When it comes to fighting period pain, I've a fan of popping a Midol and letting the pain reliever work its magic while I make sure to put on some fleece-lined sweatpants and bust out the chocolate. Given the severity of my cramps, oral pain meds have been the only remedy that helps me carry on with my day-to-day activities without missing a beat. But more recently, I’ve discovered a more natural way to help give my cramps the boot.
It’s called the Cora Period Balm (created by Cora, one of the original organic tampon brands that believes in a more sustainable approach when it comes to menstrual products, as well as supporting and providing tools for all period-havers across the globe), and yes, it’s exactly how it sounds. You can use it to help relieve those unbearable muscle aches and pains in your lower abdomen during that time of the month. The balm comes in the form of a roller stick that you can rub onto your stomach whenever you feel you're about to keel over in pain. But how does it work exactly? Let me break it down.
Cora Period Balm has a ton of essential oils, many of which have been proven to help ease period cramping. For example, a 2015 study found that lavender oil had positive effects in reducing painful periods in a group of nursing students. Additionally, as you rub the balm into your skin, the ingredients slowly heat up. This little extra warmth—just like a heating pad—helps to ease tension by relaxing your muscles.
As someone who doesn't hesitate to take an Advil anytime I feel a cramp coming on, I was pleasantly surprised by the balm's effectiveness. On the first day of my period, which is the worst in terms of pain level, I put some of the balm on my lower abdomen as I was in bed. Although it wasn't enough to completely heal the pain entirely, the warmth it provided helped lessen my overall discomfort and allowed me to go several hours without having to take another Advil.
The texture is buttery soft, and doesn't leave any messy residue behind, so you don't have to worry about the balm transferring to your top. The smell is also a huge plus: The coconut, lavender and sunflower oils really shine through and provide a calming scent. But I'm not the only one who can speak to the balm's spa-like aroma and pain-reliving powers.
“I have really intense period cramps that leave me doubled over in pain, on the verge of either vomiting or passing out, all while crying my way through them," one shopper wrote. "I never expected something like this to do anything, but wow. Even if it isn't taking all of my pain away it brings me a small nice sense of warmth and comfort that makes it bearable.”
Another shopper described it as a 'game-changer' for dealing with their cramps. “This has seriously been a game changer!" they commented. "I have a long and heavy period that comes with lots of cramps; this is so easy to just roll on. I love the scent too. I have also used this on sore muscles and it works great. I would recommend [it] to anyone!”
No matter if you have mild cramps or more severe period pain*, this balm is a safe bet when it comes to offering some temporary relief when Aunt Flo comes.
*If you experience more severe conditions (like endometriosis, which can cause debilitating cramps) it's possible you may need stronger pain relief than Cora Period Balm. If you have questions about this, it's always best to check with your health care provider.
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