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The Best Essential Oils for PMS + Cramps


My daughter just turned 11, and while she hasn’t started her period yet (thank goodness), she has learned about it from friends. Frankly, she was a little horrified, and I don’t blame her. Getting your period is supposed to be a sacred rite of passage, but mainly it just sucks. Congrats, you’ll get to enjoy bloating, cramps, irritability and headaches every month for the next 30-40 years!

I struggled with horribly painful periods in my teens, relying heavily on over-the-counter meds like Pamprin. The pills barely managed the pain, and then it all hit me again just as hard the next month. So how do you stop the cycle? I want my daughter to have a more pain-free experience, and the more I can help her prevent PMS discomfort, the better.

To regulate your cycle you have to get your hormones under control. Lifestyle changes that include diet and exercise can have a big impact. Another factor is controlling stress, which then brings down the cortisol levels that keep our body in constant fight or flight mode.

One of my favorite stress reducers? Essential oils. And not only do essential oils positively affect our moods, but they can also help relieve the physical symptoms of PMS like cramps and bloating.

Here are 5 essential oils to help you support a healthy menstrual cycle and tackle the pain of PMS:

5 Essential Oils for PMS + Cramps

1. Clary sage

Clary sage oil is a must-have oil if you struggle with PMS. It does a little bit of everything, helping to treat both the physical and emotional symptoms. A deeply relaxing oil, clary sage lifts mood and reduces stress levels. It also acts as an antispasmodic to relax muscles and ease menstrual pain.

To use as a PMS remedy, add 10 drops of clary sage to a tablespoon of carrier oil. Rub the oil into lower abdomen and cover with a warm compress for 2-5 minutes. Or stir the oil into a cup of Epsom salt and add to a warm bath.

You can also make an aromatherapy roll on and apply the oil daily. Applying to the inside of the ankles has helped some women.

PMS Bath Blend

Combine oils and add to a warm bath. Soak for 15-30 minutes.

Caution: avoid using clary sage while you are pregnant.

The Best Essential Oils for PMS + Cramps

2. Lavender

When in doubt, reach for lavender. The oil is a mood stabilizing, pain-relieving and sleep-inducing wonder. It can ease headaches and stress and also act as a mild analgesic for cramps. Add lavender to a bath or keep these baking soda-based aromatherapy bath bombs on hand for when you need to chill.

3. Geranium

Sometimes referred to as the ‘woman’s oil,’ geranium is a commonly used remedy to regulate hormone levels and relieve PMS symptoms. The essential oil also has pain relieving properties to reduce cramps and is a diuretic to help eliminate bloating. Inhaling geranium’s floral scent is both calming and uplifting. Enjoy the scent with a PMS soother gel air freshener.

4. Cypress

Cypress oil is a favorite for easing annoying menstrual cramping. The warming oil improves circulation, soothes body aches, and relaxes muscle and joint pain. Cypress is also an excellent astringent that helps flush out toxins and water retention. Use cypress in a hot compress, bath, massage blend or aromatherapy roll on for PMS relief.

Bloat Banishing Blend

Massage formula into targeted areas.

5. Rose

Often thought of as aphrodisiac, rose essential oil definitely has a connection to women’s reproductive health. Rose has a toning effect on the uterus that can ease heavy periods and regulate menstrual flow. Along with soothing physical PMS symptoms, rose is a calming, soothing scent to turn to when PMS irritability and anger strike.

Cramp-Soothe Blend

Combine oils and massage into abdomen area.

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