Ah, the monthly visitor—menstrual cramps. They’re like an uninvited guest that overstays its welcome. But fear not, there’s a natural, aromatic ally that might just make those cramps a bit more bearable: essential oils. These concentrated plant extracts aren’t just for making your room smell like a spa; they pack a punch when it comes to tackling those pesky cramps.
Before you reach for the painkillers, let’s explore how these oils can offer some much-needed comfort during that time of the month. Here, our spotlight remains fixed on the alleviation of menstrual cramps, recognizing the spectrum of menstrual concerns while tailoring our approach to offer targeted relief for this specific discomfort.
Natural Care with Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps
When it comes to those achy, crampy moments during your period, essential oils offer a natural and gentle approach to finding relief. While these oils have a myriad of uses, let’s zoom in on how they specifically address menstrual discomfort. Picture this: instead of popping pills, you’re tapping into the power of nature’s essence to ease the pain. It’s like a mini aromatherapy session targeted at those bothersome cramps.
The Korean Journal of Adult Nursing published a blind randomized clinical trial in 2011 that investigated the effect of aromatherapy on menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea. It concluded that massage aromatherapy can be used as a nursing intervention on women experiencing menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea. 
Essential oils for period cramps during the menstrual cycle may also balance the hormone and estrogen level, and reduce headache, nausea & fatigue. The best essential oils are concentrated plant oils that can be diluted and applied throughout your menstrual cycle to help with period pain. However use essential oils for period only after consulting a gynecologist; some women add these oil to their pad, which is not advisable.
5 Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps
Looking for relief from menstrual cramps? Essential oils might be the natural solution you need. Let’s dive into how these plant-based extracts can ease your discomfort.
Lavender Essential Oil For Menstrual Cramps
Lavender oil, with its calming and soothing properties, is a star player in combating menstrual cramps. Its gentle aroma and relaxing effects can help alleviate the tension and discomfort often associated with periods.
Applying diluted lavender oil to your lower abdomen through a gentle massage might just be the tranquil relief you seek during those challenging days. The Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing in 2018 published a report that showed that effleurage massage with lavender oil may lower primary dysmenorrhea and secondary dysmenorrhea or menstrual pain and period cramps. 
Cinnamon Essential Oil For Menstrual Cramps
Cinnamon essential oil holds promise in relieving menstrual cramps due to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antispasmodic properties. When diluted and gently massaged onto the lower abdomen, this warming oil may help ease discomfort by relaxing muscles and potentially reducing the intensity of cramps.
However, it’s important to use it cautiously, as cinnamon oil can be quite potent; ensure proper dilution and perform a patch test before extensive use. Cinnamon oil is generally blended with bay laurel oil and applied topically to reduce the severity of painful periods. The EO blend can also help reduce lower back pain, spasm, mood swings and diarrhea.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil For Menstrual Cramps
Ylang ylang essential oil, known for its floral and calming scent, can be a beneficial aid in managing menstrual cramps. Its natural properties are believed to alleviate stress and anxiety, potentially easing the severity of cramps induced by tension. Diluted ylang ylang oil applied through a gentle massage on the lower abdomen might offer relaxation and comfort during menstrual discomfort.
As with any essential oil, it’s wise to test for skin sensitivity and dilute properly before use. Women may also inhale an essential oil blend with ylang ylang during menstruation to relieve pain and PMS symptoms. Several studies have shown that the oil works better that other placebo treatments and oils.
Rose Essential Oil For Menstrual Cramps
Rose essential oil, celebrated for its exquisite fragrance, also carries potential benefits in addressing menstrual cramps. Its gentle, soothing nature may help ease the discomfort associated with periods. When diluted and applied via a relaxing massage on the lower abdomen, rose oil might offer a comforting sensation, potentially aiding in muscle relaxation and providing a serene experience during menstrual cramps.
As always, ensure proper dilution and perform a patch test before widespread application to avoid skin sensitivity. Topical massage with the oil (blend with geranium & jojoba oil) on the uterus and abdominal region relaxes the uterine muscles and reduces severe pain and may regulate menstrual flow.
Clove Essential Oil For Menstrual Cramps
Clove essential oil, renowned for its numbing and warming properties, could offer relief during menstrual cramps. Its potential to reduce pain sensitivity might alleviate the intensity of cramps when diluted and gently massaged onto the lower abdomen. However, clove oil is highly concentrated and potent, so it’s crucial to use it sparingly and properly diluted to avoid skin irritation. As with any essential oil, performing a patch test and seeking guidance from a healthcare professional is advisable before extensive use.
How to Use Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps
Using essential oils for menstrual cramps requires a gentle approach to ensure safety and effectiveness. Here are a few methods:
· Dilution: Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil (like coconut, almond, or jojoba) before applying to the skin. A common ratio is around 1-2% essential oil to carrier oil.
· Topical Application: Once diluted, massage the oil blend onto your lower abdomen. This direct application can help the oils penetrate the skin and offer relief.
· Warm Baths: Adding a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath can create a relaxing atmosphere and allow the oils to be absorbed through the skin.
· Aromatherapy: Diffusing essential oils in a room or using an inhaler can provide a calming effect, easing stress and potentially reducing the perception of pain.
· Hot or Cold Compress: Add a few drops of diluted oil to a hot or cold compress and place it on your lower abdomen for localized relief.
Remember, everyone’s sensitivity to essential oils differs, so it’s essential to start with a small amount, perform a patch test, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or underlying health conditions.
DIY Blends of Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps
Here are a couple of simple DIY blends using essential oils known for their potential in relieving menstrual cramps:
Blend 1: Soothing Relief
- 5 drops Lavender essential oil
- 3 drops Clary Sage essential oil
- 2 drops Marjoram essential oil
- 1 drop of peppermint oil
- 1 oz (30ml) Carrier oil (like coconut, almond, or jojoba)
- Mix the essential oils in the carrier oil.
- Ensure proper dilution by using the recommended ratio of essential oils to carrier oil.
- Store in a dark glass bottle.
- Apply a small amount to your lower abdomen and massage gently during cramps.
Blend 2: Comforting Calm
- 4 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil
- 3 drops Rose essential oil
- 2 drops Cinnamon essential oil
- 1 drop of peppermint essential oil
- 1 oz (30ml) Carrier oil
- Combine the essential oils with the carrier oil.
- Dilute properly to the recommended ratio.
- Store the blend in a dark glass bottle.
- Apply a small amount to the lower abdomen and gently massage during menstrual discomfort.
Precautions While Using Essential Oils For Menstrual Cramps
When using essential oils for menstrual cramps, it’s important to keep these precautions in mind:
· Dilution: Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. This helps prevent skin irritation or allergic reactions. Start with a low concentration and adjust as needed.
· Skin Sensitivity: Perform a patch test before widespread use to check for any adverse reactions. Apply a small amount of the diluted oil blend to a small area of skin and observe for any redness, itching, or discomfort.
· Pregnancy: If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult a healthcare professional before using essential oils, as some oils may not be safe during pregnancy.
· Quality of Oils: Use high-quality, pure essential oils from reputable sources to ensure safety and effectiveness.
· Dosage and Application: Follow recommended dilution ratios and application methods. Never ingest essential oils, and avoid contact with sensitive areas like eyes, mucous membranes, or open wounds.
· Consultation: If you have any underlying health conditions, allergies, or concerns, consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils.
· Variability in Effects: Remember that individual responses to essential oils can vary. What works well for one person may not have the same effect for another.
· Consistency and Moderation: Use essential oils consistently but in moderation. Excessive use may lead to sensitization or adverse reactions over time.
By taking these precautions, you can safely and effectively harness the benefits of essential oils for menstrual cramps while minimizing potential risks.
Essential oils present a natural and potentially comforting approach to managing menstrual cramps. Their soothing properties offer a holistic alternative for alleviating discomfort during periods. However, it’s vital to prioritize safety by proper dilution, skin testing, and seeking professional advice, ensuring a personalized and effective experience with these aromatic remedies.
- Han, S.H., Ro, Y.J. and Hur, M.H., 2001. Effects of aromatherapy on menstrual cramps and dysmenorrhea in college student woman: A blind randomized clinical trial. Korean Journal of Adult Nursing, 13(3), pp.420-430.
- Purwati, Y., 2018. The Effectiveness of Effeurage Massage Using Lavender Aromatherapy For Menstrual Pain Relief. Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing (2018), 49.