by Jeffrey Rutstein
The way that we support our health and that of our children and families involves deliberate choice. One natural and powerful way to support and enhance one’s health is with the selective use of essential oils, which include many uses that focus specifically on women’s health problems.
Essential oils are the distilled, concentrated oils from a plant, fruit or flower. Numerous scientific studies have shown that certain essential oils can relieve pain, help calm anxiety, reduce stress, ease depression and increase energy.
Here are some of the top oils to have on hand for optimum women’s health.
- Clary sage. Massaged on the abdomen, it helps reduce the discomfort of menstrual cramps. Diffused in the air—especially when in combination with lavender and/or Roman chamomile—clary sage can reduce anxiety and pain levels for mothers in labor and delivery.
- Lavender. Studies have shown that it has a calming and relaxing effect, can help reduce discomfort from menstrual cramps and reduce feelings of low mood. When applied topically to the skin, lavender can help with dry skin cracking that can occur on the fingers during winter.
- Roman chamomile. In addition to being helpful and supportive to the health of skin, it has been shown to calm crying children, soothe tummy aches and even help with colic and teething pain.
- Peppermint. Two drops placed on the palms, then rubbed together and inhaled can help bring a sense of refreshed energy and uplift spirits.
- Wild orange. Studies have shown that this oil has powerful antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. When used alone or in combination with peppermint—for added uplift—or with lavender—for enhanced calming—it is a potent and natural means for shifting a low mood or low energy.
- Geranium. This oil has been said to improve emotional imbalance for adolescent girls experiencing PMS, and for mood swings that accompany menopause.
Essential oils can be a safe, effective, all-natural way to enhance health and well-being. The following are just a few researched combinations of oils for women’s health issues.
- For fibrocystic breasts, mix 5 drops of juniper and 5 drops of cypress with a carrier oil such as evening primrose to yield a total amount of 5 milliliters. Apply mixture to breasts twice daily.
- For PMS, mix 3 drops of geranium oil, 3 drops of clary sage oil, and 4 drops of lavender oil with some evening primrose oil to yield a total amount of 5 milliliters. Apply to the lower back and abdomen every 4-6 hours, as needed.
- To make a menopause spritzer, mix 10 drops clary sage, 10 drops geranium, and 5 drops of lavender with distilled water and a drop or two of rubbing alcohol to yield a total amount of 60 milliliters. With eyes closed, spritz face and body as needed.
Jeffrey Rutstein is a clinical psychologist specializing in body-centered psychotherapy, mindfulness and neurofeedback, with offices in Lambertville and Skillman, NJ. Connect with him at 609-426-4144 or DrJeffreyRutstein.com. May 2014.