Nature is both unified and diversified. And essential oils have these two aspects as well. They can be both specific and general. For this reason labelling essential oils as ‘good for this’ or ‘good for that’ (although often useful and certainly interesting) can only ever tell a partial story. Many oils turn out to be ‘adaptogenic’ which means they are generally balancing.
The other day someone asked me about essential oils for women, and after the initial alarm bells had settled down and bearing in mind what I said above, there are of course some oils that have a special resonance with the female nervous system. For many women the ups and downs of life can cause a range of niggling symptoms and although there are many oils that can be of value, some in particular stand out for their multi-purpose action. Essential oils have an holistic effect on the body which makes them a perfect choice for multi-faceted problems. So here is a selection of some favourites for you to try, either on their own or blended to suit your particular needs.
You probably have your own favourites, so please let me know so I can share with everyone.
Clary Sage is an ancient medicinal herb which has been used for thousands of years for digestive pains and abdominal muscle cramps. This oil is also used frequently in aromatherapy to help relieve symptoms relating to the menopause. Add to a blend for massage or inhale to balance shfting emotions.
Mandarin has a relaxing effect that is calming rather than sedating, helping to relieve over-tiredness and associated hyperactivity. Its gentle effects work well for body as well as mind, making Mandarin a useful addition to a blend for cramps.
Roman Camomile is the most gentle of oils, with a mild sedative effect that calms anxious feelings and relieves tension-related aches and pains. Try in a blend for monthly cramps or add a few drops to the bath for tension, stress and sleeplessness. Also safe to use with children if their irritability is having a knock-on effect on you.
Highland Lavender has so many uses it is difficult to know where to start, but definitely use a high altitude Lavender for the best therapeutic effect. It is great to improve sleep and daytime alertness, and also helpful if you suffer from skin breakouts: just dab a little on blemishes to reduce redness and inflammation.
Bergamot has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve mood and relieve the effects of chronic stress. It is useful for mood swings and irritability or just to give you a boost if you are feeling low. A cheerful oil for year-round happiness and health. This oil can be irritating to the skin and is also phototoxic, so it is best inhaled from a tissue or used in a diffuser.
Sweet Marjoram has a warming effect on tight muscles so it is ideal in a massage blend for tension-related muscle pain. It has also been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure, making it especially suitable for emotional support during difficult times.
Peppermint is well known for its cooling effects. Great for abdominal massage, or try a couple of drops in a cooling body mist during the menopause. Peppermint also stimulates the body, helping to boost energy levels and sharpen concentration. Put a drop on each temple for headaches or use in a foot bath to banish mental fatigue.
Here’s an important bonus. That makes eight, doesn’t it, but we can’t leave off Vitex. Vitex is also known as Monk’s Pepper and Chaste Tree and it comes with a powerful reputation for increasing progesterone production, and the monks apparently used to take it to reduce testosterone levels. Vitex is a powerful oil and should certainly only be used with full awareness. Results of a survey on 35 women were presented at Pacific Institute’s 2000 conference (worth looking up).
Still unsure? Why not try one of our pre-blended oils created specially for women?
A Changing Woman contains Sweet Fennel, Verbena and Clary Sage, while Ester Blossoms – A Woman’s Balance is composed of Lavender, Balsam Fir, Rose Geranium and Clary Sage.