The female focus: Women’s health and aromatherapy
Women's health. It’s a topic that doesn't always get the attention it deserves. Fortunately, times are changing.
In the last few years, the wise woman wellness trend has emerged, bringing a focus to female health and finding natural, healthy ways to treat any issues that arise.
The word aromatherapy was coined in 1935 by French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, and this industry, like most until relatively recently, was dominated by male practitioners. Today, women like Alicia Rae, Amy Anthony, Cynthia Tamlyn, Lorrie Hargis and Suzanne Banks, among others, are changing the face of the industry. These phenomenal women have all made significant contributions to the world of aromatherapy and continue to enrich it with their hard work and insight.
Interest from the scientific community is also increasing as researchers uncover the proof underpinning traditional beliefs about essential oils that stretch back thousands of years in time. Modern-day experiments are proving how oils can do what our ancestors trusted them to do.
Aromatherapy is increasingly coming into the spotlight as a healthy solution for a range of female-focused concerns like endometriosis, menopause, menstrual cramps, menstrual pain, PMS and more. Here’s why.
- Women’s health issues that can benefit from oils
- Labour and delivery
- Libido and sexuality
- How to use essential oils for women’s health
- Put them in your bath
- The rise in wise woman wellness awareness
- Top essential oils for every woman’s wellness
- Clary Sage
- Gifts for health-conscious women
- Carrier oils
- Wise woman wellness essential oil blends
- Date Night
- FAQs about essential oils for women's health
- Which essential oils are recommended for women’s health?
- Which essential oils help with hormonal balance?
- Can I use essential oils daily?
- Why is diluting essential oils important?
- Can essential oils help with menopause?
- The importance of every woman’s wellness
Women’s health issues that can benefit from oils
Every woman’s wellness needs are different. They’ll depend on her physiological makeup and what stage of life she’s in. What works for women going through puberty is vastly different to what a menopausal woman will find helpful. With the increase in popularity of holistic practices and the rediscovery of how effective essential oils can be medicinally, more women of all ages are turning to them to help with various issues.
Self-administered abdominal and arm aromatherapy massage with geranium essential oil during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle was shown in a study to drastically improve both the physical and mental symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in university students compared to massage therapy alone or the control.
A similar study using Damask rose helped improve physical and mental symptoms as well as social symptoms.
According to another study, even just inhaling lavender essential oil for 5 days before your cycle starts can help to lift your mood, reduce pain and bloating and help you keep living your life normally during this time!
If you’ve been diagnosed with dysmenorrhea, you’ll know that it’s more than just annoying menstrual cramps! It’s a debilitating pain just before and during your cycle that can stop you from living your life.
Massaging your abdomen with a 3% concentration of a 2:1:1 ratio of lavender, clary sage and marjoram essential oils diluted in unscented cream from one cycle to the next may just be what the doctor ordered. But according to the study, fake fragrances won’t cut it - it has to be the real thing.
If you need a quick solution when the pain strikes, directly inhaling rose oil might provide help too!
Pregnancy is a very sensitive time since whatever is put onto or into the mother’s body will end up affecting the foetus. Many essential oils can adversely affect the growing baby, according to this study.
During pregnancy, diffusing essential oils might be the safest method of use. However, some oils can be used in aromatherapy massage or in the bath too. Here are some safe ones:
Labour and delivery
Clary sage and jasmine essential oils are not to be used until you want to deliver your baby because they can encourage and strengthen contractions.
Aromatherapy has been shown to reduce pain and anxiety during labour, may reduce the need for pain medication and may make for a smoother delivery, according to research.
Lavender is the most common essential oil used during labour, according to a review of studies. It has been used in inhalation, massage, footbath, birthing pool, acupressure and as a compress.
Inhaling lavender and Damask rose essential oils after a Caesarean delivery may also help reduce anxiety and C-section pain. A foot massage with orange oil might help with anxiety too.
And if you’ve had an episiotomy, one study found that applying diluted lavender essential oil to the incision site seems to be more effective in helping with healing than conventional medications.
According to a study, inhaling bergamot oil for 15 minutes a day may help stave off postpartum depression, something that many women struggle with after the birth of their baby.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, again, lavender can improve sleep quality in the postpartum period, a time when sleep is so precious. Lavender also helps with postpartum depression, a double bang for your buck.
Frankincense is another grounding and powerful healing essential oil that can be used during delivery and after delivery to reduce anxiety and promote healing.
If you’re low on breastmilk and are looking for natural help to increase it, there are certainly natural solutions, such as fenugreek, blessed thistle and mint. However, because we don’t recommend ingesting essential oils, we recommend getting this advice from your doctor, midwife or lactation consultant.
On another note, you may experience more sexual satisfaction while breastfeeding if you inhale bitter orange and lavender essential oils!
Libido and sexuality
Speaking of sexuality, if you need some help in the area of libido or desire, some essential oils that may help put you in the mood include ylang ylang, vanilla and frankincense, to name a few. Read more on this further down.
Menopause is a time full of change and can affect your mood, sexual desire or function, and you can experience symptoms such as hot flashes. Research shows that inhaling essential oils like lavender, bergamot, bitter orange and neroli can help improve mood, sexual function and hot flashes.
Lavender can also help improve sleep during menopause, as always, and aromatherapy massage may be even more effective.
How to use essential oils for women’s health
Essential oils are very versatile, so you can tailor which ones you need according to your particular woman wellness needs. You can also choose how to use them for the best effect.
Put them in your bath
One of the many reasons essential oils are such popular gifts for health-conscious women is that they’re excellent bath products. Not only will you gain their physical benefits as the essential oils are absorbed through your skin, you’ll also enjoy their psychological benefits as the particles rise with the steam and are inhaled, leaving you feeling refreshed.
Just make sure you’ve properly diluted them before they come into contact with your skin.
With all the benefits that a hot bath can offer for period cramps, back pain, aching breasts, feeling bloated and even a low sex drive, essential oils in the water will add their own effects.
It’s not advised that you store them in your bathroom, however. The heat and humidity can affect their efficacy, but adding them to your water, shampoo, conditioner and even your body wash can be a brilliant way to enjoy their benefits.
Compresses can be incredibly effective for a range of complaints. Hot compresses will relax tired muscles and tissues, treat joint and nerve pain, soothe muscle aches and injuries and can treat localised infections.
Cold compresses constrict blood vessels, reduce swelling, soothe inflammation and reduce pain, conditions which affect many women before, during and after their periods.
While compresses work extremely well on their own, you can boost their therapeutic power by infusing them with certain essential oils. The water will draw out the healing constituents of the oils you’ve chosen and make it easier for your skin to absorb them, too.
Ultrasonic diffusers are a top choice, partly because the scent they release is subtler than other types of diffusers generate.
Choosing the right essential oil and allowing your diffuser to turn it into a regenerative mist after you’ve mixed it with water is a fabulous way to harness its power for your every woman wellness routine.
Simply add between 10-20 drops of high-quality essential oil to your diffuser, replace the lid and cover and choose a timer setting. The diffuser will shut off automatically when it’s empty.
Diffusing may help mitigate menopausal symptoms like mood changes and sleep problems and those shared by menstruating women, like mood changes, weight gain and a slowed metabolism.
Another way to use essential oils for women's wellness treatments is to simply open the bottle up and inhale deeply a couple of times. Just be sure that you don’t allow the undiluted oil to come into direct contact with your skin.
You could also use your oils as part of a steam method. For this, you’ll need to fill a bowl with hot water, grab a towel and add a few drops of your oil to the bowl. Then place the towel over your head and lower your face to the bowl, closing your eyes and inhaling deeply.
Using this method is highly recommended if you suffer from depression, irritation, anxiety, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed at any point during your menstrual cycle.
After you’ve diluted your oils with an A-grade carrier oil, you can safely apply this mixture to your skin. Focus on areas where you feel pain, tension and tightness, or get someone to massage it into the affected area.
Massage tender areas like your lower back, shoulders, belly, breasts and feet with an essential oil dilution to gain the pain-reducing or inflammation-relieving benefits of the oil you’ve chosen.
You could also gently rub your diluted essential oil mix into important pressure points. Experiment with putting it behind your ears, on your wrists, onto your temples, to the bottom of your feet and even your third eye.
The rise in wise woman wellness awareness
Traditional treatments get a lot of criticism because they tend to treat the symptoms rather than the cause of a given health issue. More recently, alternative therapies have increasingly been preferred because they can help target both the symptoms and the cause.
Holistic aromatherapy is a good example of this trend and is a favourite with people interested in every woman’s wellness because it gives us control over what we’re putting into our bodies. Rather than relying on potentially dangerous drugs, many people are turning back to Mother Nature as they create healthier environments for themselves in their pursuit of good health.
Top essential oils for every woman’s wellness
Essential oils get absorbed through your skin into your bloodstream as well as by your smell receptors linked to the limbic system, which in turn controls blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, stress and the flight-or-fight response.
Every plant’s essence has its own unique chemical makeup. This affects what it smells like, how quickly it gets absorbed and what effect it has on us. No two oils are alike, and some are better at treating certain problems than others.
In terms of women's wellness, let your condition guide you in conjunction with your personal reaction to every oil.
Bergamot essential oil has a bright, citrusy scent that’s fruity, spicy and sweet. It’s good at easing general symptoms of anxiety and stress due to the α-pinene and limonene it contains.
It also has sedative properties, and getting enough sleep can help with women's health issues like migraines, mood swings and fatigue caused by shifts in our hormones.
Famous for its herbaceous, sweet aroma and subtle, fruity notes, clary sage essential oil cultivates peaceful, relaxing environments that may ground you and balance your emotions.
It’s also useful because it may ease PMS symptoms and the intensity of menstrual cramps.
With a reputation for being able to lower mental and physical stress levels, geranium essential oil may help foster focus and help you keep calm even when you’re distressed.
It’s also an excellent addition to your wise woman wellness treatment programme because it can help soothe menstrual and menopausal symptoms.
Lavender essential oil isn’t the most popular essential oil for no reason! It is a potent sedative, making it useful for treating sleep disorders and those related to anxiety and stress. If you struggle with headaches, insomnia, pain, skin irritation and hair issues, this oil may work wonders for you.
Often used during meditation and spiritual ceremonies, frankincense has been used for thousands of years to enhance calmness, grounding and spiritual experiences. Even better than burning it, today we can simply and safely diffuse frankincense essential oil in an ultrasonic diffuser.
You can also apply it topically, after properly diluting it, to treat breakouts and wrinkles. It may improve your skin’s elasticity and make your complexion more supple while it works to relieve anxiety, cramps, fatigue, nausea and pain - all of which are common ailments for women who struggle with PMS or who are going through menopause.
Gifts for health-conscious women
Research like we’ve seen above has come about due to standard medical treatments not being able to offer effective relief to women suffering from women’s health issues. Now that you understand the battles the special women in your life may face, you can be armed with the knowledge of how to help!
Practical gifts bestow much more than just an initial thrill on whoever receives them. When you’re considering buying a gift for a health-conscious woman, there are several aromatherapy-related options that will keep on giving:
Choosing the right essential oil blends for someone you care about will ensure they have the tools to help relieve their stress, turn their home or office into an aromatherapeutic oasis, and ensure they’re getting the quality sleep they need.
Essential Oil Sets can be chosen to specifically address whatever issue your gift recipient is tackling. Their far-reaching effects will ensure that you’re never far from the lucky receiver’s mind.
Getting everyone the perfect gift can turn into a real challenge, especially around the holidays. Simplify the choosing process by keeping notes on what scents your friends or family prefer and consider purchasing them an Essential Oil Mist the next time they’re due to receive a little something from you.
Did you know that carrier oils not only protect your skin from irritation but also provide their own unique benefits too? Some are better for your face, providing anti-aging benefits without clogging pores, while others are great moisturisers for the rest of your body.
The importance of a quality carrier oil when you’re working with essential oils cannot be overstated. Choose from premium oils like Blueberry Carrier Oil, rosehip, jojoba and plum, each offering its own special array of benefits.
Wise woman wellness essential oil blends
The harmonic blending of pure essential oils can be done for both therapeutic and aromatic purposes. It’s a very creative undertaking and one that you’ll be able to do on your own sooner than you may think.
If, however, you’re wondering where to even begin when blending oils to treat woman health issues, consider trying these combinations created by experts:
Summon up some romance, whether you’re in a partnership or not, with Volant’s Organic Date Night Blend. Amber, bergamot, frankincense and lavender come together to help set the mood, helping you relax and enjoy those intimate moments.
The Organic Energy Blend by Volant Aroma brings together amyris, bergamot, grapefruit and lime oil with their energising properties, helping to put some pep in your step - a much needed tool for many busy women.
Amyris essential oil can improve the quality of your sleep and may stimulate your brain function to boot, which is essential for studying or working women, new moms and menopausal women alike.
Address a variety of symptoms with Organic Focus, a blend containing cinnamon, clementine, rosemary and vanilla bean. It will help with concentration as well as assist you in your every woman wellness journey back to nature.
The rosemary essential oil found in this blend is an excellent anti-inflammatory, and its pain-relieving properties can help headaches and muscle-soreness, both common menstrual and menopausal complaints.
Rest is one of the most vital ingredients to a healthy, happy life, and Volant’s Organic Sleep blend will help make sure you get yours. Benefit from this combination of frankincense, lavender, palma rosa and Roman chamomile.
Frankincense may be useful in regulating your oestrogen production. This can help to manage hormone-related skin issues and prevent cysts and tumours from forming.
Give yourself or someone you love an at-home pampering solution with our Organic Spa Blend. The combination of bergamot, eucalyptus and geranium is renewing and softening.
Eucalyptus is an excellent option if your body hurts and may bring relief from general aches and pains.
FAQs about essential oils for women's health
Can I use essential oils daily?
You can, depending on how you’re using them, which oils you’ve chosen and your individual chemical makeup. Take note of how you’re feeling at the end of each session and adjust accordingly.
Why is diluting essential oils important?
Whatever your goal for women's wellness may be, improperly diluting oils can result in skin irritation and even burns. Use them responsibly and give them the respect they deserve as powerful forces of nature so that you can continue enjoying their wide array of benefits long term.
Can essential oils help with menopause?
In certain cases, they may be able to. Angelica, clary sage, coriander, cypress, and fennel all contain phytoestrogens, which could help balance hormones. Others such as lavender, rose geranium, rose and jasmine among others can also help with the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, pain and moodiness.
The importance of every woman’s wellness
In today’s evolving world, we’re all doing more. Looking after our physical, mental and emotional health is key if we’re going to manage healthfully and be there fully for those who matter most. Using essential oils is an excellent way to promote women's health and to ensure that female concerns get the attention they deserve.
Volant’s pure, 100% organic essential oils are a wonderful way to boost every woman's wellness and to help you live your best life naturally. And if you’re looking for the ideal gifts for the women in your life, look no further - Volant’s array of diffusers and organic essential oils are the perfect gifts for health conscious woman.