8 Essential Oils That May Help Menstrual Cramps
It turns out the suggested essential oils for cramps are some of the ones you may already have in your arsenal for soothing and energizing.
“Lavender oil used as an inhalation has been shown to effectively reduce cramps and menstrual bleeding when compared to a placebo,” shares Jennifer Stagg, MD, a naturopathic physician and founder of the Whole Health Wellness Center in Avon, Connecticut. “Lavender is thought to effect the prostaglandins that mediate pain and uterine contractions.” Lavender oil’s ability to lessen contractions makes it one of the best essential oils for menstrual cramps. Find out the 9 secrets your period is trying to tell you.
“Cinnamon oil alone has been studied as a treatment for menstrual cramps, and was found to be very effective at reducing uterine contractions,” explains Dr. Stagg. Check out these other cinnamon uses that’ll help the rest of your body, too.
A spicy blend
“A blend of essential oils of lavender, clove, cinnamon, and rose was studied as a topical oil applied to the abdomen for seven days prior to menstruation, and was found to reduce the amount of pain and duration of cramps and even the amount of menstrual bleeding when compared to a placebo group,” says Dr. Stagg. She suggests these essential oils for cramps because they may balance prostaglandin levels to ease pain. Try using this blend as an accompaniment to some of these other period pain busters.
This is one of the most popular essential oils for menstrual cramps because it’s easily found and widely believed to be an antispasmodic agent, meaning it reduces uterus spasms during cramps, says the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Still unsure about essential oils? Check out our reference guide for essential oils for everything you need to know.
“Archaeologists tell us aromatherapy was used for pain management by the ancient Egyptians, and one of their go-to oils was Roman chamomile,” says Ryan Neinstein, MD, of NYC Surgical Associates. “Adding a few drops to a foot bath can help diminish the intensity of cramps, according to ancient wisdom,” he says.
Of all the essential oils for cramps, this one probably evokes the most festive flair thanks to the scent also a hit at holiday times. Frankincense can be used in a warm bath, diffuser, or applied topically when diluted with other oils to help relieve pain associated with inflammation. These surprising frankincense benefits will get you excited about trying the oil on for size.
This aromatherapeutic scent is best when inhaled—either by diffuser, heat, or candle. It may improve circulation and relax muscles. Relaxed muscles are exactly what a woman suffering from menstrual cramps needs.
This oil is regarded as a mood enhancer, PMS-calmer, and mild sedative to help take the edge off pain associated with cramping. It also is thought to fight anxiety, which is a kind of welcome bonus when you’re already uncomfortable. Here are some other essential oils that help fight anxiety.
- Jennifer Stagg, MD, a naturopathic physician and founder of the Whole Health Wellness Center in Avon, CT
- National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy: Most Commonly Used Essential Oils
- Ryan Neinstein, MD, of NYC Surgical Associates
- International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurology Diseases: Medicinal properties of frankincense