Together with dietary changes and key nutrients like GABA, tryptophan, zinc and vitamin B6, using essential oils are a wonderful tool for helping to ease anxiety, reduce stress, improve sleep and focus and contribute to overall hormonal health for women. Now we have a new book that is a wonderful essential oil resource specifically for women, The Essential Oils Hormone Solution: Reclaim Your Energy and Focus and Lose Weight Naturally by Dr. Mariza Snyder.
She shares this about essential oils:
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the roots, seeds, stems, bark, leaves, and flowers of various plants. They are super-charged, fifty to seventy times more potent than their dried-herbal counterparts. They’re simply the best plant-based remedy that exists, and they have been successfully used for thousands of years.
Dr. Mariza lists these top 5 must-have hormone-support essential oils for perimenopausal and menopausal women: clary sage, geranium, lavender, peppermint and rosemary. Lavender and peppermint have been long-time favorites of mine and I recently learned about clary sage and rosemary and love both.
She covers so many wonderful essential oils in the book but for the purposes of this review I’ll focus on clary sage since it was new to me until recently and may be new to you too.
In the chapter on sleep, she shares this about the benefits of clary sage and how to use this essential oil:
CLARY SAGE (Salvia sclarea)
- Promotes relaxation of the body for a restful night’s sleep
- Calms and soothes the mind and body
- Supportive during menstrual distress
- Apply 1–2 drops directly to bedclothes or pillow.
- Diffuse 3–4 drops before bedtime.
- Dilute 1–2 drops with your favorite carrier oil and massage into abdomen.
- Add 2–3 drops to a warm bath with ¼ cup Epsom salts dissolved in the water.
- Dilute 1–2 drops with your favorite carrier oil and massage into your soles before bedtime.
I had looked into clary sage about 6 months ago when I learned that it supports serotonin production and also lowers high cortisol.
Interestingly, I didn’t care for the aroma of clary sage when I first purchased it and I diffused it with lavender and rosemary to disguise the aroma. But I have grown to really like it and use a drop on a hanky each night and look forward to how much it helps me sleep and the fact that it eased the mild hot flashes I had started to experience again.
I love the combinations/blends Dr. Mariza recommends in the book and would have welcomed these ideas when I first started using clary sage myself. Here is one example of a rollerball blend with clary sage:
Tense-Away Rollerball Blend
10 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Clary Sage essential oil
10 drops Peppermint essential oil
Carrier oil of choice
I also really like that Dr. Mariza describes different ways to use the oils other than only diffusing – like using rollerballs, using them for massages and in baths, and applying the essential oils on various parts of the body for a more direct impact. One such example is the Hormone Synergy Rollerball Blend (which contains clary sage, lavender, geranium, bergamot and ylang ylang). She recommends applying this blend directly over your ovaries.
I learned this direct application tip from Dr. Mariza last year and started using lavender, peppermint and rosemary (in a carrier oil) topically on my belly before bed. It helps with digestion, occasional belly bloat from SIBO (if I’ve eaten something that triggers symptoms) and is relaxing too. I think I’ll add clary sage to this belly blend too for the added hormone benefits. This could be one way to use clary sage for the benefits if you find you don’t really like the aroma (because it will be further from your nose!)
Here are some of the benefits of the other top 5 hormone-support essential oils for perimenopausal and menopausal women that Dr. Mariza shares:
- geranium – calming and soothing and “rejuvenates and revitalizes skin, complexion, and hair” (I haven’t been using this one and looking forward to trying this one)
- lavender – “eases and calms feelings of anxiety, stress, and tension while rebalancing emotions” and “relieves discomfort associated with menstrual cycles” (I’ve been using lavender for years)
- peppermint – “stimulates mental focus and energy by enlivening the senses” and supports your respiratory system (I also use this one all the time. It’s also great for headaches and neck pain)
- and rosemary – “increases memory, concentration, and focus” (I also use it for EMF/electromagnetic radiation protection. Research shows rosemary could play a protective role against this harmful effect through its antioxidant activity)
Clary sage is also featured in the libido chapter: “Commonly used to stimulate sexual energy and boost libido.” This aspect was new to me, but it makes sense given that it lowers cortisol and supports serotonin production (and hence estrogen). Dr. Mariza also covers many other wonderful essential oils that boost libido too: jasmine, neroli, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang and geranium. In one study neroli, lavender, fennel, geranium, and rose significantly improved sexual function in menopausal women.
Here is the official book blurb:
Have your hormones been hijacked? Do you feel energy-depleted and irritable, unable to sleep, stay focused, or lose weight? You may have attributed these symptoms to the natural hormonal fluctuations that occur with age. But behind the scenes, there are a host of pesky culprits wreaking havoc on your hormonal health: chronic stress, air pollution, chemical-laden foods and cleaning supplies, and the synthetic estrogens in personal care products. Women of all ages are left vulnerable to the consequences, suffering from unnecessary hormonal imbalance and frustrating symptoms that are often dismissed by their doctors.
Dr. Mariza Snyder is here to help put you back in control of your health. In The Essential Oils Hormone Solution, you will learn how to heal hormonal chaos and revitalize the body from the inside out with the support of high-quality essential oils. You’ll learn how essential oils work on a cellular level to mitigate the toxic loads we carry, and how to use essential oils to reduce cravings, get deep, restful sleep, ease stress, improve mood, banish the worst symptoms of PMS, regain focus and concentration, boost libido, and increase energy.
Featuring a 14-day plan to jumpstart your hormonal health, with over 100 essential oil blends, daily self-care rituals, and delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes, you’ll discover how to reset your body and pave the way for improved hormonal health, without taking hormones.
Grab your copy of The Essential Oils Hormone Solution here (my Amazon link).
I’d like to add my thoughts on what I have found to be safe use of essential oils, and what I share with my clients (I consider myself an essential oil user like you – I’m not an expert):
- Always use a carrier oil, unless you are diffusing, and this includes using essential oils in the bath (I know there is some conflicting advice on this, but I like to err on the side of caution)
- Don’t try to remove too much of an essential oil with water – it will only drive it deeper into the skin
- Think low doses i.e. a little goes a long way
- Be sure to rotate your essential oils
- Don’t ingest the oils neat or even in a gelatin capsule. I would only consider doing so if I was working with an experienced practitioner and using an enteric coated capsule (there is definitely conflicting advice on this one but again I like to err on the side of caution)
It’s a fun book with wonderful ideas for how to combine essential oils and use them to improve hormone imbalance. I love this quote from Dr. Mariza:
Inhaling them and applying them is like adorning yourself in something truly beautiful
What are your favorite essential oils and combinations for easing anxiety, reducing stress, improving sleep and balancing your hormones? How are you “adorning yourself” and what is your favorite way to use them – diffused, topically, via a rollerball, or via a massage or in the bath? Feel free to post questions here too.