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One of the great milestones in every woman’s life is when she reaches menopause. Granted, it is dreaded for most of her life, but it is inevitable. There is no running away from the hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and weight gain. There are, fortunately, ways to manage symptoms to make menopause more bearable. Essential oils are one of those ways. Let’s take a look at what the 7 most effective essential oils for menopause are and how they can help support your body through this important transition.
What to Expect During Menopause
Menopause usually occurs in women in their 40s to 50s. It signifies not only the end of monthly menstruation, but also marks a woman’s decline in fertility.
This happens because of a decrease in the reproduction hormones estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone.
As the ovaries age and the production of these hormones decreases, the ovaries lose active ovarian follicles. Ovarian follicles are the structures within the ovary wall that produce and release eggs, allowing menstruation and fertility.
Women notice the first signs of menopause as their period becomes less frequent and less consistent. This typically occurs in their 40s. When they have no period for 12 months they have officially entered menopause. This happens in most women by age 52.
What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?
Every woman’s menopause experience is unique. Certain lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking or medical conditions that affect the ovaries like cancer or a hysterectomy can increase the severity or duration of symptoms.
Common symptoms include:
- Hot flashes or flushing
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Depression or anxiety
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Reduced libido, or sex drive
- Dry skin, mouth, and eyes
- Increased urination
- Sore or tender breasts
- Racing heart
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Reduced muscle mass
- Painful or stiff joints
- Reduced bone mass or osteoporosis
- Less full breasts
- Hair thinning or loss
- Increased hair growth on other areas of the body, such as the face, neck, chest, and upper back
Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms
There is no reversal for menopause and no way to stop the onset of menopause symptoms. There is only managing the symptoms and finding ways to thrive in your life despite them.
If your symptoms are severe and harshly affecting your quality of life, you may need to see a doctor and discuss if prescribed medication is necessary for you.
There are natural alternative remedies that can help minor-to-moderate symptoms.
Some natural remedies include:
- Exercising and reducing caloric intake
- Keeping cool and comfortable
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Quitting smoking or decreasing alcohol use
- Decreasing sugar intake
- Avoiding conventional meat pumped with hormones and antibiotics
- Eating a healthier diet with more organic fruits and veggies
- Supplementing diet with calcium, magnesium, soy, vitamin C, vitamin E, melatonin, flax seed, etc.
- Yoga or meditation for relaxation
- Seeing a psychologist to communicate about depression or anxiety, or seeking support from family or loved ones
Essential Oils for Menopause
Using essential oils for menopause symptoms is another natural remedy that can help with a wide variety of symptoms. Applying them to different parts of the body or using them for aromatherapy are both safe and effective methods for using them to treat symptoms.
7 Most Effective Essential Oils for Menopause
1. Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary sage essential oil is considered one of the best essential oils for menopause because it targets a number of menopausal symptoms. It has been scientifically proven to produce antidepressant-like effects in menopausal women by regulating thyroid hormones and stress levels. It also helps to slow the risk of osteoporosis, which is an increased risk for menopausal women because of the decrease in estrogen production. Diluted clary sage essential oil rubbed on the back of the neck or bottoms of the feet can also be used to provide a cooling relief during hot flashes.
2. Peppermint Essential Oil
Hot flashes are one of the most common and most frustrating menopausal symptoms. They can hit when you’re least expecting it during the day or at night when you are sleeping. The frequency and intensity of them varies among women, although most women report getting them daily. They range from mild to so intense that they disrupt daily activities. Luckily, peppermint essential oil can cool you down when you experience a hot flash. Rubbing diluted peppermint oil on the back of your neck, temples, wrists, or bottoms of the feet provide a cooling sensation throughout your body. You can also rub two drops between your palms, hold your palms up to close your nose, and take a few deep breaths in.
3. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil has many uses and can be used to treat a wide scope of medical conditions. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the most effective essential oils for menopause. It balances hormones in your brain and is a proven anxiolytic. It also improves the overall quality of sleep for those struggling with insomnia.
4. Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil is used to promote feelings of love and harmony in your life. It is also an effective moisturizer for dry skin. Research has shown that it has antidepressant and antianxiety effects and helps menopausal women manage hormonal changes.
5. Basil Essential Oil
Basil is another popular essential oil for menopause because it contains a component similar to estrogen. This means that it can potentially help your body adapt to change in hormones by elevating estrogen levels in your body. It also uplifts mood and can be used similarly to peppermint for hot flashes.
6. Neroli Essential Oil
In a 2014 study, researchers reported that inhalation of neroli essential oil for 5 minutes per day helps relieve menopausal symptoms, increase sexual desire, and reduce blood pressure in postmenopausal women. It can also be used to reduce stress and improve the endocrine system.
7. Vitex Agnus-Castus Essential Oil
Not the most popular among essential oils, vitex agnus-castus essential oil is derived from a fruit that grows in Central Asia, also known as chasteberry or monk’s fruit. There have been many research studies conducted on the positive effects it has on women’s reproductive health. For example, in one research study, 23 women showed improvements in menopause symptoms, including better mood and sleep. This may be due to the hormone balancing effects vitex agnus-castus essential oil carries. It is believed to work by decreasing levels of the hormone prolactin, which rebalances other hormones – including estrogen and progesterone.