Home Remedy of the Week: Beat Period Pain and Cramps With Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
Fennel seeds (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

No two women have the same kind of periods. For some, menses are as easy as a breeze. But for others, the four days are tedious and painful. Period pains or cramps are caused by the contraction of the uterus in order to shed the built-up endometrial lining. Excessive prostaglandin which causes uterine contractions are responsible for the pain. While painkillers such as NSAIDs may give you temporary relief, it can also cause side effects in the long run. There are many home remedies for period cramps that are as effective and come with no side effects at all. One home remedy for period pain is saunf or fennel seeds. How to Stop Period Cramps? 5 Mistakes That Are Making Them Worse During Your Menstruation.

Fennel or saunf is an aromatic herb whose seeds are consumed as spices. In India, saunf is used for its rich flavour and therapeutic properties. After meals, it’s common practice to chew a few seeds along with rock sugar for digestive purposes. Rich in antioxidants, fibre and fat-burning properties, fennel seeds are quite nutritious. But it also plays a big part in women’s health.

Fennel is a good source of vitamin C, iron and folic acid, which helps combat anaemia in women. Apart from that, eating fennel seeds regularly can also reduce period pain and cramps. It’s a science-backed menstrual cramp remedy.

A 2012 study published in the journal AYU, an international quarterly journal of Ayurvedic research proved that eating fennel seeds or saunf decreased the intensity of pain felt during menses in women. Sixty girls with dysmenorrhoea were enrolled for the study. Some of them were given 30mg fennel extracts in a capsule four times a day. Others were given a placebo with wheat in the same dose. The study showed that girls given the fennel extracts reported less pain during menses.

The study went on to prove that fennel has ameliorative effects on painful periods. So it can be had for period pain relief as a home remedy instead of painkillers.

How to Have Fennel Seeds or Saunf for Period Pains

For period pain relief, women should consume 30mg of fennel seeds, four times a day for a period of three days. The course should be started on the first day of periods itself.

You can either roast a few seeds and chew them or make a “tea” by boiling saunf in water and drinking it.

For enhanced effect, you can team fennel with other ingredients that lessen period pain like cinnamon, ginger or chamomile.