The Best Proven Essential Oils for Menopause (Evidence Based)

The Best Proven Essential Oils for Menopause

Using essential oils during the menopause can help you get relief from many of the symptoms associated with the change in life. The best essential oils for the menopause help relieve hot flashes, mood swings, sleep problems, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. You can get relief from menopause symptoms by using essential oils in a relaxing massage blend, an aromatherapy diffuser, or inhaling a combination of oils.

There are a number of reasons to use essential oils to relieve menopausal symptoms. Some essential oils mimic the effects of estrogen on the body and can help prevent menopausal hot flashes. Because of their mood-enhancing effect, using some essential oils for menopause mood swings could help to regain emotional balance.

In this article, you will learn how to use essential oils to help get you through the menopause. You will also find out a number of different ways to use the best menopause essential oils in different blends and home recipes.

What is the Menopause?

The menopause is a time in a woman’s life where estrogen and progesterone levels drop and regular monthly periods cease.

According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, the menopause can start in your late 40s or early 50s. This stage is often referred to as the perimenopause and it’s when you start to notice symptoms of the menopause. During this time, the levels of estrogen hormone fluctuate causing changes with your menstrual cycle and other menopausal symptoms. (1)

Many essential oils for the perimenopause stage also help to give relief from the uncomfortable changes in your body.

Doctors say that you enter the menopause when you have gone for 12 months without having a menstrual period. (2)

Hot Flashes and Other Menopause Symptoms

When going through the menopause, you can use essential oils to help cope with many of its symptoms.

Some essential oils are good for night sweats and hot flashes that you may experience going through the menopause. For example, clary sage essential oil is good for relieving menopausal flushing and also helping to prevent osteoporosis.

You can also use aromatherapy to relieve menopausal issues such as anxiety, mood changes, depression, and breast pain. One such essential oil is lavender which is known for its relaxing and pain-relieving properties.

Essential oils for getting through the menopause also include chamomile and rosemary essential oils which have sedative effects to help treat insomnia. Using these essential oils will also help you fight fatigue throughout the day.

Reasons to Use Essential Oils During the Menopause

One of the reasons why many women start using essential oils for the menopause or perimenopause is to avoid the risk associated with hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Although it is not possible to use essential oils for estrogen replacement, many essential oils help with short-term menopause relief.

There is scientific backing for using aromatherapy essential oils for menopause relief. A review published in the Journal of Menopausal Medicine reported on the results of randomized controlled trials. It found that aromatherapy was effective in alleviating many of the psychological symptoms experienced by menopausal women. (3)

One study from Korea found that a weekly aromatherapy massage helps to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, pain, and depressive thoughts. An essential oil blend including lavender and rose essential oils along with evening primrose oil was good for menopause relief. (4)

The Best Essential Oils for the Menopause

Let’s look in more detail at why you should use essential oils for the menopause. In each section, you will also find helpful tips on how to get relief from distressing menopause symptoms using aromatherapy.

Lavender Essential Oil to Treat Menopause Symptoms

You can use lavender oil for hot flashes, depression, anxiety, pain, and other debilitating symptoms of the menopause.

Using the therapeutic aromas of lavender essential oil can help on a number of levels to get menopause relief.

The journal Hormones reported that lavender oil has an estrogenic effect. (5) Although lavender may not be used as an essential oil for estrogen replacement, its effect on estrogen hormones could alleviate many menopause symptoms.

Using lavender essential oil is also good for the menopause as it helps treat insomnia. One study found that using lavender oil aromatherapy as a sleep aid helped to improve the sleep patterns of perimenopausal women. Inhaling lavender aromas for 20 minutes twice a week benefited sleep quality. (6)

If your menopause causes you sleep disruption, you can also try some of these essential oils for insomnia and better sleep.

One 2018 scientific review of the benefits of lavender oil for menopause relief found that lavender aromatherapy can improve sexual function in middle-aged women. However, this study didn’t find that lavender increased significantly estrogen levels. (7)

Lavender has been well studied for its effect on pain relief and relaxation. Another study found that lavender inhalation can help to alleviate many menopausal symptoms. Lavender essential oil was effective for hot flashes, feelings of low self-esteem, and pain. (8)

How to use lavender oil aromatherapy for menopause relief

One of the easiest ways to benefit from lavender essential oil during the menopause is to inhale it straight from the bottle. This can help to quickly relax your mind and alleviate stress.

You could also put a few drops of lavender in your diffuser and inhale the therapeutic aromas to help you get to sleep and prevent night sweats.

Further reading: Lavender Oil: Uses and Benefits for Hair, Skin, and More (Science Based).

Sage Essential Oil for Hot Flashes and Night Sweats

You can use sage oil for the menopause because it helps to reduce the number and intensity of night sweats and hot flashes.

Sage can help to balance hormones naturally during the menopause and help address a number of menopausal symptoms. For example, sage extracts have shown to be effective in giving women relief from hot flashes and excessive sweating. Scientists suggested that sage extracts could be useful as an alternative to HRT. (9)

You may also be able to prevent hot flashes by drinking a cup of sage tea every day. (10) To make sage tea pour 1 cup of boiling water over 3 teaspoons of fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon of dried sage. Cover and steep for 10 minutes and strain. Once the tea has cooled somewhat, add a little bit of honey and lemon if you want.

Another reason to use sage essential oil in the menopause is that it helps prevent osteoporosis. The journal Bone reported that sage aromas contain compounds that help to strengthen bones in rats. Aromatherapy with sage essential oil helps prevent calcium loss from bones. (11)

Sage has many other health benefits which you can read about in my previous article.

How to use sage oil for hot flashes

Before using sage essential oil for relief from menopause symptoms, it is important to dilute it with a carrier oil. Evening primrose oil is one of the best carrier oils to use in essential oil blends for the menopause. Later in the article, you will find out why.

To help stop hot flashes and improve your menopause symptoms, mix 3-4 drops of sage oil with a tablespoon of evening primrose oil. Gently massage the essential oil blend into your temples and behind your ears. Repeat 2-3 times a day to help stop sweating so much and having hot flashes.

Clary Sage Oil to Relieve Depression in the Menopause

Clary sage essential oil (don’t confuse with sage essential oil) is one of the best essential oil to improve mood and alleviate anxiety.

A small study on 22 menopausal women in their 50’s published on 2014 in Phytotherapy research found that breathing in the scent of clary sage oil has antidepressant-like effect during the menopause transition. (12)

It was found that after inhalation of clary sage oil, cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) were significantly decreased while serotonin level was significantly increased.

How to use clary sage oil to calm the mind and relieve depression

Add a few drops of clary sage oil to your diffuser to inhale at work or at home to uplift your mood and calm your nerves. Clary sage inhalation can help to relieve negative feelings, stress and anxiety.

Bitter Orange (Neroli) Essential Oil for Menopause Relief

Extracts from bitter orange (neroli oil) can help to increase estrogen levels and treat a number of menopause-related symptoms.

A study on the effects of neroli oil aromatherapy for menopause relief found that inhaling its vapors helped to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and increase estrogen concentrations. (13)

Researchers also found that neroli oil inhalation during the menopause improved sexual function. (14) So you can try neroli oil together with these home remedies for vaginal dryness.

How to use bitter orange oil for treating menopause symptoms

The best way to use bitter orange essential oils for treating menopause symptoms is to put a few drops on a tissue. Put the tissue close to your nose and inhale deeply for 10 times and repeat 2 or 3 times a day to help provide support through the menopause.

Chasteberry (Vitex Agnus Castus) for Menopause Symptoms

Chasteberry extracts are a popular remedy for problems associated with feminine health. Chasteberry is used to regulate hormones and is a good natural treatment for hormonal problems before and after the menopause.

One small trial found that vitex agnus castus essential oil helped to provide significant relief from a number of menopausal symptoms. (15)

Another study found that the leaf extracts had a wider range of benefits for menopausal women that also included helping to relieve depression. (16)

Researchers have also found that applying chasteberry oil to your skin can provide relief from irregular menstrual cycles and hot flashes. In the trial, women massaged 2.5 ml of chasteberry oil once a day for 7 days. Many reported fewer hot flashes and less emotional distress during perimenopause. (17)

How to use vitex essential oil for menopause

You can create your own homemade menopause remedy by combining some chasteberry (vitex) oil with clary sage and rose geranium.

Mix 4 drops vitex essential oil, 2 drops clary sage oil, and 2 drops rose geranium oil with 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. Store in a dark glass bottle. Put about ½ a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of the menopause remedy oil on the tips of your fingers and massage into your abdomen every day to help alleviate some of your menopause symptoms.

Geranium and Rose Oils to Manage Symptoms of Menopause

Other essential oils for hot flashes that can help get rid of uncomfortable menopause symptoms is geranium and rose oils.

Research into the use of essential oils for perimenopause and menopause relief listed geranium and rose as some of the good essential oils to use. Scientists noted that from 10 different essential oils, geranium and rose oil helped to increase estrogen concentration. (18)

Another study showed that a combination of various aromatherapy essential oils (lavender, rose geranium, rose and jasmine in almond and primrose oils) helped to treat menopause symptoms. The essential oil blend was applied to the abdomen, back, and arms once a week for 8 weeks. The women reported fewer hot flashes and improvement in their symptoms of depression. (4)

The researchers noted, however, that it could not be verified whether the positive effects were from the aromatherapy, the massage or both, and further research is needed.

How to use a rose and geranium oil blend to relieve menopause symptoms

Mix one drop each of geranium, lavender, rose, and jasmine essential oils with a tablespoon of sweet almond oil or primrose oil. Use the essential oil blend to massage your neck, temples, and abdominal region.

Gardenia Essential Oil to Increase Estrogen Levels

Gardenia oil is extracted from a plant in the coffee family and it can help to relieve many symptoms associated with the menopause.

Scientific studies have shown that gardenia essential oil contains phytoestrogens that are similar to estrogen in women. In experiments in rats, gardenia essential oil helped to improve bone structure and bone health, thus giving it the potential to prevent osteoporosis in the menopause. The overall effect was that gardenia oil treatment helped to increase bone mass density. (19)

How to use gardenia for estrogen replacement

In the above study the rats were administered various doses of gardenia oil orally, which is not recommended in humans unless the essential oils are classified as food grade and used in tiny quantities. However you can benefit from gardenia if you are going through the menopause by making a gardenia tea.

To make gardenia tea pour 1 cup of boiling water over 3 teaspoons of fresh gardenia flowers or 1 teaspoon of dried flowers. Cover and steep for 10 minutes and strain. Once the tea has cooled somewhat, you can add a little bit of honey and lemon.

Chamomile Essential Oil for Menopause Mood Swings

Use chamomile oil for relief from the psychological distress that going through the menopause can cause.

The soothing properties of chamomile extracts have been well documented in scientific literature. For example, one randomized, double-blind study found that taking 200 mg chamomile oil capsules had an anti-depressive effect on individuals. (20)

Does chamomile essential oil aromatherapy work for menopause symptoms? One study found that the aromas of chamomile oil help to reduce depressive behavior and boost mood. (21)

One study found that a chamomile essential oil blend can improve sleep quality. Combining lavender oil, bitter orange oil, and chamomile oil in aromatherapy helped to reduce anxiety and help people get to sleep faster. (22)

How to use chamomile essential oil for perimenopause

To help relax and get relief from menopause symptoms, you could add a few drops of chamomile oil and other oils from the above list diluted in a carrier oil to a warm bath to help relax before going to sleep. Use a ratio of 10-12 drops of essential oil/s per 1 oz. (30 ml) of carrier oil, and add to your bath water. You can also add a cup of Epsom salt to the warm bath water, mix well and soak in your bathtub for 15-20 minutes to help soothe your stresses and worries away.

If you need to get relief from anxiety, mood changes, hot flashes, or stress, you can also try putting a few drops of chamomile oil in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water. Put your head over the bowl, cover it with a towel and inhale deeply for 10 minutes. Do this every day to help relieve feelings of tension and anxiety.

To help get to sleep quicker, you could enjoy a relaxing cup of chamomile tea 30 minutes before going to bed.

Other Essential Oils for Menopause Relief

There are other essential oils, that although were not evaluated specifically in the context of menopause relief, can still be used to relieve common issues associated with the menopause. Below are commonly used essential oils that can be added to other essential oils from the above list to help get relief from menopause or perimenopause symptoms.

Rosemary Essential Oil for Pain Relief During Menopause

Rosemary oil could help to relieve perimenopausal symptoms such as fatigue, abdominal pain or irregular periods.

Scientists have identified that rosemary extracts contain compounds that have an analgesic effect. Massaging rosemary oil can help to relieve menstrual pain and also improve the effectiveness of painkillers. (23)

Inhaling rosemary essential oil vapors can also have a stimulating effect on your mind and give you more energy. Studies have shown that rosemary aromatherapy helps people feel fresher. Scientists also found that compounds in rosemary oil have anti-depressant and carminative effects.

How to use rosemary oil to get more energy and feel better in the menopause

If you feel tired and worn out, put a few drops of rosemary essential oil and lavender oil in your diffuser. Inhale throughout the day to help reduce the severity of your menopause symptoms.

Further reading: Rosemary (Essential) Oil: Benefits and Uses for Hair, Skin and More (Science Based).

Peppermint Oil and Hot Flashes

The cooling effect of peppermint essential oil can help to reduce the effect that hot flashes have on your skin. Peppermint oil is also an invigorating essential oil that can help to boost your energy levels.

The journal Phytomedicine reported that applying peppermint oil to the skin helps cool the skin and also reduce pain. (24) This means that using peppermint oil for the menopause can also help to greatly reduce the severity of hot flashes and headaches.

Another study found that using a combination of peppermint oil and ylang-ylang oil can help improve your mood and increase alertness. (25)

If you battle with fatigue, adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil food grade to a 500 ml bottle of water to drink can also help increase your energy levels. (26)

How to use peppermint oil to treat night sweats and hot flashes

Although there is no research showing that peppermint oil is good for the menopause, you can use it to get relief from many of its symptoms.

To cool your skin to help prevent excessive sweating and hot flushes, mix 8-10 drops of peppermint oil for every 30 ml (1 fl. oz.) of witch hazel, add water and put in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray on your skin if you need quick relief from a heat flash. You should avoid using the peppermint spray on your face.

You can also create a therapeutic massage oil for menopause relief by combining peppermint oil and ylang-ylang oil. Use 2 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of ylang-ylang essential oils in 1 tablespoon of evening primrose oil. Massage into your temples anytime you feel under the weather or need to improve your mood. This also works as a natural relief from headaches.

Further reading: Proven Uses and Benefits of Peppermint Oil (Peppermint Essential Oil) Backed by Medical Studies.

How to Use Essential Oils for the Menopause

Here are some practical ways that you can use any of the essential oils for perimenopause or menopause:

Diffuser. Put a few drops of your favorite essential oils for the menopause and diffuse for at least 5 hours a day for symptomatic relief. This can help to prevent night sweats, hot flashes, and balance your hormones naturally.

Massage oil. Use an essential oil blend with 3-4 drops of essential oil for every tablespoon of carrier oil. Massage into your temples, back of your neck, or abdomen for menopause relief.

Bath. Put 10-12 drops of essential oils per 1 oz. of carrier oil and add to your warm bath to help alleviate some of your menopausal symptoms.

Inhalation. You can also get the benefits of essential oils for the menopause by inhaling the aromas straight from the bottle.

Precautions with Using Essential Oils During Menopause

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils and have to be used with caution. You should always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil before applying to your skin for relief from menopause symptoms. It’s always a good idea to do a spot test on your skin to make sure you don’t develop any skin reactions.

Which is the best carrier oil for treating hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety, and other menopause symptoms? Although you can use oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or sweet almond oil, many researchers recommend using evening primrose oil for the menopause.

One research study into aromatherapy remedies for the menopause recommended using evening primrose oil as a base oil. (4) Interestingly, other studies have found that taking evening primrose capsules can help to alleviate hot flashes during the menopause. (27)

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