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.
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.
If you’re ready to try using essential oils to soothe your period pains, there are a couple of great ways to do this.
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?”
When it comes to healing my body, I have one rule: try natural remedies first.
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.
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!
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!
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).
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.
Imagine, it’s that dreaded time of the month when Mother Nature comes to visit—or rather, torture—you. First there’s PMS: bloating, irritability, overall discomfort. And then even when your period comes, the cramps! Our fertility is beautiful and life-giving, but it sure doesn’t seem that way if it makes you struggle to stand (or sit!) up straight.
Herbal teas, specifically chamomile, are not only tasty and soothing, but also good for cramp prevention. A study released by the American Chemical Society discovered that drinking chamomile tea increases the production of glycine, an amino acid that reduces muscle spasms. The researchers concluded that this calming effect helps lower pain for women experiencing menstrual cramps.
The official term for period pain is dysmenorrhea. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than half of women experience some level of menstrual cramps one to two days a month. So why does our period bring on cramps? During menstruation, the uterus contracts, pressing up against surrounding blood vessels. Natural chemicals called prostaglandins that are linked to pain and inflammation cause these contractions, and this compression prevents oxygen from reaching the uterus’ muscle tissue. Cue the menstrual cramps!
Vitamin D helps lessen inflammation by hindering the production of prostaglandins during menstruation. One study discovered that women who took vitamin D supplements reported experiencing fewer cramping symptoms during their period than those who took a placebo. Certain foods can do the trick, too. According to the National Institutes of Health, the best natural food sources of vitamin D are fish liver oils and fatty fish including salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Other foods that contain vitamin D (although less than fish) are cheese, egg yolks, beef liver, and mushrooms. Fortified foods—products that are supplemented with extra nutrients—such as milk, cereal, orange juice, and yogurt are also a good source of vitamin D.
If cardio isn’t your thing, stretch to soothe your body. Gynecologist Suzanne Trupin recommends yoga since it “incorporates deep breathing, which helps relieve the effects of oxygen deprivation to the tissues, one of the main causes of cramps.” Focus on poses that work the areas that are cramping the most, like your pelvis and lower back. Some of the most effective cramp-busting yoga exercises include the seated twist, wind pose, cat pose, bow pose, and reclining angle.
The idea of exercise may seem far-fetched when all you want to do is curl up into a ball, but physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins—which work against prostaglandins—to relieve period pain as your body pumps and circulates blood.
Not flexible? Me neither. A few simple stretches can loosen up your aching areas, too. I’ve found that stretching my arms above my head, lunging one leg forward, and leaning back helps stretch my cramping abs. I also lie on my stomach, push myself up with my arms, and lean back while keeping my legs on the ground (aka, cobra pose).
You don’t need to fill your mug with decaf every morning, but scaling back on caffeine can prevent further muscle tightening. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, causing blood vessels to constrict—aka, the last thing you need when your muscles are already tightening up! A study conducted by the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health found that caffeine intake has a negative impact on menstrual functions in general, too. It can make you more tense—an unnecessary aggravator when you’re already dealing with your period. Drink water and other non-caffeinated liquids instead.
Add coconut oil to your foods as a replacement for butter or other oils while scrambling eggs, sautéing vegetables, baking desserts, spreading on toast, and more.
Unexpected remedies to help you fight those painful menstrual cramps this month