Hormone imbalances occur naturally in various stages of life such as puberty, perimenopause and menopause. But they can also affect your everyday life through exposure to toxic chemicals, stress or even medication. Depression, mood swings, PMS, menstrual problems, skin problems, weight issues, insomnia, lack of temperature control (hot and cold flushes), headaches as well as issues resulting from contraceptives can all be hormonal imbalances manifesting themselves unwelcomely into our lives.
The best way to treat hormone imbalance is holistically. Often pharmaceuticals attack and correct one imbalance but then create a different problem elsewhere in the endocrine system (the body’s chemical messenger/home of the hormones). Thankfully, hero Nature has come to the rescue yet again with essential oils, which studies have found are the best holistic way to treat hormone imbalances. A special group of essential oils, called adaptogens, have opposing properties that adapt to your body’s needs. Adaptogen essential oils can, for instance, simultaneously stimulate and relax different bodily functions according to your needs. They are balancers. Here are the adaptogen essential oils: basil, lavender, anise, licorice, lemon, myrtle, clary sage, geranium and lemongrass.
Clary sage is our essential oil wonder for women! It contains components that reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) levels by 36%, improve thyroid hormone levels and most importantly, balance estrogen production. High estrogen foods are common and excess estrogen production in the body is a source of many problems for women. Thus clever clary sage can help with a wide array of hormonal ails. It also relieves pain, PMS cramps and is a mood balancer, clinically proven to reduce depression. It should be your go-to at that time of the month!
Lavenderis one of the most popular and well researched essential oils. It is highly effective in reducing stress, headaches, depression, pain and the uncomfort associated with PMS cramps, as well as balancing hormones. Simply inhaling lavender for 10 minutes balances emotional feelings, depression and stress.
Studies have shown thyme essential to be good for progesterone balance. Low progesterone levels are common in both women and men, and contribute to infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome, depression and other hormone imbalances. Thyme essential oil may be a possible alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
For men and women, sandalwood essential oil balances testosterone levels and is a natural aphrodisiac. It is a popular fragrance in men’s cologne and for good reason!
Myrtle, lemongrass and liquorice essential oils are great for regulating thyroid function. If your thyroid hormones are out of balance, symptoms may include insomnia, depression, hot and cold flushes, dry hair and skin, weight gain or loss and fatigue. Myrtle and lemongrass are adaptogens that boost thyroid action, while liquorice is an antidepressant. Massage a few drops of myrtle mixed with lemongrass essential oil into the fleshy underpart of your big toes or the base of your throat (the reflexology points for the thyroid). Inhale the vapours of the liquorice to beat back feelings of depression.
Balance your ovaries with lemon, geranium and clary sage. The ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, and when these are imbalanced, lead to irregular menstrual cycles, sweating and hot flushes, lowered libido, PMS and infertility. Add a few drops each of geranium, lemon and clary sage to your bath or dilute in a carrier oil and massage into your skin.
Essential oils should be used daily to gain the most from their benefits. Add a few drops of whichever oil you are using to your bath, or dilute with a carrier oil and apply to feet and ankles (for estrogen and progesterone balance), toes or base of throat (for thyroid), or forearms or ears (for adrenal). Alternatively, apply topically (and diluted in a carrier!) to your stomach or lower back to relieve pain and PMS cramps, or to your neck for stress and headaches.
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