I’ll echo what has been said above.
Back in the covered wagon days, when I was a young 'un, the remedy for headaches and cramps was the almighty APC. Aspirin+phenacetin+caffeine. Wonderful stuff. The FDA removed phenacetin from the market when there was evidence the stuff destroyed kidneys.
Consider the APC to be the forerunner to Excedrin, which is aspirin+acetaminophen+caffeine.
Aspirin, which is the original NSAID, is effective for cramps but CAN make you bleed more.
Before APCs, of course, there were hot water bottles and hootch.
Early 19th century boasted Lydia Pinkham’s Compound, which was a patent medicine marketed to women. Its big ingredient was laudanum, which is an opium derivative. Lydia Pinkham’s became famous not only for the comforts it gave to women themselves, but babies given a slug of Lydia’s slept soundly. Women who worked in factory sweat shops would dope up the kids before going to work, and then sip on a bottle of Lydia’s throughout the working day.
When the US Government exposed patent medicines, Lydia Pinkham’s Compound was re-formulated to an herbal concoction containing iron. I don’t know if it’s still available today.
Many herbal teas have pain relieving and anti-spasmodic qualities. Willow bark tea was probably a popular selection for cramps. It contains a natural aspirin-type ingredient.
At least one pregnancy can provide considerable relief from cramps. It was theorized that the stretching of the womb “killed off” the nerve endings that caused the pain from cramps. Or perhaps the experience of labor gave a woman a pain comparison?
Looking back, the absence of ovulation during pregnancy and its resultant hormone fluctuation probably allowed any endometrial tissue to slough away.
I’ve recently discovered chocolate wine. OMG. I bet it works wonderfully on PMS and cramps. Since that part of my life is over now, I’ll raise a glass or two in the spirit of sisterhood for my fellow cramp sufferers.