Balanced hormones are crucial to your health. Hormones control almost every function of your body to some degree, which means when there's an imbalance, you can experience significant problems. Many major health issues are linked to hormonal imbalance, as well as less-major issues.
In women, PMS and excessive menstrual cramping are caused by imbalanced hormones while, for men, imbalanced hormones can lead to unusual aggression or low fertility. Over time, an imbalance of hormones can cause further problems.
This means that keeping your hormones balanced is critical. You'd think the human body would do a good job of that on its own, but in the modern world there are just too many things working against you.
Most people likely have some type of hormone imbalance, and this only becomes more common and more severe as you grow older.
Many people are prescribed hormone therapy injections. While these can help, it's also possible that they'll simply tip the balance off in a different direction because it can take some time for your doctor to dial in the dosage for you.
Fortunately, there's an easier way. Essential oils can help to regulate your hormone balance safely and naturally.
What are Hormones?
Essentially, hormones are chemical messengers. The technical term for them is "signaling molecules."
They're what your body uses to communicate with itself. For instance, when your stomach is empty, it releases the hormone ghrelin, which tells your brain that there's room for more food. Another hormone, leptin, is released by your fat cells to decrease your appetite.
Almost everything your body does is regulated to some degree by hormones. Your immune system is triggered and shut down by hormones. Growth is managed by hormones.
Cell regeneration, your sleep/wake cycles, and even many of the basic functions of your cells are all controlled by hormones. There's a constant stream of information flowing throughout your body as your cells communicate with each other, and each organ signals the other organs or the brain.
This is why hormone balance is so important; hormones control everything your body does. Let's go back to the hunger and appetite hormones. Ghrelin is what your body releases when the stomach is empty; it increases appetite but it isn't the only factor.
Your brain is also monitoring the level of glucose in your bloodstream and, crucially, it's monitoring the level of leptin. Leptin is the appetite suppressing hormone released by your fat cells.
When your hormones are balanced, your fat cells produce leptin to tell your brain that you have enough body fat stored that you don't need to overeat to build up your reserves anymore.
This can counteract the production of ghrelin in the stomach and keep your appetite regulated to a healthy level. If there's a hormonal imbalance, though, your body might be producing far more ghrelin than leptin, causing your appetite to increase and leading to unhealthy weight gain.
For nearly every system in your body, there are similar sets of hormones which tell your body how to regulate that system. Think of them as "on" and "off" hormones (though in truth it's typically much more complicated than that).
When everything is in balance, all of your body's systems are being properly regulated and function as they're meant to. When there's an imbalance, your digestive system, immune system, reproductive systems, and more will function improperly by becoming overactive, under active, or even ceasing altogether.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance
The world is full of factors that can cause a hormonal imbalance. Many of these are man-made, artificial causes. A number of medicines can cause hormonal imbalance as a side effect. Chemotherapy, in particular, can cause major imbalances.
Tumors, especially tumors on the pituitary gland, are one of the more common causes of hormone imbalance. Stress, injury, trauma, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism can all cause hormone imbalances.
Women are more prone to imbalanced hormones than men, and there are several causes of imbalanced hormones that are unique to women.
Menopause is a very common cause of imbalanced hormones in women, with a significant number of women experiencing hormonal imbalance during menopause. This will often resolve on its own, however.
Birth control medication is also a common cause of imbalanced hormones, since it's designed to affect your hormone production. Breastfeeding, pregnancy, and polycystic ovary syndrome are all common causes, too.
How Toxins can Affect Your Hormone Levels
The world is full of products containing chemical compounds that mimic our hormones.
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, often called xenoestrogens, are found in plastics, household cleanings, and even a number of popular food products. It's almost impossible to avoid them entirely.
In addition to affecting hormone regulation, these chemicals can also cause inflammation, disrupt gene function, promote cell proliferation (i.e. tumors), and induce oxidative stress.
Finding ways to rid your bloodstream of these chemicals is critical. Unfortunately, since almost all of these chemicals are fat-soluble, they end up stored in our fat tissue, which makes them very difficult to get rid of.
How Essential Oils Can Help with Hormone Balance
There are a few ways that essential oils can help with hormone imbalance. Some are direct, while others are indirect.
Replace Your Chemical Cleaners
Since it's likely that your chemical household cleaners are exposing you to a number of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, it's best to replace these completely with all natural cleaners.
This can be done easily and cheaply, since products like vinegar and baking soda are incredible effectively, perfectly safe, and very affordable.
The downside is that cleaning products based on vinegar or baking soda don't leaving behind that best smell, which is why they were so easily replaced by more expensive chemical cleaners in the first place.
A very easy way to fix that problem is to add essential oils. Not only will a few drops of essential oil make your homemade cleaner smell much better, but they can often boost the cleaning power since many of them are naturally antiseptic.
Chronically high stress levels will always lead to imbalanced hormones. That's because stress is regulated by hormones like everything else.
If your body is constantly producing excessive amounts of stress hormones, it's going to cause long term problems.
Essential oils are excellent at reducing stress. In addition to reducing anxiety and psychological stress, they're also quite good at relaxing muscles and relieving the physical tensions associated with stress, which can help reduce the amount of stress hormones in your bloodstream, too.
Essential oils can actually reduce the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your bloodstream, which will help to bring your hormones back into balance.
This one function will allow essential oils to help rebalance hormones in most people experiencing an imbalance, since chronic stress is an incredibly common cause of hormonal imbalance.
Inflammation is an immune response. It happens when the immune system floods an area with white blood cells and other cells and fluids designed to protect the body from infection.
This causes swelling, redness, soreness, and itching. Quite often, inflammation happens as a result of a hormone imbalance triggering the immune system when no immune response is needed, and this can in turn trigger stress hormones and other health problems.
Many essential oils can reduce inflammation by directly lowering the levels of immune-triggering hormones.
This can have the added benefit of regulating your overall hormone levels, because when one hormone if out of balance it often results in a domino effect where many other hormones become imbalanced. Rebalance one hormone, and the others will usually fall back into balance as well.
Best Essential Oils to Use for Hormone Balance
Before you go out and buy a bunch of essential oils, you need to understand which oils will work best for balancing hormones.
Not every essential oil is going to help you, and you can maximize the health benefits by choosing oils that are especially effective at reducing inflammation and reducing stress.
You also need to be sure that you're buying high-quality oils that are produced in such a way as to preserve the delicate aromatic compounds which give each oil its unique benefits as well as it's pleasing scent.
We've broken this list into two sections, because you can use essential oils to balance your hormones in two different ways.
You can use them as household cleaners to replace the harsh chemical cleaners that are causing your hormone imbalance, and you can use them to directly reduce stress and inflammation to help regulate your hormones that way.
Many of the essential oils we'll list will appear in both lists, and these are the most highly recommended oils because they're multi-purpose.
Essential oils that can regulate hormones
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is really popular in beauty products. It can add a wonderful, fresh scent, but it also has many medicinal benefits that make it useful in shampoos, cleaners, and soaps.
It's naturally anti-fungal, which makes it great for treating dandruff, and it has other antimicrobial properties as well.
Tea tree oil also boosts your immune system, improves blood circulation, and treats congestion. It's a great, all-round oil to have on hand for many different uses.
For hormone imbalance, tea tree oil has anti-androgenic properties that restore your natural hormone balance. Regular use of tea tree oil can, therefore, help to restore balance to your body's hormone levels and hormone production.
If you're going to be using tea tree oil regularly, you want to make sure that you're buying the best quality oil you can.
This oil is steam distilled from Chinese tea trees, which are widely considered the best in the world. Because it's steam distilled, all of the delicate aromatic compounds that give it its medicinal properties are preserved.
It's truly astounding how may uses lavender oil has. There's hardly a single condition that lavender can't be used to treat, so it ends up on every list of essential oils you should buy.
One of the best things about lavender oil is that most of it's reported benefits have actually been proven in clinical trials, meaning that there's some strong scientific evidence for lavender's medicinal nature.
Lavender is probably most famous for it's soothing properties, and it's popular as a sleep aid and a stress reliever.
It's also a powerful pain reliever, and it's even been used (successfully) to relieve pain for women in childbirth. It's a strong anti inflammatory, and it also has strong antimicrobial properties that make it useful in treating cuts and scrapes.
Like tea tree oil, it has anti-androngenic qualities and helps restore a healthy hormone balance, so it can treat some hormone imbalances by dealing with the underlying cause of the problem.
The anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities of lavender oil will also help to rebalance your hormones by reducing the producing of histamines and other inflammation-causing hormones.
Because it's a powerful stress-reliever, lavender will also lower cortisol levels. In short, it's probably one of the most potent oils you can use for rebalancing your hormone levels.
This lavender oil is made from the finest lavender plants grown in rich Bulgarian soil, and steam distilled for purity. There are no added ingredients, so you're getting pure lavender oil with this product.
Frankincense, made from the sap of the Boswelia tree, is possibly the world's oldest medicine. The tree is native to the middle east, northern Africa and parts of Asia.
In those regions it's been used for almost all of recorded history, and quite possibly longer than that. In fact, it's almost certainly the original aromatherapy, because frankincense was commonly burned as incense (it's right there in the name, after all).
The soothing, medicinal effects of frankincense may be responsible for the deep religious associations that ancient cultures have had with it.
In addition to its widespread use in religious ceremonies, frankincense was used as a natural painkiller, to clean and heal wounds, and treat illnesses. It does actually have strong anti inflammatory properties and antibacterial properties, so it's very effective in these uses.
All of these properties make frankincense a great choice if you need to restore balance to your hormone levels.
Most of its medicinal properties stem from its anti-inflammatory qualities. It reduces inflammation by regulating hormone levels, making it a perfect choice for anyone needing to address a hormone imbalance.
We like this frankincense essential oil for a couple of reasons. First, it's steam-distilled from the choicest Boswellia trees, so it's pure and potent.
Second, it comes packaged in a convenient roll-on format so it's very easy to apply topically, which is great for treating excess hair or soothing the skin after hair removal.
Juniper Berry Oil
Juniper is probably most famous for its role in flavoring gin, but it's been used as an ingredient in cooking and traditional medicines for generations now. Juniper berries are the fruit of the evergreen juniper tree, which grows all over the world and includes several different species.
The first major benefit of juniper berry oil is that it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. For those who believe that inflammation may be the cause of their condition, juniper berry may provide a lot of relief.
The next major benefit is that juniper berry oil may help to treat diabetes. Regular doses of juniper berry oil have been shown to reduce the levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Diabetes is a common cause of imbalanced hormones, and if that's the case for you, juniper berry oil may be an alternative treatment for you.
Juniper berry oil is believed by many to promote regular menstruation, which would imply that it has some sort of hormone-balancing effect. That could make it a very effective treatment for imbalanced hormones, especially for women.
This juniper berry oil is steam-distilled from Hungary's finest juniper berries. This yields a high-potency oil with a strong, distinctive scent.
We're talking about sweet basil oil, not holy basil oil. Holy basil is a different plant with a different aroma. Sweet basil is the same kind of basil you'd use in a pesto, and many people don't realize that it's essential oil is so beneficial.
Basil oil can improve your circulation, ease nausea, relieve pain, and help with respiratory problems. Most importantly, it can be a powerful stress reliever.
There's even research to back that up. Much like lavender, basil is scientifically demonstrated to relieve stress and reduce anxiety.
This basil oil is made from the best Indian basil plants. It's extracted via steam distillation, which is a gentle process that preserves the delicate aromatic compounds which give the oil its incredible aroma.
Unlike most basil oils, this one smells very clearly of fresh basil- sweet, spicy and just a little woodsy.
Essential oils that can be used in cleaners and regulate hormones
Lemon is one of the most useful essential oils for you to have around. It has endless uses around the house. Lemon is especially popular for its use in homemade, household cleaners.
It doesn't just add a clean, fresh scent- it also removes grease and grime and disinfects surfaces.
Lemon oil also reduces stress, promotes sleep, reduces dandruff, and has antiseptic and antifungal properties. It's a great oil to use blended with your other favorite oils for any medicinal purpose, and it's scent blends well with the majority of essential oils.
Lemon oil can help to restore hormonal balance, and is especially effective when used in combination with other essential oils.
Lemon oil is a great choice if you want to make the switch from harsh chemical cleaners to all natural cleaners, or if you want to treat your hormone imbalance directly. In fact, there's no reason you can't use it for both purposes at the same time.
Lemon oil should be cold-pressed rather than steam-distilled, and this lemon oil is cold pressed from the best Italian lemons. No other ingredients are added, so when you buy this product you're getting pure lemon oil.
Peppermint is one of the most instantly recognizable fragrances out there. The fresh, soothing, cooling smell of menthol is widely used for medicinal purposes, especially for relieving nasal congestion.
While peppermint is technically a stimulant, many people find the smell quite soothing and report that it helps them to sleep and even relieves anxiety.
It's also excellent for digestion and relieving nausea, while boosting your immune system and even relieving headaches. With so many uses for such common ailments, you really should already have some peppermint oil on hand.
Peppermint oil, like many others, helps to promote hormonal balance and so can treat a hormonal imbalance. It does have some anti inflammatory and soothing properties, which adds to it's hormone-regulating ability.
As a cleaner, peppermint may have some mild-antiseptic properties, but it's most important quality is its strong smell. The powerful scent of this oil can easily mask the smell of vinegar, even when used in fairly small amounts.
This peppermint oil is steam distilled from the best peppermint plants, so you're getting a pure and potent oil if you order it.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil has several health benefits including: alleviating headaches and energizing the body.
Vivorific’s peppermint essential oil is: 100% Pure and natural, free from fillers, additives and harmful chemicals, vegan and kosher certified and sealed with tamper evident closure and Euro style dropper cap.
How to Use Essential Oils
If you've never used essential oils before, you may be a little confused as to how they should be used. Whether you want to replace your household cleaners with homemade versions, or you're looking to use essential oils to treat your hormone balance directly, or both, here's how you do it.
In Household Cleaners
Many of the best homemade cleaners use vinegar as a base. You can use regular white vinegar for this- no need to spend the extra money on apple cider vinegar.
Vinegar is acidic which helps it dissolve grime and also makes it a strong disinfectant and deodorant. It kills bacteria and mold, which are responsible for most household odors.
Vinegar's only downside is its strong, sour smell. It might smell delicious when used in cooking, but it's not how you want your whole house to smell. One way to help reduce this smell is to dilute the vinegar with water.
However, while this reduce the smell, it won't eliminate it. For that, you really need to add essential oils.
To make an all natural household cleaner, get an empty plastic spray bottle and add a cup or two of white vinegar to it.
Fill the rest of the bottle with water, and then add 10-20 drops of lemon oil, peppermint oil, or both. Shake the bottle thoroughly and then use as an all-purpose cleaning spray.
If you can still smell the vinegar, add more essential oils until your happy with how it smells. You now have a very effective, all natural, perfectly safe household cleaning spray.
Baking soda is also a very effective cleaner and odor neutralizer. If you have carpet or rugs in your home, you can clean and deodorize a carpet by dusting it with baking soda and letting it sit for a fifteen minutes before vacuuming. You can also use baking soda to brush your teeth or as an alternative to store-bought deodorant.
Simply add a few drops of lemon or peppermint oil to a container full of baking soda and shake it thoroughly until there are no clumps remaining, and you now have a cleaning powder that can be used for oral hygiene and as a cleaning product around the house.
To treat your hormone imbalance directly
To use essential oils to treat your hormone imbalance, there's really no wrong way. You can rub them on your skin, use them in diffusers or candles, or even just open the bottle under your nose and breathe deeply.
Your skin can absorb essential oils, which makes topical applications an easy way of using them. Before you try this, though, be sure to dilute your oils.
All essential oils are highly potent, concentrated, and are skin irritants in their pure form. If you want to use them this way, add a few drops of your chosen oils to a carrier oil like olive oil or MCT oil. Diluted this way, essential oils are perfectly safe to use on your skin.
Aromatherapy is the most popular way to use essential oils, and it's the method used in most of the medical research focusing on them.
Aromatherapy is so effective because you're inhaling the oil, which means it goes straight to your bloodstream very quickly through your lungs. You'll feel the benefits very quickly.
The simplest method of aromatherapy with essential oils is to open the bottle, hold it under your nose, and breathe deeply. For more sustained aromatherapy, however, you'll want a diffuser.
Diffusers use water to dilute the oil, and then use ultrasonic sound waves to vaporize the water and oil mixture, creating a list mist that fills the room with your essential oil.
Hormone imbalances are unpleasant, but many of the conventional treatment options available run the risk of making them worse.
Essential oils can safely and effectively help to regulate your hormones, either by directly regulating them in your bloodstream or by helping you to reduce your exposure to chemicals which can cause a hormone imbalance.
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