peppermint oil for menstrual cramps

Peppermint essential oil has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an excellent natural remedy for painful menstrual cramps.

In addition, peppermint is known to help with other menstrual cycle symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and headaches.

So, given all this, it’s well worth adding peppermint oil to your menstrual health toolkit.

This post going to give you the top reasons why peppermint oil helps with cramps, as well as some practical tips for how to use it for period pain relief.

Let’s dive in!


1. Lowers Inflammation

The main hormones that play a role in period cramps are called prostaglandins.

Prostaglandins are actually not bad – they’re necessary for uterine contractions (such as during labor).

However, prostaglandins have pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

And when there’s an excess of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, that’s when you experience painful cramps.

Luckily, research shows that peppermint is effective at fighting various types of pain and inflammation, including the severe pain from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia (1, 2).

2. Reduces Spasms

Peppermint oil is a known anti-spasmodic, which means it reduces involuntary muscle contractions.

This is helpful when it comes to menstrual pain because peppermint can help reduce repeated contractions of the uterine muscles (which is what causes the physical sensation of pain).

So, not only does peppermint oil lower inflammation, but it can actually relax the muscles of the uterus.

3. Acts As An Analgesic

You know that cooling sensation you get when mint touches your skin?

That’s mainly due to the compound, menthol, which is a natural analgesic (i.e. pain reliever).

Studies indicate that menthol fights pain by activating the body’s “cold” receptors.

More specifically, menthol can selectively activate kappa opioid receptors, which are part of our natural pain-suppressing mechanism (source).

It’s important to note that even though peppermint oil activates our opioid receptors, it’s not the same as an opiate drug (which is derived from opium).

Furthermore, there’s no indication that peppermint oil comes with the same nasty side effects as prescription opiates.


peppermint essential oil for menstrual pain

Now it’s time for us to look at some peppermint oil blends that you can use for menstrual pain relief.

But before we get to the blends, you might be wondering “can I use peppermint oil by itself?”

And the answer is “yes, absolutely!”

You will get pain relief by using peppermint by itself.

However, as you’ll see below, there are other oils that complement peppermint really well.

And you can get better results by combining peppermint with other oils (such as lavender essential oil and other hormone-balancing oils).

Here are some oils that you can use together with peppermint:

  • Clary sage oil (regulates hormone levels)
  • Lavender oil (also great for hormones and proven to help with period pain)
  • Sweet marjoram oil (also shown to help with cramps)
  • Geranium oil (supports healthy hormones)
  • Eucalyptus oil (cooling and anti-inflammatory)

Now, here are some blends to try.

Menstrual Cramp Massage Blend #1


7 drops lavender

6 drops peppermint

5 drops clary sage

1 Tbsp (15ml) carrier oil (such as almond oil)

How to Make

  1. Combine the essential oils and carrier oil.
  2. Massage the blend onto the lower abdomen whenever you feel cramping.

Menstrual Cramp Massage Recipe #2


7 drops peppermint

6 drops eucalyptus

5 drops geranium

1 Tbsp (15ml) carrier oil (such as almond oil)

How to Make

  1. Combine the essential oils and carrier oil.
  2. Massage the blend onto the lower abdomen whenever you feel cramping.
ways to use peppermint oil for menstrual cramps

Menstrual Cramp Massage Recipe #3


6 drops peppermint

6 drops lavender

3 drops marjoram

3 drops clary sage

1 Tbsp (15ml) carrier oil (such as almond oil)

How to Make

  1. Combine the essential oils and carrier oil.
  2. Massage the blend onto the lower abdomen whenever you feel cramping.

NOTE: all of the massage blends above are made to a 4% dilution. You can change the dilution by using this essential oil dilution chart. Also, you can use these massage blends together with a heating pad, for even added soothing.

Peppermint and Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt baths are a natural way to detox the body and relieve tension.

By adding in essential oils for period cramps, you can get more pain relief from the bath.


1 cup epsom salt

1 Tbsp liquid castile soap (or 1 Tbsp fractionated coconut oil)

5 – 20 drops peppermint oil (or a combination of the oils we’ve already looked at – 5-20 drops TOTAL)

How to Make

  1. Fill tub with warm water.
  2. Mix the essential oils drop with the castile soap (or fractionated coconut oil).
  3. Add epsom salt and the oil blend to bath water.
  4. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes.


What supplements help with menstrual cramps?

Magnesium is one supplement that has been shown to lower prostaglandin production, which results in less cramping.

In addition, omega-3 fatty acids can improve menstrual cramps because they lower systemic inflammation.

Does Vitamin D Help menstrual cramps?

Yes, one study shows that a single high dose of vitamin D (300,000IU) produces a significant reduction in period pain.

It should be noted that 300,000IU is the amount of vitamin D you would consume over the course of several months. Do not attempt to ingest that much vitamin D at home, in one go, without medical supervision.

Having said that, this study does highlight the importance of maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D.

Therefore, it’s good idea to get at least 20 minutes of sunshine every day and/or take a vitamin D supplement.

Does massage help menstrual cramps?

A regular massage can reduce tension and help you feel more relaxed. This increased relaxation can decrease the intensity of menstrual pain.

However, adding essential oils to your massage oil is provides better results because you get the therapeutic benefits of oils like peppermint.


Whether you experience PMS cramps or intense pain once your period starts, peppermint oil can be a great addition to your period care kit.

And peppermint oil is just one of the many oils that you can use during your menstrual cycle.

Rose essential oil, along with copaiba, clove and others are also beneficial essential oils for cramps.

If you’d like to learn more about natural ways to improve your cycle, follow the links at the end of this article.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments about this topic, feel free to leave a comment below 🙂

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