ESSENTIAL OILS TO SUPPORT WOMEN'S HEALTH
Essential oils have been used by many ancient civilizations and cultures around the world for their healing properties. Ancient Egyptian and traditional Chinese and Indian (Ayurveda) medicine included the use of aromatic essential oils for medical treatment and emotional balance. The chemical compounds of aromatic Essential Oils offer unique health benefits to almost anyone who uses them. However, did you know that there are certain essential oils that can support women's health? Every woman is unique, having different needs depending on the stage of life she is currently in. As holistic practices become more popular, women are rediscovering the positive impact Essential Oils can have on their overall health and wellbeing. Using essential oils such as Lavender, Geranium, Clary Sage, and Frankincense can improve one's mood and mental state through aromatherapy. When applied topically, these oils can help ease the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopause. Since Essential Oils are so versatile, women can tailor them to their individual needs and incorporate them into their personal care routines to support their overall wellbeing.
HOW CAN ESSENTIAL OILS SUPPORT WOMEN'S HEALTH?
Aromatic oils have been used for centuries to treat women's health concerns as well as to promote vitality. Today, the natural wellness movement is inspiring women of all ages to seek more holistic practices as their needs change throughout the course of their lives. Hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are always fluctuating, particularly during major life events such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Ever-changing hormone levels also impact skin condition, body weight, temperature, and libido.
Acne is one of the most common symptoms of hormone imbalance, and it is not exclusive to girls in their teens. Incorporating essential oils such as Bergamot into the skincare routine is an effective way to treat and prevent future breakouts while balancing the skin's natural sebum levels. For mature skin types, oils extracted from resins possess chemical constituents that are believed to reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines.
For premenopausal women, the menstrual cycle can come with an array of symptoms due to the constant change in hormone levels, including cramps, mood swings, and sore muscles. Essential Oils such as Clary Sage are believed to support hormone balance while also easing symptoms that occur prior to and during the menstrual phase of the cycle. It also possesses stimulating and sedative properties that can uplift the mood and promote relaxation, treating hormone imbalances that are caused by stress.
Essential oils can also provide natural relief to symptoms of menopause. When a woman stops menstruating, estrogen levels plummet, causing a host of uncomfortable sensations such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and low libido. Using essential oils aromatically or topically can provide temporary relief to these physical symptoms, as well as mental clarity, as a woman navigates her menopausal journey.
THE BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH
Clary Sage Essential Oil - Known for its herbaceous and sweet aroma with subtle fruity notes, the name Clary Sage Oil is derived from the Latin word claris, meaning 'clear'. Aromatically, Clary Sage has been used to cultivate a relaxing and peaceful environment that can create a sense of balance and grounding. For centuries, Clary Sage Oil has been favored for its versatility in supporting women's health. Studies have shown that this herbaceous oil can ease the severity of menstrual cramps, as well as treat PMS symptoms such as mood swings.
Lavender Essential Oil - Lavender Oil is a strong sedative that has been used for centuries to treat sleep problems as well as symptoms of stress and anxiety. This beautiful floral oil can be used by women young and old to support their overall wellbeing. Along with its aromatic benefits, Lavender Oil can also support healthy skin when applied topically. Linalool, one of the main constituents of Lavender Oil, exhibits anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that are cleansing and soothing to congested skin.
Geranium Essential Oil - Reputed to reduce physical and mental stress, Geranium Oil possesses balancing properties that promote a sense of focus and calm during times of physical or emotional distress. Geranium Oil is believed to be effective in soothing symptoms of both menstruation and menopause. This includes body aches, mood swings, and hot flashes.
Bergamot Essential Oil - Bergamot Essential Oil exudes a bright citrus scent that is also fruity, sweet, and balanced by a spicy floral note. Characteristic to citrus oils, Bergamot oil is reputed to ease the symptoms of stress and anxiety because of its constituents such as a-Pinene and Limonene. Bergamot can also act as a sedative and support proper sleep hygiene, which is crucial for women at all stages of life. For menopausal women, getting adequate sleep may help ease symptoms of migraines caused by hormonal shifts. When applied topically, Bergamot can support healthy skin and hair by adding shine to the hair, preventing hair loss, and soothing inflammatory skin issues such as acne.
Neroli Essential Oil - Citrusy, sweet, and notably floral, Neroli's exotic aroma can be beneficial in supporting mental and emotional wellbeing. Regarded as a grounding and peaceful oil, Neroli is believed to ease symptoms of depression while encouraging a more positive mood. A small study involving postmenopausal women demonstrated that inhaling Neroli Oil helped manage symptoms such as low libido caused by stress.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil - Rose Geranium Oil possesses many of the same benefits as Geranium while also exhibiting a unique sweet rose aroma. Rose Geranium also exhibits soothing sedative qualities that can support women's mental and emotional wellbeing by promoting a greater sense of relaxation. This balancing oil is recommended for those who are experiencing symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, restlessness, or tension.
Frankincense Essential Oil - A deeply spiritual essential oil, Frankincense is diffused during meditation practices to achieve a sense of calm and grounded state of mind. When applied topically, Frankincense is believed to be beneficial to both acne-prone and mature skin types. For aging skin, this oil can improve its elasticity and promote a more supple complexion. Meanwhile, Frankincense's cleansing properties can reduce bacteria that causes blemishes. For menstruating and menopausal women, Frankincense oil has the potential to balance hormone levels as well as reduce symptoms such as pain, cramps, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH
For women who suffer from cramps and body aches at the start of their cycle, a warm and relaxing bath can help ease any discomfort in the body. Simply choose one or more of the soothing essential oils listed above and apply a few drops to a full tub of water. Spend between 10 to 25 minutes in the bath, breathing deeply so that all your senses can reap the full benefits of the aromas. To treat more severe cramping, mix Frankincense, Neroli, Lavender, or Clary Sage with your favorite carrier oil and massage your abdomen in a clockwise motion. This practice will promote circulation and provide a soothing and comforting effect. These essential oils can also be added to a cloth soaked in warm water and applied directly to the stomach. To maintain the heat of the cloth, adding a hot water bottle on top is recommended.
To support mental and emotional wellbeing, these essential oils can be diffused individually or in a blend to suit your needs. Essential oils can also be applied topically for aromatic purposes as long as they are diluted with a carrier oil. For skin care, dilute 1-5 drops of essential oil with 10 ml/0.3 fl oz. of carrier oil prior to application.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR ESSENTIAL AND CARRIER OILS
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, the Essential Oils and Carrier Oils mentioned are for external use only. They should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with Essential and Carrier Oils, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or another generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime-size amount of the specified oil to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours suggests that the oil is safe to use.
The topical application of most carrier oils is generally known to be safe with responsible use, but irritations, allergies, rashes, and other side effects are possible. In the chance of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
Essential or carrier oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin.
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