When it comes to healing my body, I have one rule: try natural remedies first.
A few years ago, I didn’t feel this way. I would be the first one to pop an ibuprofen for a headache or head to the doctor at the first signs of a cold. I didn’t really care how I felt better, I just wanted whatever was going on to stop. The same was true when I had my period—accompanied by cramps that had me doubled over in pain. I just wanted them to stop. If you’ve ever experienced painful menstrual cramps, I know you feel me on that. It feels like your uterus is betraying you (and secretly enjoying it). It’s the worst.
One day I was spending the night at a friend’s house and my period started. Because of course it did (you can’t see me but I’m rolling my eyes right now). My cramps started coming in painful waves but she didn’t have any over-the-counter painkillers. None. Zero. Zilch.
I obviously felt like I was going to die. But my dear friend who has always been known for her curiosity said, “Someone told me that you can use essential oils for period cramps. I have some. Wanna try?”
At this point, I really did not want to try. I also didn’t want to be in pain all night. So, out the essential oils came….and they worked. At first, I thought it was all in my head, some sort of placebo effect. I had to be sure so I used them over the next few months for basically everything. Headache? Essential oils. Backache? Essential oils? Bad mood? Essential oils. I put them on my skin, in the bathtub, and even in my tea!
Fast forward to now, and I’m all about integrative medicine. I don’t think it has to replace western medicine but it can complement more traditional approaches.
So for all of you out there who are feeling the pain of fluctuating hormone levels and a crampy uterus, try using these essential oils to ease your period pains. (There are a lot more EO’s that work for this but I picked the most common/easiest to find.)
1. Lavender essential oil
This one is my absolute favorite because it can treat so many issues. First, it has anti-inflammatory properties. When your uterus is trying to shed its inner lining, it contracts and expands to push it out through your vagina. This can cause your uterus and the surrounding blood vessels to feel inflamed. Lavender essential oil treats this by relaxing your muscles. It can also make you feel more zen—it’s known for it’s calming effects. If you’re anything like me, you could use a bit more chill when you’re on your period.
2. Rose essential oil
Ok, so this EO is like a cure-all. It can help with so many things—from acting as a natural laxative (the hormone progesterone is the main culprit here) to containing emmenagogues (a substance that triggers menstruation, which is great if your periods are irregular). Rose essential oil can also help treat cramps, fatigue, and nausea, making it a menstruation must-have.
3. Clove essential oil
Not only does this essential oil smell like Christmas, it’s super effective at alleviating menstrual pain. It can even help to shorten the duration of your period (I’ve never had that work for me but everyone is different) and stop excessive bleeding, known as menorrhagia. It also helps to lower high blood pressure. Pretty amazing, huh?
4. Ylang-ylang essential oil
If you’re stressed AF during your period, this one’s for you. Ylang-ylang oil soothes the brain and central nervous system, making it easier to cope with stress and period-induced anxiety and depression.
5. Peppermint essential oil
Last but not least, peppermint oil is amazing because it can relieve headaches and inflammation and boost your energy. Fluctuating estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can leave you feeling fatigued at different points of your menstrual cycle. A little peppermint EO can help!
How to use essential oils for period pain
If you’re ready to try using essential oils to soothe your period pains, there are a couple of great ways to do this.
Essential oils are beneficial when massaged into the part of your body that is achy. When I use lavender oil for cramps, I mix it with a carrier oil (I use coconut oil!) and rub it onto my lower abdomen and back. This is the most direct route.
When you hop in the shower, sprinkle a few drops of an essential oil—or a combination of a few—into the tub. The steam from the water will mix with the EO’s and act like an all-natural vaporizer.
You’ll want to make sure you get food grade essential oils for this. You can put them in your tea, a batch of brownies, or even into rice (love lavender rice, so good).
Side note: In no way is Lunette recommending that you should use essential oils or any other kind of natural medicine to replace consulting with your doctor. This is not to be taken as medical advice. Alternatively we have our own Moodsmooth Remedy Oil here at Lunette.