When you are in the throes of perimenopause suffering, you are probably willing to try anything to reduce your symptoms. From lack of sleep and sweating through your sheets to being the only person fanning themselves in an airconditioned room, hot flashes can be the biggest pain in the a$& symptom. Many women use a variety of therapies to treat this pesky symptom including herbal supplements, hormone replacement therapy, dietary changes, and even essential oils. Read on to learn how to use essential oils for menopause symptoms.
Are essential oils for hot flashes work an effective treatment option?
Essential oils have been used for hundreds of years to treat a variety of ailments. History has traced the origins of essential oils to Ancient Egyptian civilization, where plants were specifically cultivated for their aromas and used for medicinal, cosmetic, and religious purposes. The benefits of oils derived from plants were also separately discovered in both China and India. Indeed, essential oils play an integral role in healing therapies in Indian Aryuvedic medicine. As history progressed, the use of essential oils also permeated Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Interestingly, the Romans were big proponents of aromatherapy baths to heal common ailments.
The use of essential oils to heal has certainly stood the test of time: many people and civilizations have relied on the healing properties of plant oil extracts. But is there scientific evidence that essential oils can effectively treat common ailments such as hot flashes in perimenopausal and menopausal women? While there have been studies that indicate that certain essential oils may help relieve some perimenopause symptoms, essential oils are classified as a complementary treatment and are not considered curative. With that being said when it comes to managing perimenopause symptoms, the goal is not necessarily to cure (because perimenopause is a natural process) but rather to make symptoms manageable in this season and improve your quality of life.
So, if you are looking to try something that is natural with few side effects, essential oils can be a great option for women in perimenopause to try. Before you try essential oils, be mindful of these tips to prevent an adverse reaction:
Try the oil in a small patch on your skin before applying it in larger quantities. Soak a piece of gauze and let the patch sit on your skin for 24 hours. Monitor for burning, irritation, or obvious allergic reaction. (Use a non-allergic medical-grade tape to hold the patch in place.)
Most oils need to be diluted. If you are looking for your essential oils to be ready-to-use, you may want to shop for prepared oils at local natural health stores and pharmacies or online.
Essential oils should not be swallowed or inserted (such as in the vagina) unless you are specifically trained. In fact, certain oils can be poisonous and may cause significant harm.
Some essential oils can actually interfere with medication, such as anise and certain antidepressants.
In general, just because essential oils are natural does not mean you shouldn’t be cautious when using them.
What essential oils are good for hot flashes?
Whether you are looking to avoid prescription medication altogether or to use essential oils as a complementary therapy to other therapies, there are certain oils that may help improve frustrating menopause symptoms.
Lavender - One of the most popular aromatherapies, and for good reason! Lavender has powerful calming and stress relieving properties. Some studies have even found that it offers the most immediate relief for treating anxiety, which can develop or worsen in perimenopause. Lavender can improve sleep, help you relax, and can even offer relief if you are having discomfort in your perineal area (a cool cloth with a drop or two of diluted lavender oil can soothe tightness or generalized discomfort). Finally, some studies have even found that lavender can help balance hormone and ease hot flashes.
Peppermint Oil - Known for its cooling effects, peppermint oil can help suppress hot flashes. If you feel a hot flash coming on, dabbing a few drops of peppermint oil on the back of your neck and inside of your wrists can reduce the severity of hot flashes. Some women even inhale peppermint oil when dabbed on a cloth or tissue to reduce vasomotor hyperactivity. An added benefit? If you are suffering from perimenopause cramps, peppermint oil can help with that, too.
Clary Sage Oil - Rubbed on the back of the neck, inside of the wrists, or feet, clary sage oil can help relieve hot flashes. Furthermore, this essential oil has also demonstrated properties that have an antidepressant effect.
What essential oils are good for menopause?
There are many other essential oils that can treat different menopause symptoms. Consider some of the following essential oils if you are struggling with other symptoms aside from hot flashes:
Citrus oil - Boosts sex drive and mood
Basil oil - Can help balance hormones
Geranium oil - Can improve mood and mild depression
Rose oil - Can relieve cramps and improve mood and anxiety
Thyme - Can help balance hormones
If you are suffering from hot flashes, try a variety of therapies to see what works best for you. Essential oils can certainly be beneficial and are usually a safe therapy to try. Many women prefer blended essential oils for menopause use. For example, some women find essential oils for hot flashes doTerra (one of the many brands available) to be a great resource for blended oils. If you are interested in making your own essential oils, join our Perry Community here to learn how to make your own essential oils. See you in the Perry Community!
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.
Meet the Author
Perry Babe Julia ( RN, BSN, BA) is a registered nurse based in Colorado. Julia's nursing background in women’s health has ranged from neonatal and postpartum care to labor and delivery, to outpatient gynecological medicine for both adolescent and adult populations.
Much of her education and clinical experience are related to educating women on women’s health topics ranging from lifestyle improvements, disease management, and general health education.
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