PMS, bloating, depression, sleepless nights...sound familiar? The female body is an extraordinary machine with the ability to create life, but with that comes a lot of uncomfortable symptoms and side effects. Our cycle is full of ups and downs that we experience every month and finding ways to make these times a little easier is always a priority for most women. Did you know that essential oils can help? Adding essential oils to our daily routine can make a positive impact on the symptoms we experience during our cycle.
First, let's do a quick rundown of our cycle each month and what is causing these seemingly erratic symptoms. The first phase of a women’s cycle is menstruation, which is when the uterine lining is shed. Most women experience cramping as our uterus and abdomen muscles contract to help push out all of the menstrual fluid and this lasts for about 5 days on average. Next is the follicular phase which begins during menstruation, but lasts for about 15 days until ovulation begins. These two phases cause an increase in estrogen, which is responsible for symptoms such as depression, bloating, swelling, anxiety, breast tenderness, irritability, and anxiety. The next phase is ovulation, which only lasts for 24 hours and then the luteal phase begins and lasts for about 13 days. During these phases, the hormone, progesterone, is increased in our bodies. This hormone can cause PMS, weight gain, low libido, mood swings, and depression.
Because of the delicate balance of the hormone shifts in our body during our cycles, they can often become imbalanced due to stress, diet, exercise, medical conditions, etc. An imbalance in hormones can cause a huge increase in the symptoms we experience from them. It can even cause fertility complications and severe medical issues.
Below is a list of essential oils that can help us combat the symptoms we experience during our cycle and help keep hormones balanced.
Geranium essential oil may help balance hormone levels, which is particularly important for ovulation and fertility. In addition, this essential oil encourages a positive state of mind and alleviates mood swings. Geranium oil is well known for its amazing benefits on the skin, making it perfect for combating the symptoms that can leave it unflattering due to hormone fluctuation. This oil is known as a natural astringent and its healing nature can fight signs of aging and prevent acne.
Lavender is the most widely used essential oil for sleep, and sleep is often hard to achieve during some phases of a women’s cycle. Heightened stress, cramps, and even anxiety can make a good night's rest unattainable. This oil can soothe the mind and relax the body so sleep will come easy. Lavender essential oil contains anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great addition to DIY applications to relieve menstrual cramps.
Clary Sage essential oil contains a component called sclareol, which mimics estrogen in the body, meaning it can help balance hormones and reduce emotional symptoms. It’s commonly used to relieve stress and symptoms of depression. This essential oil is also extremely efficient at relieving pain and can be used to combat cramping.
Peppermint essential oil is amazing for pain relief. Whether it’s cramping during the menstruation phase or a headache during the luteal phase, peppermint can help. Peppermint is well known for its energizing and focusing benefits, which makes it a great tool against the PMS fog and exhaustion that accompanies the Luteal phase.
Sweet Orange essential oil, like most other citrus oils, is incredible at inspiring a positive mental state and energizing the mind. It can be very effective at stopping symptoms such as PMS, depression, low libido, and irritability. The burst of energy that a whiff of sweet orange can give someone will bring any woman out of the PMS fog.
*Other essential oils that can help with a woman’s monthly cycle are Cypress, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Rose, and Chamomile.
Below are a few recipes that can help alleviate common symptoms experienced during our periods.
“Blooming Flower” Bath Bomb
- Witch Hazel Extract in a Misting Spray Bottle
- Hard Plastic or Metal Molds
- 2 cups of Citric Acid
- 4 cups of Baking Soda
- 2oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 10 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Geranium Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil
- Combine all the citric acid, baking soda, sweet almond oil, and essential oils in a bowl and mix well using gloved hands.
- Spritz a small amount of witch hazel onto the top of the powder mixture and stir it in. Repeat this process until the mixture packs together easily with a similar texture to wet sand.
- Scoop the mixture into each mold one at a time and pack them down tightly. Allow them to dry for at least 24 hours.
- Store them in an airtight container.
“Bye Bye Cramps!” Roll-On
- 10ml Amber Glass Roller Bottle
- 10ml of Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 4 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Clary Sage Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Put the essential oils into the roller bottle and then add the fractionated coconut oil, leaving enough space on the top for the rollerball and to mix. Secure the rollerball and lid then gently shake to combine oils.
Roll the bottle across the skin of the lower abdomen when experiencing cramping to relieve pain and calm the muscles.
“Hormone Harmonizing” Diffuser Blend
- 3 drops of Geranium Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Clary Sage Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
Place drops in a diffuser according to the diffuser’s instructions. Diffuse this blend to alleviate PMS, mood swings, depression, or other uncomfortable emotional symptoms.