It's not you...it's your Hormones
Hormones are the chemical communicators of our bodies that are responsible for carrying messages from one group of cells or part of our body to another. These hormones are released via our endocrine system to influence nearly every cell, organ, and function of our body. It is all very impressive, but equally delicate as one small shift in these hormones can result in a myriad of symptoms in our body. This can result in a lot of frustration, but it can be comforting to know it’s not you, it’s your hormones
All women at one time in their lives will experience the hormonal shifts of perimenopause and subsequently menopause, but hormone imbalances can happen at other times as well such as in cases of thyroid and adrenal gland imbalances. Unfortunately, many of these hormones help you to feel good, provide you energy to complete tasks, and support for your overall mental and emotional wellbeing. When your hormones are out of balance, it can be hard to cope.
A few of the more common symptoms of hormonal imbalance include: anxiety, bloating, breast tenderness, changes in appetite, depression, difficulty sleeping, dry skin, excessive sweating/night sweats, fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations, increased sensitivity to cold/heat, irritability, puffy face, reduced sex drive, thinning hair, trouble balancing blood sugar, weight loss/gain and more.
*If you are questioning whether your symptoms could be related to hormonal fluctuations, be sure to follow up with your physician.
These symptoms can be very frustrating. Many of you can relate to a doctor informing you that your lab numbers fall within the normal range, yet you are still left with unwanted symptoms, feeling less than your ideal self. Remember during these times that it’s not you, it’s your hormones, and essential oils can be an effective piece of the puzzle to help you find measurable relief.
In recent years, studies have given promise to the use of specific essential oils to help support a healthy endocrine system, and there are others that can help to combat some of the symptoms that come along with these hormonal shifts giving promise to finding some relief naturally.
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)-By far, clary sage has the most clout when it comes to helping restore balance to our hormones. A study published in 2017 showed that being exposed to clary sage essential oil can positively influence salivary concentration of estrogen, which is the main hormone to fluctuate during perimenopause/menopause (1). A second study published in 2014 by the Phytotherapy Research Journal showed that inhalation of Clary Sage can be of great benefit to those with perimenopausal situational depression (2).
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)-A 2018 study published by the International Journal of Preventative Medicine looked to determine the effects of daily massage with a 2% Geranium essential oil blend on 120 women with diagnosed PMS (3). After 8 weeks those in the aromatherapy massage group showed a significant decrease in physical and mental symptoms.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)-The fruity aroma of Bergamot essential oil provides a very balancing effect, also termed an adaptogen. The most effective method of use for this essential oil is for our mental and emotional wellness. Reach for Bergamot during times of fatigue, irritability, or melancholy to find the respite you need.
* Place a few drops of this diffusing oil directly into your diffuser to find balance and restoration.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)-The minty, refreshing aroma of peppermint essential oil is helpful for mental fatigue, lack of focus, and moments where you run hot. You will find you the relief you are looking for in the moment with this cooling, invigorating aroma.
*Dilute the diffusing oil 1-2 drops per 1 tsp of carrier oil and apply to wrists, neck, and temples (away from eyes). Alternatively, place a few drops directly into your diffuser to find the focus you need.
Sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana)-A randomized control trial published in 2012 by the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecological Research found that a blend of Lavender, Clary Sage, and Sweet Marjoram 2:1:1 is an effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhea, or PMS cramping (4). The pain levels and length of cramping were both significantly decreased.
There are a variety of essential oils that you can reach for to help you find balance again in your life. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Certified Aromatherapist Leslie@21drops.com. She can also create a custom blend to fit your hormonal needs.
(1) Shinohara K;Doi H;Kumagai C;Sawano E;Tarumi W; “Effects of Essential Oil Exposure on Salivary Estrogen Concentration in Perimenopausal Women.” Neuro Endocrinology Letters, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28326753/.
(2) Lee, Kyung-Bok, et al. “Changes in 5-Hydroxytryptamine and Cortisol Plasma Levels in Menopausal Women After Inhalation of Clary Sage Oil.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 28, no. 12, 2014, pp. 1897–1897., doi:10.1002/ptr.5268.
(3) Lotfipur-Rafsanjani, SeyedeMaryam, et al. “Effects of Geranium Aromatherapy Massage on Premenstrual Syndrome: A Clinical Trial.” International Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 9, no. 1, 2018, p. 98., doi:10.4103/ijpvm.ijpvm_40_16.
(4) Ou, Ming-Chiu, et al. “Pain Relief Assessment by Aromatic Essential Oil Massage on Outpatients with Primary Dysmenorrhea: A Randomized, Double-Blind Clinical Trial.” Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, vol. 38, no. 5, 2012, pp. 817–822., doi:10.1111/j.1447-0756.2011.01802.x.