Have you ever truly taken a moment to sit down and think about a woman's journey through life? Sure, when we're experiencing something only a woman can we think about it, sit with it, absorb it and we might reflect on what being a woman is or means.

 

Women's life stages can be based on the reproductive cycle, beginning with menstruation and ending with menopause. They are often marked by specific signs and symptoms, such as menstrual cramps, mood swings, hot flushes and weight gain - just to mention a few. Let's not forget about pregnancy journies and becoming a mother.

Essential oils to support women

Hormones

Hormones are a chemical messengers secreted by specialised glands in the body. These glands and the hormones the product are collectively known as the endocrine system. Some of the hormones produced include estrogen, testoterone, cortisone (stress) ghrelin (hunger) and insulin. Hormones influence our growth rate, metabolism, hunger, libido, body temperature, reproduction, sleep/wake cycle and many other physiological responses.

 

How can essential oils help women's hormones?

While we may need the guidance of health care professionals, we can help ourselves by choosing a lifestyle that promotes health and balance.

 

New evidence has shown that most chemical substances are hormone disruptors. Synthetic fragrances, plastics, chemicals in skincare, medicines and pesticides can be responsive for disruption in the endocrine system. This might seem very overwhelming if you are new to transitioning to toxic-free but it doesn't need to be. As you finish using one synthetic product, you may like to replace it with a homemade version or buy from a company committed to holistic health. Essential oils are a great way to reduce toxins in your life. They are powerful disinfectants in cleaning products, promote healthy skin in beauty regimes and can also be used to create perfumes and air sprays.

 

Poor sleepinghabits have been shown to de detrimental to the endocrine system. Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased levels of leptin (an appetite stimulant) lowered blood sugar control and increased production of cortisol (a stress hormone). For those who have trouble sleeping here is a list of some of the many essential oils that can induce sleep:

Stress management is a major component of health. Prolonged stress can be detrimental to all the systems of the body, including the endocrine system. Studies have shown that chronic stress can change the shape of pituitary gland, which is responsible for the control and coordination of hormone levels in the body. Short term positive stress should not throw the endocrine system out of balance. However, long-term stress should be addresses through lifestyle management. Aromatherapy may help relieve systems associated with stress.

 

Recommended essential oils to help reduce stress

If you have been diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance, use the following table to learn about essential oils known to support different areas of the endocrine system. You may wish to include these essential oils into your life or create a massage blend to apply to the affected area, such as the lower abdomen for female reproductive health.

Concern Recommended Essential Oils

Pituitary & hypothalamus

Lemon, Myrrh, Orange

Thyroid

Pine, Myrrh

Adrenals

Rosemary, Thyme, Pine

Reproductive

Fennel, Chamomile, Basil, Rose, Rosemary, Peppermint, Clary Sage, Peppermint, Vetiver

The complicated and fluctuating interactions of hormones allow women to possess a very powerful potential; to carry and bring new life into the world. Unfortunately, at times, these hormonal interactions can become 'tangled' and cause period pain or dysmenorrhea. Period pain can also be the result of conditions such as polycystic ovaries or endometriosis. If you have regular dysmenorrhea, it could be worth considering seeking advice from your health care practitioner.

 

Aromatherapy may help reduce painful periods by supporting hormones, reducing stress, providing warmth, pain relief and descrease inflammation. Add 3 drops of your choice of essential oil to warm or cool water to create a compress for the abdomen and lower back. To 40ml carrier oil, add up to 20 drops of chosen essential oils to make a massage oil. This should be enough to massage the abdomen and lower back everyday for a week, as needed.

 

Essential oils for hormone balance:

Clary Sage, Geranium, Fennel, Rose, Lavender

 

Analgesic essential oils:

Clary Sage, Marjoram, Lavender, Peppermint, Chamomile

 

Uplifting essential oils:

Jasmine, Neroli, Peppermint

Essential oils for pregnancy

Essential oils can gently enhance an expectant mothers' journey, both physically and emotionally during this special time of change in her life. Aromatherapy can be used in all stages of pregnancy from easing morning sickness and aching muscles, to labour preparation and support during delivery. The essential oils listed below are considered safe and beneficial for pregnant women.

Concern Application Essential Oil

Muscle aches

Massage & bath (except Clove)

Lavender, Ginger, Black Pepper, Chamomile, Frankincense, Clove

Constipation

Massage abdomen clockwise & lower back

Lavender, Black Pepper, Orange, Mandarin

Indigestion

Massage over abdomen in a clockwise direction

Chamomile, Mandarin, Ginger, Orange, Black Pepper, Lime

Morning sickness

Inhalation

Ginger, Lemon, Orange

Stress

Massage, bath, diffuser

Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Frankincense, Geranium

Uterine tonic for labour preparation

Massage abdomen and lower back during last 2 to 3 weeks of pregnancy

Peppermint, Jasmine, Clary Sage, Clove, Palmarosa, Fennel, Nutmeg

Labour pains & contractions

Inhalation, massage

Lavender, Clary Sage, Black Pepper, Geranium, Marjoram, Clove, Nutmeg, Jasmine, Frankincense, Peppermint, Ginger

Even amongst very prominent and respected Aromatherapists, there are different opinions about the safety of using certain essential oils during pregnancy. If you have difficulties falling pregnant or if you have had a history of complicated pregnancies or miscarriages, avoid using essential oils during the first trimester unless you are under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Dilute essential oils to 1% in a massage blend. Low dilutions are recommended because the expectant mother may experience a heightened sense of smell and find a stronger blend too overwhelming. There is evidence suggesting that essential oil molecules can cross the placenta and some essential oils in large concentrations may not be healthy for the baby. Use your increased sense of smell to advantage and inhale each essential oil before use. You will know immediately if the oil is suitable for you as it will smell obviously wonderful or unpleasant. Essential oil preferences may change throughout pregnancies or between different pregnancies.

Essential oils for menopause

Menopause is a different journey for every woman. For more insight into menopause and the best essential oils for menopause you can learn more on our What Essential Oils Are Good For Menopause blog. Allow the divine scents of essential oils to help you along the path.

 

Fennel essential oil has oestogen like compounds and it thought to help decrease hormone levels. It is also helpful for a sluggish digestive system. May be useful for those who find it difficult to verbalise emotions or feel unmotivated physically. Geranium is a balancing essential oil for hormones, an antidepressant and calming to the nverous system. Rose is a lovely coolin essential oil known to support healthy skin and tonify the reproductive system. It is helpful when stressed, depressed and irritated. Ylang Ylang and Jasmine essential oil are heavy and sweet to help calm the heart and mind. Useful for insomnia, mild depression and to restore a lost sense of femininity. Neroli is calming and cooling, it is an excellent tonic for the skin and healing for the mind. Helpful during times of stress and shock.

 

No matter what journey you are on during womanhood, essential oils are a helpful hand along the way.

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Author: Georgia Doherty
Content & Community Coordinator

Georgia is the Content & Community Coordinator at ECO. Modern Essentials. Georgia oversees the company's social media platforms, helps coordinate brand collaborations, is a leader for ECO.'s content creation + DIY recipes and manages ECO.'s affiliate program. She is a qualified Beauty Therapist with extensive Dermal Therapy qualifications, a Diploma in Training Design & Development with a Aromatherapy Practitioner Certificate. Georgia is passionate about leading a happy & healthy life and helping educate those around her.

 

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