This month, we’re focusing on women’s mental health, and undoubtedly one of the worst things to derail a woman’s feelings of sanity are menopause symptoms. One moment you feel level; the next, you’re ready to rip someone’s head off. It’s difficult not only for the women themselves but for their family and friends around them.
There are several essential oils for menopause, and significant research shows how essential oils can help the various symptoms, like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, depression, weight gain, and memory problems. The best essentials for menopause are Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Chaste Berry, Rose, Thyme, Neroli, and Lavender.
How To Use Essential Oils For Menopause
A 2021 study published in the Journal of Complimentary Medicine discusses how aromatherapy can help symptoms of menopause. (Lee, 2021) Overwhelmingly, the most success was gained with lavender and neroli essential oils through inhalation. However, it’s also proven that aromatherapy massage can help alleviate many of the symptoms of menopause. (Babakhanian, 2018)
It’s vital in this article to differentiate between perimenopause and post-menopause. Since we are asking constituents in the essential oils to act as ligands to receptors in the body, we need to understand which hormonal changes are being affected at which point in the cycle.
The best way to understand this is through Clary Sage. So let’s start there.
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1. Clary Sage
The journey through menopause is fundamentally about the changes in how the body uses and produces estrogen. Clary sage essential oil contains a constituent called Sclareol, which mimics estrogen. This is very useful for postmenopausal women, and the levels of a student have already dropped. It is also beneficial for premenstrual but not yet perimenopausal women. Unfortunately, using clary sage during perimenopause can worsen symptoms as the body fights to find a natural balance.
We spoke last week about how estrogen is considered the molecule of worry. So as the body struggles to maintain these levels, we can feel anxious and suffer from mood swings. Clary sage can be very helpful for this for postmenopausal women. Also, creating this natural supplementation of estrogen may be beneficial for vaginal dryness.
Incidentally, if you are unsure whether you might be starting the menopausal journey yet, your doctor can check your FSH hormone levels to give you some insights into that.
Recommended Reading: How To Use Clary Sage Oil For Hormone Balance?
2. Chaste berry (Vitex agnus castus)
This is a lesser-known essential oil. It’s pricey; however, you can get herbal extracts from the health food shop, which are also just as good. I rate vitex agnus castus as a replacement for Clary Sage if you are going through menopause. It is proven to balance estrogen and progesterone. I used the essential oil for a week, and my hot flushes completely stopped. Also, it helped me get to sleep.
Traditionally, the literature suggests that it may reduce libido. I have to say it has never done that to me. However, you should be aware that that may happen. If it does, blend it with ylang ylang. It’ll soon come back.
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3. Ylang ylang
Ylang ylang is nature’s natural balance. It’s lovely for any kind of hormonal disturbance. It adds sweetness at a time when we might feel very un-sweet!
If you feel angry, annoyed, or enraged, then ylang ylang can be very helpful in bringing harmony to a situation.
Ylang Ylang is also a natural aphrodisiac, so if your libido has fallen away, this may also be helpful.
I always say that rose is prohibitively expensive because it takes so many petals to make the essential oil, and the window for making them is so tiny. There’s only about a month in the year where there are enough blooms to make the year’s oil feed the world.
And yet, every woman should have some—especially any woman going through menopause.
This is a helpful essential oil if you feel depressed, like you are losing your feminine identity, or anxious or sad. Moreover, this is an oil for rage! I’ve found there is anger, then menopause anger…rose helps.
It brings the heart back into love and helps you sleep.
If you are suffering the joys of digestive disturbance because of hormonal imbalance or from stress, rose can be helpful there too.
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A lesser-known action of thyme essential oil is that it is thought to interact with the progesterone receptor.
Traditional herbal medicine often uses thyme to help with premenstrual problems. I have found it helpful in balancing during menopause.
Emotionally it is fortifying. It feels brave and courageous. So while it wouldn’t necessarily be described as oil for anxiety, it feels bold and helps you feel more like your old self, I feel.
Research shows that inhalation of neroli and lavender essential oils reduces symptoms of menopause. Therefore, a clinical trial was done in 2014 that compared the effects of inhaling 0.1% and 0.5% dilutions of neroli essential oil.
No 0.1% dilution did have an effect; however, 0.5% dilation was better.
Levels of estrogen and oxytocin rose. Levels of serum cortisol were reduced. Pulse rate slowed, and blood pressure dropped. (Choi, 2014)
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Essential Oils For Menopause Symptoms
Essential Oils For Menopause Anxiety
Essential Oils For Menopause Depression
Essential Oils For Menopause Hot Flashes
There are two schools of thought here. First, you could cool down using hydrolats. Rosewater, Lavender water, Peppermint, and Spearmint hydrolats are all extremely cooling. (If you are unfamiliar with these, they are the water parts of distillations and contain tiny amounts of the essential oils). Second, I like orange flower water spritzes the best.
The cooling essential oils like peppermint are lovely during the day but wake you up at night.
In opposition to this aromatherapist, Cathy Skipper runs a course called the Alchemy of Menopause, which I can recommend. An excellent book is called The Journey of Becoming and Stepping Into Who We Really Are.
She perceives hot flushes differently than most people. She feels there may be unresolved anger floating to the surface. So, in her course, she recommends heating the hot flushes to burn the rage out. I found this helpful.
So, if this feels like something that might be appealing to you, use Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Clove essential oils.Of course, all of these make you feel very hot. But it’s worth doing some experimenting. After all, what could be simpler than simply sitting and inhaling your essential oil?
If you are going to do it, though, it makes sense to do it as far away from your night flashes as possible. Do this heating work in the morning.
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Essential Oils For Menopause Night Sweats
Neroli seems to be the most helpful here. However, getting orange blossom water and putting it into a spritz by the bed can be beneficial.
Daily inhalation will be helpful, as stress does seem to exacerbate these.
Essential Oils For Menopause Memory
Clary Sage again is fantastic here. Probably the most helpful is Melissa. Interestingly, clinical trials using Melissa and lavender to see how it helps memory in dementia patients show that Melissa can be accommodating, but only if somebody doesn’t have dementia. (Watson, 2019) Funnily enough, this was the very worst part of my menopause. I suffered from brain fog which was like a wall most of the time. Melissa helped me with this.
Essential Oils For Menopause Vaginal Dryness
While inhaling flower essential oils is proven to improve oxytocin, and the doctors supplement with oxytocin to help with vagina dryness, I think making butter might be most helpful here.
Rose and Geranium would be your most helpful essential oils. Jade Shutes is the best person to teach you about butter. She has a beautiful page of recipes for how to make these.
Essential Oils For Menopause Sexual Function
I love these trials, where the results come out as you want them to, but the researchers can’t explain why.
Both inhalation of neroli and lavender essential oils (separately) and a blend of combined lavender, fennel, geranium, and rose essential oils “significantly improved human sexual function” (Dizavandi 2018).
It was expected that improved estrogen levels could explain this, but oddly, no changes were found. The researchers warn that this was a tiny study with several limitations, including a short-term follow-up.
I know why it was.
S’magic, you see.
I hope you find these suggestions for essential oils for menopause helpful. Why don’t you post some of your discoveries in the comments below?