Monthly menstrual cycles are a fact of life for most women, but they can be both uncomfortable and inconvenient. Some women face heavy bleeding that lasts for a week or more, painful cramps and emotional distress during menstruation. Hormonal remedies like birth control pills are often used to treat menstrual problems and give women more control over their cycle, but sometimes these can make matters worse. For women who wish to avoid taking hormone-based pills, there are natural remedies.

What to Expect

It's very unlikely that you'll be able to completely stop menstruating with the help of natural remedies. Natural treatments can, however, shorten the length of your period, make your flow lighter and reduce the severity of cramps. If you wish to completely stop menstruation for a period of time, you'll need to discuss medical treatments with your doctor.

Natural Remedies to Try

Different women have success with different remedies, so you may need to use some trial and error to find the solution that works for you. The idea behind most natural remedies is to take herbs and vitamins that encourage blood clotting. If you're on medication for other health problems, you should check with your doctor before adding vitamins and herbs to your routine.

Various herbal teas may help reduce menstrual bleeding and shorten your period. Here are some options:

  • Dried yarrow root: Dissolve it in a cup of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes.
  • Shepherd's Purse: Gynecologists use this herb to treat hemorrhaging, and it may help stop menstrual bleeding as well.
  • Nettle tea
  • Homemade cinnamon tea: Simmer a cinnamon stick in water.
  • Cayenne pepper: Add 1/8 teaspoon to your tea of choice.

Drink the teas two or three times a day for best results.

Vitamins A, K and C are all associated with blood clotting, and women with deficiencies of these vitamins tend to have heavier periods. Take supplements of these vitamins to help lighten your menstrual flow.

Lifestyle Changes

Heavy periods are often associated with other conditions. Stress, excess weight, lack of exercise, poor sleeping habits and poor diet can all wreak havoc on your menstrual cycle and cause your periods to be heavy and long. Make a point of eating well, getting enough sleep and physical activity and managing stress.

If the natural remedies and healthier habits don't solve the problem with heavy period flow, see your doctor for advice and to see if another underlying medical condition is causing your issues.