Essential oils can be like that one best friend that every woman has, supporting and cheering her through life’s ups and downs. It can help women cope with a lot of challenges they face -mentally and physically- the burden of expectations, work pressure inside and outside the home, stress and the physical aspect in terms of reproductive health- hormonal imbalance, PMS and menopause.
A few essential oils that are especially useful for women and can form a part of an aromatherapist’s repertoire are:
1. Clary sage (Salvia sclarea): It is antispasmodic and hence helps with menstrual cramps. Being an emmenagogue and a uterine stimulant, it promotes menstrual flow. It is nervine and an antidepressant and helps with perimenopause and PMS symptoms. It also helps manage hot flushes during menopause. Clary sage is also used during child birth to induce labour and promote relaxation. It also has an aphrodisiac effect. It is the ultimate “Woman’s Oil” because of its affinity to the female reproductive system.
2. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens): It is a balancing oil that helps with hormone balancing, emotional stress, PMS symptoms and mood swings.
3. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), High Altitude: True lavender is the most versatile oil. For female health, it can help with the emotional aspects associated with menstruation and menopause due to its anxiolytic activity. It also possesses antispasmodic and analgesic properties and hence can be helpful in painful periods and menstrual cramps.
4. Rose (Rosa damescena) Otto: It acts as uterine tonic and helps with menstrual cramps. It is an anxiolytic and can help with depression and anxiety. Studies have found it effective in treatment of Post Natal Depression. Its effect is unrivaled in dealing with grief. It is also an aphrodisiac.
5. Sweet Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): A chemical component present in Fennel essential oil called trans-anethole is said to have estrogen like activity. The essential oil is helpful in dealing with irregular and painful periods, dysmenorrhea and menopausal symptoms. It also helps deal with stress and fatigue.
This list is by no means exhaustive but they are the top oils for supporting women’s health. The method of application can differ depending on the symptoms. It can be through massage after blending in a carrier oil, through diffusion using an essential oil diffuser or through olfaction/ direct inhalation.
Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment and the essential oils have an impact on the mind, body and spirit. They are invaluable tools for a woman’s smooth journey from puberty to menopause.
Written by Nirupama Ravindran
Nirupama is an Aromatherapy practitioner and makes aromatherapy products esp. for women and kids.
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