ESSENTIAL OILS – A NATURAL CHOICE
The power of essential oils (EO) is real – have YOU made them part of your everyday life yet?
In today’s world of artificially high healthcare costs and drugs, millions of people are returning to nature to find relief from everyday health concerns. While plants have been used for millennia to fight disease and to help ease pain and discomfort, individuals are just now beginning to rediscover some of the amazing health benefits of pure, natural essential oils.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
– Natural substances created by plants
– Aromatic molecules that give plants their distinctive aroma
– Small, light molecules that are steam-distilled (or cold pressed) from plants
– Oil soluble substances that mix with oils but not with water
– Highly concentrated blends of natural substances
Despite being suddenly catapulted into popularity, essential oils are not a new thing.
Did you know that the ancient Egyptians were among the first to use aromatic essential oils for daily life, and pure EOs were prized and saved for priests and royals? Other ancient societies, such as those in China, Greece and Rome used EO’s for aromatherapy, illness, and personal hygiene.
BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS
Various studies published show that the use of essential oils can aid women for various symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, dysmenorrhea, or palpitations. A number of essential oils are even considered as phytoestrogens because of their composition.
Here are the most popular essential oils to try first, and a few suggested uses. They make great staples in your medicine cabinet too!
CLARY SAGE OIL – anti anxiety and hot flashes
Clary sage essential oil is an earthy scented oil that is thought to influence mood, with many studies showing its anti anxiety and anti depressive qualities.
- Add a few drops to a tissue and inhale the scent whenever you feel a hot flash or a panic attack coming.
- Apply a drop of clary sage oil to the back of your neck to ease hot flashes
GERANIUM – HORMONE BALANCING
- Has anti depressant properties
- Mix 1-2 drops with pure aloe vera gel and apply to skin to improve skin dryness. WORKS WONDERS!!!
LAVENDER – SOOTHING & CALMING, PROMOTES RELAXATION AND SLEEP
Menopausal women struggle to fall and stay asleep and a strong body of evidence shows that lavender essential oil’s benefits are real.
- Add a few drops to your pillow or bottoms of your feet for a restful night’s sleep – or use in a diffuser near your bed
- Apply topically to help heal pimples, skin inflammation and irritation – be sure to test a drop on your skin to test for sensitivity; dilution may be required
- Soak away stress! Add a few drops to a warm bath
CITRUS – CLEANSING, REVITALIZING & UPLIFTING
- Use to decrease all menopause symptoms and increase sexual desire
- Use in a diffuser to purify the air, creating an uplifting & refreshing aroma
- Citrus has anti inflammatory properties helping reduce aches and pains
PEPPERMINT – COOLING & ENERGIZING
- Apply a few drops directly to the skin of the back of your neck to cool off
- For a refreshing aroma, diffuse at night by your bedside
- Feeling tense? Rub on head and neck for a soothing, calming sensation
- Add to shampoo or conditioner for a stimulating & invigorating scalp massage
- Adding a few drops to an unscented body wash (along with a cool shower) is a great way to cool off.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils can be diffused, applied topically, which means you can apply them directly on the skin, mix them with carrier oils or mix with other personal care products.
Add a few drops of the preferred oil to a diffuser and let the scent stimulate or calm you.
Inhale directly from an open bottle, rub a drop of oil between your palms and breathe in the aroma. You can also apply a few drops to a tissue or handkerchief, carry it with you, and and inhale whenever you want/need.
The most common places to apply essential oils are the temple (especially for migraines), bottoms of feet, chest, pulse points or back of the neck (especially efficient for oils that reduce hot flashes)
Apply 2-3 drops direct on the skin or combine 5-10 drops with a carrier oil that will help the oil go deep into the skin. Best carrier oils are coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil.
Be aware that not all oils are safe to apply topically. Always use high quality oils and check with the manufacturer to see if it is safe to use it topically.
Add 2-5 drops of oil to your bath water, use it with Epsom Salts or carrier oil.
You can bring your favorite essential oil to your massage sessions or just give yourself a massage to ease tension and increase relaxation.
The ingestion of essential oils is a controversial topic. While there may be indication for internal ingestion of EOs for therapeutic purposes, many of the ailments that we experience do not need such a heavy dose internally and may be more effectively addressed through inhalation (diffusers, personal inhalers, etc.) or topical application (salves, massage oils, baths, etc.).
Be sure to consult a professional aromatherapist before ingesting essential oils. Always make informed choices and do your own research when choosing to use EOs.
You can also use essential oils for cooking but be aware that not all essential oils can be used for cooking and you will need to dilute them with a carrier oil and use just a little quantity.
Best oils to include in your cooking are lavender, peppermint, citrus, bergamot, cinnamon,cardamom, ginger, thyme, anise and coriander (cilantro)
Essential oils are incredibly powerful and serve many purposes for the home, and in daily health routines. With some basic knowledge, and having a few high-quality oils on hand, you can DIY dozens of homemade products, and enjoy many therapeutic benefits.
Laura Peischl, BA, INHC
Laura is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Holistic Menopause Health Specialist and Certified Hormone Health and Wellness practitioner. She is the founder and owner of Feel Good Menopause.