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4 min read / 13 May 2022 / Caitlin Devlin

The best essential oils for relieving period cramps

These soothing, pain-relieving oils can make cramps more bearable.

Period cramps can be a particularly nasty kind of pain, and unfortunately they’re also incredibly common.

Among the most common PMS symptoms, cramps can make it difficult to focus, sleep, eat, and in some cases even to get up and walk.

Luckily there’s plenty of things that can help to take the edge off the pain, one of which is aromatherapy.

Certain essential oils have proven to be very effective in reducing the pain of menstrual cramps and more are being investigated all the time. Here are the oils we recommend for relieving period cramps.

Bay laurel oil

An antispasmodic oil, bay laurel is able to reduce cramping in the uterine muscles by soothing the muscles and preventing spasms. It is also considered an analgesic, which means that it is able to relieve sensations of pain.

Learn more about the benefits of bay laurel essential oil.

Cajeput oil

The component cineol in cajeput creates a feeling of warmth on the skin which distracts from the pain beneath. For this reason cajeput is often used to manage menstrual cramps and mask the intensity of the pain.

The oil is such an effective pain-reliever that it has even been used in dentistry to relieve toothache. Cineol can be irritating on sensitive skin, however, so it is important to always patch test before use.

Learn more about the benefits of cajeput essential oil.

Cassia oil

Cramps can sometimes be caused by obstructions in menstrual paths. Cassia oil has emmenagogue properties which allow it to stimulate menstrual flow, which in turn lets it open obstructed menstrual paths, relieving cramps.

Cassia oil is also an analgesic, and its warming, pain-relieving properties can reduce tension in the body, allowing sore muscles to relax.

Learn more about the benefits of cassia essential oil.

Citronella oil

Traditionally used in China, India and Sir Lanka to relieve menstrual cramps, citronella oil has a long history with PMS symptoms. An anticonvulsant, citronella can relax muscles in the abdomen, soothing cramps.

Learn more about the benefits of citronella essential oil.

Clary sage oil

Known as the ‘women’s oil’, clary sage has been used extensively to treat PMS symptoms.

A study in 2012 found that clary sage oil was effective at relieving menstrual cramps in teenage girls when applied to the stomach, an ability which is thought to be due to the antispasmodic properties of the oil.

Learn more about the benefits of clary sage essential oil.

Woman suffering from period cramps

Use a soothing, easily-absorbing carrier oil to apply your essential oils.

Coriander seed oil

Coriander seed is both anti-inflammatory and circulation boosting. This allows it to soothe the abdominal area whilst also warming it and increasing blood flow.

These effects can reduce or mask pain whilst clearing obstructions, making it an effective remedy for cramps.

Learn more about the benefits of coriander seed essential oil.

Lavender oil

Lavender oil is anticonvulsant, able to relax constricted muscles, which has a positive effect on period cramps as shown in research from 2010.

Lavender oil is a popular remedy for cramps and is a common ingredient in many heated cramp-relieving products.

Learn more about the benefits of lavender essential oil.

Marjoram oil

Antispasmodic marjoram can relieve pain caused in the uterine region by muscle spasms, and as an emmenagogue it can also prompt menstruation and clear painful blockages.

Marjoram also has the somewhat unique ability to regulate female hormones, thereby reducing PMS symptoms.

Learn more about the benefits of marjoram essential oil.

Rose geranium oil

Rose geranium has been called the oil of female strength and is closely associated with femininity. It is also found to fight pain and relieve tension in the body, whilst its soft floral scent relaxes and de-stresses.

Learn more about the benefits of rose geranium essential oil.

Vetiver oil

Vetiver oil has an impressive effect on the female hormone oestrogen, regulating and balancing it. This helps the oil to reduce the severity of cramps, as well as other PMS symptoms such as mood swings and bloating.

Learn more about the benefits of vetiver essential oil.

The best way to use these oils is to apply them topically. Add a few drops of your favourite oil to a carrier oil of your choice and massage into the abdomen to ease the pain of cramps.

You may find that some of these oils work best in combination, and it may take some experimenting to find your favourite home remedy.

Not sure where to start?

Our Cramp Relief Pure Essential Oil Blend combines lavender, clary sage and rose geranium in a soothing and effective balm.

Cramp Relief - Pure Essential Oil Blend - Aromatherapy - Nikura

Shop our Cramp Relief Pure Essential Oil Blend.

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Medical Disclaimer

The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult your personal physician for any advice or treatment regarding specific health questions. Neither the article editor, writer, nor the organisation of Nikura takes any responsibility for possible health consequences following the information given in any article. All readers should consult their physician before taking any advice given within these articles.

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