Menopause is a natural part of being a woman. However, it can cause unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, low libido, insomnia, and anxiety.1 And while hormone replacement therapy can provide relief, you might be looking for more natural options. This is where essential oils come in.
But first, the basics. Menopause is a hormonal shift that typically happens between the ages of 45 and 55 years old. It marks the end of menstruation due to a decline in estrogen.
Hormone replacement therapy basically replaces your body’s estrogen.2 But there are many side effects and risks that you might want to avoid. For more holistic options, try these six essential oils for menopause symptoms.
From anxiety to sadness, menopause can be mentally taxing. It can also spark problems with concentration and memory, making it hard to focus. Luckily, lavender essential oil can save the day.
As a popular stress-buster, lavender encourages relaxation and calmness. It does this by reducing the secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone, from the brain’s adrenal gland.3 Lavender also makes it easier to sleep, something that many menopausal women struggle with.
To top it off, lavender is one of the best essential oils for menopause hot flashes. This symptom impacts 50 to 80 percent of menopausal women, and it can be pretty uncomfortable. A study in the Journal of the Chinese Medical Association found that women who smelled lavender for 20 minutes twice a day, for 12 weeks, saw a significant decrease in hot flashes.4
The hormonal shift of menopause can lead to increased blood pressure and a low sex drive. If you have these symptoms, neroli essential oil might be your answer.
Research in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine shares that inhaling neroli oil for five minutes twice a day, for five days, can lower blood pressure. It can even improve sexual desire, which may also help vaginal dryness during sex. The study also speculates that neroli may also help stress from menopause.5
Rose essential oil also relieves the symptoms of menopause. According to Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it helps promote calmness when used in an aromatherapy massage. It can even play a part in treating hot flashes and pain, two common complaints of menopausal women. For best results, combine rose essential oil with other relaxing oils. Lavender, jasmine, and evening primrose are all lovely choices.6
4. Clary Sage
Menopausal depression and anxiety can also be relieved with clary sage essential oil. In fact, according to research in Drugs In R & D, it has even stronger benefits than lavender! This effect is likely through its influence on dopamine, the neurotransmitter that controls feelings of pleasure. Clary sage may also enhance cognitive function. And since memory difficulties are common during menopause, this oil may be a useful remedy.7
If you suffer from hot flashes, consider using peppermint essential oil. Its cooling effect will feel amazing on your skin. However, do be sure to dilute it before application. You can also give the bottle a whiff whenever you’re feeling heated. Some menopausal women often get tension headaches from stress. To fix this, indulge in some peppermint oil aromatherapy. Another option is to apply a small amount to the forehead or temples.8
Cypress essential oil provides menopause relief when used in aromatherapy. Specifically, it promotes feelings of comfort and calmness by increasing parasympathetic nervous activity. This can be useful for dealing with hot flashes, anxiety, and other pesky symptoms.9
As a rejuvenating oil, cypress works best with citrus oils like orange, lemon, and bergamot. But if your hot flashes are especially intense, try mixing it with peppermint oil.
How To Use
Aromatherapy can be done in several ways. You can use an essential oil warmer or diffuser to spread the lovely scents. Sniffing the bottle works just fine.
Essential oils for menopause can also be made into a blend. You’ll need a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, grapeseed, almond, or apricot oil. For every two tablespoons of carrier oil, add 10 drops of essential oils. You can use one or several essential oils at a time.
A Word Of Caution
Essential oils are extremely concentrated. If you apply them directly to the skin, they may cause irritation. Always dilute the essential oil(s) in a carrier oil like coconut, jojoba, or almond oil.
After application, avoid extended exposure to the sun. Many oils are phototoxic, which means that they’ll irritate the skin when exposed to UV rays.
|↑1, ↑2||Menopause. NHS Choices.|
|↑3||Kianpour, Maryam, Akram Mansouri, Tayebeh Mehrabi, and Gholamreza Asghari. “Effect of lavender scent inhalation on prevention of stress, anxiety and depression in the postpartum period.” Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research 21, no. 2 (2016): 197.|
|↑4||Kazemzadeh, Rafat, Roya Nikjou, Masoumeh Rostamnegad, and Hosein Norouzi. “Effect of lavender aromatherapy on menopause hot flushing: A crossover randomized clinical trial.” Journal of the Chinese Medical Association 79, no. 9 (2016): 489-492.|
|↑5||Choi, Seo Yeon, Purum Kang, Hui Su Lee, and Geun Hee Seol. “Effects of inhalation of essential oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014 (2014).|
|↑6||Hur, Myung-Haeng, Yun Seok Yang, and Myeong Soo Lee. “Aromatherapy massage affects menopausal symptoms in Korean climacteric women: a pilot-controlled clinical trial.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 5, no. 3 (2008): 325-328.|
|↑7||Lopresti, Adrian L. “Salvia (Sage): A Review of its Potential Cognitive-Enhancing and Protective Effects.” Drugs in R&D (2016): 1-12.|
|↑8||Peppermint. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑9||Ikei, Harumi, Chorong Song, and Yoshifumi Miyazaki. “Physiological effect of olfactory stimulation by Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) leaf oil.” Journal of physiological anthropology 34, no. 1 (2015): 44.|