I could remember vividly my days as a free young girl, who didn’t have to worry about any cramps or pains, didn’t have to be cautious about getting stained or even refrain myself of taking sugary substance. Oh! How I miss those days. But more glaring to me was how my class mates who have started seeing their monthly flow made me feel, unknown to them. I could remember a time when makers of ALWAYS sanitary pad visited my school to educate girls on how to use menstrual pads and also talk about sex education, my home economics teacher had instructed every girl in my class to leave whatever they were doing and ensured they attended the seminar/workshop, she also emphasised that particularly girls who had started seeing their monthly flow.
Great! I said to myself. Goodness gracious! That means I won’t have to listen to all these boring talks. I smiled. Just as I made to leave the venue, she called my name. I was an icon in my school and all my teachers knew, loved and respected me despite being a student. My dear, why are you not seated? She asked carefully observing my reaction. Well, I have not started seeing my monthly flow and since you specifically stressed that, it would be disobedient of me to remain seated when I am fully aware I am not supposed to. I responded politely. Interesting! So, you mean you are yet to start your menstruation? She gave me a surprised look. It’s alright my dear, you are one of my very good students and you cannot miss that workshop, so please go back and enjoy it. She reverted.
What kind of teacher is this? Is it by force to attend workshop now? I murmured after I made sure she was far away from me. I dragged my feet and entered the hall and the workshop commenced. Sincerely, the workshop was worth the time and it really made me anticipated when I would start my own cycle.
Fortunately, few months later I started. I was not surprised because I had long anticipated it and so when it came, I was indifferent. However, unlike some of my friends who had it flowed freely without cramps, I was not that fortunate. Every time I had menstrual flow, it came with unbearable pain that I wished it never came. I couldn’t bare the pain anymore and one day, I spoke with my neighbour who everyone knew always had cramps but no longer noticeable. Then, she explained how she overcame her cramps discomfort or better still, how she always treated it.
You see, she started. ‘‘During the menstruation, it is common for women to experience cramps and sometimes the pain gets worst for her. Dysmenorrhoea is the medical term for the painful cramps that may occur occasionally before or during the menstrual period. According to research, nutritional intake and metabolism may play an important role in the cause and the treatment of menstrual cramps. And the reason is because women with menstrual cramps tends to have a low amount of potassium and magnesium levels in them and this can be consciously resolved by the intake of such potassium and magnesium rich foods, such as in this case, bitter leaf (Vernonia Amygdalina).
It becomes apposite that the balanced level of potassium and magnesium in the system of a woman before and during menstrual periods can substantially affect the level of pain, if not totally prevent it. So, here’s what I discovered. Extracts made from vegetables such as bitter leaf can stop or prevent the pain; this owes greatly to the rich iron content and as well the potassium and magnesium content. The tell-tale of taking medications comes with the attendant question of the modes of administering them. In this case, there is a need to take them in the form of a smoothie.
Because the onset of menstrual cramp appears to be linked to excessive production of prostaglandins, which is a class of pro-inflammatory chemical produced by the body to trigger the muscle contractions that help the womb to shed its lining, Bitter leaf becomes very important in this aspect because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and antinociceptive properties.’’ She said. Now, to buttress the usage, you can take it a week to your menstrual cycle and it will do the magic, it is that effective. Also, pure undiluted bitter leaf is excellent and good in getting rid of skin infection, ring worms, itching and rashes.
So, Ladies, when next you feel it’s about to go out of hands, get some bitter leaf and make a juice out of it! She concluded.