From puberty to menopause, women are always preoccupied with the health of their breasts. Their health is a sign of good hormonal and emotional balance. When this balance is interrupted, we get pain, tenderness and general breast discomfort. Fortunately, one can use a lot of good essential oils for breast pain.
The health and beauty of your breasts can be maintained naturally. Keep reading to find out about:
- How essential oils can help with the soreness, swelling and pain of breasts.
- Some of the best oils that can help with breast pain and other symptoms.
- Ways to use these aromatic oils to soothe sore breasts (before and during menstruation). Or how to use them for the occasional and noncyclic breast pain.
- A few natural Aromatherapy remedies to reduce breast pain and swelling or engorgement.
- Details and facts about breast pain, breast cancer and helpful pain relief tips. Plus, safety tips on the use of aroma oils for breast tenderness and pain.
Analgesic Essential Oils for Breast Pain & PMS, How to Use and Recipes (Natural Remedies)
Throughout life, breasts are continuously changing. In puberty, nipples start to rise, and milk glands start to form. They make all the necessary connections with nerves, blood vessels and lymph nodes. Then, the fat tissue starts to take its final form and give the breasts their shape.
All these changes are done under the influence of hormones. Once menstruation begins, they will keep playing an important role.
Hormone changes peak during the second part of the monthly cycle. They cause breast tenderness, swelling and pain because the tissue starts retaining more water.
Breast tenderness and pain are medically known as mastalgia. These symptoms are generally signs of hormonal changes in the body (menstruation). They are very rarely linked to cancer.
As trivia, men can also develop breast cancer. A woman however, is a hundred times more at risk than a man is.
How Can Essential Oils Help with Breast Pain and Tenderness?
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to improve and treat certain health conditions. These aromatic substances have the power to improve the quality of life. There are many studies that support their effect on the nervous system, circulation and tissue.
The breast tissue is very well vascularized. This means there’s a rich network of blood vessels underneath the skin.
Essential oils are known to penetrate the superficial skin layer. This allows them to reach deep into those blood vessels. The beneficial oil molecules then will travel through blood. In doing so, they’ll deliver all their benefits to the tissue.
Essential oils are:
- Concentrated plant extracts.
- Extracted by steam distillation from roots, leaves, blossoms, bark, resin and even seeds.
- It takes hundreds of kilos and sometimes tons of plant material to get a few milliliters of the essence.
- They are volatile substances. This means they evaporate/disperse throughout the air very fast. This volatile nature ensures we get 50% – 70% concentration of molecules inside our body. These molecules can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the nervous system. They also get into the lungs and kidneys, where they’re processed. And of course, they’re collected by blood through skin pores and oil glands.
- Sensitive to light, heat, and oxygen. Long-term exposure may oxidize the essential oil. Oxidation causes the oil to lose its therapeutic effects.
- They’re not greasy. Aromatic oils don’t contain fatty acids like vegetable oils do. Thus, they don’t leave any greasy residue on the skin. On the contrary, they’re very fast absorbed.
Regular treatment for breast pain and discomfort includes anti-inflammatory medicines. They’re especially useful before menstruation (PMS symptoms). Aspirin is one of the recommended anti-inflammatories.
There’s one observation though, young people below 20 years old should not take it. A rare but serious disease – the Reye syndrome – has been linked to aspirin intake.
Nature provides a rich source of an aspirin-like substance called methyl salicylate. It is abundant in Wintergreen and Sweet Birch. As per Robert Tisserand, they should not be used in more than 2.4%, 2.5% respectively.
Aromatherapy is recommended when dealing with engorged breasts too. Aroma oils can also help you control the anxiety that comes with intense breast pain.
How long do engorged breasts last, you might wonder. It usually depends on the woman. Some may experience swollen breasts a few days, a week or even two before menstruation. That’s when it starts, and it gets worse the closer you get to menstruation.
PMS symptoms are very intense at that time. They’re all gone though, as soon as menstruation begins.
The most important therapeutic effects of essential oils include:
- Anti-inflammatory effects – They diminish the inflammation in the breast tissue that may occur before menstruation, and not only.
- Analgesic (pain relieving) effects – Some oils can numb the pain receptors, like Peppermint. Others can simply overwrite the pain signals to the brain, like Lavender. This makes the pain less noticeable.
- Diuretic effects – This property refers to the ability of the oil to increase urine production. It promotes excess water and toxin elimination. Edema is common in swollen and tender breasts.
- Circulatory effects – Aroma oils can stimulate the blood circulation. Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to the inflamed and painful breast tissue.
Aromatic oils can also:
- Boost digestion,
- Speed up wound closing and healing,
- Scavenge for free radicals and prevent premature aging,
The properties I just mentioned make some essential oils great for breast pain, tenderness, and swelling. In other words, they make great natural remedies for PMS symptoms.
Essential oils are an effective symptomatic approach. They can be used to keep the breasts in good shape and improve their appearance. Some of the best essential oils for PMS breast tenderness are:
- And Lavender
Let’s see what makes them so:
1) Palmarosa Essential Oil
Botanical name: Cymbopogon martinii.
- Palmarosa is a great essential oil for breast tenderness. It has very good lymphatonic effects, meaning it can stimulate the lymph nodes. In other words, Palmarosa promotes fluid drainage from swollen and congested tissue and lymph nodes.
- This essence is also great against excessive sweating. Palmarosa makes an effective deodorant because it’s antifungal and antibacterial. If you use one, a DIY deodorant with Palmarosa can reduce breast swelling. Thus, it can also stimulate the lymphatic system.
- It is tonic (stimulating) for the heart, uterus, and nerves too.
- People with asthma should seek their doctor’s advice before using Palmarosa.
- Palmarosa is an essential oil that can help with breast pain. It’s recommended only to adults and teenagers.
Why I like it:
Palmarosa smells grassy and rosy, so it’s a pleasant oil to use for almost everything. It can repel insects and soothe muscle spasms, and also kill bacteria and parasites. You can use Palmarosa oil for tenderness in breast tissue, as well as to boost digestion.
2) Turmeric Essential Oil
Botanical name: Curcuma longa.
- Turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatory It is often studied for its great potential. It has lead so far to many important discoveries. One of them showed that the extract can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Of course, more studies and tests are needed to establish how exactly safe and effective it is.
- It has high antioxidant effects on the tissue. This means it can protect and improve the appearance of the breasts. It does that while also decreasing inflammation and pain.
- Turmeric oil is a great pain reliever.
- Turmeric/Curcuma essential oil can induce miscarriage.
- In high amounts and used on a long term, it can be toxic to the nervous system.
- It should not be used by asthmatic people without medical consent.
- Undiluted Turmeric oil can irritate the respiratory system.
Why I like it:
With its characteristic aroma (spicy and woody), Turmeric is great for skin care also. It can help the wounds close faster and heal without much scar tissue. It is also great for joint and muscle pain, rheumatism, etc.
3) Lavender Essential Oil
Botanical name: Lavandula angustifolia.
- What is soreness of breast without Lavender oil?! It’s one of the most popular and studied aromatic essences, and for good reason.
- This oil is a great antispasmodic. Sometimes, the pain in your breasts may come from a pulled muscle and Lavender can soothe it.
- Lavender essential oil is very calming. It has sedative effects on the nervous system. Studies show that Lavender is a great essential oil for PMS breast tenderness, pain, anxiety, etc. It supports not only the mind but also the body of a woman.
- It can improve the blood circulation and lower blood pressure. This relaxes the body and the uterus, as well as it promotes a better lymph function.
- Lavender is also anti-inflammatory and a good local anesthetic.
- Sensitive people must use Lavender essential oil for breast pain carefully. It contains high amounts of linalool, which is an allergenic substance.
- Those who suffer from cardiovascular problems must seek medical advice first.
- People with asthma should also use the oil carefully. It’s always best to ask for the doctor’s opinion with any condition. Tell him the major components of the oil you want to use, so he can assess the risks correctly.
Why I like it:
Lavender oil can help you reduce breast pain before period, but it can do other great things too. It’s great for skin care, hair care, wounds, scars and an insect repellent among others.
4) Frankincense Essential Oil
Botanical name: Boswellia sacra.
- All Frankincense essences have great properties. B. sacra and carterii are among the most studied, because of their boswellic acids. These acids have anti-cancer effects. In essential oils however, they’re found in very small amounts. Frankincense (sacra) contains different amounts, depending on the extraction temperature. A study observed there were more boswellic acids (30.1 mg/ml) in oils extracted at 100 C (212 F). Oils extracted at 78 C (172.4 F) had only 19.6 mg/ml of boswellic acids.
- Nonetheless, these acids and other molecules make Frankincense oil great for breast tenderness and pain. Can Frankincense cure breast cancer, is another common question I stumbled upon. This study observed that Frankincense sacra can induce the death of breast cancer cells. They also noticed that it could suppress the growth and invasion of tumor cells. However, there is no proof of how effective the oil is in in vivo (reality). More studies and tests are required first. That is to know for sure whether Frankincense works for breast cancer or not.
- The oil is anti-inflammatory too.
- On top of these benefits, Frankincense oil can also soothe the nervous system. It induces peace, calm and relaxation and helps with sleep.
- If you suffer from asthma or epilepsy, you need to avoid this oil or talk to your doctor.
- Large amounts used on a long period of time can cause kidney toxicity.
Why I like it:
The smell of Frankincense, be it oil or incense, is very peaceful and beautiful. It can stimulate the immune system and relieve respiratory congestion. The oil can also help heal the skin and stimulate collagen production.
Other good essential oils for breast pain:
- Lemon Eucalyptus
- Clary Sage
- Bay Laurel
- Sweet Birch
- Ylang Ylang
- Sweet Orange
How to Use Essential Oil for Breast Pain
Aromatherapy oils are very concentrated plant extracts. It may take hundreds of kilos or tons of plants to get a few milliliters or a liter of essential oil.
Thus, one single drop of oil may contain the essence of tens of kilos of plants. It’s not hard to see why, applied pure, they could burn or sensitize the skin.
Because of this risk, they all need to be diluted with carrier oils. It should be done before any topical application. Topical use is the best way of reducing breast pain before and during the period.
You can mix 6 – 12 drops of essential oils for breast swelling and soreness per Oz. carrier oil. Apply and use gentle massage movements to spread the blend around the nipples and areola.
A massage with essential oils for breast pain and other PMS symptoms can:
- Provide relief for menstrual pain and reduce its duration.
- Stimulate blood circulation.
- Stimulate the lymphatic system into working more effectively. It can’t drain all the toxins and fluid from the breast tissue and lymph nodes on its own. That’s why a massage can stimulate this whole process. Muscle movement can also help the lymph flow easier around the body. This helps eliminate toxins. Otherwise, they would build up and cause breast cysts or nodules. Massage and exercise are very important aspects in breast health.
Here are two easy moves to help you stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation:
- Use circular kneading movements. Imitate the pulsing action of the blood and press gently on the painful area(s). Use your first two fingers (index + middle) for this last movement. Always use very gentle pressure and stop if it hurts too bad. This’ll help the lymph flow towards extremities. This can also be done with alternating cold/hot showers, just like it’s recommended for cellulite too.
- Use your palms to draw the symbol of infinity (horizontal eight) around both your breasts. It’ll keep the blood flowing. Cup each breast with both hands and apply gentle pressure, pulling upwards to soothe the pain.
The best carrier oils for breast pain relief are:
- Evening Primrose oil
- Tamanu (Calophyllum inophyllum)
- CBD Hemp
- Sweet Almond
- Calendula-infused oil.
These carriers are great for mixing essential oils and making PMS relief blends. They all have anti-inflammatory properties. They can enhance the effects of the aromatic oils.
Other ways you can use essential oils for breast pain are:
- Aromatic baths – You can add the oils to hot bathwater and relax in it for a few minutes. Heat is known to soothe pain and cramps of all sorts. Mix up to 20 drops of essential oil per cup of salt and add it to the bathwater. It must be as hot as you can stand it (at least 37 C/ 98.6). The water steam will diffuse/disperse the oil molecules, which you will inhale. This way, you’ll enjoy mental and physical benefits.
- Diffusion – The best type of Aromatherapy diffuser is the nebulizer. It can diffuse pure, undiluted oil molecules that can linger on for a long time. You can also use ultrasonic diffusers, but you’ll have to add more oil drops. The water dilutes the properties of the oils. Add 5 – 20 drops of EO into your diffuser and keep it on for 20 – 30 minutes tops. Check out how to diffuse your oils correctly and safely. The amount of oils you use depends on the space and purpose.
Diffusion is the best way of inhaling high amounts of beneficial oil molecules. But you need to know how to do it safely. I have a few articles on this topic that might interest you:
- How Does an Essential Oil Diffuser Work? What You Need to Know
- Diffuser vs. Humidifier! Pros, Cons and Blend Recipes
- Best Essential Oil Diffusers for a Large Room! Pros, Cons and Recipes
Remember that all aromatic oils must be tested for allergic reactions. Children should not use them without medical consent.
As should elderly people and those with severe diseases (cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, heart problems, etc.). Research everything about the oil(s) you want to use before doing so.
Breast Swelling and Tenderness Essential Oil Remedies (Recipes)
It’s time to put all this knowledge to the test and practice with some recipes. I know you want to know how to soothe sore breasts during menstruation.
You have the methods, all you need are a few recipes. Check out the following breast swelling remedies and give it a try next time you feel discomfort.
Breast Swelling & Soreness Aromatherapy Recipe
- Tamanu oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
- Lavender essential oil: 3 drops
- Frankincense essential oil: 5 drops
- Palmarosa essential oil: 4 drops
You can mix these oils in a roll-on bottle for simpler use, or it can be any recipient you have. Give it a good shake before each use. Apply as suggested.
Breast Beauty, Health & Pain Relief Aromatic Remedy
- Palmarosa essential oil: 7 drops
- Bay Laurel essential oil: 3 drops
- Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil: 5 drops
- Coconut/Olive/Hemp oil: 1 Oz (30ml)
The blend is a bit more concentrated, but you can always adjust the amounts. Start with less and add more, progressively as you notice the effects.
Apply as I suggested a bit earlier. You can use the essences I suggested or other essential oils for breast pain, swelling or tenderness.
Essential Oils Aromatic Bath for PMS Relief
- Geranium essential oil: 5 drops
- Frankincense essential oil: 5 drops
- Clary Sage essential oil: 10 drops
- Himalayan/Epsom/Mediterranean salt: 1 cup (~200 grams)
Mix the oils with the salt first, then add them to the hot bathwater. Stir the water with your hand and soak in for as long as you want.
Facts and Details about Breast Pain plus More Relief Tips & Remedies, and Safety Tips
As annoying and hindering as it is, breast pain is normal. It usually doesn’t pose any health risks (cancer). However, some lumps, especially if they’re fixed in one place, should make you go to the doctor immediately.
Hormones play a big role in a woman’s life. There are tons of changes that go through our bodies. If we learn how to care for breasts properly, we can have a normal, healthy life.
Some of the most important and serious diseases for women are linked to the reproducing system (uterus + breasts).
Breast pain and general discomfort can be cyclic or noncyclic.
- Cyclic pain refers to monthly menstruation. It’s caused by monthly hormone changes and it’s very common. Both breasts feel heavy, swollen and sore. The pain may spread to the armpits/arms. It peaks a day or two before menstruation and it goes away soon after.
- Noncyclic pain refers to random pain. This random pain may be due to cysts or fibroadenoma, hormone changes, muscle tear, pinched nerves, etc. It’s mostly common in women between 30 and 50 years old. Noncyclic breast pain is described as tight, burning and stinging. It can be constant or intermittent.
Other causes for breast pain can be:
- Changes in hormone levels.
- PMS and menstruation.
- Breast anatomy (structure).
- Breast size.
- An imbalance of fatty acids.
Breast pain during pregnancy is normal too, and so is breast pain after childbirth. If you want to use essential oils for breast pain during and after pregnancy, you must ask your doctor for permission.
The Fibrocystic Breast
The breasts are made of fatty tissue, lymph nodes, milk ducts and connective or fibrous tissue. Some women’s breast tissue is lumpy. Their breasts are medically called fibrocystic breasts.
These lumps may become more painful and tender before menstruation but they’re not cancerous. These fibrous lumps are filled with fluid, they’re not a mass of cells. You should also keep in mind that fibrocystic breasts are not a disease.
What essential oils for fibrocystic breasts should you use? The best ones are those that eliminate water retention, with diuretic effects:
Additional Tips to Relieve Breast Pain, Soreness and Tenderness
There are quite a few things you can do to relieve breast pain, tenderness and swelling. From the remedies you apply to the bra you wear, consider these following tips:
- If the pain is severe, don’t hesitate to use ice packs on them. Freezing cold can numb the pain, but so does high heat. You could alternate between compresses.
- Make sure you eat plenty of fibers, fatty acids and vitamin E in the second half of the menstrual cycle. This should make PMS symptoms less noticeable.
- Avoid eating too much hydrogenated oils and salt a week prior to menstruation. They promote water retention.
- Massage your breasts regularly to promote liquid and toxin drainage.
- If the breast pain lasts for more than 3 weeks (pre-PMS and menstruation together), you should see a doctor. Any type of physical breast changes, discharge, fever, hard lumps, etc. should also be cause for an urgent consultation.
- The right bra can do wonders! It must be able to sustain the heavy breasts without squeezing them or keeping them too tight. They must be allowed to move freely, with the body.
- Also, not wearing a bra, especially when they’re not sore and tender, can do wonders. When you walk for example, your breasts move freely, and the lymphatic system gets stimulated too. A tight bra can stop the lymph from flowing around the body and cause toxin build-up. This toxin build-up may cause cysts or even tumors, given enough time.
- One of the temporary side effects of birth control pills is breast tenderness and pain. Still, once the body gets used to them (about 3 months), they can relieve PMS symptoms, breast pain included.
- Magnesium is one of the supplements that help with breast pain. It also helps with other menstruation related symptoms. It should be taken in the second half of the monthly cycle.
Breast tenderness, swelling and pain are normal PMS symptoms. The pain can also be caused by external factors like injuries or other hormonal changes. Whatever the reason, breast discomfort and even moving lumps, are not linked to cancer.
It can become a problem only in certain conditions. To prevent such situations, all you need to do is take care of them. You can use essential oils for breast pain before and during menstruation. They can be used during menopause to get symptom relief too.
Have you ever tried a PMS blend before and were you satisfied with the results? Is Aromatherapy helping you face breast pain and anxiety?