Aim: This study assessed the effectiveness of blended essential oils on menstrual cramps for outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea and explored the analgesic ingredients in the essential oils.
Material and methods: A randomized, double-blind clinical trial was conducted. Forty-eight outpatients were diagnosed with primary dysmenorrhea by a gynecologist and had 10-point numeric rating scales that were more than 5. The patients were randomly assigned to an essential oil group (n = 24) and a synthetic fragrance group (n = 24). Essential oils blended with lavender (Lavandula officinalis), clary sage (Salvia sclarea) and marjoram (Origanum majorana) in a 2:1:1 ratio was diluted in unscented cream at 3% concentration for the essential oil group. All outpatients used the cream daily to massage their lower abdomen from the end of the last menstruation continuing to the beginning of the next menstruation.
Results: Both the numeric rating scale and the verbal rating scale significantly decreased (P < 0.001) after one menstrual cycle intervention in the two groups. The duration of pain was significantly reduced from 2.4 to 1.8 days after aromatherapy intervention in the essential oil group.
Conclusion: Aromatic oil massage provided relief for outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea and reduced the duration of menstrual pain in the essential oil group. The blended essential oils contain four key analgesic components that amount to as much as 79.29%; these analgesic constitutes are linalyl acetate, linalool, eucalyptol, and β-caryophyllene. This study suggests that this blended formula can serve as a reference for alternative and complementary medicine on primary dysmenorrhea.
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research © 2012 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.