Aromatherapy – essential oils for menopause relief
What are the best essential oils for menopause relief? Aromatherapist, Emma Charlton discusses how the therapeutic use of essential oils can help ease your menopause symptoms naturally and recommends which essential oils to use for symptom relief.
Cooling hot flushes
Hot flushes are possibly the most well-known menopausal effects. For me, the power of aromatic waters come into their own when our internal thermometers rocket. These waters, which are produced as part of the essential oil extraction process (distillation) are powerful healing tools in their own right. Rose water in a spray bottle is a wonderful and fast way of cooling the body – spray onto your face, neck and wrists. Rose is harmonising and calming; it’s lovely to use in the evenings or during anxious moments. If you’ve got a busy day ahead, try a squirt of cooling and focusing peppermint water instead.
Promoting a good night’s sleep
To get a good night’s sleep you can use essential oils in a variety of ways. Possibly the most popular way is to pop 1-2 drops of True Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) onto the corner of your pillow just before bed (avoid dropping it near where your face might make contact).
An aromatherapy diffuser, which slowly releases essential oils into the air is a good investment for poor sleepers. Ideally buy one with a timer and run it for about 45 minutes before bedtime or as you’re going to sleep (avoid having it on all night).
You might also enjoy making yourself a duvet spray to gently scent the top of your duvet and pillow edges. Essential oils which can be helpful for diffusers and sprays include Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum / graveolens). This popular aromatic is inherently cooling, calming and traditionally recommended as a hormonal balancer. Its aroma conveys a sense of serenity, comfort and strength, making it particularly useful for nervous exhaustion and anxiety, both frequently experienced during the menopausal years.
Decline in sexual desire or loss of libido is less commonly talked about but is a widely experienced symptom of the menopause. If this resonates with you, then you are far from alone. Floral essential oils have long been associated with love and desire. Rose (Rosa damascena) was a symbol of both the Greek and Roman Goddesses of Love and is an essential oil people often turn to when an increase in desire is, well, desired!
Feminine sexuality in a bottle – rose oil is also useful to support depression and grief. For some, the onset of the menopause triggers grief-like symptoms; rose can help us come to terms with the loss of our fertility and younger years.
Similarly, the aroma of exotic Jasmine (Jasminum officinalis) sings of sensuality. It’s also considered to be a uterine tonic and is often used to calm anxiety. Try a drop of either on a tissue and deeply inhale or add to a diffuser. Jasmine is an absolute (solvent extracted essence) and reacts on some people’s skin, so avoid applying it to the skin if you have a history of skin reactions (though inhaling it should be fine).
Calming anxiety and exhaustion
Neroli is another floral oil widely used to aid anxiety and exhaustion. Its soothing and calming qualities make this a perfect oil to help ease some of the emotional challenges that menopause can bring. A 2014 research study found women who inhaled neroli essential oil for 5 minutes a day saw a reduction in general menopause symptoms and an increase in sexual desire. A double win!
Relieving brain fog
Finally, for mental clarity, focus, support with nervous exhaustion and menstrual-changes I recommend Cypress (Cypressus sempervirens). Used as incense and medicine by the Ancient Egyptians the essential oil of the mighty cypress tree can have a profound action on the emotions and is a useful tool to help us through times of transition and loss.
There are many other essential oils and aromatic waters which we can harness to support us through this time of profound change. For a personalised, therapeutic approach I highly recommend consulting a professional Aromatherapist who will design blends to support your personal journey. To find an Aromatherapist near you search www.ifparoma.org
Appropriate and safe use of these naturally occurring plant oils is key. There is much confusing, and conflicting advice about using essential oils on the internet, including from those who recommend taking essential oils by mouth and neat on the skin. It’s important to stress that using essential oils in these ways carry high safety risks and are not advocated by most fully trained aromatherapists or respected aromatherapy professional bodies. Luckily there are other therapeutic ways of harnessing these wonderful tools of nature.
Essential oil buying tips! There are no set quality standards for the term ‘Therapeutic Grade’ which is a marketing term used by some essential oil companies. For high quality essential oils, aromatic waters and other products I personally recommend www.materiaaromatica.com
About the Author
Emma Charlton ITHMA MIFPA is an experienced Clinical Aromatherapist. She trained at leading aromatherapy college The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy in 2000, an institution where she now serves as Vice Principal, teaching aromatherapy and massage at diploma level. She runs a private aromatherapy and bodywork practise in Twickenham, South West London. For more information please visit: www.earthflowertherapies.com
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BeingEve is not recommending these products or endorses its effectiveness to cure symptoms. Every woman’s experience with products will have different outcomes.