Hormonal imbalances go beyond menopause and hot flashes. Both men and women are affected by imbalances. Symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, depression, mood swings and fertility problems. Left untreated, hormonal imbalances can lead to diseases like cancer and diabetes.
A 21st Century Problem
Today, two of the top hormone imbalance culprits — stress and toxic chemicals — come from our modern lifestyle and the choices we make in dealing with our fast-paced life.
Toxic chemicals are in everything from water bottles to beauty products to the air we breathe. Dr. Theo Colborn PHD, winner of the TIME Global Environmental Heroes Award, founded TEDX, a nonprofit to raise awareness about the dangers of chemicals to the endocrine system. She’s compiled a list of scientifically proven chemical endocrine hormone disruptors, with more than 1000 known toxic chemicals and growing.
While we can’t control all toxic chemical intake, we can make lifestyle changes to reduce stress and strengthen our immune system against the daily attack from harmful chemicals. Making conscious lifestyle choices combined with the use of essential oils can bring balance to your hormonal systems.
Diet is another major factor that directly affects hormone health. Learn more about how to fortify your endocrine system with these 30 Foods That Naturally Balance Hormones!
Holistic Treatment & Essential Oils
A holistic approach is the best way to correct hormonal imbalances. The definition of the word holistic is: the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts.
Treating hormonal imbalances with pharmaceuticals often aggressively corrects one imbalance while creating complications in other parts of the endocrine system. Essential oils are the best solution for the holistic treatment of imbalances. According to a report by Maria Graça Miguel, faculty member at Portugal’s University of Algarve, essential oils have powerful anti-oxidant qualities that fight toxicity.
Essential oils are perfect, whether it’s for a situational or chronic issue. So much of what we are taking internally and inhaling are leading to what I refer to as estrogen pollution in our bodies. If we can embrace more natural, non-toxic, synthetic-free remedies, we lower our toxic threshold and the resulting hormonal imbalances that occur from breaching that threshold. — Marie Delcioppo, health coach and New York Times featured Raw Foods Chef.
Super Essential Oils
There’s a super-group of essential oils called adaptogens. These smart essential oils are unique because they have opposing healing properties like being both stimulating and relaxing — they adapt to your needs.
The use of adaptogen essential oils are pivotal for hormonal imbalances where glands may be under-functioning in one system, while over-functioning in another. Adaptogenic essential oils are capable of balancing opposing conditions without creating further imbalance, as many pharmaceuticals would cause. Using them together further strengthens their healing properties.
9 Adaptogen Essential Oils For Hormone Balance Are:
- Clary sage
Here’s how to treat hormonal imbalances using these nine super essential oils:
Adrenal Balance with Basil, Lavender and Anise
Your adrenal glands are responsible for how you cope with stress. If you’re trying to juggle a job, family and the demands of everyday life, you are likely to have overworked adrenals.
Cortisol, the “stress hormone” is produced by the adrenal glands and regulates your body’s response to stress. It works on a schedule — good sleep, starting at 10 pm, maximizes adrenal hormone function. Out of balance cortisol levels lead to:
- feeling exhausted upon waking even after a long night’s sleep
- high energy late in the evening or waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning
- an inability to calmly deal with stress
- food cravings
- brain fog
Basil essential oil increases the body’s natural response to both physical and emotional stress while conditioning you to cope better.
According to a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, scientists examined the effects of daily basil extracts on stress symptoms in men and women over six weeks. 39% of patients showed a decrease in general stress symptoms, such as sleep problems, exhaustion, and forgetfulness.
Basil is indicated for those who are weary in mind and body and for those in need of strength and renewal. — Daniel MacDonald, author of Emotions & Essential Oils: Emotional Reference Guide
Basil essential oil soothes feelings of anxiety, overwhelm and exhaustion. Rub a couple of drops of high quality organic basil oil (such as this bottle from Plant Therapy) diluted in a carrier oil daily into your forearms or your ear’s adrenal gland point at the tragus (the cartilage above your ear lobe) to bring balance to your adrenals.
Life is demanding — the key to adrenal balance is to allow yourself more restorative relaxation time and sleep. Improve the quality of your sleep with lavender aromatherapy.
A study by the Department of Psychology of Wesleyan University, Connecticut found that the aromatherapeutic use of lavender increased the percentage of deep, restorative, slow-wave sleep in all men and women. Make an essential oil mist of lavender and water in a spray bottle and spray the mixture on your pillow before bedtime to enhance deep sleep. Add anise oil to the lavender mist to amplify the restful qualities of both oils.
Thyroid Dysfunction and Myrtle, Lemongrass and Licorice
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease, while 60% of sufferers are not even aware of it. The thyroid controls important functions like the body’s metabolism and temperature regulation. Out of balance thyroid function symptoms include:
- Uncontrollable weight gain or loss
- Dry hair and skin
- Cold or heat fluctuations
Myrtle oil is an adaptogen that can stimulate thyroid activity. Dr. Daniel Penoel, MD specializes in myrtle oil research and discovered that the oil has the natural ability to balance and normalize hormonal imbalances of both the thyroid and ovaries, regardless of whether either are under or over performing.
Rub a few drops of organic myrtle oil diluted in a carrier oil into your foot’s big toe and the reflexology point for the thyroid located at the base of the foot in the fleshy area below the big toe. Another area where myrtle oil is effective is the thyroid area below the Adam’s apple, at the base of your throat.
Essential oils are able to penetrate skin membranes quickly. A study conducted by scientists at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Vienna, Germany found that the healing compounds of essential oils enter the bloodstream within five minutes of skin application.
Magnify the thyroid-healing effect of myrtle oil by blending it with lemongrass oil, another thyroid-boosting adaptogen, or alternate between each.
Licorice is a powerful antidepressant. To fight thyroid imbalance symptoms like fatigue and depression, rub a drop of licorice oil diluted in a carrier oil in your hands and rub together to warm. Inhale the warm scent for a mood boost.
Ovary Balance with Lemon, Clary Sage and Geranium
While menstruation and menopause are natural processes of womanhood, some of the side effects are not. The ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which when imbalanced, lead to several symptoms including:
- difficult or irregular menstrual cycles
- lowered libido
- difficult menopausal symptoms like sweats and hot flashes
Clary sage has been used since Medieval times to treat the list of symptoms above. It’s quite helpful in not only balancing hormones but for also relieving pain. Dilute a few drops in almond oil and rub the dilution into the ankles daily. If menstrual cramps are painful, rub the mixture on the stomach and ovary area for pain relief. Add the adaptogen oil geranium to the blend to enhance pain relief.
To soothe PMS and other feminine discomforts, add a few drops of clary sage and geranium diluted in a carrier oil or emulsified in milk to a warm bath and enjoy a soak.
Hormonal imbalances can be treated with essential oils safely and holistically. As with all new health regimes, consult with a trusted practitioner and start gradually. Using these nine essential oils is an enjoyable way to work toward hormonal balance and better body, mind and spirit awareness.
Need any of the essential oils mentioned in this article? Mountain Rose Herbs has a wonderful selection, all of which can be seen here. Alternatively, Plant Therapy Essential Oils are available on Amazon here.
Related Reading: 10 Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally
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