Essential Oils For Irregular Periods
Essential oils have been useful in a wide range of healing and wellness practices including balancing hormones. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean you should throw out your birth control in favor of a new diffuser--but these oils can, for many, help with the underlying causes of irregular menstruation.
Read on for which oils are your best bet for achieving a more regular, less painful cycle and how to use them.
What Are "Irregular" Periods?
Irregular periods can encompass a number of different period problems, from too few periods (called amenorrhea) to bleeding too frequently or for too long (called menorrhagia). It can also include abnormal experiences during your cycle, like spotting in between periods or extreme pain.
On average, a person gets their period every 24-31 days, and it usually lasts between 2-8 days. If you find that you're missing periods or, conversely, bleeding for longer than normal, or notice a change in the flow of your period (heavier or lighter than usual), you may be experiencing an irregular period.
What Causes Irregular Periods?
There are many potential causes for irregularities in the menstrual cycle, including diet, hormone imbalances, weight gain or loss, activity level, certain medications, various medical conditions, and more. So, narrowing down the cause may prove tricky.
For some, though, simply added stress or small changes in your daily routine can interfere with the regularity of your cycle. As we know, psychological stress can cause physiological changes in the body.
Essential Oils For Periods
While the list of potential causes for an irregular period is long, there's plenty of natural remedies that can help manage these underlying causes.
There are great essential oil options for the management of stress, which can be a big cause for missed or otherwise irregular periods. Some of these are:
- Lavender. Lavender is a hugely versatile essential oil, with benefits running the gamut from antimicrobial to pain and stress relief.
- Ylang Ylang. This oil has been shown to induce relaxation with its pleasant floral aroma.
- Bergamot. This oil has numerous potential health benefits including uplifting mood to help you unwind after stressful days or events.
Weight fluctuations and being under or overweight for extended periods can have a significant effect on the regularity of your cycle. Here are a few essential oils that may help with appetite:
- Tangerine. Known to help boost your appetite, certain compounds in tangerines like limonene and alpha-pinene can help improve digestion and the citrus aroma is also mood-boosting.
- Spearmint. Spearmint, and many other mint oils like peppermint, can reduce feelings of nausea or general stomach discomfort to help stimulate your appetite.
- Grapefruit. There's a reason why grapefruits are a common breakfast food. These fruits are nutritious and filling, and grapefruit oil not only provides fresh scents, but can help boost your metabolism!
Disruptions To Your Routine
Changes to your normal routine, whether it be sleep schedule disruptions, new medications, or even a more robust social agenda can knock your regular menstrual cycle out of wack.
After all, why should your period maintain a strict schedule if the rest of your life is unpredictable? There will always be changes and pop-ups you can't control, but here are a few tips to maintaining a consistent schedule for what you can control:
- Try to sleep and wake up around the same time everyday (yes, even on the weekends!). A consistent sleep schedule with at least 6-7 hours of sleep can do wonders for your mental and physical health.
- Regular meal times. Your body loves routine! Whether its 5 small meals, 3 normal ones, or intermittent fasting, find out what is best for your body (consult your healthcare provider for tips on what will work for you) and stick to it!
- Carve out some "me" time. Between professional and social engagements, it can be hard to find time for yourself to simply relax and unwind. Make sure you carve out some time in your day for activities that help you destress. Check out these ideas for natural ways to destress.
How To Use Essential Oils
Aromatherapy includes a broad range of techniques to utilize the healing benefits of essential oils, from diffusing to diluting in personal care items and more.
Here are a few of the best ways to take advantage of of the power of aromatherapy, especially for aches and pains related to your menstrual cycle:
- Massage the affected area with your chosen oil. Remember to always dilute pure essential oils with a carrier oil.
- Add a few drops to a hot or cold compress and keep held against the affected area for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the diluted oil/carrier mixture to a warm bath and soak.
Essential oils are incredibly potent, often volatile compounds that can irritate the skin and even cause burns if applied directly. You should always dilute any pure essential oil in a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba before using it on your skin. Read more about how to dilute essential oils for skin application.
Irregular periods are not only inconvenient, but may even lead to serious health concerns. However, there are a number of essential oils for irregular periods that can help manage the root causes of an abnormal cycle, like stress, diet, and exercise.
Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before trying to manage your cycle on your own, though, as irregularities in your period can be signs of more significant health risks.