Menstrual cramps are the worst. You know that feeling when you start to feel period pain coming on? No matter what you do, it just won't go away?
The discomfort is unbearable and no amount of ibuprofen can make it better. That's why we've compiled a list of essential oils for menstrual cramps to help ease your pain and get you through this difficult week!
What are cramps?
What are the best essential oils for menstrual cramping? First, let’s look at why menstrual cramps happen in the first place. Well, according to the Mayo Clinic, hormone-like substances called prostaglandins trigger uterine muscle contractions so your uterus can expel its lining.
Can I instantly relieve menstrual cramps?
Unfortunately, nothing is instant. But if you try one of these essential oils it might feel instant!
How to get rid of cramps
You can ease your cramp pain by eating specific foods, using a heating pad, yoga, lying on your stomach, taking over the counter pain relievers OR you could try essential oils. This is easy if you have some on hand already.
Essential oils as natural remedies for cramps
For centuries, people have used oils to treat various types of conditions and illnesses. Today, these plant-based oils are gaining popularity and momentum as many individuals are turning to nontraditional treatments for common conditions.
You can find essential oils in skincare products as well as some foods. They have been recognized as a powerful aromatherapy tool for easing anxiety and stress as well as menstrual cramping.
We’ve gathered the best essential oils for menstrual cramping:
1. Lavender Essential Oil
When it comes to menstrual pains, lavender oil may just be the most versatile oil to have in your medicine cabinet.
Not only does it help ease menstrual cramping, but it also is a soothing aroma to help with all your menstrual needs. When your uterus is trying to shed its inner lining, it contracts and expands causing the muscles around your uterus to be inflamed.
Lavender is a great muscle relaxer. It even helps with skin irritations and promotes sleep. You can apply it to your abdominal area for maximum relief.
2. Clary Sage Essential Oil
By far Clary sage is one of the best options for pain relief, clary sage acts as a natural pain reliever and eases tummy troubles.
Clary sage works to regulate the menstrual cycle by balancing hormone levels. Rub on your lower abdomen to reduce inflammation and lessen cramping.
3. Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon oil is an anti-inflammatory herb that you can apply to your tummy to reduce inflammation. If you’re feeling bloated, cinnamon is a great option.
Cinnamon is great for pain and uterine contractions.
4. Clove Essential Oil
It smells just like Christmas! This oil helps to ease cramps as well as lower high blood pressure, who knew?
5. Rose Oil
Not only is this a fresh-smelling flower, but it promotes better sleep and decreases anxiety levels while also relieving menstrual cramping.
Rose has also been said to help with irregular periods. It contains a substance called emmenagogues which triggers menstruation. Apply to the abdominal area.
6. Peppermint Essential Oil
To get rid of menstrual headaches, consider peppermint oil.
From headaches to cramps, peppermint essential oil has an incredibly refreshing scent that leaves you feeling more balanced and can help decrease feelings of nausea and cramping associated with menstruation.
Breathing peppermint oil helps to promote deeper breaths, which improves oxygen in muscles and eases tension. When applied topically, the tingling sensation helps to increase blood circulation to that specific area.
The peppermint essential oil is very useful for seasonal allergies and the common cold as well as tummy problems. One whiff and this oil will give you lots of energy too.
Be careful to wash your hands before putting your hands near your eyes. Peppermint is powerful!
7. Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress essential oil has a very clean, evergreen aroma that can be used to create a sensation of security and grounding. When it's applied topically, it has benefits for skin, hair, and scalp. For painful menstrual cramps, it helps flush out toxins and helps with water retention. Making it one of the great essential oils to use for pms symptoms.
8. Copaiba Essential Oil
Sourced from South American trees, copaiba is another option to try to relieve menstrual cramps. This oil is the most versatile as it can be used for skin problems, menstrual cramps, and even asthma. You can diffuse it or apply it topically to your abdomen.
9. Roman Chamomile
Roman chamomile is a plant and the flowerheads are used to make medicine. Roman chamomile is most widely used for medicinal plants in the western world. Many people drink chamomile tea for its relaxation properties and calming effects on the digestive system. It calms the nerves, relieves menstrual cramps and helps with stress. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
What's interesting is that Roman chamomile is in foods and beverages, this essential oil is extracted and used for flavoring.
10. Ylang-ylang Essential Oil
Ylang-ylang is one of the essential oils that is traditionally known for its romantic appeal, has a calming and balancing aroma.
Not only does it help with menstrual cramp pain, but it also promotes the appearance of healthy-looking skin and shiny hair.
11. Geranium Essential Oil Blend
Geranium essential oil is commonly used in perfumes and traditionally is used to reduce the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles. It also is a way great to relieve stress and mood swings.
In folkloric medicine, geranium is used to help ease labor pain.
A study was conducted in 2018 on the effects of geranium essential oils on pms symptoms. In the study, all subjects who received general massages experienced PMS relief. However, those who were massaged with Geranium oil experienced even more relief.
These findings are especially significant because studies of aromatherapy massage sometimes fail to separate the Essential Oil's effects from the massages. In this case, Geranium essential oil had a clear beneficial effect.
Geranium is another one of the essential oils you can use for an abdominal massage to ease pain.
12. Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense has been used for over 3,000 years in religious rituals. Frankincense is considered a holy oil in the Middle East and was one of the gifts that was given to Christ.
Sworn as a miracle oil for skin and blemishes. Some women have claimed that Frankincense is great for diminishing the appearance of stretch marks. It also is one of the essential oils used to alleviate menstrual pain.
Frankincense contains boswellic acid, which is a potent pain-reducing compound that is anti-inflammatory and great at reducing menstrual pain.
13. Fennel Essential Oil
The fennel essential oil has a licorice like aroma that provides a balancing and comforting feeling. Studies show that it supports the digestive system as well as PMS relief.
One study done in 2003 of 70 women showed that fennel reduced PMS symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea, and cramps.
A 2014 study showed further promising results for fennel's ability to treat cramps and pms symptoms. After three months of use, women began to experience shorter periods as well--which is an interesting statistic.
14. DIY Essential Oil Blends
There are plenty of different blends combining a good portion of the oils mentioned above that you can put together yourself or purchase a specific blend of the essential oils.
We personally like a blend of:
- 10 drops of Clary Sage
- 10 drops of Rose
- 10 drops of Lavendar
- Fractionated coconut oil or an alternative carrier oil
Make sure to place the PMS recipe into a glass roller or bottle.
Common carrier oils to use with the essential oils
Remember to always dilute your essential oils in a carrier oil.
Some common carrier oils are:
- coconut oil
- almond oil
- olive oil
- grapeseed oil
- avocado oil
Do not apply them directly onto your skin without any dilution (or a carrier oil).
How to use essential oils for period pain
If you’re ready to try using essential oils to soothe your menstrual pain and finally relieve menstrual cramps, there are a couple of great ways to do this:
You can sprinkle a few drops in your diffuser while you work, you drive, or do work around the house.
When you hop in the shower, sprinkle a few drops of an essential oil—or a combination of a few—into the bath water. The steam from the water will mix with the essential oils and act like an all-natural vaporizer.
This one relates to the above aromatherapy method, but a warm bath with essential oil blends will help relieve those cramps and may become part of your menstrual cycle routine.
Essential oils are beneficial when massaged into the part of your body that is achy. When you use lavender oil for cramps or another oil that is mentioned above, you can mix it with a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and rub it onto your lower belly and back. This is the most direct route in alleviating menstrual pain.
You’ll want to make sure you get food grade essential oil for this. You can put them in your tea, water, or different food combinations.
Does it work?
Absolutely! Each oil works quite well, you just have to find one that works with your body.
What are your favorite menstrual cramp remedies?
Let us know on instagram @garnuu!
DISCLAIMER: This content was written for informational purposes to educate women only. It is not medical advice.