During the journey toward menopause, essential oils can help ease the symptoms. Essential oils work with our physiological processes as well as the emotional and spiritual selves. As women approach menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone in particular begin to decline, and symptoms are a sign that these hormones need support.
Although I am an MD who prescribes bioidentical hormones, many women come to me wanting natural ways to balance their hormones without the use of medication.
There are many reasons a woman will seek natural remedies for hormonal balance:
- They are struggling with painful periods or missed cycles
- Their mood is no longer predictable
- They have difficulty losing weight
- They have hormonal acne
- They have a low libido
- They want to retain or restore their fertility
- They are having hot flashes
- They suffer from insomnia
- They want to avoid prescription hormones
Essential oils are exactly what they sound like – the oils pulled from natural plants and flowers that still contain all the “essential” health benefits.
Now here is my list of eight ideas help you manage your hormones:
My favorite single oils:
- Clary Sage
My favorite study measured salivary estrogen concentrations following inhalation of ten essential oils. These included: clary sage, frankincense, geranium, lavender, jasmine absolute, neroli, rose otto, ylang ylang, orange and roman chamomile. These oils were likely selected due to anecdotal reports of their potential to relieve perimenopausal symptoms.
The article concluded:
The results have shown increase of salivary estrogen concentration induced by exposure to geranium and rose otto compared to control odor
My favorite combination products:
- Endoflex has a combination of essential oils that support the glandular, nervous, reproductive, and other body systems
- Progessence Plus contains USP-grade progesterone (from wild yam extract) plus essential oils
- Endogize blends the adrenal hormone DHEA with herbs. DHEA is the precursor to other hormones in the body
How to use:
- One of the quickest and easiest ways to benefit from essential oils is simply to smell them. You can buy essential oil diffusers for your home. Or you can boil a pot of water on the stove, add a few drops of essential oil, and let the steam infuse your house with the healing properties.
- Topical Application: Putting the essential oils directly on your skin allows their health benefits to soak into your skin. Know that you should always apply them with a “carrier oil” (like coconut oil or jojoba oil) to protect your skin.
- Ingesting: It is extremely important to double check that your essential oil brand is safe for ingesting. Not all essential oils are made equally. If it is labeled safe for food consumption, you can take these oils in a glass of water or tea (only use glass cups) or you can use them in recipes.
While you can absolutely try the hormone-balancing essential oils one at a time through these different methods, it can sometimes be helpful to blend them together. Below, I want to share some simple recipes for essential oil blends to incorporate into your daily life.
- Create a lavender essential oil and water mist, pour 5 drops of lavender in a 2 oz sprayer bottle with purified water or witch hazel and spray this remedy on the pillow right before you go to sleep.
- A 2011 study found a blend of lavender and bergamot oil helped treat depression or anxiety, causing significant decreases in pulse rate and blood pressure. In your diffuser, put 5 drops of each oil and diffuse.
- Inhaling clary sage oil vapors can reduce cortisol stress hormone levels. Put a couple of drops of clary sage on a cottonball, and put it in your air vent in your car to enjoy while you drive to work each day. Clary sage is also included in blends like Dragon Time, Sclaressence, Transformation, or Into the Future if blends are more to your taste.
- Make a rollerball. In a rollerball bottle, fill it with a carrier oil, like evening primrose oil. Then add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil blend like Lady Sclaerol, Sclaressence, or Dragon Time and carry it with you in your purse to use as a refreshing fragrance. Or DIY your own blend:
Perimenopause Roller Recipe:
2 drops Clary Sage
2 drops Geranium
2 drops Bergamot
2 oz Vitamin E oil
I recommend only the best therapeutic grade, 100% pure, organic, non-GMO, pesticide and contaminant-free essentials oils. These very concentrated oils are more powerful than their herbal equivalents and have been proven in numerous studies to be beneficial in aiding the body in repair and health maintenance.
Effects of essential oil exposure on salivary estrogen concentration in perimenopausal women. Shinohara K, Doi H, Kumagai C, Sawano E, Tarumi W. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2017 Jan;37(8):567-572.
Niaouli oils from different sources: analysis and influence on cutaneous permeation of estradiol in vitro. Monti D, Tampucci S, Chetoni P, Burgalassi S, Bertoli A, Pistelli L. Drug Deliv. 2009 Jul;16(5):237-42. doi: 10.1080/10717540902896297.
Assessment of estrogenic activity in some common essential oil constituents. Howes MJ, Houghton PJ, Barlow DJ, Pocock VJ, Milligan SR. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;54(11):1521-8.
Choi SY, Kang P, Lee HS, Seol GH. Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:796518.
Estrogenicity of essential oils is not required to relieve symptoms of urogenital atrophy in breast cancer survivors. Simões BM, Kohler B, Clarke RB, Stringer J, Novak-Frazer L, Young K, Rautemaa-Richardson R, Zucchini G, Armstrong A, Howell SJ. Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2018 Apr 2;10:1758835918766189. doi: 10.1177/1758835918766189. eCollection 2018.
Anti-osteoporosis effect of Epimedium via an estrogen-like mechanism based on a system-level approach. Xu F, Ding Y, Guo Y, Liu B, Kou Z, Xiao W, Zhu J. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Jan 11;177:148-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.11.007. Epub 2015 Nov 17.
Flavonoid glycosides isolated from Epimedium brevicornum and their estrogen biosynthesis-promoting effects. Li F, Du BW, Lu DF, Wu WX, Wongkrajang K, Wang L, Pu WC, Liu CL, Liu HW, Wang MK, Wang F. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 10;7(1):7760. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08203-7.
Evaluation of estrogenic activity of plant extracts for the potential treatment of menopausal symptoms. J Agric Food Chem. 2001 May;49(5):2472-9. Liu J1, Burdette JE, Xu H, Gu C, van Breemen RB, Bhat KP, Booth N, Constantinou AI, Pezzuto JM, Fong HH, Farnsworth NR, Bolton JL.
Fennel and anise as estrogenic agents. Albert-Puleo M. J Ethnopharmacol. 1980 Dec;2(4):337-44.