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Using Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps

Using essential oils for menstrual cramps offers a natural way to deal with painful periods. Essential oils recommended by aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy include:

  • Black pepper
  • Clary sage
  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Helichrysum
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram (also useful for menstrual headaches)
  • Melissa
  • Nutmeg
  • Peppermint
  • Roman chamomile
  • Rose otto
  • Thyme

The book explains there are two types of menstrual pain: Congestive dysmenorrhea can start a few days before your period and cover the entire abdomen. Spasmodic dysmenorrhea is a spasm of pain in the pelvis and/or lower back. (Also see essential oils for PMS relief.)

The best essential oils for menstrual cramps depend on their underlying cause. Experiment with the different oils and aromatherapy blends to find what works best for you.

Use the oils in these ways:

  • Massage: Add 6 to 8 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil. Gently massage your abdomen, lower back, and hips.

  • Relaxing warm bath: Add 4 to 8 drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of carrier oil and stir into bath.

  • Inhalation: Diffuse an oil with an aromatherapy diffuser. Or make an aromatherapy inhaler to carry with you.

Here are two blends of essential oils for period cramps from Worwood. Make the blend. Dilute 3 to 5 drops in one teaspoon carrier oil. Massage your abdomen and lower back. Use as needed, starting up to a week before your period is due.

For congestive pain:

  • 10 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 5 drops roman chamomile essential oil
  • 5 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 5 drops juniper berry essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil

For spasmodic pain:

  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops cypress essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 5 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 5 drops marjoram essential oil

Massage Essential Oils for Menstrual Cramps

Use one of the following blends to massage your abdomen, lower back, and upper thighs.

Blend #1

  • 12 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops ginger essential oil
  • 4 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 4 drops roman chamomile essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil

Source: Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Dummies

Blend #2

  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 2 drops roman chamomile or clary sage essential oil
  • 1 drop ginger essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons carrier oil (use infused oil of yarrow, if you can find it)

Source: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

Blend #3

  • 8 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 5 drops roman chamomile essential oil
  • 2 to 3 drops angelica or cardamom essential oil
  • 1 tablespoon carrier oil

Source: Healing With Aromatherapy

Blend #4

  • 1/2 teaspoon evening primrose oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon borage seed oil
  • 4 teaspoons jojoba oil
  • 5 drops roman chamomile essential oil
  • 5 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 2 drops melissa essential oil

Source: Complete Aromatherapy Handbook: Essential Oils for Radiant Health

Roll-On Blend For Menstrual Cramp Relief

  • 4 drops ginger essential oil
  • 4 drops geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 2 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
  • 1 drop cinnamon bark essential oil
  • Carrier oil of choice
  • 10-ml glass roller bottle

Drop the essential oils into the roller bottle. Finish filling the bottle with carrier oil. Install the roller ball and cap. Shake well. To use, massage over abdomen and lower back twice a day throughout your period.

Source: The Healing Power of Essential Oils

Aromatherapy Bath Blends

For an aromatherapy bath blend to relieve menstrual cramps:

  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
  • 3 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 1 drop cypress essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil

Blend oils. Stir into a warm bath. Adapted from Massage & Aromatherapy: Simple Techniques to Use at Home

Cramp Prevention Blend

  • 15 drops marjoram essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops clary sage essential oil

Blend the oils in a small, dark glass bottle. Add 4 to 6 drops of the blend to 1 teaspoon carrier oil and stir into a warm bath.

You can also dilute a few drops of the essential oil blend and use it for massage.

Source: The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness

Water Retention Relief Blend

If you have a problem with water retention, use the following blend in a warm bath:

  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 3 drops cypress essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon carrier oil

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Photo Credit: Flickr User UrbaneWomenMag