Menopause can be defined as a condition where the menstrual periods of a woman go missing for a period of more than 12 months. It is that time of a female’s life when the ovaries stop functioning. The process is gradual (perimenopausal transition period) and the average age a woman experiences menopause is around 51 years, but in some cases, it may happen as early as at the age of 30 or as late as at the age of 60. There is no determined laboratory test for predicting the time a woman will have her menopause.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
The symptoms of menopause include mood swings, frequent urinary and vaginal problems, abnormal vaginal bleeding and hot flashes. Few of the complications that a woman is likely to develop after menopause include heart disease and osteoporosis.
What are hot flashes?
Many females also experience episodes of hot flashes during menopause due to low estrogen levels in the body. A hot flash is a feeling of warmth, sometimes accompanied with redness, which spreads throughout the body. The hot flashes are often followed by perspiration. They can last from a few seconds to half an hour and may occur at any time of the day. The primary reason behind these hot flashes is the frequent opening and constriction of blood vessels, due to the effect of menopause.
Best Essential Oils To Use For Menopausal Relief
1. Essential oils to improve the estrogen levels in the body
Different essential oils like Basil, Sage, Coriander, Angelica, Cypress, Fennel, Anise and Clary Sage contain estrogen hormone like component, which is quite helpful during menopause. When these essential oils are used along with Lemon or Peppermint, they can help in relieving hot flashes too. Since the skin directly absorbs the essential oils, the application of essential oils benefits is most beneficial to fatty areas of the body where hormones are produced and stored.
2. Essential oils for balancing hormones
Essential oils like Neroli, Lavender and Geranium are helpful in balancing the hormones and modifying the menopausal symptoms. You will find these essential oils being used in popular European face creams that aim at reducing the signs of aging. As a rejuvenating cream, these oils not only give life to a dry skin tone but also combat vaginal dryness. Add Vitamin E oil to improve the flexibility and strength of the vaginal membrane and for quick healing of the abrasions that may have occurred due to sexual intercourse on a dry vagina. Besides aromatherapy, it is also important to follow a strict dietary regimen in order to get quick relief from unpleasant symptoms of menopause.
3. Essential oils for hot flashes
The essential oil of Clary Sage offers substantial relief in menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Additionally, Thyme, Peppermint and Roman Chamomile can also help relieve hot flashes naturally. Just take 3 drops of any of these oils and massage gently over the back of the neck and feet for quick relief in hot flashes.
Essential oils can also be inhaled directly from a tissue for an immediate relief in hot flashes, if you are away from home. Otherwise, you can put them in your vaporizer or diffuser following the regular procedure.
At the very first sign of hot flashes, immediately put 1-2 drops of Peppermint essential oil on a tissue and inhale smoothly. I always carry a small bottle of Peppermint hydrosol spray in my purse and spray over my neck, head and the face whenever I feel hot flashes are coming. If you are commuting most of the times, put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and keep it in your car near yourself.
Different Ways Of Using Essential Oils For Quick Relief In Menopausal Symptoms
When it comes to the use of essential oils, less is always good. Essential oils are concentrated natural extracts and using just a few drops is enough to impart a strong healing effect. Having said that, here are some of the best ways of using essential oils for quick relief in menopausal symptoms:
1. Use as a body moisturizer
Mix 5-8 drops of essential oil of your choice to 1 tablespoon (15 ml) unscented cream, lotion, or “carrier oil” like
Apricot Kernel or Sweet Almond oil. Apply this body moisturizer twice or thrice in a day for quick relief.
Put a few drops of essential oil of your choice on a tissue, cotton ball or handkerchief and inhale whenever the symptoms appear. Alternatively, you can also use an electric aromatherapy diffuser at home.
3. Room Spray
Add 2-10 drops of essential oil in a small spray bottle. Add 1 oz of vodka and shake well to disperse the essential oil. Add 2 oz of purified water and mix again before spraying. Try to avoid spraying near wooden surfaces as essential oils can stain.
4. Massage / Bath Oil
Mix 8 drops of essential oil with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of carrier oil. Add to a warm water bath or use it for a massage.
5. Milk Bath
Mix 8 drops of essential oil in ½ cup of milk or cream to disperse the oil and pour in the hot tub to create luxurious aromatherapy bath milk.
Best Essential Oil Recipes For Menopausal Relief
While there are different opinions on what is best for menopausal relief and what is not, here are some of the essential oils that are known to deliver the best results: Sage, Peppermint, Fennel, Lime Nutmeg, Cypress, Neroli, Lavender, Coriander, Sweet Red Thyme, Marjoram, Jasmine, Clary Sage, Orange, Rosewood, Grapefruit, Chamomile, Rose, Petitgrain, Geranium and Basil. Using these oils, here are some of the recipes I can confidently recommend for quick relief in menopausal symptoms:
Recipe 1 – Essential Oil Patch
You can use any of the aforementioned essential oils for preparing an essential oil patch. Dip a cotton ball or gauze in 10 or more drops of fractionated cotton oil and then add few drops (not more than five) of essential oil of your choice. Put the patch straight over the ovaries and above the pubic bone using adhesive tape. Follow this process at least twice a day. Bandages may be also be used instead of adhesive tapes.
Recipe 2 – For vaginal massage
This technique is simple but I find it very helpful. Vaginal muscles tend to lose their strength as they become thin. A gentle massage with fingertips dipped in a mix of carrier oil and essential oils chosen from the previously mentioned list will offer great relief. This is also a good option to use for pain during intercourse or dry vaginas.
- 2 drops of essential oil of Sage
- 7 drops of essential oil of Lemon
- 11 drops of essential oil of Geranium
Add all of the ingredients to 1oz of Coconut oil and massage over the body. You can also add them to your bath.
Recipe 4 – For instant relief in hot flashes
Add 4 drops Peppermint essential oil to a quartz of water. Keep this blend in a refrigerator and shake it well twice a day for next two days. After two days, put this blend in a small bottle that you can carry with you while going out. If you experience hot flash, then wet a cloth using a small amount of this water, apply over the back of the neck and face, and drink the remaining water. This will offer you the kind of relief you never imagined.
Recipe 5 – For night sweats
- 10 drops of Thyme essential oil
- 10 drops Sage essential oil
- 20 drops of Lemon essential oil
- 20 drops of essential oil of Grapefruit
Add abovementioned ingredients to 2oz fractionated Coconut oil and use for body massage or add to your warm bath.
Recipe 6 – Swelling and water retention
- 10 drops of Peppermint
- 10 drops of Juniper essential oil
- 10 drops of Fennel essential oil
- 30 drops of Lemon essential oil
Add the above-mentioned ingredients to a warm bath or to 2oz fractionated Coconut oil and massage the lower back and abdominal area.
Recipe 7 – Menopause body oil
- 2 ounces vegetable oil or body lotion
- 1 drop Jasmine oil
- 1 drop Angelica oil
- 2 drops Clary Sage oil
- 5 drops Geranium oil
- 6 drops Lemon oil
Mix all the ingredients and use at least one time in a day, as a lotion, as massage oil, or in a bath (add 2 teaspoons in a warm bath). Alternatively, you can add the same essential oils to 2 ounces of body lotion. Use any unscented lotion with natural ingredients.
The best way to have the essential oils incorporated in your daily routine is to add them regularly to your bath water. Add any of the recommended essential oils (6-8 drops in total) to the bath water, and enjoy a good long relaxing bath. Adding a few drops of each Geranium, Cypress oils and Clary Sage in your bath can help to reduce hot flashes and night sweats as well.
Recipe 9 – Hot flash balm recipe
- 10 to 13 drops of Peppermint essential oil
- 2 tablespoons grated tea beeswax
- 5 tablespoons of Almond Oil
- 5 teaspoons of organic Coconut oil
- Set the Sweet Almond oil, Coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler. In the absence of double boiler, you can put the oil in a small glass bottle and put the bottle in a pan of water with something under the bottle to keep it raised from the bottom of the pan and away from the direct heat. Direct exposure to heat may destroy the healing properties of essential oils. Heat gently (not boiling!) until the wax melts.
- Remove from heat and let this mix cool for about 20-30 seconds. Now add Peppermint oil and stir gently with a wooden spoon, chopstick, or bamboo skewer (use anything except metals).
- When properly mixed, pour this balm in a container to cool. You can use lip balm tubs, small metal boxes or lip balm tubes.
Enjoy your hot flash cooling balm!
Recipe 10 – Cooling mist for hot flashes
Roman Chamomile and Clary Sage essential oils help to balance mood changes and Peppermint can relax hot flashes. To make your own cooling mist, mix the following ingredients in a 4 oz dark glass bottle spray (especially great for night sweats!):
- 8 drops each of Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage and Peppermint essential oils
- 1 ounce of witch hazel extract
- Distilled water 3 oz
Recipe 11 – Bath followed by massage
Essential oils I recommend for hormonal balance include Sage, Geranium, Coriander, Angelica, Cypress, Fennel, Anise and Clary Sage. Adding 10-20 drops of any of these essential oils in your bath can help relieve your symptoms. After the bath, follow this recipe:
- 1 drop of Geranium
- 1 drop of Neroli
- 2 drops of Clary Sage
- An ounce of carrier oil
Mix all ingredients and gently massage the lower back and abdomen.
To help relieve hot flashes, essential oils of Sage, Lemon, Geranium and Peppermint are the best ones you can choose. Add a few drops of each of these oils in your bath or lotion. The essential oil of Peppermint, in particular, has an instant cooling effect. A warm footbath with a couple of drops of Peppermint oil is also very relaxing and refreshing.
Few Other Common Symptoms Of Menopause And Countering Them With The Use Of Essential Oils
Mood swings are one of the common symptoms of menopause and pre-menopause. During this period, emotions are uncontrollable and wild. Episodes of crying or panicking without any reason or the feeling of sudden / strange fear can arise suddenly and disappear just as quickly, leaving the woman drained and dazed. At times like these, burning essential oils in an aroma lamp can be fruitful. Oils such as Neroli, Celery seed, Chamomile, Marjoram, Lavender and Melissa can help relieve sudden outbreaks and calm nerves by entering the limbic system and working directly into the brain centre to regularize the production of chemical substances. When hormones go wild, give your body and mind time to balance themselves. Sitting quietly with essential oils wafting through the consciousness can bring peace and tranquility that you need the most.
Bathing with essential oils, especially sea minerals can be refreshing and stimulating for peri-menopausal women. Fatigue and lethargy is associated with imbalanced hormones. If you are unable to handle even the smallest or easiest of tasks, take some time for yourself and enjoy a warm bath filled with aromas of Lemon, Verbena, Basil, Geranium, Peppermint, Helichrysum or Rosemary. These will help you uplift your mood and on top of it, stimulate the mind. Poor memory and lack of concentration are often associated with menopause. These previously mentioned oils could help clear the anxiety and bring more focus and attention.
Night sweats is another condition that often becomes unbearable during the menopausal phase. Some of the good essential oils to relieve night sweats include Chamomile, Lemon, Geranium, Fennel and Clary Sage. Combining all these essential oils with carrier oil and massaging clockwise around the belly and breast can improve lymphatic flow, while allowing the oil to enter the blood stream and then the endocrine system where they can work to balance hormones.
Being natural and completely safe for use, essential oils bring in quick and sustainable results in menopause relief.