Cold drinks and painful periods

You probably have heard from the older Asian generation, or a Chinese Medicine practitioner that we shouldn’t drink cold drinks or eat cold food, especially for women who suffers from painful periods. But why? 

First of all, our body loves warmth. Our body maintains a warm environment for our organs to work properly, and for blood and body fluid to flow and circulate. Imagine you are in a nice place with rivers, streams and ponds. When the temperature drops, the rivers and streams freeze and the pond becomes a giant piece of ice, right? The same applies to our blood, body fluids and organs.

When we consume cold drinks or food, we are lowering the temperature inside our body, and if we do it often enough we create a cold environment. It is more difficult for blood to move that results in a stagnation. What comes of stagnation in TCM perspective? Pain. Most of the time women have painful periods because they have a stagnation of either Qi (energy) or blood in their womb. We would call this condition ‘cold womb’ in TCM. Women suffering from cold womb has a higher chance to have fertility issues too.  

TCM tips

In the clinic I often advise my female clients to swap the morning smoothies (most of them are made with frozen fruits), uncooked vegetables or raw food with warm porridge, bone/vegetable broth and stews. It might be more difficult when the weather is warm, try salads with cooked vegetables. Take warm baths or showers instead of cold ones. Wear clothing that can keep their abdomen warm and away from wind. It is better to make changes to our lifestyle than taking painkillers which are made of chemicals once a month. 

If you are suffering from having painful periods, consult a Chinese Medicine practitioner for acupuncture treatment or herbal medicine. They will be able to give you lifestyle advice on how to prevent it as well.