Period cramps or pain is that painful, sharp feeling that women experience when on their periods. Some women’s pains are so severe that they can’t even carry on their normal daily activities. Most times pain killer drugs are used to relieve the symptoms of menstrual pain but they come with a price.
Their side effects sometimes cause more harm than good. So in this article, we will be looking at how to ease period pains with essential oils. Essential oils are oils that are gotten from parts of plants like root, seeds, bark, peels, resins, stems and flowers.
The phytochemicals that protects plants from pests, virus, other parasitic attacks and heals plants when wounded are also present in the oil which makes essential oils very powerful in healing lots of health conditions, including period cramps and pre-menstrual syndromes. Essential oils have been used for more than 5000 years as natural medicine to improve health, beautify the skin, treat diseases and infections, it freshen the environment of your home and they also have religious uses.
The phytochemicals in the oil are so concentrated. So care has to be taken when using them to avoid toxicity. Some of these oils are not safe for oral consumption or to be applied directly to the skin, unless when stated otherwise by a licensed and certified herbalist; and when certified safe for oral consumption, you can add them to teas or meals.
Note that essential oils are volatile, so don’t leave them open; always cover them immediately after taking the quantity you need. Common ways to use essential oils are by aromatherapy and massage.
When massaging with essential oil; you will have to dilute them with kitchen oil or carrier oil as they are usually called to reduce the concentration and toxicity of the phytochemicals. The best way to use essential oils for massage is to mix two drops of an essential oil with one teaspoon of carrier oil.
The following can serve as carrier oils; coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, sesame oil, kitchen vegetable oil or milk. After mixing, massage your abdomen with this mixture for 10 minutes or more. This is believed to be the best approach for treating menstrual cramps with essential oils.
To use essential oil for aromatherapy, you will have to mix two drops of essential oil with salt or carrier oil; add the mixture to a bowl of hot water; bend your head over the bowl and cover it with a thick cloth, towel or blanket. Breathe deeply and slowly for as long as you can stay.
When you are done, you can also dip a piece of cloth in the warm water mixture, squeeze it lightly and use it to massage the abdomen to relieve menstrual pain, this is called a warm compress. Another common way to use essential oil is to add two drops of essential oil diluted with carrier oil to your bathing water, or you can soak in it.
Below are proven, scientifically backed essential oils that help in alleviating pre-menstrual period and menstrual cramps. Note that you can combine essential oils; it will make their work more effective, this is known as oil blending.
- Clary sage oil: This oil is great in balancing hormones naturally thereby combating the symptoms of period cramps.
- Cypress oil: Improves circulation of blood, prevents blood clots.
- Peppermint oil: This oil is great in reducing pains and cramps.
- Lavender oil: Reduce cramps, discomfort, tension and stress associated with period pain.
- Cinnamon oil: It helps to reduce inflammation, bloating and cramps during periods.
- Eucalyptus oil: This oil has great anti-inflammatory effect; it reduces cramps, it decongests the body to combat irritability and moodiness.
- Rose oil: This oil helps in stimulating balanced hormone levels in the body; it regulates menstrual cycles thereby correcting irregular flows, improves cramps and pre-menstrual symptoms.
- Chamomile oil: It helps in calming the mind and body thereby combating mood swings and depression caused by period cramps; it relaxes muscles, reduces pains, and relieves stress, anxiety and irritability that are commonly experienced during period pain.
- Ylang-ylang: This oil is a widely used anti-depressant; it helps in calming down mood swings, fights anxiety, calms the mind and relieves period cramps.
- Clove oil: It relieves menstrual pain; stops excessive bleeding (menorrhagia) and can even shorten the duration of a menstrual period.
- Marjoram oil: This oil is great in dilating blood vessels, relaxes the muscles, it reduces inflammation in the uterus, increase the flow of blood to internal organs while reducing blood pressure at the same time. The analgesic properties of this oil soothe menstrual cramps.
- Yarrow oil: This oil is well known for slowing down heavy bleeding thereby controlling heavy flow; its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties relieves cramps and its discomfort.
- Ginger oil: This oil is great in boosting circulation; it soothes, calms down pains and cramps. It is one of the best home remedies for treating menstrual cramps.
- Geranium oil: This oil is widely known for its soothing properties; it helps in eliminating all discomforting symptoms of menstruation and menopause.
- Carrot seed oil: Its sedative and anti-inflammatory properties relieve stress; relieves bloating and mood swings.
- Jasmine oil: For centuries, this oil has been used to eliminate pains of all kinds. It relieves cramps, fatigue, anxiety and mood swing.
- Frankincense oil: This oil is used to control heavy flow and uncomfortable sensations of breast tenderness. It also relieves mood swings, anxiety and depression.
- Primrose oil: The high content of essential acids in this oil reduce irritability, bloating and breast tenderness. It is also rich in gamma linolenic acid which regulates pain and inflammation in the body.
With the knowledge gained on essential oils and how to use them to alleviate menstrual cramps, period cramps should be very easy to handle at home and dependence on over-the-counter pain killers reduced.