This article was written in collaboration with Sealune.
You're probably reading this because your cycle has been taking its toll. Rest assured: we don't take that lightly! Between menstrual pains, sensitive breasts, mood changes, and low energy (among other tribulations), our bodies and emotions go through lots of phases. Thankfully, there are some gentle solutions out there that can bring you the relief you deserve. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of essential oils and how they can support you throughout your menstrual cycle.
Soothe your various menstrual pains with essential oils
The most common menstrual disorders
Everyone experiences menstruation differently, and everyone's experience can change from month to month. Every menstrual cycle is unique. Over time – and with tools like a period diary – we can better listen to and understand our bodies. We'd like to remind you that suffering isn't normal when you're on your period. Menstrual pain has been normalized, even trivialized, by society, including people in medical professions. It's not unusual to feel tightness or discomfort, but severe pain is a sign that there might be an imbalance somewhere.
It can be primary dysmenorrhea, which is more commonly referred to as "painful periods." Dysmenorrhea is accompanied by pain or cramps in the lower abdomenthat can spread to the lower back, kidneys, and thighs. If the pain is really intense, it might be secondary dysmenorrhea, which is often caused by endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
Some people may suffer from menorrhagia.. In those cases, the menstrual flow is more abundant and can last longer, meaning more than 7 days.
But there might also be times when there's no flow at all. When that happens, we're looking at amenorrhea.. Primary amenorrhea is when a person over 16 isn't menstruating, and the secondary iteration is when a menstruating person doesn't have their period for almost 3 months.
It's also important to note that these kinds of disorders don't only manifest during your menstruation. They can also show up before. And yes, it's now time to talk about PMS, or premenstrual syndrome ! You're experiencing PMS when you shed a tear watching a cute cat video, get upset over trivialities, have pimples, sore breasts, an upset stomach, and a headache . . . You know what I'm talking about? Yeah, I can hear you from here!
But don't panic! All these disorders are common, and essential oils can help you naturally soothe them. But let me repeat: just because they're common doesn't mean they're normal. If you notice that one of these disorders is recurrent or prevents you from living your daily life, don't hesitate to consult your gynecologist.
Plants as medicine
If we want to comfortably lead our bodies through the different seasons of our menstrual cycle, herbal medicine can be a huge help.
Phytotherapy is the practice of curing ailments with plants.. In the form of Herbal teas, small capsules, or essential oils, we can enjoy plants' therapeutic virtues in several ways.
Today, we've decided to focus on essential oils and help you find the ones that can soothe each of the ailments of your menstrual cycle.
5 essential oils allied with your menstrual cycle
Clary sage essential oil: Preventing PMS
Clary sage essential oil helps regulate your menstrual cycle and balance your hormones. These virtues are due to its antispasmodic, toning, and estrogen-like properties, meaning it acts on the body the same way estrogen does.
Clary sage is therefore an effective essential oil when it comes to tameng PMS.. You can use it by diluting a few drops in vegetable oil and then massaging yourself with it.. You can also dilute it in honey before ingesting it.
Peppermint essential oil: Give yourself a boost
There are times of great fatigue during our menstrual cycles. People suffering from menstrual disorders like menorrhagia, which sees them lose a greater amount of blood, can feel especially tired. As a result, you need something to re-energize, and there's nothing better than a dose of peppermint essential oil!
Peppermint oil has an awesomely invigorating and refreshing virtue. you can use to fight against fatigue. But that's not all! It also has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties that make it a great ally when fighting menstrual pain or headaches.
You can dilute it in vegetable oil and use it for a massage. You can also, always diluting it, take it orally. If you've got severe headaches or menstrual cramps, you can apply it directly to the affected area.
Noble laurel essential oil: Soothe your sore breasts
Breasts can be very sensitive, even painful, during your menstrual cycle. In these times, noble laurel essential oil is your best friend! Yep, this essential oil has a tonne of virtues, including anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (in other words, it diminishes feelings of pain!).
Thanks to these properties, it also helps you decongest your chest and relieve pain. If you apply it regularly, it can get rid of breast tension and bring a certain lightness to the chest.
You can either massage it in pure or dilute it in vegetable oil.
Tarragon essential oil: Get some relief from painful periods
Tarragon oil, thanks to its antispasmodic properties, helps relieve cramps caused by the contraction of the uterus during the expulsion of the endometrium (in other words, menstruation). This essential oil is also known to facilitate digestion, thereby relieving stomach aches and digestive spasms.
You can use it pure or dilute it in vegetable oil, massaging it in the same way as the other oils.
Basil essential oil: Balance your mood
You might feel like you're not in control of your emotions before or during menstruation thanks to the hormone carnival in your body! Basilessential oil is just what you need to rebalance your emotions.. It's useful in cases of stress or anxiety, and its properties are great for the body, including its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibiotic effects.
You can use basil essential oil by diffusing it with a mister or by shaking a few drops on a tissue and inhaling the vapour.
Use of essential oils: Some precautions
Dilute essential oils
Essential oils are very rarely used pure.. So you should dilute them in vegetable oil before applying them or in honey before ingesting them.
Warning: not all essential oils can be ingested. Some are only meant for external use.
Only use a few drops
Keep in mind that you only need a few drops for each treatment. Basically, essential oils are concentrated products, so you have to be mindful of how much you use.
What to avoid in certain situations
It should also be noted that some oils are not recommended in certain situations.. For example, people who are breastfeeding shouldn't use them, nor should children under 3 or people with certain diseases.
Perform a preliminary skin test
So please do your research first and use essential oils with caution. You can also do a skin test before using them on a regular basis, just to make sure you respond well.
If essential oils don't suit you, know that you can benefit from the virtues of plants in different forms.. You can relieve your ailments by using plants in the form of infusion and get herbal teas that benefits your menstrual cycle.
Many thanks to Mother Nature, and to you for taking care of your inner forest!