cloves for menstrual cramps

From the whole herb to the essential oil, using cloves for menstrual cramps can give you quick relief from painful periods.

And since cloves are a common household spice, you probably already have it in your kitchen!

So, to help you get started with using cloves for period cramps, this post is going to cover:

  • the main properties of cloves that make it helpful for menstrual pain.
  • 3 ways you can use the herb and essential to relieve cramps.

Now, let’s go ahead and have a closer look at what cloves have to offer!

Note: this post contains affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.


1. Natural Pain Reliever

Cloves are a powerhouse when it comes to relieving pain naturally. And it’s all due to a compound called eugenol

Eugenol is an antioxidant and research shows that it is effective at numbing and reducing pain. 

In fact, eugenol is one of the reasons why cloves have historically been used to soothe painful conditions like toothaches (source).

Furthermore, clove oil is also one of the ingredients in Tiger Balm, which is a popular over-the-counter pain reliever.

But wait, there’s more!

Cloves also increase blood circulation. And when you increase blood flow to the site of pain, that helps relieve the tension and tightness in that area.

Last but not least, cloves also reduce nausea (which tends to occur with menstrual cramps).

2. Supports Liver Health

If you’ve read my post on home remedies for menstrual cramps then you know that an imbalance of hormones – specifically, prostaglandins – is said to be the cause of painful periods.

In addition, if you have excess estrogen without sufficient progesterone to balance it out, this can also increase your likelihood of having menstrual pain.

And in order to correct any of the above hormonal imbalances, it’s important to have a healthy liver.

This is because your liver filters your blood and removes agents (like excess hormones and other hormone disruptors).

And it turns out that cloves can help with this! In fact, animal studies show that clove oil:

  • lowers inflammation and oxidative stress, while also improving liver function. These results are when using mixtures that contain clove oil or just a eugenol extract.
  • reverses the signs of liver cirrhosis (damage that causes the liver to scar and potentially, fail).

These animal studies suggest that cloves can boost liver function and reverse some liver damage.

And that’s all good news for the detoxification work that is needed for hormone balance.

3. Fights Off Candida and Supports Gut Health

Research shows that clove has powerful antifungal and antiparasitic properties.

In fact, when it comes to killing off a fungus like candida, clove is just as effective as nystatin (a drug used to treat yeast infections).

This antifungal ability is a huge plus because too much candida contributes to leaky gut syndrome.

And since a healthy gut is essential for hormone balance, that means a healthy gut is also essential for relieving period cramps.

Furthermore, clove is also effective at killing intestinal parasites (which are another life-sucking contributor to gut issues!).

4. High in Antioxidants

Aside from eugenol, cloves contain other antioxidants that make it one of the most helpful herbs for fighting off inflammation.

The best way to get some perspective on clove’s antioxidant content is to compare it to blueberries:

  • blueberries are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods we can eat.
  • yet, when compared with cloves, cloves have 30 times more antioxidants per gram!

Now, that’s the type of antioxidant content that can be a great ally for inflammatory conditions like menstrual cramps.


clove oil for menstrual pain

Massaging clove oil onto your lower abdomen allows you to quickly soothe any cramping that occurs with your period.

However, there are some important safety precautions to keep in mind when using clove oil topically:

  • Clove is a known skin irritant. So, never apply it undiluted to your skin. Instead, it should always be diluted in a carrier oil like almond or coconut oil.
  • Because clove oil is very strong, it’s recommended that you don’t exceed a 0.5% dilution. Basically, this means that when you mix clove oil with your carrier oil, 95.5% of the mix should be carrier oil and no more than 0.5% of it should be clove. If clove doesn’t irritate your skin, you can use more, but do so very cautiously.

As for where to get your essential oil, there are 2 brands that I like to order from: Plant Therapy and Eden’s Garden.

Both have very fair prices and excellent quality. And for those times when I absolutely want to order an organic oil, I rely on Plant Therapy (some of their oils are USDA Organic).

To get your oils, here’s a link to Plant Therapy’s clove oil and a link to Eden’s Garden’s clove essential oil.

Now let’s have a look at two recipes that you can use.

Clove Only Menstrual Cramp Recipe


  • 4 drops clove oil
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) almond (or any other carrier oil of your choice)


  • Mix the ingredients together and massage onto the lower belly and/or lower back as needed.

Clove, Lavender and Peppermint Menstrual Cramp Recipe

Lavender and peppermint are two oils that help with menstrual pain and also smell great when combined with clove.


  • 13 drops lavender
  • 10 drops peppermint
  • 4 drops clove oil
  • 2 tbsp almond (or any other carrier oil of your choice)


  • Mix the ingredients together and massage onto the lower belly as needed (you can also apply it to the lower back area).


The third way to use cloves for PMS cramps is to add it into your diet.

And while you can cook with it, another way to use it as a remedy is to make a soothing tea.


  • 1 tsp ground cloves (or whole cloves)
  • 1 cup boiled water


  • Pour the water over the ground cloves and allow to steep for approximately 10 minutes. (If using whole cloves, then simmer the cloves in water for 5 to 10 minutes).
  • Strain the cloves out of the tea and sweeten with some raw honey.

NOTE: depending on your taste buds, plain clove tea can taste quite strong. You can soften it up by adding other spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg or star anise.

image of woman and cloves for menstrual pain


Cloves are a very potent natural remedy that yields great results…as long as it’s used correctly.

So, before using cloves in high doses, keep the following precautions in mind.

  • It can interact with other pain medication like aspirin or ibuprofen. Therefore, it’s best to check with your doctor before combining cloves with other pain meds.
  • Cloves can slow blood clotting. So, be careful using it before surgery or if you have severe bleeding disorders. Also, if you’re on blood thinning medication, check with your doctor before using lots of clove.
  • Avoid ingesting clove oil unless you’re under the supervision of an aromatherapist or a health care provider who is well-versed in aromatherapy.


What is the best herb for menstrual cramps?

Some herbs that are excellent for menstrual pain include cramp bark, ginger, turmeric and dandelion.

All of these herbs help to lower inflammation while also providing nutritional benefits that are unique to each of them.

You can learn more about these herbs in this post on the best herbal teas for menstrual cramps.

What essential oils help period cramps?

Aside from clove oil, other essential oils that help menstrual pain are cypress, clary sage (excellent hormone balancer) and peppermint oil.

To learn more about essential oils for that time of the month read this post on essential oils for your period.

What helps period cramps instantly?

A heating pad is an effective way to get rapid, temporary relief from period cramps. In addition, you can enhance the pain relief by using a heating pad with essential oils.

All you need to do is massage your belly with the essential oil(s) of your choice, then apply the heating pad over your belly

The heat helps the oils penetrate even more!

Do hot drinks help period cramps?

Yes, hot drinks are helpful for period cramps because they get your blood moving.

And that increase in circulation eases the intensity of pain.


Cloves are just one of the many natural remedies that you can use for menstrual pain.

Do keep in mind that cloves alone may not be enough to get rid of cramps completely.

If you want to have pain-free cycles, then it’s important to work on your entire diet and lifestyle.

If you need help understanding how to eat before, during and after your cycle, then this article on what to eat during each phase of the menstrual cycle is for you. It provides an overview of the foods and nutrients that support will help you have stress-free cycles.

In addition, this list of tips for self care during your period is a fantastic resource that you can use to use create a period care regimen that works for you.

I hope this article was helpful and don’t hesitate to check out the other articles listed below. There are plenty of free resources on this blog to help you, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of them 🙂

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  • Maca Root Powder: in the single herb category, maca is worth paying attention to. It has traditionally been used in Peru for hormone support (in men and women). Research and anecdotal reports indicate that this root vegetable helps with libido, anxiety, hot flashes, menstrual health and more.

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