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The Best Essential Oils For Cramps

by Bella Martinez September 04, 2020

The Best Essential Oils For Cramps

Cramps can range from zero to one-hundred on the pain scale, depending on the person experiencing them. Here at Edens Garden, we feel you! Between cramps, inflammation, headaches, and mood changes, that time of the month can be quite uncomfortable. 

Whileessential oils can't change the hormones behind these symptoms, they may provide some relief. Essential oils have anti-inflammatory and mood-boosting properties that can help you feel more like yourself throughout your cycle.

In this short guide, we'll share nine of the best essential oils for menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms.

1. Lavender

Fine Lavender essential oil has a long history of acting as an analgesic when inhaled or applied topically. It may be able to soothe cramps, too. 

How does it work? 

  • PMS cramps are caused by prostaglandins, hormones that create contractions in the uterus. Ouch!

  • Prostaglandin hormones also create inflammation in the pelvic area. This can lead to sensations of soreness, bloating, and other secondary effects along with the cramping.

  • Lavender oil is highly anti-inflammatory. That means it may help to clear inflammation and diminish soreness.

With these beneficial properties, Lavender is a go-to choice for diffusion or topical application during PMS. 

2. Clary Sage

With a serene aroma that both soothes worry and calms an overactive mind,Clary Sage essential oil restores much needed emotional balance. 

  • High in linalyl acetate, Clary Sage may also impart analgesic properties to the user, relieving cramps and other physical annoyances.

  • A 2011 study tested the effects of Clary Sage massage as compared to acetaminophen. The study found that women who received an EO massage experienced less cramping pain than the control group.

Its ability to combat both emotional and physical discomforts of PMS makes Clary Sage a girl's best friend. 

3. Vitex

What isVitex essential oil? This underrated essential oil comes from a tree commonly called the vitex tree or chaste tree. Vitex combines this tree's leaves and berries, resulting in a unique minty, sweet, and camphor-rich aroma. 

One of the best essential oils for cramps, Vitex is also anti-inflammatory and analgesic.

Vitex has been thoroughly studied as a potential aid for PMS and PMDD. One study tested 50 women over three menstrual cycles. Researchers found that, in women who took Vitex, PMS symptoms were reduced by 42.5%.  

Inhaling Vitex or applying it topically may lessen aches, soothe uneasiness, and uplift your spirits. 

4. Fennel

As a diuretic,Fennel essential oil may reduce bloating, regulate PMS, and put a halt on period pangs. 

  • A 2003 study of 70 women showed that fennel reduced PMS symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea, and cramps.

  • A 2014 study showed further promising results for fennel's ability to soothe period-related discomfort. It also indicated that, after three months of use, women began to experience shorter periods.

It's worth noting that both these studies focused on fennel capsules rather than Fennel essential oil. 

One note of caution—Fennel is also an emmenagogue—a substance that increases menstrual blood flow. If you have irregular periods, Fennel may be helpful, but note that Fennel is not recommended for those with heavy bleeding. Fennel is also contraindicated for those with endometriosis and estrogen-dependent cancers. 

Try using it in apersonal inhaler!

5. Geranium

Fresh, floralGeranium is thought to relieve stress and uplift your mood. It's also an analgesic, and in folkloric medicine, it's even used to help ease pain during labor!

A 2018 study in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine studied Geranium's effect on PMS symptoms.

  • The study divided 120 women into three groups: a control group, a group that received massages, and a group that received aromatherapy massages with Geranium oil.

  • All subjects who received massages experienced PMS relief. However, those who were massaged with Geranium oil experienced even more relief.

  • These findings are especially significant because studies of aromatherapy massage sometimes fail to separate the EO's effects from the massage's. In this care, Geranium essential oil had a clear beneficial effect.

This is another great essential oil that you can dilute with yourcarrier oil of choice and use for abdominal massages. If you love combination aromas, we recommend trying theGeranium Juniper Berry Synergy Blend, which contains Geranium.

6. Palmarosa

When you have PMS, it's not just your abdomen that hurts. For many women, periods also mean lower back pain, as well as overall aching and soreness.

Palmarosa is a sweet-smelling grass related to Lemongrass. Many think its aroma is similar to that of a flower. 

A 2016 review of essential oils for managing bodily discomfort notes that Palmarosa seems to act on the nervous system to lessen pain signaling. While there are no studies specifically on its use for menstrual pain, these properties may make a helpful way to treat achiness and soreness.

In aromatherapy, Palmarosa is used to banish dark thoughts. This sweet, floral fragrance is an automatic mood-booster that will stop you from feeling “blah” while you're on your period. 

7. Peppermint

Do you ever get hot and sweaty while menstruating? Hormonal changes associated with menstruation can lead to hot flashes and night sweats.

Likewise, some women experience nausea as a PMS symptom.

If you struggle with either of these symptoms, Peppermint is an important oil for your collection. 

Peppermint oil is famous for its cooling properties. Whether applied topically or inhaled, it can envelop you in a feeling of calm and relaxation. It's also one of our favorite essential oils for menstrual cramps.

8. Gal Pal Synergy Blend

As you can see, numerous essential oils may help you manage your period pain. However, when you're experiencing cramping or nausea, you may not be in the mood to make your own essential oil blends at home.

If you're in need of something premixed and on the quick, try theGal Pal Synergy Blend. This blend combines some of the most beneficial essential oils for menstrual cramps:

  • Clary Sage

  • Lavender

  • Vitex

  • Bergamot

  • Chamomile 

  • Cedarwood

  • Ylang Ylang

  • Fennel

  • Geranium

  • Carrot Seed

  • Palmarosa

Powerful Vitex is the hero in this essential oil blend, and other ingredients support its relaxing effects.

Cooling and soothing, this EO boasts a floral and uplifting aroma. A pre-diluted essential oil Roll-On makes it easy to apply Gal Pal directly to the area that hurts the most, whether it's your abdomen or your lower back.

9. PMS Ease Synergy Blend

Sometimes, you need a little extra energy while going through your menstrual cycle.PMS Ease Synergy Blend does not contain Vitex, but the inclusion of Ginger, Copaiba, and Patchouli gives it a warming quality that can help combat discomfort while boosting your energy level.

Its full list of ingredients includes:

  • Lavender

  • Clary Sage

  • Ylang Ylang

  • Copaiba

  • Palmarosa

  • Cedarwood

  • Fennel

  • Bergamot

  • Carrot Seed

  • Chamomile

  • Geranium

  • Ginger

  • Patchouli

If you're looking to get off the couch and power through your daily routine, consider diffusing PMS Ease essential oil blend in yourdiffuser of choice. 

Menstrual Cycle Body Balm

Inhalation and the use of roll-ons can be a powerful aid for fighting PMS. However, when symptoms truly have you down, you might need to bring in a stronger solution.

As you've learned, many studies specifically note that together, essential oils and abdominal massage may offer truly impressive relief from cramps.

If you need extra TLC, try out the following recipe for a deeply soothing massage balm.

Supplies:

  • 4 oz glass jar

  • Double boiler


Ingredients:

  • 2 T Fractionated Coconut carrier oil

  • 2 T Evening Primrose 

  • 1 T Shea butter

  • 2 T grated Soy wax (or pellets)

  • 35 drops Gal Pal 


Instructions:

  1. Melt wax and shea butter in a double boiler. Then, stir in Fractionated Coconut oil and Evening Primrose.

  2. Remove from heat and add your essential oils. 

  3. Transfer mixture to a glass jar.

  4. Let cool completely before application.

Once you've created this soothing balm, you can use it to give yourself a gentle abdominal massage whenever cramps strike.

Are you interested in trying out a few different products to see if they help soothe your cramps and PMS symptoms? Use our “Create Your Own” feature to assemble a set of three, six, twelve, or twenty-four essential oils. Soon, you'll be creating your own aromatic bouquet of blends.


Sources:

  1. “Menstrual Cramps.” The May Clinic.http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menstrual-cramps/basics/causes/con-20025447 
  2. Hur, Myung-Haeng et al. “Aromatherapy Massage on the Abdomen for Alleviating Menstrual Pain in High School Girls.” Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2012).https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/187163/    
  3. Berger, D., Schaffner, W., Schrader, E. et al. “Efficacy of Vitex agnus castus L. extract Ze 440 in patients with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).” Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 264 (2000): 150–153.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s004040000123 
  4. Namavar Jahromi, B et al. “Comparison of fennel and mefenamic acid for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea.” International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics 80 (2003): 153-157.https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1016/S0020-7292%2802%2900372-7?casa_token=yzL73ZfrRjMAAAAA%3A4jRWQqxPDwhZHl8NMWEbb2UWv9leSkefYt7VFaqsZmFUDjHKcCra5YYpMlV3QDalB7Ubc9J7PrzrwfM 
  5. Ghodsi, Zahra and Maryam Asltoghiri. “The Effect of Fennel on Pain Quality, Symptoms, and Menstrual Duration in Primary Dysmenorrhea.” Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology 27.5 (2014): 283-286.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1083318813003513
  6. Verma, Sonia et al. “A review on treatment and management of neuropathic pain with herbal folk drugs.” Asian Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2.5 (2016): 104-110. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ajay_Shukla21/publication/322021790_A_review_on_treatment_and_management_of_neuropathic_pain_with_herbal_folk_drugs/links/5a3e4348aca272d294446f32/A-review-on-treatment-and-management-of-neuropathic-pain-with-herbal-folk-drugs.pdf

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