Remember talking about phytoestrogens in Hormones, part three? Well, it’s under this phytoestrogen category that essential oils come into the picture since they are and/or are derived from plants. In researching, there seems to be very little concrete scientific study done on essential oils and how they effect hormones. Out of those studies that do exist, most are animal testing and “test tube” testing (in vitro), but very few scientific studies using real human subjects (in vivo).
For our purposes here, we’re not going to try and primarily discuss essential oils and hormones from the angle of research studies. The truth is no matter how many studies may be performed, in the end, essential oils don’t produce hormones and they can’t replace hormones. They are for support only, and there are a number of oils that are commonly accepted in aromatherapy circles to come alongside in just such a supportive function.
Clary Sage gets its name from the Latin word “Clarus“ which means “Clear“, and it lives up to its name with the ability to clear many feminine issues. It was shown to reduce cortisol levels (cortisol is our stress regulating hormone) and improve the thyroid which is a necessity for balancing estrogen and progesterone. It can improve depression and mood swings. It helps with menstrual cramps, eases pain in childbirth by promoting more effective contractions, and it allows for a restful night’s sleep. It may be used by inhalation or topical dilution.
Thyme essential oil is one oil that has been documented to improve progesterone production.13 It increases progesterone and by doing so helps to balance and cancel out excess estrogen. It can help with infertility, PCOS, depression, menstrual cramp pain, and supports a healthy immune function.Thyme is especially good if one is nearing or in menopause when progesterone is decreasing. It may be used by inhalation or topical dilution.
This oil is best known as an aphrodisiac. It’s got an intoxicating, almost oriental fragrance that’s used in perfumes and cosmetics. It contains Beta-carophyllene which can help elevate the hormone testosterone in women.14 Large doses of this hormone in women can be problematic, but in short-lived, temporary measures (like through an essential oil), it is very helpful in pairing with estrogen to enhance the libido and sexual responses. It also increases confidence, ambition, energy, promotes clearer thinking and levels out moods, depression and anxiety. It may be used by inhalation or topical dilution.
Neroli is distilled from the blossoms of orange trees and has a light and sweetly floral smell. Studies have shown it to have a positive effect on menopausal women. It provides stress relief, increases sexual desire, and help reduce blood pressure when inhaled. Many menopausal women also struggle with digestive symptoms, and neroli has been shown to have a beneficial effect on gut dysbiosis when used topically diluted with caraway and lavender essential oils.15 Neroli is also tremendous for helping with pain and inflammation. Best used by inhalation or topical dilution on the abdomen for gut issues.
This oil is also known as Chasteberry and is extracted from the leaves and fruits of the chaste tree. It’s widely reported, both as an herb and an essential oil, to relieve various menstrual abnormalities such as cramps, night sweats, and pms symptoms, and to help balance estrogen and progesterone levels. Studies have been done on menopausal women who noticed an improvement in emotional self control and hot flashes. It’s also been said that used in a cream it improved vaginal tone and lubrication, and helped regulate periods. It should be diluted and used topically. Don’t use if pregnant or taking birth control or using hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
This oil is best known for the lovely taste of Earl Grey Tea, and for its ability to enhance mood, relieve anxiety, and increase energy. It helps regulate the endocrine (hormonal) system and hormones within the pancreas and ovaries. This helps with insulin balance and blood sugar control among other important systems.16 It can help with digestive troubles and promotes regularity, a necessity for helping to eliminate excess estrogen. It’s great for your skin and can aid in a restful nights sleep as well. It’s been long-known that many women who drink Earl Grey tea regularly have an evident reduction in hormonal problems associated with menstruation and menopause. This oil is phototoxic. Using only bergapten-free Bergamot is suggested if wearing on the skin in direct sunlight.
Other oils that may be useful for hormonal issues would include: lavender, frankincense, myrrh, geranium, rose, etc. Looking into oils for thyroid like clove and lemongrass, could be productive as well since thyroid issues are directly linked to hormones. It is important to use high quality essential oils and to research essential oil companies to find oils that are pure and unadulterated.
The solution for women to balance hormones will be different for each one. What works for one will not always work for another. It’s important to not give up on essential oils and give yourself time to find what works, as is true with any herbal or natural course of health action. Finding a qualified aromatherapist skilled in women’s health issues and working with a naturopath or health care provider can make all the difference in a good outcome.
In the end, recognizing a need for changes in a diet that lacks nutrition and in a lifestyle full of stress and chemicals is key to helping to balance one’s hormones. From there, one can effectively utilize essential oils as a great support alongside those changes. Hope this has been a help to any who are struggling with this issue of hormone balance. I know it’s been eye-opening for me and a big help in some of my menopausal issues of late. Our bodies were truly designed by God with amazing capacities and healing abilities when given the appropriate TLC (tender loving care). 🖖🏼
The purpose of Jordan’s Crossing Herbal Connections is to promote the sharing of information about healthy, natural products and dietary supplements. JCHC’s views and opinions are INFORMATIONAL ONLY and are not intended to constitute medical advice. If you are sick, injured or pregnant, please consult a licensed health care professional.