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Aromatherapy for Menopause Relief & Hot Flashes

Updated on March 8, 2011

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Hot flashes. Insomnia. Mood swings. Fatigue. These are just a few of the well-known and universally loathed period (no pun intended!) in a woman's life called menopause. Some women opt for prescription hormones to get relief, but maybe that's not for you. You're looking for a home remedy for menopause symptoms--something simple and natural that helps you get through this difficult time without tricking your body into believe it isn't happening.

What is Menopause?

Technically speaking, menopause is simply one date--the day after a woman's final menstrual period ends. In common speech, however, the term refers to the transitional phase clinically known as perimenopause, which encompasses the years up to and immediately following a woman's last period. During this time, the production of reproductive hormones (notably estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) gradually lessen and become more irregular. This causes a wide variety of symptoms, including weight gain, loss of sexual appetite, irritability, inability to sleep, and of course, the infamous "hot flash."

If you haven't yet experienced the full range of these symptoms, you're sure to have heard accounts from women who have, and are likely terrified at the prospect.  If you're already in the middle of peri-menopause yourself, you've probably got a few horror stories of your own.  Thankfully, there is natural relief from these symptoms in the form of aromatherapy.

Clary sage provides natural menopause relief.
Clary sage provides natural menopause relief.

Essential Oils for Menopause

Aromatherapy is the ideal home remedy for menopausal symptoms. It is natural and non-invasive. You do not need to go to the doctor to get a prescription; you do not need to remember to take a pill. Once you have the essential oils you need in your cupboard at home, they will be there whenever you need them. Of course, the fact that they smell nice doesn't hurt.

One of the very best essential oils for menopause is clary sage. Steam-distilled from the leaves of this European herb, essential oil of clary sage addresses many of the most distressing unpleasant symptoms of menopause. It is an estrogenic herb, meaning that it has similar properties to the hormone estrogen, and behaves similarly in the human body. Some of its specific benefits are listed below:

  • Cell regeneration (reduces wrinkles)
  • Hormone balance (lessens mood swings)
  • Aphrodisiac (revitalizes lost libido)
  • Relaxant (relieves anxiety)

Other essential oils that are particularly helpful in dealing with menopause include lavender, Roman chamomile, and geranium for their mood-stabilizing and relaxing properties, as well as peppermint for pain relief, orange for nausea, and basil or rosemary for an energy pick-me-up when fatigue sets in.  If you suffer from menopause-related sleeplessness, visit my article on aromatherapy for insomnia for further specific recommendations.

How to Use Essential Oils

There are many effective ways to apply the essential oils, once you've decided which ones are right for you and your symptoms. One of my favorite ways, especially in the treatment of irritability, insomnia, or anxiety, is to put 5-7 drops total (a few drops each of several different oils) in a hot bath. This way, you are opening your pores and allowing the oils to enter your bloodstream transdermally, as well as inhaling the oils in the steam that rises off the bathwater.

Other options include putting a few drops on a handkerchief and inhaling whenever symptoms arise, using an aromatherapy diffuser, or making your own aromatherapy candles, which you can light and burn as needed any time you feel a symptom coming on. Even easier, mix 20-25 drops of a combination of essential oils into 4 oz of unscented lotion, or a carrier oil like apricot kernal or sweet almond oil, and apply daily as a moisturizer, or as needed for natural, effective menopause symptom relief.

Share your own home remedies for menopause symptoms here!

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    • profile image

      Sammiepompom 5 years ago

      Hello everyone! I have a question for all the Menopausal ladies out there. I just turned 25 years old and have been having all the symptoms for a few months. Have any of you heard of such a young person having them?

    • charm_baker profile image

      Charm Baker 7 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Great hub. I love the ideal of the aroma therapy. I'll have to try some. I still get hot flashes after almost 15 years! Nobody told me it lasted THIS LONG! Boy, what a gip!!!

    • Guardian1 profile image

      Guardian1 8 years ago

      Wow, great hub. I'm going to tell my mom about this. She's always looking for natural alternatives.

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 8 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thanks, I'm going to give Clary Sage a try.

    • NarayanKrishna profile image

      NarayanKrishna 8 years ago from The country of Mount Everest

      By the way what is hot flashes?

    • msoon77 profile image

      msoon77 8 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for this wonderful article Maddie. Well written!

    • profile image

      TheSandman 8 years ago

      I have always believed that we do not give nearly enough credit to other forms of healing.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      Great article and very informative. Having been raised in a family of doctors and nurses, I believe in alternative treatment/s first. Then, if all else fails, a combination of naturopathy and western treatments can be tried.

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      Already past this lovely phase of life, then the breast cancer meds give you the same symptoms, so thinking this might be an area to explore for some relief there. Thanks for the tips!

    • maguijo profile image

      maguijo 8 years ago from Ohio

      I have been using bioidentical harmone replacement therapy (BHRT) since my mid-30's when my ovaries gave out. Read Suzanne Sommer's book: "The Sexy Years." BHRT definitely eliminates the physical & emotional symptoms, and I feel better now than I did when I was in my 20's!

      Still, your suggestion of clary sage and lavendar is great! I actually have some of that in my bathroom for baths, but never thought to use it any other time...like when my husband is being annoying and my daughter has gotten on my last nerve. Thanks for the tip! :-)

    • funride profile image

      Ricardo Nunes 8 years ago from Portugal

      Great resource Maddie. What do you think about the use of soybean isoflavones for menopause relief? I have prescribed them several times with very good results ;)

    • RVDaniels profile image

      RVDaniels 8 years ago from Athens, GA

      Very informative. Does aromatherapy offer any health benefits for men?

    • Melody Lagrimas profile image

      Melody Lagrimas 8 years ago from Philippines

      This is a great resource, as I am a decade more or less away from menopause. Thanks a lot.

      Please take a peek of my hubs too.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      When I hit menopause which should be any year now, I'll try some of them out. I can't wait for menopause, no more pmt!