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Why risk using a pain killer with deadly side effects? Natural alternatives are often not only safer but at least as effect.
New research reveals that cinnamon powder is effective at reducing symptoms of painful periods (primary dysmenorrhea) in college age students.
Published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research and titled, "Comparative effect of cinnamon and Ibuprofen for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized double-blind clinical trial," Iranian researchers evaluated the effect of either 420 mg of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), 400 mg of ibuprofen, or a starch placebo, in three groups of 38 females. Both pain intensity and duration were monitored in all groups, with the results reported as follows:
"The mean pain severity score and mean duration of pain in Ibuprofen and Cinnamon were less than placebo group respectively (p< 0.001). Of 4 hours after the intervention there were no statistically significant differences between the Cinnamon and placebo group (p> 0.05). Of eight hours after the intervention, the mean pain severity in the cinnamon group was significantly lower than placebo group (p< 0.001). At various time intervals the mean pain severity in the Ibuprofen group were significantly less than Cinnamon and placebo groups (p< 0.001)."
The researchers concluded:
"Cinnamon can be regarded as a safe and effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhea. More researches are recommended to study the efficacy of Cinnamon on reducing menstrual bleeding."
Why do we consider cinnamon superior to ibuprofen? Considering the well known dangers of ibuprofen, which is estimated to kill several thousand a year from its cardiovascular side effects alone, cinnamon's potential role as a natural alternative to this drug is highly promising. Unlike ibuprofen, cinnamon is not known to have cardiotoxic properties. To the contrary, it is known to have both blood pressure lowering and blood sugar lowering properties, both which may confer protection against cardiovascular disease.
As far as the question of its role in menstrual bleeding addressed in the conclusion above, a recent randomized, double-blinded clinical trial found that it actually reduced the severity of menstrual bleeding in women, making it a win-win as far as difficult or inconvenient menstruation symptoms go.
For more information about either cinnamon's health benefits, or other natural interventions for painful periods, consult the following articles and database sections on Greenmedinfo.com: