Some women are fortunate enough to skate through their monthly period with a little bloat while others are doubled over in pain for a few days without fail. For the latter, finding natural solutions for pain-relief can be tricky, but research indicates lavender essential oil could hold the key.
Coming from a study carried out by researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, women suffering from painful menstruation, or dysmenorrhea, found significant relief when using lavender oil for aromatherapy.
The oil of Lavandula angustifolia is a popular aromatherapy treatment. Effective in treating migraine pain, soothing anxiety, and even reducing blood pressure, it’s no coincidence this scent is often found in relaxing bath oils and soothing skin treatments.
For their work, the researchers studied 96 female students living in the dorms. They tracked the women for four months, with half being placed in a control group and the other half in an experimental group. The control group received sesame oil while the others were given lavender oil diluted in sesame oil. All women were told to apply three drops of their oil on their hands, rub them together, and inhale for five minutes.
These treatments were administered for one hour after the women experienced menstrual pain. It was continued every six hours for the first three days of monthly menstruation.
The results? The control group was 6.8 times more likely to suffer with cramps in the abdomen and back. Further, they were 12 times more likely to suffer other symptoms of menstruation like tiredness, nausea, and headache when compared with the lavender group.
The researchers believe the lavender may work by reducing contractions in the uterus. These contractions are caused by prostaglandins in the uterine lining. The prostaglandins are also responsible for nausea and diarrhea some women experience during menstrual cycles.
Because lavender works on a psychological level as well, to calm moods, it’s a great solution for women’s health. Further, it’s relatively inexpensive and comes with little to no side effects. You can use lavender oil by adding a few drops to a carrier oil, like almond or sesame, before applying it to the skin.
Of course there are other potential solutions for menstrual cramps that may work for you. If you haven’t found relief with lavender oil but still don’t want to step into a pharmacy, try utilizing apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses, or simply de-stressing. You can also check out some home remedies for menstrual cramps here.