Experiencing mood swings? Irritability? Cramps?
More often than not physiological discomforts and emotional unease are directly related to your hormones and their fluctuations.
These might be the result of your PMS, menopause, or postpartum depression.
In these instances, you can use essential oils to support a natural and healthy hormone balance.
And in this article,we'll teach you how.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- What are essential oils?
- What’s hormonal imbalance?
- What causes hormonal imbalance?
- How essential oils help with hormone balance
- 17+ essential oils for hormone balance
- The best supplement for hormone balance
Let’s take a look!
Looking just for the essential oils? Click here to skip ahead.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the oils extracted from certain plants’ roots, bark, leaves, or flowers.
The most popular method of extracting these oils is through water distillation. With this method, the plant parts are put into water and brought to a boil. During this process, the essential oils appear in the water.
Once the process is completed, the highly concentrated essential oil is separated from the rest of the liquid.
For this reason, you should avoid using a pure essential oil on its own.
The ways in which you can use essential oils include:
- Massage. If you decide to apply the essential oil directly on your skin, you should dilute it into a carrier oil like coconut, almond, olive, or jojoba oil.
- Diffuser. Add a few drops of essential oil to some water and use a diffuser to emit a nice pleasant aroma in your room throughout the entire day.
- Spray, cream, or roll-on. There are some products that contain essential oil extract. If you decide to go for this option, aim for a safe, reputable brand to guarantee you’re getting high-quality ingredients.
Disclaimer: Before starting an essential oil treatment, always consult your doctor to ensure that the oils you intend to use are safe and you have no allergic reaction.
If you suffer from asthma, avoid using an essential oil diffuser because this might trigger an asthma attack.
What’s Hormonal Imbalance?
Hormone imbalance is defined by having any of your hormones outside their normal range.
These hormones could be estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, cortisol, and insulin among others.
Here are a few common hormone imbalance issues you should watch out for:
#1. Cortisol Imbalance
If you are under stress, your cortisol levels increase as part of your “fight or flight” response. However, when this happens on a regular basis, your adrenal glands will keep producing high levels of cortisol.
This might lead to:
- Feeling tired
- Having more energy during the night
- Craving high-calorie foods
- Sleep disturbances
#2. Sex Hormone Imbalance
You might experience a hormone imbalance of your estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels if you’re entering menopause, or after giving birth (known as the baby blues or postpartum depression).
Hormone imbalances during menopause might cause:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Low sex drive
- Sleep disturbances
Another instance when you might experience slight changes in your hormone levels is every month, the week before and during your period.
The effects surrounding your period aren’t exactly a hormone imbalance. However, the hormone changes might cause symptoms like:
- Mood swings
- Changes in your sex drive
- Breast tenderness
#3. Thyroid Hormone Imbalance
Your thyroid hormones are responsible for controlling your metabolism and your digestive, muscle, and brain functions.
If your thyroid hormones are out of balance you might experience symptoms like:
But what causes hormonal imbalance in the first place?
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance?
Hormone imbalance can be caused by things like:
- Chronic stress
- Bad diet
- Unhealthy habits such as excessive smoking and drinking
- Sleep deprivation
Even if one of your hormones is out of balance, it will affect the production and proper functioning of other hormones in your body. For example, if you’re under constant stress, your adrenal glands will pump out excess cortisol.
As a result, your body will prioritize the production of cortisol over other hormones like estrogen and serotonin.
If you experience severe hormone imbalance we recommend seeking the help of a medical professional.
However, if you feel mild hormone imbalances like PMS, transitioning to menopause, or being under stress, aromatherapy with certain essential oils can help you regain your hormone balance and provide relaxation.
So, which essential oils can help you?
How Essential Oils Help With Hormone Balance
Whenever the body senses danger, the amygdala (the emotional center of our brain) triggers the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
Now, when we inhale essential oils, the pleasant scent travels to the amygdala and activates the release of “feel-good” endorphins, like serotonin. This, in turn, decreases cortisol production and alleviates feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression.
Some essential oils are also believed to reduce menstrual cramps, boost libido, and impact issues such as infertility, PCOS, and low progesterone levels.
We’ve made a list of our top 17+ essential oil picks and the different hormonal benefits they provide, in the section below.
But before we dive into them, it’s important to note that although most essential oils are safe to use and free of negative side effects. However, they still need to be handled properly, and be used in moderation.
We’d also recommend never eating or drinking these substances, but rather, inhaling or applying a few drops onto the skin.
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17+ Essential Oils for Hormone Balance
#1. Clary Sage
Clary sage can reduce your cortisol levels by up to 36% and combat anxiety symptoms. This essential oil also has antidepressant properties and it stimulates the production of serotonin in your body.
Clary sage aromatherapy is proven to also reduce blood pressure and bring relaxation.
It’s also very effective in balancing your estrogen levels and can even reduce menstrual cramps. These effects make it one of the most popular essential oils for promoting hormone balance.
To relieve menstrual cramps, dilute clary sage in a carrier oil (such as coconut oil), and apply on the lower abdominal area. For hot flashes and overall adrenal support, apply the substance around the neck and over the kidney area.
#2. Ylang Ylang
In traditional medicine, Ylang Ylang is used to increase the libido in both men and women. This makes it a great option for menopausal women trying to increase their sex drive.
Ylan Ylang is also used for stress relief. Its powerful aroma can relax your body, reduce anxiety symptoms, and boost your self-esteem.
One great way to use Ylang Ylang for hormone balancing effects is by dipping cotton in it and leaving it near your bed overnight. You can also mix it with a carrier oil and massage it over your body to reduce dryness and hydrate your skin.
Essential oil from the geranium can boost the estrogen levels in menopausal women.
It also helps stabilize the menstrual cycle of women in perimenopause (the period before menopause).
Geranium aromatherapy can reduce your anxiety and stress levels and calm you thanks to its antidepressant effects.
Geranium has antibacterial properties and can improve skin conditions like acne and boost your skin and hair’s overall health.
To use it, add one to two drops in a napkin and inhale, or add a few drops in the water when taking a bath.
Lavender oil is widely used to promote relaxation and good sleep. Because of its calming effects, lavender can improve your cortisol levels, resulting in better overall hormone balance.
This hormone balance essential oil can also:
- Reduce menopause symptoms like hot flashes, headaches, and night sweats.
- Reduce symptoms of depression, mood swings, and menstrual cramps that you might experience during your monthly cycle.
- Improve your skin and hair.
You can gain these lavender oil benefits by:
- Sprinkling a cloth with a few drops and inhaling
- Adding a few drops of lavender onto your pillow
- Dispersing the scent in your bedroom with a lavender aroma stick or diffuser.
The essential oil from thyme can balance your progesterone levels due to its high phytoestrogen content.
Progesterone can affect the production of other hormones as well. Low progesterone levels can cause insomnia, mood swings, depression, and low fertility.
Thyme oil can significantly reduce such hormone imbalance symptoms and promote healthy hormone balance.
Add a few drops of the oil to bathwater, a diffuser, lotion, or simply inhale it from a cloth throughout the day.
Bergamot oil relieves tension and feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, bergamot aromatherapy promotes the production of serotonin and dopamine. Its use will improve your mood throughout the day.
Bergamot also has anti-inflammatory properties known to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
To benefit from these healing properties, add a few drops of Bergamot to your body wash, shampoo, lotions, or in a diffuser.
Rosemary oil can significantly improve your adrenal functions by balancing the production of cortisol. Increased levels of cortisol lead to irritability, mood swings, and insomnia.
Rosemary can reduce such symptoms, boost your mood, and improve memory.
Rosemary oil also contains carnosic acid - an active ingredient that helps the liver break down estrogen and normalize your estrogen levels.
Create an anti-stress rosemary spray by combining the following ingredients:
- 6 tablespoons of water
- 2 tablespoons of vodka
- 10-12 drops of rosemary oil
Spray the solution indoors, or in your pillow/napkin, and inhale.
Myrtle oil helps your thyroid glands function properly and it reduces your stress hormone levels. This essential oil has a calming effect and it relieves symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Myrtle oil’s adaptogenic properties can stabilize your hormone levels within their normal range.
Myrtle oil is also used for skin conditions like acne due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Aromatherapy with diffused myrtle oil can also help with different respiratory problems.
Buy a Myrtle diffuser and spray it indoors for a wonderful stress-relieving aroma.
Peppermint oil does not directly affect your hormones.
However, it helps you combat some side effects of hormone imbalances like headaches and fatigue. Peppermint oil inhalation can reduce pain just as much as paracetamol.
Its fresh distinctive aroma can also increase your energy levels throughout the day.
Now, because peppermint is very potent, you’ll only need to mix a drop or two with a carrier oil and apply it wherever you’re feeling an ache or tension. Gently massage it on the area until fully absorbed.
Frankincense oil supports proper thyroid gland functioning. It balances your cortisol and estrogen levels.
Frankincense oil’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce the risk of arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
Frankincense is also used to reduce some PMS and menopause symptoms like anxiety, nausea, cramps, and mood swings. However, further research is needed in this area.
You can mix frankincense with a carrier oil and apply it topically on the skin or inhale it from a cloth or using a diffuser.
#11. Rose Oil
Rose oil can decrease testosterone levels in women and when inhaled it can reduce pain.
This essential oil is also known to decrease cortisol and promote a calm relaxed state of body and mind.
Rose oil aromatherapy can also increase your sex drive, improve your mood, and reduce symptoms of depression.
When applied topically, rose oil can also alleviate menstrual cramps.
For hormone balance, simply dab a few drops of rose oil on your chest, neck, and wrists. But again, just as with all other essential oils, before applying mix it with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond.
#12. Pine Oil
Pine oil can help menopausal women with decreased levels of estrogen.
Many women going through menopause have reduced estrogen in their bodies and are prone to developing osteoporosis. Using pine oil can protect you from this condition.
Pine oil is very effective in reducing inflammation, muscle pain, and the risk of arthritis. It is also used for treating acne and eczema.
Massage a few drops of pine oil and a tablespoon of carrier oil on areas where inflammation, pain, or discomfort occurs.
#13. Tea Tree Oil
Hormone imbalance can often result in skin inflammation and conditions like acne.
Tea tree oil can significantly reduce the severity of acne and dermatitis when applied topically. For this reason, it’s a common ingredient in many anti-acne cosmetics.
You can easily find a cream with tea tree oil extract. You can also make your own herbal medicine by combining one part tea tree oil with nine parts water and gently applying it to the problematic areas. Allow it to dry, and then continue with your usual moisturizer.
Carvacrol, the main active compound in the oil, can also reduce high levels of cholesterol and it boasts anti-cancer properties. However, more research is needed to confirm this.
To use oregano oil, add a few drops to a diffuser or in a bowl of hot water, and inhale.
#15. Vitex Oil
Vitex oil helps reduce the hormone prolactin and it balances estrogen and progesterone levels.
This oil can significantly reduce severe PMS symptoms like anxiety, depression, and mood swings. It can also enhance fertility because it regulates your prolactin levels.
Vitex can improve menopause symptoms connected to low estrogen levels. These symptoms include sleep disturbances, irritability, hot flashes, and irregular yet intense menstrual cycles in perimenopausal women.
To stabilize your hormones, diffuse or inhale Vitex directly from the bottle. To relieve menstrual and menopausal symptoms, massage Vitex mixed with a carrier oil on your wrists, inner elbows, neck, and chest.
Because anise has estrogen-like properties, it can naturally boost your estrogen levels. This makes anise oil very effective for women during menopause.
Anise can help reduce hot flashes while some of its active ingredients can protect you from bone loss.
Anise oil can also reduce inflammation in your body and symptoms of depression.
To use anise oil, mix a few drops of anise oil with almond oil and massage onto the abdomen.
Fennel oil contains phytoestrogens and can increase your estrogen levels.
These factors make it a great addition to your aromatherapy if you experience menopause symptoms like hot flashes and sleep disturbances. Such symptoms are often caused by the depletion of estrogen in the body.
It’s also a very popular lactation herb because fennel increases your prolactin levels.
You can either use fennel oil for aromatherapy for up to 30 minutes a day, or apply 2-3 drops mixed with a carrier oil onto your abdomen.
#18. Angelica Oil
Angelica oil can boost your serotonin levels and relieve symptoms of anxiety. The soothing scent of the oil will give you a natural mood boost and make you feel relaxed.
Angelica oil can also alleviate some menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
Add a few drops of angelica oil to your favorite body cream, and massage it for soothing effects.
You can try balancing your hormones using tea as well! Check out this article for the best hormone balance teas.
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The Maca root extract can improve your energy levels, increase your libido, and improve menopause symptoms.
Chasteberry, Dong Quai, and Black Cohosh can stabilize your estrogen levels, relieve PMS symptoms, and reduce menstrual pain.
This natural hormone balance supplement also relieves symptoms like breast tenderness, acne, bloating, and mood swings - all of which are directly caused by hormone imbalances.
This herbal supplement is 100% plant-based and non-GMO.
Just take 2 capsules once a day. If you experience more severe PMS and menopause symptoms you can take 2 capsules twice a day.
Want to try hormone balance pills? Check out this article for a guide to getting started!
Hormone imbalance can interfere with your daily routine and plans and cause various discomforts.
To improve mild hormone imbalances you can try soothing aromatherapy with one of the essential oils on the list or try a mix of them!
Also, make sure you practice a healthy lifestyle, get plenty of sleep, and have a nutritious diet.
Stay healthy and strong!