Aromatherapy for WomenFrom puberty to autumn years Penny Price M.Ed(Oxon.)
Topics for discussion • Overview of hormones and aromatherapy • Problems in puberty • Pregnancy and childbirth • Menopause • Old age
Volatile essential oil molecules and aromatherapy • Hormones are a group of substances of greatly varying composition which are produced in most living things. They are produced by the endocrine glands and can be in the form of steroids, polypeptides or amino-acid derivatives. Hormones have the following ‘job description’! • Regulate metabolism, growth, development, reproduction • Govern the stress response • Chemical messengers within the body • Co-ordinate groups of organs
Volatile essential oil molecules and aromatherapy • Using essential oils that supplement oestrogen will not stop the menopause but will regularise the body as is loses the natural oestrogen and progesterone so that the effects of the hormonal changes are ‘buffered’ and the body is given help to adjust to the different levels.
Volatile essential oil molecules and aromatherapy • Volatile molecules that are hormone-like include the following: • Anethole (methyl ether) • Citral (aldehyde) • Eugenol, carvacrol, thymol, gingerol (phenols) • Matricaria methyl ester (ester) • Viridiflorol (sesquiterpenol) • Sclareol (diterpenol)
Anethole • Anethole is found in aniseed, fennel, star anise is oestrogen-like, emmenagogic and lactogenic. In other words it is used to regulate periods, stimulate milk flow in nursing mothers and help control hormone deficiency during the menopause. • Because anethole is to be used with caution, it is not recommended for internal or intensive use, but can form a small part of a blend for application to the skin in a carrier.
Citral • Citral can be found in many different oils characterised by their ‘lemon-drop’ smell. • It has a slight oestrogenic effect on the body and can be used long term without side effects for helping to control the menopausal symptoms. • Citral is found in eucalyptus staigeriana, citronella, litsea, lemongrass, geranium, true melissa, palmarosa and many others.
Eugenol, carvacrol, thymol and gingerol • Eugenol, carvacrol, thymol and gingerol are found respectively in clove, origanum, red thyme and ginger and have an effect in the production of prostaglandins. • Therefore they are not usually used for women in the menopause.
Matricaria methyl ester • Matricaria methyl ester is used in the delay of puberty and is not usually used specifically during the menopause, although because it is found in German chamomile and yarrow, it is used as part of the whole oil for helping to control inflammation and irritation.
Viridiflorol • Viridiflorol is found in Niaouli and is oestrogen-like, influencing both ovaries and testicles. It is used to help regulate periods and to help the body to cope when there is a deficiency of oestrogen as in menopause.
Sclareol • Sclareol is found in clary sage and is very similar in shape and size to oestrogen, helping the body to cope with hot-flush and aging skin as well as other menopausal symptoms. • It is also an aphrodisiac!
Other oils • Other oils that are hormone-like include vetiver, cypress, sage, Spanish sage, sweet orange and rose otto, sweet basil, cajuput, sweet marjoram, Roman and German chamomile, sandalwood, rosemary, peppermint and pine.
Salvia sclarea Melaleuca leucadendron Melaleuca viridiflora Salvia officinalis Pimpinella anisum Chamaemelum nobile Foeniculum vulgare Pelargonium graveolens Thymus mastichina Mentha x piperita Pinus sylvestris Rosmarinus officinalis Rosa damascena Santalum album Hormonal oils - summary
Salvia officinalis Salvia sclarea Foeniculum vulgare Pimpinella anisum Melaleuca viridiflora Ocimum basilicum Oestrogen-like oils - summary
Oestrogen and Progesterone There are some essential oils that have oestrogen-like properties and some that can mimic the actions of oestrogen in the body Hydrolats have oestrogens in larger quantities Progesterone-like molecules are only found in hydrolats not essential oils as they are too large to distil but do dissolve in water
Hydrolats • The molecules in hydrolats are cortisone-like and so resemble the human hormonal structure. • Hydrolats have beneficial effects on all types of hormonal imbalance, particularly hot flushes, menopausal symptoms and irritation
Essential oils All essential oils can be helpful when attempting to balance the hormonal system as essential oils help to balance the whole person – mind body and spirit
Puberty • Irregular periods • Haemorrhage • Painful periods • Acne
Irregular periods • Drink hydrolats of sage and cassis to help to normalise the blood flow and regularity • Use essential oils of clary sage, sage, Niaouli, fennel and rosemary – all of which are emmenagogic and some help balance oestrogen levels
Haemorrhage • Drink immortelle (helichrysum) and cypress hydrolat to try and control blood loss on a daily basis. • Use essential oils of cypress, helichrysum, juniper and sweet marjoram in the bath and as a body lotion regularly to help with blood loss and to ‘back up’ the hydrolat treatment.
Period pains • Suggest drinks of chamomile hydrolat before the pains start (if this is possible to assess) and use the chamomile in the bath • Make a compress of chamomile German and Cornmint, 5 – 10 drops of each onto the abdomen, cover with film to exclude the air and apply heat for 40 minutes. This can also help in the small of the back.
Acne • Frankincense, lavender, chamomile and tea tree • Carrot carrier oil • Naturally Pure Cleansing Milk • Naturally Fresh Toning Lotion • Naturally Balancing Moisture Cream
Pregnancy • Do oils cross the placenta • Oils for the body • Oils for the mind • Oils for labour • Aftercare
Essential oils balance the body • Mild diuretics and emmenagogues cause no damage to pregnant women • Pregnant women develop an extra layer of fat for protection – this gives a slow release effect of the essential oils into the blood stream and gives proper time for metabolisation
Relaxed mothers have relaxed babies • Essential oils DO CROSS the placenta • The placenta is not fully formed until at least 10 weeks • Essential oils can be present in breast milk but only in very small amounts
Mind oils • Geranium a cleanser for the lymphatic system and mind. Balances emotions, anti-depressant. Safe and gentle • Melissa true deeply balancing, can cross blood/brain barrier. Deals with deep depression, emotional and hormonal imbalance. Safe to use
Mind oils • Roman chamomile balancing, antifungal, good for skin, stress and insomnia. Safe to use • Rose otto antiviral, antiseptic, balancing. Good for skin, stress and insomnia. Very safe and gentle
Menopause • Hot flushes • Vaginitis • Irregular periods • Lack of sex drive • Haemorrhage • Dry, wrinkled skin
Pelargonium graveolens Citrus bergamia Mentha x piperita Salvia sclarea Pimpinella anisum Chamemelum nobile Lavandula angustifolia Eau de rose, cassis and peppermint hydrolats Hot Flushes
Calendula Almond Avocado Wheatgerm Evening primrose Jojoba Santalum album Canaga odorata Rosa damascena Pogostemon patchouli Chamaemelum nobile Lavandula angustifolia Vaginitis/dry vagina
Salvia sclarea Salvia officinalis Melaleuca viridiflora Foeniculum vulgare Rosmarinus officinalus Use in borage or evening primrose oils Irregular Periods
Cupressus sempervirens Pelargonium graveolens Juniperus communis Lavandula angustifolia Thymus mastichina Bath Massage Compress Haemorrhage
Salvia sclarea Pimpinella anisum Pelargonium graveolens Syzigium aromaticum Rosa damascena Santalum album Cananga odorata Lack of Sex-Drive
Dry, wrinkled skin • Use calendula for steroid damaged skin • Use macadamia for cracked skin • Use essential oils of rose, neroli, ylang ylang, geranium and palmarosa • Naturally Soft moisture cream • Naturally Velvet feeding mask • Naturally Renewing night cream • Naturally Delicate eye and neck cream
Autumn years • Incontinence • Memory Loss • Arthritis and aches and pains • Chest infections • Emotions
Cupressus sempervirens Thymus mastichina Lavandula x intermedia Bath Massage Compress Incontinence
Memory loss • Rosmarinos officinalis – is the very best oil to use for this distressing condition • Nepeta cataria is also helpful • Apply oils undiluted to the wrists and elbows • Use in the bath • Inhale during the day (if you remember!)
Oregano majorana Juniperus communis Zingiber montana Cymbopogon citratus Lavandula angustifolia Use in a light lotion Or in the bath Very helpful in a blend for massage using sesame carrier oil Aches and pains
Eucalyptus smithii Boswelli carteri Oregano majorana Santalum album Use in a light lotion Or in the bath And as inhalations during the day and the night Chest infections
Enhance the Happiness • Aromatise the memory - Rosemarinus officinalis • Uplift the spirit - Citrus reticulata • Help sleep - Lavendula angustifolia
Conclusion • Aromatherapy can help • Hydrolats are very important for hormonal issues • Dosages need to be adhered to for the vulnerable • Thank you for listening