My nutrition consulting practice focuses on women's health, and that means I spend a lot of time focusing on healthy hormone balance with my clients. Most of the women with whom I work experience the following:
overweight, find that they're gaining weight, or can't lose weight
struggle with anxiety and/or depression
have irregular digestion
have irregular periods
experience fertility challenges
menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia
The female endocrine system (hormonal system) is very sensitive to stress. That could be dietary stress (eating the wrong foods for your body, or too many processed foods), emotional stress, too much work and not enough sleep, environmental toxins, or pain.
Under chronic stress, your cortisol levels rise, causing drops in estrogen and progesterone, your 2 main sex hormones. This can cause menstrual irregularities, weight gain, estrogen dominance, and infertility.
Symptoms that indicate your hormones are haywire include the following:
menopausal symptoms that interfere with day to day life
heavy periods, irregular cycles
inability to lose weight
lack of sex drive
increase in belly fat
I have many resources to help you balance your hormones naturally by changing your diet and lifestyle habits (see
resources section, below). Supporting your liver, which is in charge of metabolizing hormones, is a great place to start. But did you know essential oils can also help maintain healthy hormones in the body?
Essential oils are the concentrated liquids and essences from plants, containing volatile aroma compounds. They can be inhaled, diffused, applied to the skin, or taken internally (use CAUTION taking oils internally!) to rebalance your system. Because they are so concentrated, only a drop or 2 is needed for an effect. The oils do not contain hormones but have properties that stimulate hormone production and balance.
The following oils have been shown to exhibit therapeutic effects similar to that of phytoestrogens, meaning they balance estrogen levels:
Clary Sage: Stimulates the pituitary gland, which regulates ovulatory and sex hormone function. Clary sage is also a uterine tonic pairs well with geranium. Great for cramp relief & PMS.
Fennel: used to balance cycles. Also a wonderful digestive aid.
Basil: recommended for delayed menstruation or scanty periods.
Cypress: useful for circulation, can relieve stagnation associated with heavy bleeding or mid-cycle bleeding
Geranium: has an overall balancing effect on female hormones