Drifting in this sea of political correctness, the highbrows will frown upon the telling of a joke, any joke, about race, an ethnic group, husbands or wives, men or women, or men who believe they are women and vice versa. Perhaps the only things these days that meet approval in being the brunt of a joke are doctors, lawyers, and camels.
My maternal grandmother, not at all a highbrow, would bristle and chide us whenever we told a religious joke. She wasn't so much concerned about being politically correct as much as she was about us putting ourselves on the road to Perdition.
But talking about PMS, I recently heard a joke about a woman suffering from PMS (premenstrual syndrome). I laughed more at the guy telling the joke than I did at the joke. Mea culpa. Some years ago I heard a popular radio announcer opine that he could end the lingering Afghanistan war if every week you gave him one thousand women with PMS. He said after two months there wouldn't be any opposition to anyone or anything -- maybe because there wouldn't be anything left -- so he said -- probably for years to come.
I've never had a conversation with a female patient about monthly cramps or PMS that I haven't reminded myself why I'm glad I'm not a woman. For several days every month a man living with a woman who's having PMS and menstrual cramps must, for his own safety, keep quiet, mind his own business, hope for the best, and just keep the hell out of the way.
I understand that in the UK if a woman during PMS commits a murder, say outright kills her husband for no reason other than she's fed up with him, that the charge is not first or second degree murder but instead the lighter sentence of manslaughter. Presumably, the UK has much mercy, understanding, and respect for women with PMS knowing they're compelled to feel things and do things they later regret or wished they hadn't done at all.
But it's really no joking matter for the many women who suffer each month from severe menstrual cramps. Disabling menstrual cramps are thought to be due to a surge of prostaglandins causing swollen, congested, pelvic organs and tissues. The standard treatment for PMS is NSAIDs, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen (which reduce the prostaglandins), diuretics, and pain meds. But not all women want to take, or are able to take, these medications for one reason or another.
There's now a possible alternative treatment for this monthly curse that's been shown by multiple studies to be effective. A Dr. James W. Daily reviewed all of the studies that's ever been done testing the therapeutic efficacy of ginger root on menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). The ginger root is used throughout the world as a seasoning, spice, and medicine. It also happens to reduce the prostaglandins!
Dr. Daily statistically analyzed these studies to determine if the results or outcome of the studies was something that occurred by chance, or if the outcome was the result of the tested agent, in this case ginger.
Dr. Daily found that there was indeed a profound difference in significantly easing the pain of monthly cramps in the group of women, aged 13 to 30, who took the ginger. He published his findings in the medical journal Pain Medicine. The most effective way to take ginger is in the form of ginger powder capsules. Take 750-2,000 mg ginger powder capsules per day for the first three to four days of the menstrual cycle.
The only trick about taking ginger, or any herb, is being able to find a ginger product that is reputable and of high grade. In the world of health supplements and herbs there isn't the strict quality control requirements as there are with prescriptions medicines. So you have to be wise, careful, and do your homework.
I remember some years ago when herbs were the craze that the pharmacy school at Ole Miss did a study on various herbs and supplements. They bought off the shelf various herbs from Vitamin Shops and pharmacies in the tri-state area and analyzed them. They discovered that at least one-third of the products did not have the amount of advertised ingredient necessary or stated on the label to be therapeutically effective; some products even lacked the active ingredient altogether.
So when you're out and about looking for ginger powder do a little research online about the company. I'm not endorsing GNC or Five Seasons in Ocean Springs but they may be a decent start. While ginger, like a lot of treatments, isn't 100% effective, it may be the right treatment for you.
Hopefully, ginger may be able to make life a little easier for the woman who has monthly cramps, as well as for the man who loves her (on most days).
And talking about political correctness and equality, know that not all relationships are equal. For some couples, monthly cramps aren't even on the radar! So on behalf of all truly authentic women, we say to those couples -- "Lucky you!" And may God bless all women.
Live clean! Stay healthy!