24 Mar 2016
How to Use Essential Oils for Hormone Balance
As a healthcare practitioner who helps women find natural solutions to balance their hormones, I’m always on the lookout for new options to share with my clients. There are many great herb and vitamin supplements that I recommend to combat the myriad of symptoms that go along with perimenopause and menopause, but one area I haven’t really dived into is the world of essential oils.
Over the past few months, I’ve been playing with different oils myself (for insomnia) to see what I notice and I’ve been really impressed by the versatility and effectiveness of the ones I’ve tried.
After my own bio-hacking experiment, my next step was to take a look at some of the literature out there on the benefits of oils for hormone balance. Trials are small and not powered for statistical significance, but the trends appear to support the utility of oils for hormone balance. Here are 3 oils that can be especially helpful for women across the menopause spectrum.
1. Clary Sage Oil
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research found that inhalation of clary sage oil had the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36% and improved thyroid hormone levels (TSH). The study was done on 22 post-menopausal women in their 50’s, some of which were diagnosed with depression and at the end of trial the researchers stated that “clary sage oil had a statistically significant effect on lowering cortisol and had an anti-depressant effect improving mood”. This is just one of the many studies proving clary sage oil benefits hormones.
The biggest benefit of clary sage is that it helps balance out estrogen production in the body. A lot of women’s health issues today like infertility, PCOS and estrogen-based cancers, are caused from excess estrogen in the body.
Because clary sage helps balance out estrogen levels, it’s an incredibly effective essential oil for a wide array of hormone imbalances. So, whether you’re looking for natural relief from cramps or you’re dealing with estrogen, clary sage is a great essential oil to consider using. You can also find it in blends that promote hormone balance and calm.
2. Thyme Oil
Thyme oil benefits the body by improving progesterone production. Many women in midlife become low in progesterone as they approach menopause. Low progesterone is associated with insomnia, mood swings, weight gain and hot flashes. It is also one of the hallmark symptoms of PCOS.
Thyme oil is a great first step to help balance progesterone or can be used in addition to other natural alternatives like chasteberry or bioidentical progesterone. Add oregano oil for even more potency.
Lavender is one of the most well researched essential oils. It has so many beneficial properties including helping balance hormones, offering pain relief (particularly abdominal cramps associated with PMS and menstrual symptoms), as well as decreasing feelings of stress and depression, calming the stomach, and relieving headaches.
One of the most frustrating symptoms of PMS or hormone imbalance is feeling emotional or suddenly depressed for no apparent reason. Research shows that inhalation of lavender can alleviate some of the depression and emotional symptoms of hormone imbalance. Put a drop of the oil on your palms, rub together and inhale for 10 minutes to lessen symptoms.
Ways to Use Essential Oils
Personally, I prefer to use essential oils aromatically by diffusing them into the air. Diffusing provides many of the same benefits as topical use. Clary sage and lavender smell great when combined. The amount of oil you add to water in the diffuser depends on the size of the water tank, but it’s usually a total of 10-15 drops of oil per container of water.
Another way to use them is to mix them with some fractionated coconut oil (it’s a liquid) and rub all over your skin. It’s great for dry skin and the essential oil molecules are absorbed through the skin. You can also do this using a rollerball vial.
Note: some oils can be used internally, but I do NOT recommend doing so without checking with an expert first
Here’s a recipe for a hormone balancing blend you can mix up at home:
- 1 oz. evening primrose oil
- 30 drops clary sage oil
- 30 drops thyme oil
- 30 drops ylang ylang oil
- Mix all ingredients together in a 2-ounce bottle. Put mixture into a glass vial with a dropper.
- Rub 5 drops onto neck twice daily.
This will keep your hormones in check and make sure you’re feeling your best 24/7.
Need a source for essential oils? I highly recommend (and use) dOTERRA oils. They are therapeutic grade oils and independently verified for purity. If interested, click here to purchase the oils at Wholesale prices, and then, click the green “Join doTERRA” button at the bottom of the page. Then, simply follow the remaining steps.
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Her clients would tell you that her real gift is helping them reclaim parts of themselves they thought were gone forever.
Find out more about working with her at http://www.drannagarrett.com/work-with-me/.