When it comes to managing the symptoms of perimenopause, hormone imbalances, and hormone imbalances for many women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may not be an option. Whether due to your personal or familial history of cancers (breast, uterine, or cervical), potential side effects, or a desire for a more natural way, there are multiple holistic options available. Herbal supplements for menopausal symptoms may be the answer you are looking for.
Some of the most popular and effective methods to manage hormone imbalance include regular use of herbal supplements, drinking herbal tea, as well as incorporating essential oils.
Here is a list of some of the most effective herbs and oils for you to consider:
Herbs & Supplements
Please be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before beginning any supplementation, especially if you are currently using any medications/supplements.
- Licorice root: Hormone regulator
- Red clover: Estrogenic
- Spirulina: Overall endocrine system support
- Ashwagandha: stress reliever/ hot flashes
- Pueraria Mirifica: Estrogenic
- Maca Root: Adaptogen Herb
- Maca root: Hormonal balance
- Passionflower: Sedative
- Rose: All around woman’s herb (take as tea)
Dryness: Vagina, Eyes, Mouth
- Pycnogenol (Pine Bark Extract)
- Milk thistle: Liver support
- Maca root: hormone balance
- Sage: Hormonal balance
- Ashwagandha: hormonal balance
- Pueraria Mirifica: hormonal balance
- Lemon balm: Relaxing
- Valerian Root
- Magnesium: stress reducer
- Motherwort: sedative
- L-Theanine (Sun theanine): Anti-anxiety/relaxation
- Vitamin B Complex
- Omega 3 Oil
- Vitamin D (also good for osteoporosis and cancer prevention)
- Spirulina: Endocrine system support
- Kelp: Endocrine system support
For a more comprehensive article on supplements please click here!
Essential Oils for Perimenopause & Menopause
Rose: emotional wellness and hot flashes (worth the price!): Rose essential oil is typically touted as an aromatherapy remedy for the following health concerns:
- Menopausal symptoms
- Menstrual cramps
In addition, rose essential oil is said to enhance libido, reduce stress, stimulate circulation, sharpen memory, and boost mood.
Clary Sage: Sex hormones
Hot flashes are a quick sensation of heat that pulsates throughout your body. These may be naturally remedied by rubbing three drops of diluted clary sage oil across the back of your neck or all over your feet. For even quicker relief, consider adding a few drops to a tissue or napkin and inhaling and exhaling softly. This allows the oil to enter your body through your nose. This process can also produce antidepressant-like effects. Clary sage is also thought to help slow the development of osteoporosis. Women experiencing menopause have an increased risk for osteoporosis due to a decline in estrogen. During this time, bone breakdown overtakes bone development.
The hormone-balancing effects of Vitex agnus-castus may help relieve symptoms of menopause including mood and sleep.
Pine: Adrenal hormones
Pine is energizing without being overly stimulating. Therefore, it is very helpful for those who are in full adrenal burnout or who have chronic fatigue syndrome. Pine is revitalizing and therefore effective against fatigue. Since a weak or compromised immune system often goes hand-in-hand with adrenal fatigue, pine may be beneficial for strengthening the immune system. To use: Apply 1 or 2 drops, undiluted, to the bottom of each foot upon rising. Diffuse alone or with other adrenal-supporting oils, like lavender, black spruce, and/or frankincense. Inhale straight from the bottle as needed.
Peppermint: Hot flashes
Peppermint oil may also reduce your discomfort when experiencing hot flashes. Add no more than two drops to a tissue. Hold the tissue up to your nose while breathing slowly. This oil may also help relieve any cramping you may experience during this time. Although not common once menstruation has ended, it’s typical to experience menstruation-related cramping (dysmenorrhea) during perimenopause.
Lavender may help balance your hormones and soothe perineal discomfort. If the area around your perineum feels tight or otherwise uncomfortable, you may consider placing a cold compress on the area. You can add one drop of diluted lavender oil to the compress for additional relief. Use the compress for up to 30 minutes and you’ll experience the benefits. If you experience any stinging or burning, you should remove the compress and rinse the area with water. Lavender can also promote feelings of relaxation and help improve the quality of your sleep. During this time, insomnia and other sleep-related problems are common. You may find it beneficial to add lavender aromatherapy to your nighttime routine.
Valerian Root: Sleep
Valerian Root essential oil can be effective in treating sleeping disorders such as insomnia and may also be used to relieve symptoms caused by PMS such as headaches, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fatigue, migraines, and indigestion.
Orange: Depressive states
Used in aromatherapy, Orange Essential Oil’s pleasant scent has a cheerful and uplifting yet simultaneously relaxing, calming effect that helps reduce pulse rate. It can not only create a warm environment but can also stimulate the strength and resilience of the immune system and eliminate airborne bacteria.
Geranium: Stress relief/anti-anxiety
Geranium used as an essential oil has also been found to help menopausal women manage hormonal changes. One to two drops may be inhaled from a napkin for immediate stress relief. Geranium is also helpful for dry skin. Consider adding a few drops of the diluted oil to the water during a relaxing, hot bath. Research also suggests that this essential oil has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.
Basil: Estrogen/mood/hot flashes
If you’re looking for ways to increase your estrogen levels or to help improve your mood, consider adding basil aromatherapy to your daily regimen. Basil can also be helpful against hot flashes when diluted and applied to your feet or rubbed across the back of your neck.
Citrus oil aromatherapy is said to have a number of health benefits for women experiencing symptoms of menopause. Researchers in a 2014 study found the postmenopausal women who inhaled this essential oil experienced fewer physical symptoms and an increase in sexual desire. In addition to a decrease in systolic blood pressure, they also experienced an improved pulse rate and estrogen concentrations. Citrus also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help with any aches and pains you may be experiencing. Take care with citrus oils, they make your skin sun-sensitive. Avoid direct sunlight if applying diluted citrus oils to your skin.
Libido/Stress/Anti-Inflammatory: A recent study of postmenopausal women found that inhaled neroli oil was beneficial for relieving several symptoms associated with menopause, such as high blood pressure, low libido, and elevated stress levels.
Anxiety/Depression/Libido: Ylang-ylang is t known for its intoxicating aroma that calms and uplifts your mind and body, relieves stress and tension. It also works wonders with reducing anxiety and depression. Simply open your bottle of ylang-ylang, take a sniff, and feel your anxiety melt away. The oil is also great for combating low libido, another common symptom of menopause.
How to Use Essential Oils
If you are looking to use a mixture of these oils for your menopause symptoms, there are a number of ways to benefit. Consider:
- Create a body moisturizer by mixing five to eight drops of your essential oil of choice to an unscented carrier oil, like sweet almond oil. Apply to the skin two to three times per day. You can use a liquid carrier oil to create a massage or bath oil.
- Place a couple of drops of your chosen oil on a tissue, and hold it under your nose to inhale when you start experiencing symptoms.
- Mix eight drops of oil into 1/2 cup of coconut milk (use the thickened milk from the can) and pour it into a hot bath.
- Speak with your doctor before using essential oils for menopausal relief. Your doctor will be able to tell you if the oils will affect any medications that you may be taking. You should also check with your doctor if you have any known allergies, as some oils may contain potential allergens.
My favorite places to purchase Organic Herbal Teas: Buddha Teas
You can purchase Teas as well as Essential Oils here: Starwest Botanicals
Here’s to your well-balanced hormonal health!
Lorraine Miano discovered her passion of offering menopause advocacy, support and resources to women in all phases of menopause through health coaching, proper nutrition and preventive lifestyle choices. She received her certifications as a Health Coach and hormone health expert from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
She has been able to help even more women by writing and publishing her first book, The Magic of Menopause: A Holistic Guide to Get Your Happy Back! The book helps guide women through the struggles they face as they begin menopause and helps tackle the daily changes such as balancing hormones holistically, getting a better night’s sleep and reducing or eliminating hot flashes, to name a few.
Lorraine loves to encourage her clients with her mantra “Menopause is NOT an ending! IT IS a new beginning!”