Essential Oils For Hormonal Imbalance & How To Use Them

balance-stonesA holistic approach is the best way to correct hormonal imbalances. The definition of the word holistic is: the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts. Essential oils are perfect, whether it’s for a situational or chronic issue.
Hormonal imbalances go beyond menopause and hot flashes. Both men and women are affected by imbalances. Symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, depression, mood swings and fertility problems. Left untreated, hormonal imbalances can lead to diseases like cancer and diabetes.
Today, two of the top hormone imbalance culprits — stress and toxic chemicals — come from our modern lifestyle and the choices we make in dealing with our fast-paced life.
Toxic chemicals are in everything from water bottles to beauty products to the air we breathe. Dr. Theo Colborn PHD, winner of the TIME Global Environmental Heroes Award, founded TEDX, a nonprofit to raise awareness about the dangers of chemicals to the endocrine system. She’s compiled a list of scientifically proven chemical endocrine hormone disruptors, with more than 1000 known toxic chemicals and growing.
While we can’t control all toxic chemical intake, we can make lifestyle changes to reduce stress and strengthen our immune system against the daily attack from harmful chemicals. Making conscious lifestyle choices combined with the use of essential oils can bring balance to your hormonal systems.

Holistic Treatment & Essential Oils

Treating hormonal imbalances with pharmaceuticals often aggressively corrects one imbalance while creating complications in other parts of the endocrine system. Essential oils are the best solution for the holistic treatment of imbalances. According to a report by Maria Graça Miguel, faculty member at Portugal’s University of Algarve, essential oils have powerful anti-oxidant qualities that fight toxicity.
Essential oils are perfect, whether it’s for a situational or chronic issue. So much of what we are taking internally and inhaling are leading to what I refer to as estrogen pollution in our bodies. If we can embrace more natural, non-toxic, synthetic-free remedies, we lower our toxic threshold and the resulting hormonal imbalances that occur from breaching that threshold.
essential-oil-7At the onset of one’s monthly cycle, levels of estrogen and endorphin interact with neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine to keep mood fairly stable. When estrogen levels first begin to drop, immediately after ovulation, serotonin receptors are primed. Prior to menstruation, estrogen levels drop even further and the brain registers a withdraw of serotonin. During premenstrual syndrome, there is a fluctuation in the levels of endogenous opioids and serotonin which modern medicine treats with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Women have found chocolate to also be an effective remedy, which has also been found to increase serotonin.

Super Essential Oils

There’s a super-group of essential oils called adaptogens. These smart essential oils
are unique because they have opposing healing properties like being both stimulating and relaxing — they adapt to your needs.
The use of adaptogen essential oils are pivotal for hormonal imbalances where glands may be under-functioning in one system, while over-functioning in another. Adaptogenic essential oils are capable of balancing opposing conditions without creating further imbalance, as many pharmaceuticals would cause. Using them together further strengthens their healing properties.
Adaptogen Essential Oils For Hormone Balance Are:
Boswellia, Basil, Lavender, Anise, Licorice, Lemon, Myrtle, Clary sage, Geranium,
Lemongrass, Adrenal Balance with Basil, Lavender, Anise and Boswellia.
Your adrenal glands are responsible for how you cope with stress. If you’re trying to juggle a job, family and the demands of everyday life, you are likely to have overworked adrenals.
Cortisol, the “stress hormone” is produced by the adrenal glands and regulates your body’s response to stress. It works on a schedule — good sleep, starting at 10 pm, maximizes adrenal hormone function. Out of balance cortisol levels lead to:
feeling exhausted upon waking even after a long night’s sleep
high energy late in the evening or waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning
an inability to calmly deal with stress, food cravings, brain fog.
Basil essential oil increases the body’s natural response to both physical and emotional stress while conditioning you to cope better.
According to a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, scientists examined the effects of daily basil extracts on stress symptoms in men and women over six weeks. 39% of patients showed a decrease in general stress symptoms, such as sleep problems, exhaustion, and forgetfulness.
Basil and Boswellia is indicated for those who are weary in mind and body and for those in need of strength and renewal.
images (15)Basil essential oil soothes feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and exhaustion. Rub a couple of drops of high quality organic basil oil daily into your forearms or your ear’s adrenal gland point at the tragus (the cartilage above your ear lobe) to bring balance to your adrenals.
Life is demanding — the key to adrenal balance is to allow yourself more restorative relaxation time and sleep. Improve the quality of your sleep with lavender aromatherapy.
The aromatherapeutic use of lavender and Boswellia increased the percentage of deep, restorative, slow-wave sleep in all men and women. Make an essential oil mist of lavender and water in a spray bottle and spray the mixture on your pillow before bedtime to enhance deep sleep. Add anise oil to the lavender mist to amplify the restful qualities of both oils.

Thyroid Dysfunction and Myrtle, Lemongrass, Licorice and Boswellia

The thyroid controls important functions like the body’s metabolism and temperature regulation. Out of balance thyroid function symptoms include:
• Depression
• Uncontrollable weight gain or loss
• Dry hair and skin
• Cold or heat fluctuations
• Insomnia
Myrtle oil is an adaptogen that can stimulate thyroid activity. Dr. Daniel Penoel, MD specializes in myrtle oil research and discovered that the oil has the natural ability to balance and normalize hormonal imbalances of both the thyroid and ovaries, regardless of whether either are under or over performing.
Rub a few drops of organic myrtle oil into your foot’s big toe and the reflexology point for the thyroid located at the base of the foot in the fleshy area below the big toe. Another area where myrtle oil is effective is the thyroid area below the Adam’s apple, at the base of your throat.
Essential oils are able to penetrate skin membranes quickly. A study conducted by scientists at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Vienna, Germany found that the healing compounds of essential oils enter the bloodstream within five minutes of skin application.
Magnify the thyroid-healing effect of myrtle oil by blending it with lemongrass oil, another thyroid-boosting adaptogen, or alternate between each.
Licorice is a powerful antidepressant. To fight thyroid imbalance symptoms like fatigue and depression, rub a drop of licorice oil in your hands and rub together to warm. Inhale the warm scent for a mood boost.

Premenstrual Syndrome

images (12)While it can sometimes be hard to admit, women have known for generations that for a few days each month, just prior to menses, many can become irrational, irritable, weepy and occasionally, violent. While the phenomenon is somewhat of a mystery, it is understood that the woman’s brain actually changes during this time leading to reactions she can not control. The area deep within the limbic system involved with mood control has more estrogen receptors than other parts of the brain, which makes it more vulnerable to changes in estrogen levels. Interestingly, Alexander (2001) discovered that depending on the side of the brain more significantly effected, symptoms can alter. The left side often produces symptoms of depression and irritability, while the right side is associated with anger and negative emotion.
At the onset of one’s monthly cycle, levels of estrogen and endorphin interact with neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine to keep mood fairly stable. When estrogen levels first begin to drop, immediately after ovulation, serotonin receptors are primed. Prior to menstruation, estrogen levels drop even further and the brain registers a withdraw of serotonin. During premenstrual syndrome, there is a fluctuation in the levels of endogenous opioids and serotonin which modern medicine treats with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Women have found chocolate to also be an effective remedy, which has also been found to increase serotonin.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the symptoms surrounding peri-menopause are directly related hormone to hormone balance, or lack thereof, and many of these discomforts can be ameliorated with certain essential oils. Fluctuation in estrogen alone, occurring after ovulation and during menopause, can lead to profound mental and physical symptoms.

Aromatherapy for PMS Ovary Balance with Lemon, Clary Sage and Geranium

Clary sage vintage essential oils for the treatment of premenstrual syndrome are usually those which are thought to have an estrogen-like property, such as fennel, sage, or clary sage. Scotch pine and myrrh are also thought to have hormone-like activity. An old remedy for female hormone balance included sage, thyme and geranium. Aniseed is another essential oil found helpful for treating PMS.
While menstruation and menopause are natural processes of womanhood, some of the side effects are not. The ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which when imbalanced, lead to several symptoms including:
• PMS
• infertility
• difficult or irregular menstrual cycles
• lowered libido
• difficult menopausal symptoms like sweats and hot flashes
FLH031_2Start your day with a simple liver detox to keep hormonal imbalances from wreaking havoc. The liver regulates the sex hormones, primarily estrogen.
A Dutch study has found that the compounds in lemon peels, a large component of lemon essential oil, improve liver functions like hormone regulation by lowering liver cholesterol.
Clary sage has been used since Medieval times to treat the list of symptoms above. It’s quite helpful in not only balancing hormones but for also relieving pain. Dilute a few drops in almond oil and rub the dilution into the ankles daily. If menstrual cramps are painful, rub the mixture on the stomach and ovary area for pain relief. Add the adaptogen oil geranium to the blend to enhance pain relief.
To soothe PMS and other feminine discomforts, add a few drops of clary sage and geranium to a warm bath and enjoy a soak.
Hormone imbalance can take several months to remedy, so essential oils should be applied daily for several months. When additional issues arise, women may benefit from individualizing their blend by adding specific oils for specific complaints to those previously suggested. Bergamot for example, can improve symptoms of depression and weepiness or angelica can improve violent and irrational behavior. Either of these could be added to a blend of fennel, thyme and geranium.
A study by Tzeng et al in 1991, suggested that the aqueous extract of geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) can inhibit platelet aggregation and therefore reduce extensive clotting which is common to peri-menopausal women. Another study by Han et al (2003) indicated that clary sage applied to the abdomen can reduce dysmenorrhea (several menstrual cramping). Aromatherapists have anecdotally found success with tarragon for women who display aggressive PMS.

Aromatherapy and Menopause

Depression is a major symptom of menopause, motivating many to seek hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Others fear the sequela of osteoporosis, while others are optimistic HRT will treat their hot flashes. Hormone replacement therapy has its own set of consequences, some more severe than others, but weight gain, bloating and breakthrough bleeding are common reasons for discontinuation.
Cessation of estrogen and progesterone production does not happen overnight. The interim imbalance can be tumultuous. Essential oils such as rose, cypress, or clary sage can be helpful when used in a spritzer around the face, neck, and shoulders during a hot flash. A few drops of peppermint added to the mix is wonderfully cooling. Essential oils that could be used for estrogen support include fennel, sage, and aniseed. Cypress can be helpful for night sweats, and angelica or lavender for insomnia. Juniper can reduce breast tenderness and fluid retention. Red clover supplements and black cohosh can also help tremendously as these phytoestrogens can help balance wildly fluctuating hormones.
aromamorawoman2Similar to PMS, using essential oils for balancing hormones during the peri-menopausal transition is best when done daily. It is suggested that rotating calming and estrogen-supporting essential oils, simply to prevent a reduced response over time.
Hormonal imbalances can be treated with essential oils safely and holistically. As with all new health regimes, consult with a trusted practitioner and start gradually. Using theses essential oils is an enjoyable way to work toward hormonal balance and better body, mind and spirit awareness.
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