How to Balance the Endocrine System with Essential Oils
The Endocrine System: What Are Hormones?
The endocrine system (the system of glands that excrete hormones) influences every cell, organ and function of the body. Hormones travel to each organ and command the cells, regulating everything! As Dr. Daniel G. Amen referred in The Brain In Love it is basically the hormones that make us who we are. From mood to metabolism, they guide our growth and development, even before birth. Hormones are responsible for aging (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone), sleep cycles (melatonin), hunger (thyroid), stress (cortisol) or fear (adrenalin).
What are Endocrine Disruptors? (or why does it seem like we live in a hormonal mine field?)
Endocrine disruptors mimic hormones and therefore alter the endocrine system. They send false signals, block the action of hormones or alter the amount of hormones produced. Therefore they have consequences for the general wellbeing of the organism. Toxic chemicals (plastics, fragrances present in cosmetics or house decorations such as candles, pesticides, just to name a few) or stress are the main disruptors we face. Making conscious lifestyle choices and reducing the exposure to endocrine disruptors is a way to protect the organism.
What are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are compounds that help stabilise and balance the body’s chemical reactions to stress or external endocrine disruptors. Adaptogenic herbs can adapt their function to help the body get to balance again when exposed to stress or chemicals. They may be found in teas and also in essential oils, because some of these herbs have natural compounds whose chemistry interacts with the organism promoting balance of the cells and a healthy system. Therefore they are important hormone supporters and body healers. You can read more about what are adaptogenic herbs here.
So which essential oils actually work for hormone balancing?
1 – Geranium
Safe to use during pregnancy and also in babies, Geranium is an efficient oil reported to work on all levels: mental, emotional and physical. It is fantastic for the skin! It can also be very handy for reducing fatigue and inflammation, according to this study, as well as enhancing the mood. Geranium also has benefits for the liver – one of the main hormone centers – as one can read here.
How to use?
Use in the diffuser. Apply daily in the bottom of feet. When facing hormone issues or stress, one can apply Geranium directly on the liver prior to going to sleep. I have done it often and it supports the liver and the hormone balance, which consequently leads to a restful night’s sleep.
2 – Clary Sage
This is my personal favourite as I explain in this video.
The biggest benefit of Clary Sage is that it helps balance estrogen production in the body and therefore it’s an incredibly effective essential oil for hormone imbalances. It can also be used to relieve PMS and period cramps due to its antipasmodic properties. You can read more about how Clary Sage can support hormone balance here.
How to use?
Apply daily in the back of the neck, bottom of feet, ears and/or pulses. You can also use it in the diffuser to promote feelings of relaxation and high conscious. I like to use it as my personal perfume.
3 – Sandalwood
Sandalwood is very effective balancing testosterone levels in both men and women and therefore it is a great supporter of hormones. It has actually been used as a natural aphrodisiac for years and it is a common scent in perfumery. It has also fantastic effects smoothing the skin and that is one of the reasons why I use it on my face recipe. Sandalwood is also under study for its anti-cancer effects.
How to use?
Apply daily in the bottom of the feet, ears or pulses. You can also use in the diffuser, which promotes feelings of balance and peace.
4 – Lavender
Lavender may assist hormones in different ways: it helps balance hormones, it relieves pain (particularly abdominal pain associated with menstrual cramps or PMS), it also helps relieve stress and anxiety, it can calm the mind and the body and it may be useful relieving headaches (a more detailed post on the subject will come soon). According to some studies Lavender can alleviate depression and emotionl symptoms of PMS if inhaled for 10 to 15 minutes.
How to use?
Apply daily (extra bonus if you’re going to sleep since Lavender promotes a restful sleep) in the bottom of feet, ears and pulses. Always make sure you trust the brand of essential oils you chose, since they are highly concentrated and one single drop goes a long way, they should have the maximum quality and Lavender is one of the most common oils and therefore one of the most adulterated.
5 – Grapefruit
This is a great supporter for women’s fertility and I have seen the lecture of a woman who got back her fertility from candida due to the systematic use of Grapefruit (combined with Clary Sage and proper nutrition).
How to use?
Drink it during the day: add to water or tea. Intake it directly, if you prefer! I find 1 to 3 drops enough, but I know people who take up to 12 drops. Be sure you are fully familiarized with the usage of essential oils in your body prior to intaking them. You can also apply it in the wrists (remember that all the citrus oils are photosensitive and therefore you can’t take sun after applying it or your skin may stain). You can smell it directly from the bottle throughout the day to promote feelings of energy and joy or use it in the diffuser.
6 – Thyme
According to this study Thyme essential oil has progesterone balancing effects. Progesterone levels are important for fertility, PCOS and even depression. Improving progesterone makes Thyme a great essential oil that can be used to naturally balance hormones in the body.
How to use?
Thyme has a very strong smell and therefore I always prefer to combine it with other oils (I prefer citrus oils or flowers such as Ylang Ylang) when using it aromatically. Some people take one drop of Thyme with water or food and that can also be a possibility to have in mind.
Any of these oils can support Hormone Balancing. Chose one to two and incorporate them in Your daily routine.
1 – Nutrition has a crucial role on Your body’s health and on the great majority of hormone imbalance cases it is the root cause. Essential Oils will support Your body’s metabolism and promote health, but they will not solve the underlying cause if it is related with food habits that may need a change. For further information on nutrition you can read this post and on how essential oils can support digestion and emotional eating.
2 – When it comes to essential oils, quality plays a major role, so be sure you trust the brand of essential oils you choose.
3 – You have more information in the interview to Dr. Lara Briden and you can also find relevant information in the Happy Healthy Hormones Interview Series.
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