Essential Oils for Menstrual Problems
For ages, people have been using essential oils to treat a wide range of medical conditions. There is a strong belief in the curative effects of essential oils in many cultures. Although aromatherapy has been accepted and supported by medical research, there have been very few evidence-based studies which support the use of essential oils in the treatment of medical conditions. Essential oils are known to be effective in relieving some common menstrual problems due to their soothing properties in general.
Menstrual problems like excessive menstrual flow (dysmenorrhea) and menstrual cramps are some of the common problems faced by many women. Essential oils, which are basically concentrated plant oils, are finding their way back in the treatment of such menstrual problems. Let us take a look at some essential oils which are effective in treating menstrual problems and the ways to use them.
Lavender: Menstrual cramps can be greatly reduced by using lavender essential oil aromatherapy. This was proven in a study on Turkish nursing students in 2012, which showed reduced pain associated with menstrual cramps in the students who used lavender oil aromatherapy massage.
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the diffuser and enjoy the benefits. Massage lavender oil (diluted) on the lower abdominal area for relieving menstrual cramps and reducing heavy menstrual flow.
Clary Sage: Studies published in NCBI demonstrate the aromatic oil massage provided relief for patients with primary dysmenorrhea and reduced the duration of menstrual pain. This study used a blend of lavender, clary sage and marjoram essential oils. Some studies have also indicated that clary sage is beneficial in reducing PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms too, such as tension, anxiety, and mood swings.
Both aromatherapy and massage therapy with clary sage are quite effective in relieving cramps and reducing PMS symptoms.
Cinnamon oil: We all are very familiar with cinnamon for its culinary uses, but it is also used in alternative treatments too. Menstrual cramping can be reduced by messaging lower abdomen with diluted cinnamon oil.
Peppermint oil: Menstrual period associated headaches and body aches can be relieved by using peppermint oil. A study shows that peppermint oil is as effective in relieving headache as 1000 mg of acetaminophen and that too without any side effects.
It is usually applied on the forehead and is sold as a roll-on applicator or stick for easy use.
Make a blend of lavender, clary sage and marjoram oil in a ratio of 3:1:1. Use 6 drops of this mixture diluted with 4 tsp of a carrier oil such as almond oil. Massage this on lower abdomen or use in a diffuser to experience a soothing effect and relief from menstrual pains. This blend also helps in reducing very heavy menstrual flow.
A blend of cinnamon, clove, rose and lavender essential oils is very effective in menstrual pain relief according to a study conducted in Egypt in 2013. This blend mixed with almond oil can be massaged on the abdomen.
Essential oils such as ylang ylang oil, geranium oil and chamomile oil are also known to work well for alleviating PMS symptoms.