Ever had to tie a sweater around your waist to hide blood stains caused by your heavy flow?
Or how about waking up in the middle of the night to discover that your clothes, sheets and mattress are fully stained through?
That was me from my teens through to early adulthood.
If only I’d known back then that I could use something as simple as ginger root for heavy periods!
You see, science is now confirming that ginger is very beneficial for our cycles.
So, in this post you will learn how ginger supports your hormones, as well as how to use ginger to reduce your flow.
Note: this post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you use them.
WHAT CAUSES HEAVY MENSTRUAL BLEEDING?
According to the Mayo Clinic, some common causes of heavy periods include (source):
- Drugs (such as anti-inflammatory medication and hormonal medications)
- Ovary dysfunction
In addition to all of the above, the Mayo Clinic also states that hormonal imbalances can also contribute to heavy menstrual bleeding.
This particular theory has been backed up by research.
In fact, research shows that women who experience heavy cycles have a higher concentration of hormones called prostaglandins.
So, what are prostaglandins and what do they do?
Prostaglandins are hormones that assist the body in healing from injury or other types of damage (source).
In addition, prostaglandins are also responsible for uterine contractions.
One area where those uterine contractions are necessary is during labor and natural childbirth. Without prostaglandins, that whole process wouldn’t work the way it does!
So, as you can see prostaglandins are necessary for certain processes in the body to work properly.
But here’s the thing…prostaglandins can be both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory (source).
So, what does that mean for you?
Well, when you produce a lot of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins you are more likely to (source):
- experience dysmenorrhea (i.e. menstrual cramps)
- have heavy menstrual cycles
Now, given that heavy periods tend to be accompanied by severe period cramps, there’s reason to believe that pro-inflammatory prostaglandins are a major factor in all of this.
As for the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins…those are friendly prostaglandins that the body uses for healing as I mentioned earlier.
So, in order to reduce period flow and have a more comfortable cycle, it’s important for the body to produce more anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
HOW GINGER REDUCES HEAVY PERIODS
Now that we’ve seen how hormonal imbalance correlates to a heavy flow, you might be wondering “what’s the benefit of using ginger root for heavy periods?”
Well, one study shows that ginger is very effective at reducing heavy blood loss.
This particular study was conducted with young women who already had a history of heavy menstrual bleeding.
The women were divided into 2 groups: one group received ginger and the other got a placebo.
Blood loss was monitored over the course of 3 menstrual cycles, and the results showed that:
“The level of menstrual blood loss dramatically declined during the three intervention cycles in ginger-receiving group. The decrease of blood loss in ginger-receiving group was significantly more remarkable than that of participants receiving placebo.” (source)
The results of this study are not very surprising when you consider the fact that ginger has been proven to lower prostaglandin production.
And let’s not forget that ginger is also a potent anti-inflammatory food!
By lowering inflammation, there are less proinflammatory prostaglandins to worry about in your body.
Given all these factors, it’s no wonder that the scientists in the heavy periods study concluded that:
“…ginger may be considered as an effective therapeutic option for HMB.” (source)
(HMB = heavy menstrual bleeding).
HOW TO USE GINGER ROOT FOR HEAVY PERIODS
Alrighty, it’s time for us to look at how you can use ginger to alleviate your heavy flow!
There are three options you can use:
- Ginger capsules
- Ginger tea
- Ginger essential oil
1. Ginger Supplement Capsules
In the heavy periods study referenced earlier in this article, the participants took one 250 mg ginger capsule, 3 times a day (source).
They started taking the capsules the day before their period and during the first 3 days of their cycles.
So that’s a total of 4 days during which the women took ginger capsules.
If you’d like to try ginger for yourself, you can start by following the same protocol for yourself.
These organic, ginger capsules are my top recommendation. Just clean, organic ginger and no weird fillers.
Bonus tip: if you’ve got dried ginger in your kitchen, you can also take 1/8 teaspoon, 3 times a day to get the same effect as the capsules (source).
2. Ginger Tea
A warm cup of tea is a relaxing self care gift that you can give yourself every day.
To use ginger tea for heavy menstrual cycles, simply steep ½ teaspoon grated ginger in 8 ounces of hot water for up to 10 minutes.
This method can give you about 250 mg of ginger per cup (source).
Just make sure to drink 3 cups per day in order to match the quantities that were used in the ginger reference study.
Bonus tip: add some lemon and raw honey to the tea for an anti-inflammatory boost. Plus, it also improves the flavor 🙂
3. Ginger Essential Oil
Even though I haven’t come across studies about ginger oil and heavy monthly cycles, ginger essential oil does have anti-inflammatory properties.
So, ginger oil can play a beneficial role in reducing overall inflammation.
To get started I recommend using Ancient Apothecary’s ginger oil (you can find it on Amazon).
Ancient Apothecary uses CO2 extraction for their oils, which results in a more “complete” essential oil (basically CO2 extracted oils contain molecules that would normally evaporate if the oil was made through the standard steam distillation method).
To get the anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger you can:
- diffuse it along or with other hormone-friendly essential oils like ylang ylang, geranium or sandalwood (they all smell great with ginger!)
- make a massage oil with ginger, frankincense and geranium oil (use my essential oil dilution guide for tips on how to safely blend oils).
CONCLUSION: DOES GINGER CAUSE HEAVY PERIODS OR DOES IT REDUCE MENSTRUAL FLOW?
Even though some people worry that ginger increases menstrual bleeding, studies show quite the opposite: ginger is actually an effective natural home remedy for heavy periods.
So, I hope this post has helped you understand how ginger can help to alleviate heavy menstrual bleeding.
In addition to supporting your hormones with ginger, you can give your body an extra boost by eating a hormone-balancing diet, as well as using hormone-friendly supplements.
For more details, go here for complete guide to putting together a hormone-balancing diet plan that works for you. As a bonus, that article also includes a downloadable shopping list and recipes to get help you get started 🙂
As always, if you have any questions or feedback drop a comment below 🙂