flow.
- Grind 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds into fine powder and mix with yogurt and curd and consume it twice a day.
13. Coriander seeds
Coriander seeds contain bioactive compounds that balance the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone  . Coriander seeds are also a great source of potassium, iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium and calcium.
- Add two teaspoons of crushed coriander seeds in a cup of water. Boil it and allow it to cool. Strain it and have it twice or thrice a day.
14. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is effective in treating hormonal disturbances in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of excessive menstrual bleeding. It not only reduces heavy bleeding, but also boosts the reproductive system.
- Take one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it twice a day.
15. Ginger tea
Ginger contains astringent, anti-inflammatory and coagulant properties that can help treat heavy menstrual bleeding. Women with heavy periods have high serum levels of prostaglandin E2 and prostacyclin which result in excessive blood flow and menstrual cramps  .
- In a cup of water boil grated ginger for few minutes. Strain it and add honey. Drink it twice after meals.
16. Jujube tea
Jujube, commonly known as red dates, have been used traditionally for heavy periods and menstrual cramps. A study has shown that drinking jujube tea influences the oestrogen levels in the blood and reduces heavy menstrual bleeding  .
- In a cup of boiling water add 15 g of jujube leaves and a spoonful of red dates. Strain the tea and drink it 8 to 10 times a month especially during the menstrual cycle.
17. Flaxseed tea
Flaxseeds contain lignans which possess hormone balancing properties. And studies have shown that they help regulate oestrogen levels in the body during heavy menstruation .
- In a cup of boiling water, add 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseeds and steep it for 10 minutes.
Strain it and drink three times a day.
18. Cold compress
To reduce excessive bleeding, place an ice pack on your abdomen. The application of cold causes constriction of the blood vessels which decreases the loss of blood.
- Wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it over your abdomen for 20 minutes. Continue reapplying the pack after two to four hours.
19. Blackstrap Molasses
It is one of the best home remedies for heavy menstrual bleeding. It is rich in iron and aids in the production of red blood cells and helps to regulate the amount of blood lost during menstruation. In addition, it helps reduce blood clots and soothe the muscles of the uterine walls to reduce pain.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of blackstrap molasses to a cup of warm water or milk. Drink it once daily.
Lodhra is a herb used in Ayurveda to treat the problems related to heavy bleeding. It is mainly used to cure women suffering from excessive bleeding, or those with eye-related disorders. For the problem of excessive blood flow, its usage is highly recommended, as it helps in relaxing the uterine tissues.
- Take 3 g of Lodha bark powder. Make a decoction in 100 ml of water. Drinking this regularly will help in curing the problem of heavy bleeding.
Dos & Don'ts For Menorrhagia
- Consume fresh fruits and vegetables to get plenty of nutrients.
- Take enough rest during menstruation.
- Avoid eating spicy food, salt and caffeinated drinks.
- Don't take painkillers for reducing period pain as they can lead to thinning the blood.
- Do yoga and exercise to relax the uterine muscles.
- If you are feeling weak and sick due to the heavy bleeding consult a doctor.
Note: Consult a doctor before having these home remedies as they may have side effects.
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