Essential Oils for Menopause
Menopause is the natural end of a woman’s reproductive cycle which is caused by a decrease in estrogen production. Women can experience menopause anywhere between their 40s and 60s, but most often occurs around 50 years of age.1 With this process, a woman’s menstrual cycle becomes inconsistent and eventually stops. Women will also go through what’s called perimenopause, which is the transitional state into menopause.2
Women who experience menopause and perimenopause know how uncomfortable the symptoms can be. Mood swings, anxiety, depression, hot flashes, night sweats and hormonal changes are common side effects.3 This usually results in lack of sleep, as well as physical changes such as a muscle pain, or decrease in bone density.1 While it’s common for women to seek over the counter drugs to treat menopausal signs, there may be a better, natural alternative.
Essential oils may be used as natural remedies for perimenopause and menopause. In recent years, several scientific studies have shown their positive effects in reducing or managing undesirable symptoms. While over the counter medications may cause unwanted side effects, essential oils are a non-invasive and natural solution to managing menopause.
Top Essential Oils for Hot Flashes, Hormone Balance and Night Sweats
The best essential oils for perimenopause and menopause are peppermint, clary sage, lavender and geranium. Below, we explore the latest scientific evidence and how to use essential oils for menopause at home. Women can use these essential oils as home remedies for hot flashes and night sweats.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is known for its cooling effects on the body. While commonly used to alleviate sore muscles and nausea, it’s also regarded as one of the most effective essential oils for hot flashes.
A study conducted in 2012, researched the effects of aromatherapy massage on 90 menopausal women. Participants received two, 30-minute massages a week for four weeks. The results found that the aromatherapy massages were effective in reducing menopausal symptoms, as opposed to a regular massage.3
To create your own peppermint oil for hot flashes, add 3 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 Tsp. of carrier oil, like jojoba or almond oil. Rub the mixture into temples or other pulse points for a cooling sensation.
For a refreshing mister, add 4 drops of peppermint essential oil to 1 cup of water in spray bottle. Spray on the face. This makes it a great cooling spray for hot flashes.
Clary Sage Essential Oil
There are several benefits of clary sage essential oil, the most prominent being its antispasmodic, stress-relieving and pain-relieving properties. With a variety of therapeutic benefits, clary sage is often considered one of the best essential oils for hormone balance and pain associated with menopause.
A 2014 study examined 22 menopausal women to determine if inhalation of clary sage essential oil influenced hormone levels or mood. After three screenings, results showed clary sage essential oil had an anti-depressant-like effect when the women inhaled the clary sage oil.6 For women going through perimenopause or menopause, changing hormones may cause mood swings and stress. Using clary sage essential oils for menopause may help promote relaxation and a positive mood.
To use clary sage essential oil for aromatherapy, place a few drops of the oil in a diffuser with water. Breathe in the essential oil as it disperses into the air.
As one of the best hormone balancing essential oils, add 5-10 drops of clary sage essential oil to a warm running bath water to enjoy its therapeutic and soothing properties.
Lavender Essential Oil
The benefits of lavender essential oil include its calming, analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-anxiety properties. For women going through menopause; stress, anxiety, and hot flashes can lead to a lack of rest. Given lavender’s calming effects, the essential oil is widely used to improve sleep and considered one of the top essential oils for hormone imbalance. Studies have shown that lavender may be able to promote restful sleep because of its ability to slow down the central nervous system.
Lavender essential oil aromatherapy may also help reduce anxiety. Place 2-4 drops of lavender essential oil in the water container of a diffuser. Inhale the fragrance for up to 30 minutes.
Massaging lavender essential oil with a carrier oil into the skin may also promote relaxation during menopausal transitions. Add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil. Gently massage on pressure points or areas that are tense.
Geranium Essential Oil
The therapeutic benefits of geranium essential oil stem from its calming properties which have been observed to help alleviate symptoms of menopause and menstruation. A study in 2007 showed aromatherapy massage as an effective tool in mitigating menopausal symptoms. Women between the ages of 45 and 54 received a weekly, 30-minute massage with geranium, lavender, jasmine and rose essential oils for eight weeks.
Results showed that women who received the aromatherapy massages experienced a reduction in pain and signs of depression. Additionally, with weekly use of essential oils for menopause, hot flashes also seemed to decrease. Using geranium essential oils for night sweats may be effective as well.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Daan, N.M., Fauser, B.C. (2015, July 26). Menopause prediction and potential implications. Maturitas, 82(3), 257-265. doi: 1016/j.maturitas.2015.07.019
- Burger, H.G., Hale, G.E., Robertson, D.M. (2013, October 14). The perimenopausal woman: endocrinology and management. J Steroid Mol Biol, 142, 121-131. Retrieved April 28, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24134950
- Darsareh, F., Joolaee, S., Haghani, H., Taavoni, S. (2012, September 19). Effect of aromatherapy massage on menopausal symptoms: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Menopause, 19(9),995-999. doi: 1097/gme.0b013e318248ea16