With alluring aromas and multiple benefits in each bottle, the best essential oils for menstrual cramps can save the day when you're feeling uncomfortable. Some oils are thought to help with an array of menstrual discomforts, from helping to ease pain, alleviate menstrual headaches, and even reduce the symptoms of PMS, while other essential oils stand out for targeting a specific concern. Knowing which oils to use or add into a custom essential oil blend can help bring faster relief for exactly what ails you.
A slew of essential oils "are analgesic, antispasmodic, circulatory [stimulating] and sedative in nature, which helps to alter pain perception and pathways," Jean Liao, certified aromatherapist and formula designer for Way of Will, tells Bustle. To ease menstrual cramps, she recommends trying: cinnamon (no more than 0.5% as it can cause skin sensitivity) clary sage, lavender, or rose.
For heavy flow days, Liao says the best essential oils for heavy periods are lavender and clove. "Especially clove, research shows that clove in a massage oil blend decreased pain and menstrual bleeding," Liao says.
Essential oils are also useful before your period starts. "PMS is a combination of many symptoms," Liao says. "Studies show that by applying these calming and sedative oils help to lessen the stress and anxiety experienced during PMS." For anger and irritability, she says studies show that lavender, clary sage, and geranium provide relief. For anxiety or fluid retention: lavender and geranium. For sadness: rose, geranium, or clary sage. To treat multiple symptoms at once, consider making a custom essential oil blend.
Each of the essential oils below should be applied with a carrier oil onto the lower abdomen for quick relief of pain and cramping. All of the oils listed are highly rated on Amazon, and they're packaged in amber glass bottles to protect the essential oils from losing their potency.
1. The Best Clary Sage Oil
Not only is clary sage one of the best essential oils for menstrual cramps, it might also help with PMS, according to Liao. Plant Therapy's clary sage essential oil had some reviewers report pain relief in as little as 10 to 20 minutes. The aroma is pleasantly nutty and herbaceous with earthy, fruity and floral notes.
The oil comes in a 10-milliliter bottle, and it's certified-organic and Leaping Bunny certified for being cruelty-free. Multiple rounds of testing by an essential oil expert and third-party labs ensure the quality of this 100% pure oil. Plus, the brand offers a satisfaction guarantee.
Fans say: “Life saver. This helps so much with pms cramps and other symptoms! If I pair this with my heating pad and medi I [am] completely pain free which I never thought would be possible!”
2. The Best Cinnamon Oil
With a warm and spicy scent, cinnamon oil may help with menstrual cramps, according to Laio, and this pick is beloved by Amazon reviewers for its use of high-quality cinnamomum zeylanicum bark, aka ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is superior to cassia cinnamon, and bark oil also has a better aroma than leaf oil. The chemical-free, steam-distilled oil comes in a 10-milliliter bottle.
Fans say: “This is one of my favorite essential oils. I use it in a pain blend I make for sore muscles and it works fabulous.”
3. The Best Clove Oil
Though traditionally used for tooth and gum pain, clove oil may help relieve pain all over the body. This clove oil from Gya Labs is a 100% pure, non-GMO oil with a woody, warm, spicy, and strong aroma. The cruelty-free oil comes in a 10-milliliter bottle and is rich with antioxidants and minerals that soothe skin.
Fans say: “This stuff was great only had to use it once and pain was gone.”
4. The Best Rose Oil
With several varieties of rose oil out there, Rose Absolute (rosa damascene) is thought to help reduce inflammation as it calms and soothes. Plus, rose oil was one of Liao's picks for relieving both menstrual cramps and PMS-related sadness.
With this 30-milliliter bottle of Rose Absolute from H'ana you get a lot of bang for your buck, since it's affordably priced at $10.
Reviewers love the flowery, opulent fragrance of this 100% pure rose oil, which is reminiscent of delicate rose petals, and has notes of sweetness and fruit.
Fans say: “This is hands down the best Rose absolute I've come across. It's potent, and smells exactly as a Rose absolute should smell. On top of that it's a great price.”
5. The Best Lavender Oil
When it comes to menstrual pains, lavender oil might just be the most versatile oil to have in your arsenal. It reduces menstrual cramps, and according to Laio may also help with multiple PMS symptoms, from anger and irritability, to anxiety and fluid retention.
And this lavender oil from Naturenics is the best of the best. The highly-concentrated, earthy-scented oil comes in a 30-milliliter bottle with some extras: a glass dropper, a glass roller bottle, and an e-book with more information on ways to use the oil. Many lavender oils on the market have fillers, but this is 100% pure Bulgarian lavender oil that is steam-distilled, and free of parabens and other chemicals.
Fans say: “I have tried various Lavender essential oils, and this by far is the best. Smells much better than others!”
6. The Best Peppermint Oil
To get rid of menstrual headaches, consider a 100% pure peppermint essential oil. This 120-milliliter bottle from Pure Body Naturals comes with a dropper for easy application. The menthol scent is unmistakably and familiarly peppermint, and reviewers love the pleasant and potent fragrance of this oil compared to other peppermint oils. Pure Body Naturals has sustainable partnerships with artisan distillers around the world to produce a high-quality oil that is cruelty-free and chemical-free.
Fans say: “I can't believe how many uses there are for peppermint oil! I have used it for cramps and for a headache-and it seemed to work great.”
7. The Best Geranium Oil
Laio recommends geranium oil for treating some PMS-related conditions, and Plant Therapy's Geranium Egyptian Essential Oil is hard to beat. With a sweet, rose-like aroma, this 100% pure and cruelty-free geranium oil may help boost mood. Plant Therapy subjects its oils to multiple rounds of testing by an essential oils expert and third-party labs to ensure high-quality. Plus this pick is Leaping Bunny-certified and backed by a satisfaction guarantee.
Fans say: “Smells amazing, have used it in blends and absolutely love it! Great price for a quality product! How many other EO companies post independent lab tests results for each batch?! Hint: very, very few. I buy from Plant Therapy regularly and am always happy!”
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