Can you use essential oil for menstrual cramps?
If you are reading this, then you might be one of those who already have got their periods and are fed up with the monthly ritual of cramps and discomfort; or you might be the one who hasn’t yet started their period but learned about it from your friends. And yes, we know you are a little horrified by the description.
Periods were deemed to be a sacred rite of passage. Right? It is nothing like that…A heartfelt thanks to irritability, cramps, headaches, and bloating. And this is not a one-time thing. No-No! You will enjoy this ride for your next 30–40 years. Yay…(Sigh!)
Many of us suffer from excruciatingly painful periods and rely heavily on over-the-counter pain relievers. These drugs barely control the discomfort, and it all comes back the next month with a vengeance.
So, how do you deal with this monthly cycle of annoyance? Everyone wants to know this. We want a more pain-free life for ourselves, and the more we can support each other to avoid PMS, the better.
Therefore, to regulate our menstrual cycle, we try to bring lifestyle changes, including exercise and a healthy diet and control our hormones. All these have a significant influence on our period cycle and flow as well.
Another aspect is stress management, which lowers cortisol levels which keeps our bodies in constant fight-or-flight mode.
But we all know about them, and most of us have even tried doing one or more from the list. However, our favorite one is yet to be added to the list, i.e., Essential oils.
As we already know, essential oils are great stress reducers, but many of us are unaware of their benefits during the menstruation period. They are not only capable of positively affecting our moods, but they also alleviate the physical symptoms of PMS, such as bloating and period pain.
Can Essential Oils Relieve My Menstrual Cramps?: What does the research say?
Essential oils have been used to treat a variety of ailments for decades, from heartburn to headaches. Today, as more people turn to nontraditional therapies, these powerful plant oils are regaining popularity.
While the majority of medical research favors essential oils for an aromatherapy treatment, a few studies have found them to be beneficial in several other ways too.
NOTE: 1. Essential oils are not to be swallowed. 2. While applying on skin, use a carrier oil for dilution. 3. Some essential oils are toxic.
Are there any essential oils for periods?
There is no need to ask this question anymore because now we are going to list down some of the best-known essential oils to help you relieve menstrual cramps and support a healthy menstrual cycle.
Essential oil for cramps and PMS:
- Ylang ylang
An uncommon name but works well as a PMS-calmer, mood enhancer, and mild sedative. Ylang Ylang essential oil not only aids in taking the edge off cramping but also fights anxiety, which comes as a bonus when you are already distressed.
- Cypress Oil
Cypress essential oil is well-known for relieving painful menstrual cramps. It stimulates circulation, relieves period aches and pains, and relaxes and lessens muscle and joint pain.
The best way to inhale this aromatherapeutic fragrance is through a diffuser, heat, or candle.
Nevertheless, you can also massage it over a bloated abdomen for relaxation.
Bloat Eradicating Blend
- One tablespoon grapeseed oil (carrier oil)
- Four drops cypress
- Two drops of fennel oil
- Four drops grapefruit
- Frankincense essential oil
This essential oil for menstrual cramps will lighten and brighten up your mood with its festive fragrance that will remind you of holidays. To help diminish period pain incorporated with inflammation, Frankincense oil may be used by applying it topically when diluted with other oils, or in a warm bath, or with the help of a diffuser.
- Roman chamomile
According to archaeologists, the ancient Egyptians used aromatherapy for pain relief, and Roman chamomile was one of their favorite oils. According to ancient wisdom, adding a few drops to a foot bath will reduce the severity of cramps.
- Clary sage
If you are struggling with PMS, clary sage oil is a must-have. It helps with both physical and emotional symptoms and does a little bit of everything. Clary sage is a highly soothing oil that boosts mood and reduces tension. It also functions as an antispasmodic, causing muscles to relax and menstrual pain to subside.
Add ten drops of clary sage essential oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil to make a PMS cure. Apply the oil to the lower abdomen and wrap a warm compress around it for 2–5 minutes.
Alternatively, you can also mix the oil with a cup of Epsom salt and soak in a warm bath.
NOTE: Do not add essential oils directly to the bathwater.
You may also use the oil to make an aromatherapy roll-on and use it regularly. Menstrual pain has been shown to be relieved by aromatherapy. However, the oils can also be used in various ways, like in packs placed over the area or for a massage.
REMEMBER: If you are pregnant, consult your doctor before using clary sage oil, as it increases the levels of a hormone that triggers uterine contractions—though you probably wouldn’t be PMS-ing much anyway!
- Four drops of clary sage
- One tablespoon almond oil
- One drop ylang ylang
- Four drops bergamot FCF
- Two drops geranium
To begin, mix the essential oils with the almond carrier oil thoroughly. Then pour into a hot bath. Allow 15–30 minutes to soak.
- A spicy blend
Some studies have found that applying a spicy blend of essential oils of rose, cinnamon, clove, and lavender, topically to the abdomen for seven days prior to menstruation reduces the amount of pain and span of cramps, as well as the amount of menstrual bleeding. These essential oils can help with cramps by balancing prostaglandin levels and reducing pain. Use this blend in combination with some of these other period pain relievers.
- Cinnamon essential oil
Studies have found that Cinnamon oil reduces uterine contractions when used alone to treat menstrual cramps. It has anti-inflammatory characteristics; therefore, you should try massaging it onto your lower abdomen to get relief from bloating and pain.
- Lavender oil
Inhalation of lavender oil has been shown to help menstrual bleeding and relieve cramps. This essential oil is also believed to affect the prostaglandins responsible for pain and uterine contractions. Because of its ability to reduce contractions, lavender oil is one of the popular essential oils for period pain.
Moreover, it also helps with headaches and tension. When you need to relax, add lavender to a bath or have baking soda-based aromatherapy bath bombs ready.
- Rose Essential oil
Rose essential oil is mainly conceived of as an aphrodisiac, but it does correlate with women’s reproductive health. Rose has uterine toning properties, which can help regulate menstrual flow and relieve heavy periods.
The use of Rose essential oil for menstrual cramps has been shown to help alleviate labor pain when used as aromatherapy. Besides soothing cramps and physical PMS symptoms, Rose has a relaxing, soothing fragrance to turn to when PMS irritability and exasperation hit.
- Two drops rose
- Two drops of clary sage
- Two teaspoons almond oil
- Four drops lavender
- Two drops of clary sage
Mix well all essential oils with an almond carrier oil and massage onto the abdominal area.
Geranium, also known as “woman’s oil,” is a popular mechanism for regulating hormone levels and alleviating PMS symptoms. The essential oil is an anti-inflammatory that helps relieve cramps and is a diuretic that allows banishing bloating.
The floral fragrance of geranium is soothing and instigating, and it helps with moderate depression and stress.
Massage Risks and Precautions
- Always remember to apply any essential oil/s to a small skin area before massaging the whole lower abdomen.
- To see if you have an allergic reaction, wait at least one day.
- You should not use the oils if you feel any discomfort or irritation. If you don’t, it is probably OK to massage the essential oil all over your lower abdomen.
- Even if your doctor hasn’t recommended this therapy for you, it is still a good idea to let them know what treatments you are using because alternative therapies can interfere with prescription drugs.
- It is highly urged to inform your doctor about all you are doing so that they can keep an eye out for any interactions or future complications.
What to do before opting for essential oils for cramps and PMS?
If you want to use essential oils to relieve menstrual cramps, keep the following suggestions in mind:
If you have found your trusted essential oil, ensure you are comfortable using it. Consult an aromatherapist or your doctor on how to use these oils safely. A qualified professional should be available at the store or website where you buy your oils to solve your queries.
- Keep an eye out for side effects
Since essential oils haven’t been researched wholly, it is likely that many side effects are yet to be identified. If you start to notice something odd after using essential oils, immediately stop! Make an appointment with your doctor to inspect what is causing your problems.