Period pain isn’t something we can slap a bandage on and get instant relief; if only it were that easy! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that more than half of menstruating women experience pain 1-2 days out of the month. For individuals wanting to seek out natural relief instead of synthetic over-the-counter drugs, there are many holistic options to choose from that ease the pain associated with periods.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and protein formation. Best known for its role in bone health, magnesium also plays a positive role in menstrual health. According to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, preliminary studies cite that magnesium may assist in easing discomfort associated with premenstrual cramps.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is an herbal supplement available in oil form, but is usually sold as an herbal capsule. Native to North America, primrose was traditionally used by Native Americans for wounds and bruise healing. The Mayo Clinic states that some research studies have demonstrated success with evening primrose oil as an herb for women that successfully eases PMS symptoms.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is known for its ability to promote calmness and feelings of relaxation with its soothing floral scent. In addition, this oil is useful for soothing period pain. In one study, incorporating lavender oil into massage was successful in easing the severity of menstrual cramp pain during a clinical trial. Massage proved to be more successful than lavender oil inhalation.
Vitex agnus-castus, also known as chasteberry, is native to the Mediterranean. Essential oils can be found in the leaves and fruit of the plant, but vitex is commonly taken as an herbal supplement with uses in women’s health, including menopause symptoms, PMS symptoms, and reproductive health. A study published in 2017 examined the therapeutic impact of vitex on women and discovered that it had a positive impact on both pre- and post-menstrual health.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is one of the most popular oils used to relieve discomfort from headaches, colds, cramping muscles, and other issues, whether applied topically or ingested. Peppermint oil can be ingested as a liquid and can be found as a softgel. Commonly used to relieve digestive problems, peppermint oil can also be used to soothe painful menstrual cramps. In 2016, an Iranian study recommended that mint be used as an aid to relieve the intensity of menstrual cramps and the symptoms associated with them.
Always speak with your physician before taking new supplements.