Ladies, we know that time of the month can be miserable with cravings, cramping, and uncontrollable mood swings. It can really put a damper on things. Menstrual cramps are nothing to take lightly; they can cause excruciating pain that can sometimes travel throughout your body. If you've suffered from chronic menstrual cramps and have found no form of pain management that works for you, then keep reading; we may have found a way to help!
Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps
The thought of using essential oils for your menstrual cramps may seem silly to you now, but we promise if you give us a chance to explain, you're going to be pleasantly surprised.
Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat all kinds of conditions. Whether it’s heartburn or headaches, there’s an essential oil to help. As people began to get more and more creative with essential oils, they have gained massive popularity in the past five years.
Multiple studies show that essential oils can help ease the irritation of menstrual cramps.
If you want to try this essential oil hack next time your friend pays you a visit, you'll want to keep reading; we're here to inform you on all the best ways to use essential oils to help with your menstrual pains.
Why Essential Oils Help With Menstrual Cramps
Essential oils are most commonly known for aromatherapy purposes. However, studies state essential oils can help other medical conditions. Many essential oils have great anti-inflammatory agents, which is one reason they can help soothe menstrual cramps.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is known to increase physical and mental health. Aromatic essential oils are used in various forms or practices to help promote mental health. Essential oils are used mostly in diffusers, but you can use them directly on the skin as well.
How you use an essential oil is dependent on what you're using it for; if you're using essential oils to calm your nerves or ease your anxiety, you'll most likely use them by diffusing them in a diffuser. If your goal is to ease pain, you should gently massage it into the uncomfortable area.
Aromatherapy is great when you need some help calming your nerves and relaxing, but when it comes to soothing your menstrual cramps, you'll be applying your essential oils directly to your skin.
What Essential Oils Work Best?
Before you start applying any essential oil onto your lower abdomen, it's important you know which ones work the best and what type of application process will give you the best results.
Some application processes are different depending on which essential oil you're using, but don't stress—we're here to walk you through everything!=
Cinnamon Essential Oil
Were you ever told to put cinnamon in your tea while you were sick? Well, that's because aside from being super tasty, cinnamon has great anti-inflammatory agents that can help soothe your menstrual cramp discomfort.
We suggest taking a few drops of cinnamon essential oil and mixing it with a carrier oil (coconut, avocado, or almond oil works great), and gently massaging it into your lower back and lower abdomen for five to 10 minutes.
The relief may not be instant, but give the oil some time to work its magic. You should feel relief relatively soon after applying it.
Aside from smelling amazing, lavender is another essential oil you should always have on hand. Not only does it promote better sleep, but it may greatly reduce pain or discomfort caused by your period.
In a 2012 study, nursing students applied lavender essential oil to their lower abdomen in hopes of relieving their menstrual cramps. The lavender oil did gently soothe their cramps.
Just as you would apply the cinnamon essential oil, you should mix the lavender with a carrier oil first, then gently massage it to the irritated area for a few minutes.
If nothing else is working, we suggest you whip out the big guns. Try applying an oil blend to your lower abdomen. Sometimes effect mixing essential oils can help reduce your period cramps even better than using one singular oil.
Try mixing lavender, sage, and marjoram with an unscented lotion. A study conducted in 2012 stated that you should apply this lotion from the end of your last period to the beginning of your next one. You may see a difference in your pain levels after trying this method.
Your options for oil blends are limited to the three given above; there are all kinds of oil blends that can help ease your period cramps.
What To Watch Out For
While essential oils are great for the most part, that's not to say that people don't ever have bad reactions to them. Sometimes no matter the product, your skin can have a poor reaction to it.
Before applying an essential oil to your entire lower abdomen, apply it to a small area of your body beforehand. Watch it for a good 12-24 hours—if there is no irritation or discomfort, we say it should be safe to apply elsewhere.
Other Way To Ease the Pain
Period cramps are no fun, and while essential oils are a good way to ease your discomfort, we want to give you some other options as well.
While we are a big advocate for soothing your pain with natural ingredients, that's not to say other pain relievers are completely off-limits. We get that sometimes ibuprofen or Tylenol doesn't do much, but if you combine a pain reliever with a relaxing essential oil massage, you may notice a change in your pain levels.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is important in every aspect of life, but especially pain management. Even if you're sore from a hard workout or a long day at work, there is no better medicine than a good night's rest.
Make sure that you're getting at least eight hours of sleep every night during your menstrual cycle.
Exercise is a great cure for menstrual cramps. Being active can benefit you in so many ways, especially when it's your time of the month.
You want to keep it very light. We suggest a tranquil yoga class or morning walk—nothing super high intensity. Save your hour-long spin class for next week!
It's not uncommon to use heating pads to ease your menstrual cramps. That's why taking a hot bath can be a great way to get your cramps under control. Not to mention, sometimes a girl needs a bit of downtime—period or not!
Put on some relaxing tunes, pop in a bath bomb, grab a book, then sit back and relax!
Heat Pad on Your Lower Belly or Back
Period cramps don't just affect your uterus and lower abdomen; the pain often travels to your lower back.
A good way to ease the discomfort is by taking a heating pack and resting it on your lower belly or lower back. Period cramps respond better to heat than they do to the cold, but that's not to say you can't try an ice pack too.
If the heating pack isn't getting the job done, don't be scared to use an icepack. Everyone's body is unique and responds differently to certain treatments.
If you decide to try essential oils as a form of menstrual cramp relief, we just want to remind you of one thing. It is key that you don't forget to mix your essential oil of choice with a carrier oil first.
We suggest coconut, avocado, or almond oil. But extra virgin olive oil works just fine too!
Bye, Bye Cramps
Not only do you know all things essential oils, but you also have some ideas on other ways you can help get your period cramps under control. Period cramps are no fun, but as long as you're taking care of yourself and are making an effort to manage the pain, you should make it through the week with minor discomfort. Just remember, don't be scared to take some time to yourself. Everyone needs some downtime, and you especially deserve it!