As a teenager, my daughter had excruciating menstrual cramps. They were not so severe that they couldn’t be dulled with an over-the-counter pain medication. But I also realized this was probably not good practice.
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen each have potentially serious, and, in rare instances, fatal side effects. The trade-off didn’t seem worth it, because natural pain relief is available.
Essential Oils for Menstrual Pain
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In addition to homeopathy, we tried essential oils. These are time tested plant-based remedies that some women use ease monthly discomfort. Used correctly, they are safe and they seem to be effective.
Here is a rundown of some of the most popular oils and blends often used by women, during that time of the month when cramps may hit.
There is also some scientific evidence that aromatics may help ease period discomfort. One study published in the Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine journal found that a mix of essential oils eased both pain, as well as its duration, in one group of women. These were used in conjunction with abdominal massage.
Aromatherapy for Menstrual Cramps
Aromatherapists often recommend geranium oil for balancing the hormones. My daughter was diagnosed by a naturopathic doctor with ovarian cysts. The practitioner believed these were causing pain. In addition to homeopathy and supplements, this was one of the first oils we used, in an attempt to alleviate this condition.
Please understand that I’m not implying that geranium oil is a cure for ovarian cysts. Nor am I claiming cysts will dissolve if you use it. (Diagnosis and treatment should be left to a medical professional.) What I’m doing is sharing my account of the oils we used to help my daughter’s menstrual pain. Geranium oil is one of the aromatics often used for menstrual cramps.
The brand above is made by Aura Cacia, one of the leaders in the essential oil industry. This is a high-end, 100 percent pure oil. I totally trust this brand, which guarantees that its oils don’t contain chemicals or other additives.
Geranium Oil for Menstrual Cramps
I’ve also purchased geranium oil from Now Foods, which also sells pure oils, made from plants grown without herbicides or pesticides. The oil shown below comes in a one-ounce bottle. It will last for a very long time, since geranium oil is very potent. That’s why it must be added to a neutral carrier oil before massaging it on the skin. A typical dilution is one drop to one teaspoon of carrier oil. Although it may not seem like you’re using much essential oil, even the diluted mix is highly aromatic.
Geranium essential oil is sometimes recommended by aromatherapists for helping with a mild case of the blues. Just inhaling a few drops on a cloth seems to banish anxiety and negativity. (At least it does for me.)
Aromatic oils have been used for centuries to treat a variety of disorders, including those on the emotional spectrum. Mild depression is also a symptom of PMS.
Lavender Essential Oil for Menstrual Cramps
Plant-based treatments have long been used for female problems. Now, though, modern medicine is just beginning to appreciate the analgesic properties of various aromatics. For instance, it was reported on the natural health site Green Med Info that lavender oil was shown in one Middle Eastern study to significantly reduce cramping and other period-related symptoms, such as headache and nausea.
The women in the study group applied lavender oil diluted with a carrier oil to their hands. They also inhaled the refreshing scent of lavender. Essential oil molecules are very tiny, and easily pass through the skin into the bloodstream.
This lavender oil is made by Plant Therapy. (I’m a repeat Plant Therapy customer.) It’s made from real lavender flowers, as opposed to lavendin buds, a cheaper plant that’s not as fragrant.
Essential Oil Blend for Cramps
Ovvio Oils makes a special Soften blend just for women. It contains eight different essential oils designed for PMS and menstrual pain. Aromatherapists often prefer blends such as this, over single oils, because it’s believed the various ingredients work in synergy.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Women who are pregnant or think they may be should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional. Nursing mothers should check with a pediatrician before using essential oils. This article is not intended as medical advice. People with health concerns should discuss them with a physician.