Menopause can be annoying at best and a pain at worst. Everything from headaches to night sweats, hot flashes to depression can affect women as they go through menopause. Luckily, there are a number of essential oils that can help bring you relief during menopause.
Why essential oils?
Studies show that essential oils can bring a wealth of benefits to your physical and mental health. The scent of essential oils can relieve conditions like mood swings, anxiety and depression. Aromatherapy can also help you sleep at night, combatting that insomnia that often accompanies night sweats.
Secondly, certain oils come from plants that have phytoestrogen properties — meaning they mimic estrogen — and help balance the body out as hormone levels drop. Using one of these oils can help trick the body into thinking it has enough estrogen to prevent hot flashes and hormone headaches.
Massage with essential oils can also help bring relief related to physical tension and headaches, while other women report finding relief from hot flashes and nervousness after an essential oil massage. Self-massage can also be extremely beneficial for coping with menopause. Try one (or all) of these six essential oils during a self-massage or in your diffuser for menopause relief.
Lavender is the go-to oil for just about any essential oil aficionado. Not only is it inexpensive — making it easy on just about anyone’s budget — but it also aids in myriad medical and emotional challenges. Lavender is well-known for its ability to calm the mind and body, but it’s also believed to help balance hormones. Furthermore, a 2012 study found that lavender can help women in mid-life get a better night’s sleep. The oil also helps regulate variability in subjects’ heart rates.
2. Clary sage
One study found that clary sage is stronger than 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), a serotonin receptor, that helps reduce depression and stress hormones in menopausal women. Using it may help elevate your mood. Anecdotally, many women report that one to two drops of diluted clary sage on the feet or back of the neck help relieve hot flashes. Clary sage can also help boost your libido as it balances hormones — an added benefit of using the oil during menopause when sex drive is low.
Basil can help ease the body into lower estrogen levels as you enter menopause. Research shows that basil contains a component that’s similar to estrogen, so the essential oil can be very helpful at making up for the lost hormone. Applying basil to your feet or the back of your neck can bring relief for hot flashes, and it might even give you a mood boost. Basil is a “hot” oil, though, so make sure you dilute it to avoid skin irritation.
Neroli may be as effective at stress relief as lavender. According to a Korean study, postmenopausal women who inhaled neroli essential oil for five minutes experienced stress relief and more balanced emotions. The study also found that the oil helped enhance estrogen concentrations in their body and improved blood pressure. The anti-inflammatory oil might also relieve headaches and other aches and pains when applied topically.
Geranium oil is renowned for its ability to help hydrate dry skin, but according to research, geranium also possesses antidepressant properties that are especially helpful for women. In one study, geranium and almond oil massages helped improve menopausal women’s mood and relieved their depression.
No matter what stage of life you’re in ylang-ylang is an essential oil well-known for its properties as an aphrodisiac. The gentle floral scent can also help improve your mood, relieve tension and make you feel happier. While there’s no research to back up claims that ylang-ylang can get you “in the mood,” there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that suggests it can help with a slow libido.
Regardless of how you choose to relieve your menopausal symptoms, remember that menopause itself is temporary. Take some extra time for self-care when you need it, and experiment with different essential oils to find the ones that work best for you.
Do you have a favorite oil that you use to find relief from menopause symptoms? Let us know in the comments below!