Women face a number of health challenges and even day-to-day stresses that are unique to their gender. Modern life is stressful, and coping with period pains, hormonal changes during menopause, the physical stresses of being pregnant makes it even harder.
While self-care can’t solve everything, using essential oils can give you a boost and make some of life’s difficulties just that little bit easier.
Why Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted from plants and are highly concentrated, which makes them even more powerful than herbs. Just a few drops into a carrier oil and applied to the body is enough to experience therapeutic effects.1
You may have heard about the idea of using essential oils to help with congestion, food cravings and sleepless nights, but they can do so much more, including help with hormone balance issues and with a lot of other common women’s health complaints. Here’s a quick look at some of the top essential oils for supporting women’s health.
Clary Sage Essential Oil for Headaches and PMS
Many of the effects of menopause are caused by the body struggling to adapt to the reduction in estrogen levels. It can take eight to ten years for the body to go through perimenopause, which is the period where a woman’s body starts to change and symptoms begin to appear, and essential oils can help with that.
It is best used by adding a few drops into bathwater and soaking in it to relax. Alternatively, dilute it with a carrier oil and rub directly onto sore areas, such as the abdomen or the back of the neck. It can also be used aromatically in a room diffuser or personal diffuser like Happy or Zen.
Jasmine Essential Oil for Stretch Marks and Boosting Mood
Jasmine is a hugely popular oil that is produced through the distillation of flowers, however, it is expensive because it requires millions of flowers to produce a kilogram worth of the oil. It has been used in traditional remedies for centuries, though, helping reduce the symptoms of PMS as well as menstrual pains and helping with hormone imbalances.
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Throughout history, pregnant women would also use it to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and even to reduce anxiety in labor.4 Jasmine essential oil can help with pain relief and it has been shown to reduce the symptoms of menopause, such as reducing hot flashes and boosting mood.5
Jasmine works particularly well when used in a room diffuser and it can also be used near or on the forehead or on the sides of the wrists. Another option is to blend it with a moisturizing oil and rub it onto stretch marks to reduce their appearance.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil for Reducing Stress
This essential oil is frequently used in cosmetics because it has such a pleasant scent. It is also a powerful aphrodisiac. Ylang-ylang essential oil has also been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress. It is known for creating an intoxicating, relaxing feeling that is gentle and will not put you to sleep.
The strong scent works best when it is mixed with another oil so that it is not too overpowering. It can be used as a massage oil, perfume, or in the bath. It can also be used in a room diffuser or a personal diffuser like Sexy or Ocean MONQ. Studies show that ylang-ylang can be particularly relaxing and can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress when used as a massage oil.6
Geranium Essential Oil for Balancing Hormones
Geranium essential oil is a good oil to use for promoting hormone balance because it can help act as a tonic for the adrenal cortex.7 It is useful for women of any age, whether they are going through puberty or menopause.8
It can help to relieve fluid retention and also to reduce breast tenderness caused by PMS. Geranium essential oil can also help to alleviate stress, tiredness, and nervousness if they are coming from adrenal fatigue.
It is thought that the phytoestrogens in the essential oil can help to facilitate additional estrogen secretion in women who are perimenopausal.
Cypress essential oil is not an oil that most people hear much about, but it does have a lot of benefits for women. For instance, it can be helpful for mediating mood swings, cramps, and heavy blood flow associated with periods.9
To help with period pains, dilute cypress oil in a carrier oil and rub it onto your abdomen. If you want to enjoy the calming effects, use it in a diffuser.
Lavender Essential Oil for Reducing Stress and Promoting Sleep
Lavender is a great oil to use if you would like to improve your sleep quality or reduce stress levels.10 Some people put a few drops on their pillow to help them sleep, others put a few drops on their collar or their sleeves and use it to help them relax and cope with stress during the day.
Other Essential Oils
There are some other great essential oils that can help with a number of common complaints. Peppermint oil, for example, can help beat cravings and can also clear the airways if you have a cold.11 Bergamot essential oil, on the other hand, can help as a stress buster and to improve general well-being.12
Most people don’t just use one essential oil at a time but rather mix them into blends or buy blends that have been pre-made with a specific purpose such as a blend to help you relax or a blend to boost your energy. Indeed, pre-made essential oil blends can be beneficial because they take away some of the difficulty of choosing oils that go together to make a pleasing aroma and this is where MONQ shines. Try out our variety of blends that can help you Feel The Way You Want, Feel Nature, Feel Better, and even Feel Festive with Cheer and Autumn.
How To Use Essential Oils
If you are using an oil topically and intend to apply it daily, then you should dilute it quite heavily—just two to three drops of oil per teaspoon of carrier oil like almond, coconut, or jojoba oil. If you are going to be using the oil only occasionally, then you can make the oil a little stronger.
There are a number of different places that you can apply essential oils
- Site of pain
The specific points on the body that people tend to put essential oils on are known as pulse points. They are areas where the blood flows close to the skin, and the idea is that if you put the oils there, then they will diffuse more effectively and be more readily taken in by the body, creating greater effects.
The temple and wrists are good for oils that you want to use to create a calming, mind-clearing effect. Applying the oil to the site of the pain is good for issues like menstrual cramps. If you want a stronger effect of an oil for stress or anxiety, then a diffuser is a good option because it will let the oil take effect much more quickly.
If you decide to use a diffuser, you have the choice of a personal diffuser, an electronic room diffuser, or a reed diffuser. The traditional reed-style designs look attractive, but they do not give you a lot of control of how quickly the oils are released so you may find that the scent in the room becomes overpowering. Electronic diffusers and personal diffusers offer more control.
Make sure that the oils that you buy are as pure as possible, especially if you are going to be using them in a diffuser. Some essential oils are mixed with other ingredients, especially the more expensive oils such as jasmine. Do your research.
Use of Essential Oils in Complementary Therapy
There is evidence to suggest that complementary therapies, including essential oils, can be helpful for remedying women’s health issues, including menopause. Of course, not all oils that are marketed for relieving period pain, stress, or menopause symptoms will be effective for everyone, but the ones listed above do have a strong evidence base to support them.
For the most part, essential oils are safe to use and generally well-tolerated as long as you do not suffer from allergies to any of the plants that you are working with. However, there are some risks. If you are going to use oils topically, then be aware that some oils can cause photosensitivity. You should apply them only diluted with a carrier oil and cover up the area you applied them to if you are going to go out into the sun.
Using a diffuser is probably the most well-tolerated way of working with essential oils, especially if you buy only trusted brands or oils that are designed to use in a vapor form.
Remember that while oils are a great complementary form of medicine, they are not a substitute for going to the doctor. If you have a health concern that is severe, worrying or persists for more than a few days, then you should seek professional medical advice. If you are taking medications and are thinking of using essential oils in addition to them, then you should seek advice to ensure that the drugs you are taking will not interact with the essential oils in a negative way.
When used correctly, the essential oils highlighted above can bring a wide range of health benefits when it comes to supporting women’s health. If you’re looking to boost your overall health or well-being or reduce the discomfort of any of the issues discussed above, try giving some of these top essential oils for supporting women’s health a try.
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