What can we do? Can Essential Oils Provide Menopause Relief?
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For many women, menopause is a milestone moment. It not only signifies the end of monthly menstruation, but it also marks a women’s decline in fertility.
Although some women may notice changes in their 30s, many women won’t experience menopause until their 40s or 50s. By definition, a woman has reached menopause when 12 consecutive months have passed without a menstrual period.
Many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes or fatigue. These symptoms can disrupt day-to-day activities. Although these symptoms can be uncomfortable, there are homeopathic ways to help you cope. Essential oils may help relieve some of the symptoms that you’re experiencing.
How can essential oils help provide relief?
If you aren’t interested in prescribed medications to help you manage your symptoms, you might consider alternative solutions. Some essential oils have been found to provide relief when applied on different areas of the body.
These oils come from many different plant sources and can often be found in their natural form. They’re also available in forms ready for immediate application, such as oils or creams.
Essential oils are used in aromatherapy. The essence of these oils is meant to be inhaled (directly or through a difuser) or diluted and applied to the skin. Essential oils should not be ingested.
Essential oils are plant-based, and some contain phytoestrogens. These are plant-based substances that behave in a similar way to the hormone estrogen.
Some experts believe that essential oils containing phytoestrogens may help balance hormones and relieve symptoms such as mood changes and hot flashes during menopause.
According to research, the following oils may support hormonal balance:
- Clary sage acts as an antidepressant in rats and lowers blood pressure in some people.
- Fennel reduces depression and anxiety in rats.
- Juniper (J. phoenicea and J. oxycedrus) may relieve pain through anti-inflammatory action in rats and mice.
- Angelica reduces anxiety in rats, according to an older study.
- Geranium relieves depression.
- Rose oil brings relaxation and pain relief.
- Neroli reduces anxiety and improves sleep.
- Lavender reduces stress, depression, and anxiety and helps improve sleep in rats.
- Jasmine relieves depression and uplifts mood.
Hot flashes are a quick sensation of heat that pulsates throughout your body. These may be naturally remedied by rubbing three drops of dilutedclary sage oil across the back of your neck or all over your feet.
For even quicker relief, consider adding a few drops to a tissue or napkin and inhaling and exhaling softly. This allows the oil to enter your body through your nose. This process can also produce antidepressantlike effects.
Clary sage is also thought to help slow the development of osteoporosis. Women experiencing menopause have an increased risk for osteoporosis due to a decline in estrogen. During this time, bone breakdown overtakes bone development.
Peppermint oil may also reduce your discomfort when experiencing hot flashes. Add no more than two drops to a tissue. Hold the tissue up to your nose while breathing slowly.
This oil may also help relieve any cramping you may experience during this time. Although not common once menstruation has ended, it’s typical to experience menstruation-related cramping (dysmenorrhea) during perimenopause.
Some women may continue to experience cramps once menstruation has ceased completely. This may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If you’re no longer menstruating and experiencing persistent cramping, consult your doctor.
Lavender may help balance your hormones and soothe perineal discomfort. If the area around your perineum feels tight or otherwise uncomfortable, you may consider placing a cold compress on the area. You can add one drop of diluted lavender oil to the compress for additional relief.
It’s recommended that you only use the compress for up to 30 minutes. If you experience any stinging or burning, you should remove the compress and rinse the area with water.
Lavender can also promote feelings of relaxation and help improve the quality of your sleep. During this time, insomnia and other sleep-related problems are common. You may find it beneficial to add lavender aromatherapy to your nighttime routine.
Geranium used as an essential oil has also been found to help menopausal women manage hormonal changes. One to two drops may be inhaled from a napkin for immediate stress relief. Geranium is also helpful for dry skin. Consider adding a few drops of the diluted oil to the water during a relaxing, hot bath.
Research also suggests that this essential oil has antianxiety and antidepressant effects.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your estrogen levels or to help improve your mood, consider adding basil aromatherapy to your daily regimen. Basil can also be helpful against hot flashes when diluted and applied to your feet or rubbed across the back of your neck.
Citrus oil aromatherapy is said to have a number of health benefits for women experiencing symptoms of menopause. Researchers in a 2014 study found the postmenopausal women who inhaled this essential oil experienced fewer physical symptoms and an increase in sexual desire.
In addition to a decrease in systolic blood pressure, they also experienced an improved pulse rate and estrogen concentrations.
Citrus also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with any aches and pains you may be experiencing.
Take care with citrus oils, they make your skin sun sensitive. Avoid direct sunlight if applying diluted citrus oils to your skin.
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Speak with your doctor before using essential oils for menopausal relief. Your doctor will be able to tell you if the oils will affect any medications that you may be taking. You should also check with your doctor if you have any known allergies, as some oils may contain potential allergens.
If you plan to use essential oils, make sure you’re clear on the instructions ahead of time. These oils can be harmful if they’re applied directly to the skin, so be sure to dilute your essential oil of choice with a carrier oil. Coconut, jojoba, and olive oils are common carrier oils. A good rule of thumb is to add 1 ounce of carrier oil to every 12 drops of essential oil and mix.
You should always perform a patch test before doing a full application. To do this, apply the diluted oil to a small area of skin. The inside of the arm is generally a good location for this. Wait 24 hours to see if your skin experiences any inflammation or irritation. If you do, discontinue use. If nothing happens, it should be OK for you to do a full application.
If you’re using an oil in a spray, make sure you’re in an area with proper ventilation.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This article is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice and treatment from your personal physician. Readers are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither the publisher nor the author takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person reading or following the information in this book. All readers, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition or supplement program.