essential oils for menstrual pain
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Cynthe Brush

Certified Clinical (Medical) Aromatherapist Creating Custom Blends Since 1999

Proven Essential Oils Remedies for Menstrual Pain

young woman in bed having used proven essential oils remedies for menstrual lpain
Modern research now confirms what ancient healers always knew - many floral oils contain active compounds that can do wonders for menstrual problems.

Did you know that over 80% of women experience period pain at some point in their lives? Menstrual pain can be a real struggle, impacting your productivity and overall well-being. Fortunately, there are natural remedies available such as lavender, clary sage and cinammon essential oil that can provide soothing relief. Let’s explore their use for period pain, their historical significance, and the current scope of research on their efficacy.

Why Do Periods Hurt So Much Anyway?

First, let’s quickly understand what actually causes that monthly agony. It mainly stems from contractions in the uterus. The muscle tissue in your womb tightens to shed its lining, which triggers a chain reaction of prostaglandins and inflammation.

The result? Painful cramps that hit some of us worse than others. It can range from mild to severe agony that disrupts our day. Not fun at all!

While over-the-counter meds like ibuprofen can help, they also come with some unpleasant side effects. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a gentler, safer way to relieve your suffering? Enter essential oils…

Scientific Proof for the Efficacy of Essential Oils for Menstrual Discomfort

Essential oils have been cherished since ancient times for their healing properties. These potent plant extracts are all-natural, yet pack a major therapeutic punch!

Modern research now confirms what ancient healers always knew – many floral oils contain active compounds that can do wonders for period problems.

  • In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, researchers found that lavender oil aromatherapy significantly reduced the severity of menstrual cramps in college students.
  • A 2010 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrated that topical application of a blended essential oil containing lavender, clary sage, and marjoram effectively reduced menstrual pain and cramp duration in a sample of nursing students.
  • According to a 2018 systemic review in the journal Pain Research and Treatment, multiple studies support the pain-relieving effects of cinnamon essential oil. Researchers noted cinnamon’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties as likely mechanisms behind its ability to reduce menstrual cramps.
  • A 2015 review of 7 studies found evidence that 750-2,000 mg of ginger powder was effective at reducing menstrual pain

So the scientifically-validated pain-soothing powers of aromatherapeutic oils like lavender, clary sage, cinnamon and ginger make them excellent natural options for relieving monthly menstrual suffering!

A Calming Botanical Embrace

One reason essential oils excel at pain relief is their ability to also address anxiety and tension. As two of the major factors that can worsen menstrual struggles, keeping our minds and bodies relaxed is key.

Aromatic oils provide a soothing botanical embrace that melts away stress to help us feel cared for. The next time your cycle arrives, pamper yourself with calming scents!

Anti-Inflammatory & Pain Relief

Beyond just relaxation, many essential oils contain active compounds that combat inflammation at the molecular level. This helps calm an overactive immune response that triggers painful cramping and bloating.

Oils like lavender, clary sage, cinnamon and ginger all demonstrate anti-inflammatory powers and natural pain-numbing abilities. Applying or inhaling these aromatic flowers and spices can short circuit discomfort right at the source!

Hormonal Balance

Getting your hormones in harmony is crucial for minimizing monthly misery. When our delicate chemical messengers fall out of tune, it throws the entire female system off balance. This often amplifies PMS problems.

Good news – floral and citrus oils can gently nudge hormones back into alignment to promote female wellness all month long!

woman menstrual pain with essential oil

Best Oils To Soothe Cramps

Now that we understand why aromatherapy works so wonderfully, let’s explore some go-to oils for period relief:

Lavender – The Soothing Sedative

Lavender’s sweet floral perfume needs no introduction – it’s downright delightful! Beyond smelling fantastic, lavender also encapsulates incredible healing powers. It demonstrates sedative, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

Placing a few drops in a warm bath or massaging onto your lower abdomen and back can dissolve tension and target those pesky cramps. Plus, lavender’s soothing fragrance is oh-so relaxing!

Clary Sage – Nature’s Cramp Killer

Clary sage is renowned as one of the best oils for relieving menstrual pain. Rich in antispasmodic compounds, it helps relax smooth muscles to eliminate cramps and spastic tension.

Try rubbing a diluted clary sage blend over your pelvic region, or diffusing its earthy scent for whole-body relief. Its hormone-balancing effects can also help stabilize erratic cycles.

Ginger – A Warm Embrace

For those who love a little spice – say hello to ginger oil! Its vibrant, peppery warmth stimulated circulation to relax contracting tissues. This makes ginger a fantastic choice for easing menstrual aches.

Blend with a carrier oil for a comforting massage over your lower back and abdomen. The stimulating heat melts tension while ginger’s anti-inflammatory powers target inflammation at the source of pain.

Cinnamon – Sweet, Spicy, Soothing

Like ginger, cinnamon oil delivers a zesty kick that stimulates blood flow to oxygenate and relax cramping muscles. It also boasts powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to short circuit bodily aches.

Cinnamon nicely complements floral oils like lavender. Or pair it with clove oil for an ultra-soothing blend that warms and numbs discomfort.

How To Use Oils for Period Relief

Now that you know which oils can help ease that monthly misery in your life, let’s go over some tips for using them:

Topical Application

One of the most direct ways to harness essential oils for pain relief is through topical skin application. This allows their active compounds to be absorbed right where you need them most.

  • Mix a few drops of your chosen oils with a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba or almond. Apply directly to your abdomen, lower back, and anywhere else that hurts.
  • Using light, massage-like motions allows the oils to fully penetrate the skin for localized relief.
  • For best results, apply oils as soon as cramps start up to help nip pain triggers in the bud. Reapply every few hours or when needed.


Inhaling diffused essential oils allows their volatile plant compounds to enter your system via scent receptors. This triggers a cascade of benefits in the mind and body.

  • Add a few drops of oil into an ultrasonic or cool mist diffuser. Breathe deeply and enjoy up to 30 minutes 1-2 times per day.
  • You can also inhale oils directly from the bottle, or by adding a drop to a tissue or cloth.
  • Create your own soothing menstrual aromatherapy ritual! A warm epsom salt bath with lavender or clary sage oil is pure heaven.

Essential Oil Blends

While individual oils have awesome alleviating abilities, combining their powers creates synergistic pain-soothing super blends!

As you experiment, jot down what works for your unique cycle and symptoms. Over time, you’ll discover (or maybe invent!) your own proprietary, PMS-pacifying potion.

Here are some soothing oil combos to try:

  • Lavender + Clary Sage + Marjoram
  • Peppermint + Lavender + Ginger
  • Cinnamon + Clove + Grapefruit

Have fun getting creative mixing floral, citrus, spicy, and herbaceous scents until you find your perfect match!

Important Safety Notes

While generally very safe, you do want to take some basic precautions using essential oils:

  • Always dilute oils properly before skin application to avoid sensitivities. A general guideline is 2-3 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil. But modify this based on your personal tolerance.
  • Conduct a skin patch test before wide-spread use to check for potential reactions. Simply apply your diluted oil blend to your arm and wait 24 hours. No reaction = good to go!
  • Avoid getting oils near your eyes, inner ears or sensitive regions. Wash hands thoroughly after application.
  • Many citrus oils make your skin extra sun-sensitive. So avoid sun exposure or always wear SPF after applying.

If you take any medications or have health conditions, check with your doctor before using. While rare, essential oils can interact with certain drugs.

When using high quality, pure essential oils appropriately, you can harness their healing magic with confidence! But always get the all-clear from your physician if needed.

Now sit back, relax, and inhale the sweet scents of nature’s remedy for period relief!

More Strategies To Soothe Menstrual Suffering

While essential oils play a powerful part, building a holistic self-care ritual is key to fully taming PMS beasties. Here are more tips to guide you:

Heat Therapy – Applying a heating pad or hot water bottle to your lower abdomen improves circulation and eases spastic muscles.

Massage – Gentle abdominal rubs increase blood flow and relax tense tissues. Enhance the benefits by incorporating essential oils or a carrier oil in your rub!

Yoga Poses – Slow stretches keep muscles supple and trigger relaxation. Child’s pose, cat/cows, and forward folds are all soothing choices.

Epsom Salt Baths – Magnesium-rich Epsom salt promotes muscle and circulatory health while also detoxifying. Toss in a few drops of your favorite essential oil too!

Mindfulness Meditation – Getting into a relaxed, meditative state helps enormously in soothing the mind-body link. Reduced stress equals reduced suffering. Not to mention meditation is free and you can do it anywhere!

Healthy Lifestyle – Eating a clean, anti-inflammatory diet, exercising regularly, getting ample sleep and staying hydrated all help minimize monthly mayhem!

While battling the monthly beast can seem daunting, take it step by step. Identify key pain triggers and experiment with natural relief solutions to discover what works for your unique body. Arm yourself with an arsenal of soothing strategies like healing essential oils and self-loving practices.

Over time, you’ll gain confidence conquering PMS – body AND soul! Now isn’t that refreshing?

Breathe deeply, embrace the floral power of essential oils, and know you’ve totally got this! Now go out there and live your best (pain-free) life!

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