I get a lot of women asking me about using Essential Oils to help with their Menopause. Sometimes its because they don't want to (or have medical reasons why they can't) go on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and sometimes its because they feel they need a little more help with certain symptoms than their HRT is giving them. Essential Oils can certainly help in all these instances and has been widely used for hundreds of years to manage all stages of menopause naturally. So where to start? Well firstly, lets talk about menopause itself and then dive into the symptoms you might experience and which essential oils can help most.
For most women peri-menopause starts in their 40's or 50's (though it can start earlier). It effects us all in different ways - hot flushes, tiredness, brain fog, mood swings and bloating are all very common symptoms. You may experience all or just one of these and in varying degrees. These symptoms happen because during peri-menopause not only does the supply of mature eggs in a woman's ovaries diminish and periods become irregular, but her production of oestrogen and progesterone decreases. It is the big drop in oestrogen that causes most of the symptoms of menopause. What a lot of people don't realise is that some essential oils (say rose geranium or clary sage) contain phytoestrogens (plant based oestrogen) and can be used to help boost the falling hormone levels caused by menopause.
Lets dive in to some of the individual symptoms and look at what Essential Oils can help.
Hot flushes and Night Sweats
If you are unlucky enough to suffer from hot flushes or night sweats it can be very embarrassing. Suddenly you find yourself going red and sweaty for no apparent reason or you wake during the night feeling hot and the bed soaked with sweat.
Clary Sage has been used for hundreds of years to help women with all stages of menopause and particularly with hot flushes and night sweats. This is because one of the components of Clary Sage is sclareol which mimics the effects of oestrogen in the body.
Peppermint is another oil that is used to manage hot flushes due to its cooling properties. The entire plant contains menthol which provides a cooling sensation.
Rose Geranium, is affectionately known as the 'woman's oil' because it helps with so many menopausal symptoms. If you mix it with clary sage essential oil it becomes double effective at managing hot flushes.
Mood Swings and Anxiety and Depression
Its really natural to feel anxious or depressed around menopause. Suddenly you don't feel as though you know who you are and have no idea what is happening to your body with all those fluctuating hormone levels creating havoc. You may even be feeling a real loss of identity as a woman now you can no longer have babies. Here are some essential oils to try:-
Fennel reduces depression and anxiety.
Rose Geranium relieves depression and helps with relaxation.
Lavender reduces stress, anxiety and depression and helps to improve sleep.
Bergamot helps with the sense of loss and the anxiety as our bodies change ready to move onto the next phase in our lives.
Brain Fog and Concentration
I have lost count of the number of times recently that I couldn't remember a word or I've gone into a room for something and forgotten what it was I went in there for. In fact most women complain of "brain fog" during menopause. Essential oils can be particularly useful here:-
Rosemary has a herbaceous scent and is great at reducing mental fatigue and uplifting you - particularly useful if you suffer from an afternoon 'slump'.
Black Pepper is a mental booster and pushes you through that brain fog. It is a warming oil which sometimes isn't what you want during hot flushes so I combine it with fennel and mandarin to keep things in balance.
Bergamot is a citrus oil that is not only uplifting but somehow comforting and invigorating too. Its fresh scent helps to sharpen your concentration.
Sleep and Relaxation
Many women complain of whirring thoughts at bedtime - and have to deal with that to the added complications of the night sweats and hormonal swings of anxiety and sadness we've already discussed. So what Essential Oils can help us sleep more easily and calm us down?
Bring on the Rose Geranium again! Its soothing presence will comfort you particularly when combined with ...
Lavender, which is probably best known for its ability to calm and relax you. Its so effective at this that it is used in some hospitals to help with recovery.
Cedarwood is a woody, spicy and grounding oil that some people love. Imagine a tree anchored to the ground and sometimes this is the feeling that you need at bedtime, particularly when you use it with
Bergamot - its featured in this section for its ability to reassure and help slow the whirring thoughts that are happening.
I could go into much more depth and bring on many more oils to help with menopause. The shop has has a whole range of menopause products made from Essential Oils that will help you. https://www.lilaccottageshop.com/shop?Category=MENOPAUSE is worth an explore.
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Happy World Menopause Day.