My HormonologyAccording to a just-released study in the journal Evidence-Based Alternative and Complementary Medicine, massaging your abdominal area with a blend of cinnamon, clove, rose and lavender essential oils in a base of sweet almond oil for 10 minutes once per day throughout your premenstrual Week 4 reduces cramp pain and menstrual bleeding, leading to an easier period.

As the researchers explain, there are lots of reasons why this is so effective: The pleasant scents of the oils lower stress, which reduces pain; the abdominal massage with essential oils may improve blood circulation, which decreases cramping; and the oils have their own effects—lavender calms uterine muscle spasms, clove increases circulation and has a mild painkilling effect and cinnamon reduces the production of certain pain chemicals.

To make the blend used in the study, mix 1.5 drops of cinnamon, 1.5 drops of clove, 1 drop of rose and 1 drop of lavender into 95 drops of sweet almond oil. (You can read the .pdf of the full study here.)