Natural remedies are often looked at with skepticism in the days of convenient over-the-counter painkillers, but a recent study indicates that thyme oil could actually be as effective as ibuprofen in treating menstrual cramps.
According to Jezebel, the study was conducted on 84 students between 18 and 24 years old who were assigned to one of three testing groups. One group was given an ibuprofen capsule and 25 drops of placebo oil. Another group was given 24 drops of thyme oil and a placebo capsule. The third group was given placebo oil and a placebo capsule. All three groups were studied for two menstrual cycles.
At the end of the study, researchers report that there was no significant statistical difference in the pain relief observed between the subjects taking thyme oil and the subjects taking actual ibuprofen. Both groups reported much more pain relief than the women in the placebo group.
During the second menstrual cycle, test subjects taking the ibuprofen said they experienced slightly less pain relief than during the previous cycle. The thyme oil group had no such drop in efficacy, possibly because the body builds up a resistance to ibuprofen over time but not to the thyme oil.