In my eyes, fall is the season for lattes and winter the season for hot chocolates.
Despite not loving chain coffee shops, I previously couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealously walking past a happy Starbucks customer clutching a seasonally decorated paper cup with “pumpkin latte” scribbled on the side.
I was determined to recreate the cozy feeling of an autumnal latte without the sugar, caffeine, or artificial sweeteners and with extra anti-inflammatory benefits.
The result? Four latte ideas and all their wonderful benefits …
Cinnamon is not only an anti-inflammatory spice, but it’s also been proven effective in reducing heavy bleeding and pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. The study also found a significant reduction in nausea and vomiting among the group prescribed cinnamon — two symptoms many people with endometriosis suffer from.
To top off those benefits, multiple studies have shown that cinnamon supports blood sugar regulation. Elevated blood sugar can increase inflammation and cause hormonal imbalances that result in symptoms such as painful periods and heavy bleeding.
My pumpkin spice latte not only contains cinnamon but the anti-inflammatory spices ginger, nutmeg, and clove — so you have every excuse to make this recipe again and again!
Clove is another powerful anti-inflammatory spice. Flavor-wise, a little goes a long way.
Clove’s main active ingredient is eugenol, but its anti-inflammatory properties are also boosted by high levels of antioxidants, which help reduce pain in people with endometriosis. Not only can clove be used for culinary purposes, but many health professionals recommend applying the oil topically for period pain. (Always dilute it in a carrier oil first.)
While used in pumpkin spice recipes, it’s also a key component in chai. To make your chai more endo-friendly, swap any added sugar for stevia, insulin, or monk fruit (or skip altogether), and if you find dairy problematic, go for plant-based milk. Many of us find that caffeine can also be an inflammatory trigger (it can also mess with your hormones), so you may want to try decaffeinated tea or even rooibos.
Research has shown that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is a highly effective anti-inflammatory ingredient and can inhibit the development of endometriosis by reducing estrogen levels within endometrial cells. Additionally, one study found it may reduce PMS symptoms, though more research needs to be done.
While turmeric lattes may not scream fall to you, my turmeric latte recipe draws on all the warming spices of the season to make a comforting and incredibly endo-friendly hot drink.
Though my bladder sensitivity means I can’t ingest it regularly, I do consume up to 2 grams daily in the days before my period to ensure my pain levels stay low. It’s one of the most effective natural pain relievers I’ve ever tried — and it’s no wonder.
Ginger has been proven to not only be an effective treatment for painful periods, but to be just as effective as mefenamic acid, a commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory medication, in relieving pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. In fact, my clients who begin on mefenamic acid often switch to ginger within one cycle and experience little to no pain!
I absolutely love a soothing ginger and chamomile latte to calm anxiety and help me settle down on a cozy autumn evening. Try this recipe, and again, tweak to make it even more endo-friendly.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.