Cramping can occur in any hollow organ of the body, but here we are primarily dealing with spasms in the digestive tract. Causes are many, including indigestion, infection or inflammation anywhere in the intestinal tract. Infantile colic, due to weak digestion, food allergies and gas formation, is a trial for
both mother and baby. In adults, a variety of irritants can cause acute cramps, while chronic gut toxicity causes cramps relating to dysbiosis, irritable bowel and colitis. In all cases, underlying causes need to be addressed while painful spasms are being alleviated. Please find and use the home remedies cramping listed below.
Antispasmodic herbs can provide a simple and non-toxic approach to calming painful cramps and colic. Such herbs are often nervines as well, providing sedative and calming effects for jangled nerves.
Other needed herbs are also carminatives, helping expel excess gas, and digestive tonics with anti-inflammatory effects. Deeper problems can be improved with herbal detoxification programs for the intestines and liver. In colic, food allergies in the baby, or in a mother who is breastfeeding, need to be identified and eliminated, until the immune system can be re-regulated to eliminate these sensitivities. The same holds true for adults.
List of Home Remedies for Cramping
Anise***—Pimpinella anisum: An important infant and child remedy for colic and general cramping. Antispasmodic and carminative, eases nausea, indigestion, bloating. Safe, gentle, tasty; can work via the breast milk. Improves appetite.
Caraway**—Carum carvi: Similar to fennel and anise, relieves intestinal colic or cramps associated with gas, bloating, digestive upset, nausea and indigestion. Gentle enough for children, also good for menstrual cramping.
Catnip***—Nepeta cataria: Relieves intestinal spasm and gas, diarrhea; mild relaxing effect. Relieves upset stomach, indigestion. Safe in children and the elderly. Is especially effective for intestinal or gastric upset of a nervous origin. Gentle and calming; sedates anxiety, reduces fever, eases headaches.
Chamomile***—Matricaria recutita: Effective antispasmodic and colic remedy, soothes indigestion; anti- inflammatory and antiseptic. Calms irritability, restlessness, insomnia. Antidotes effects on nursing child of coffee or drug use by mother.
Cramp Bark***—Viburnum opulus: Stronger antispasmodic than black haw; relieves painful cramping in abdomen, stomach, uterus or bladder. Relieves back pain, neuralgia. Effective for menstrual cramps, false labor pains. Helps with leg cramps.
Dill***—Anethum graveolens: Relieves intestinal spasms, cramps, infantile colic and indigestion. Dispels gas and calms and improves the digestion; antibacterial action. Increases breast milk, which carries antispasmodic effects to the infant.
Fennel**—Foeniculum vulgare: Stimulates digestion, relieves colic, flatulence, bloating and distension. Like anise and caraway, also used in coughs, as an antispasmodic and expectorant. Increases breast milk; has a reputation as a longevity herb.
Kava Kava**—Piper methysticum: Muscle relaxant and antispasmodic for internal organs and muscle tension. Sedative pain and cramp reliever, reduces sensitivity to pain. Strongly reduces anxiety, relieves sleeplessness, is a mild antiseptic.
Lemon Balm* *—Melissa officinalis: Eases cramps and spasms, gas and bloating, indigestion and colic pains, gastric acidity. Useful for problems related to stress and anxiety. A good children's herb; soothes anxiety, irritability, restlessness.
Licorice**—Glycyrrhiza glabra: Demulcent and anti-inflammatory, decreases the spasms of gastritis or intestinal distress, relieves stomach ulcers and body's stress response. Mild laxative, assists in the body's clearing of poorly digested foods.
Peppermint**—Mentha piperta: Digestive antispasmodic; relieves colic, spasm, spastic constipation. Carminative, dispels gas and distention, with pain-relieving action. Stomachic, improves digestion, stimulates secretions and bile output.
Valerian**—Valeriana officinalis: A sedative and antispasmodic, relaxing intestinal cramps, muscle tension. Relieves spasms and pain related to anxiety and emotional upset. For cramps with diarrhea, or after eating. Promotes restful sleep.
Wild Yam***—Dioscorea villosa: Important antispasmodic for cramps in any hollow organ; intestines, stomach or gall bladder spasm. For colic that is relieved by stretching. Helps with gas and flatulence, belching, indigestion, upset from tea.
Yarrow*—Achillea millefolium: A digestive antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.
For cramping pains or stomachache, distension, or gas pain. A sedative and tranquilizing herb that promotes tissue healing.