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Aromatherapy and Women's health

Aromatherapy is a alternative medicine that uses plant oils that can help bring about a sense of wellbeing. They can promote relaxation and have therapeutic benefits which can help both physical and mental issues, such as easing stress, anxiety, depression and improving sleep. They can also alleviate pain like muscular aches or arthritis.

As a complementary therapy the oils are typically administered via massage, inhalation or for use in the bath. Many have anti inflammatory benefits whilst others are antibacterial helping with skin concerns. Essential oils are used in skincare too as they also have rejuvenating properties.

Throughout their lives women tend to juggle a lot and spin many plates. The same is true for men of course too but I wanted to talk about some of the wonderful oils that can support women throughout the various stages of life: puberty, peri/menopause, pre/post natal, grief/loss and hormonal imbalances.

Neroli - Also known as orange blossom, this beautiful floral is the rescue remedy of essential oils. A natural anti-depressant, its soothing properties can help with anxiety. It’s wonderful for insomnia and, when blended into a carrier oil , is good for stretch marks following pregnancy.

Geranium - Calming and balancing for mood swings and uplifting for fatigue, geranium is a natural hormonal regulator and is soothing for both menstruation and menopause.  Use sparingly though as its fresh green floral aroma can be over powering.

Frankincense - A powerful woody and spicy grounding oil that deepens the breath and stops those racing thoughts, bringing calm. During the monthly cycle it can ease cramps when massaged into the stomach and back and is a remarkably rejuvenating oil for mature skin.

Rose - Grief and loss can refer to many things including when your children leave home. You are left with an empty hole and may feel that your children don’t need you anymore. Rose is a stunning heart oil, highly nurturing and works deeply on the nervous system. It was my best friend when my first born left home.

Lavender - The panacea of essential oils, there is nothing this oil won’t do.  It helps with hot flushes during menopause, beings immense calm and relaxation, helps with heart palpitations, period cramps, anxiety, depression, insomnia. A miracle oil!

Clary Sage - An oil that mimics oestrogen. It’s highly beneficial in menopause and is a natural antidepressant. It can be used as you approach the last two weeks of pregnancy to stimulate labour and induce contractions (I advise always seeking professional advice before using)  It balances hormones and therefore mood and as it contains a chemical called Borneol - a natural pain reliever - is fantastic for cramps.

Bergamot - The sunshine oil. An oil that can adapt to your needs providing both uplifting and calming benefits. It’s useful for promoting a good nights sleep and relieving symptoms of stress-induced anxiety. It’s beautiful fresh fruity aroma instantly makes you feel happy.

There are many different ways that aromatherapy can be used at home in our daily lives.

Try a cup of warm water with a few drops of essential oil next to you on the desk while you work. As you inhale the aroma you reap the benefits. Or you can add essential oils to a carrier oil (try almond oil or similar ) and use them in the bath or massage into your body.

A word of caution - don’t overuse essential oils as your body can become sensitised and always  seek advice from a professional aromatherapist with regards to dilution. Certain oils must not be used in pregnancy and never ingest an oil. Treat them with respect and they will look after you.