Essential oils can have a significant impact on your PCOS symptoms and your hormones! When used properly, essential oils can have amazing health benefits.
How do you use essential oils to help with PCOS symptoms?
What do you need to know before using essential oils?
Below I’m answering some of the most asked questions when it comes to oils & PCOS:
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are volatile chemical constituents that are found on leaves, stems, barks, all facets of plants depending on the plants. They come from all over the world. These plants are indigenous to everywhere around the world.
Essential oils have powerful properties. These chemical constituents have profound benefits to our bodies on a cellular level, on an emotional level, on a physical level, from digestive support to emotional support, to hormones to cellular communication, to neurological support. These plant-based therapies are a great way to help support habits for well-being.
How Should You Use Essential Oils?
The first and easiest way people can use oils is with diffusion through aromatic properties. The thing about aromatherapy or inhaling essential oils is that it is the fastest way to get to the brain, particularly the limbic part of the brain, which is controlling our emotions. It’s monitoring our hormones, focus, emotional well-being, survival.
When you breathe in oils it goes into our lungs, it crosses over the alveoli into the bloodstream.
I often recommend diffusing them.
Diffusing essential oils is beneficial for boosting the immune system, it is great for emotional well-being, purifying the environment —so making the environment less toxic, which plays a role for women with PCOS.
Stress can often trigger PCOS. Stress can exacerbate symptoms. What's so great about using oils aromatically is that they can lower stress levels and toxicity triggers.
The next way you can use essential oils is topically. This method of application is really designed to directly apply to the skin. When applying them topically is important to dilute them with a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, grape seed oil, or other types of carrier oils.
Apply the oil to the area of concern. So, if someone is dealing with hair loss or unwanted hair you could be applying them to that area.
If someone is dealing with acne you can apply to that area.
Essential oils are great to apply over the ovaries.
Last and the more controversial way to use oils is ingestion. I think ingestion can offer support, but they have to be very specific oils and specific quality.
How Do You Determine the Quality of Oils?
You need to do your research when determining the quality of essential oils. I recommend going to the company’s website and look for these things:
Does the company source their plants from indigenous regions?
What's their harvesting practices?
Do they use pesticides on their plants or claim to be organic?
Are these generational farmers that have been growing these plants?
Do they have relationships with their growers?
What kind of testing do they use?
Do they use both gas chromatography and mass spectrometry testing for quality? (Both tests must be used to ensure that the correct compounds are present and that there are no impurities or pesticides present in the final product.)
Do they test for microbial properties? Using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), or do chirality testing? (FTIR testing is performed to ensure the potency and consistent quality of each batch of essential oil through identifying the structural components of essential oil compounds. Chirality testing ensures that no synthetic elements are present in each batch of essential oils tested.)
How many tests are they actually using?
Is the company using third-party testing?
Does the company work with hospitals?
Does the company work with research facilities?
Are these oils being tested for their validity?
If you are looking to purchase oils at the grocery store the quality can be hard to determine but here are some tips to help you.
The scientific name of the plant is clearly labeled on the bottle and if it is diluted it should tell you exactly what carrier oils they are diluting it with.
They should be very transparent about what is in the bottle.
The oil should always be stored in amber, cobalt or glass bottles. Oils are volatile, they can oxidize. The oils should be properly packaged and properly protected.
The price should never be the same for all of the bottles/oils. Making oils is very labor intensive.
Last thing, it should have an expiration date.
What is the Typical Shelf-Life of an Essential Oil?
Most essential oils will expire within 3-4 years. Expiration dates are not necessary for all oils, it depends on the oil type. Some oils get better as they age like frankincense and myrrh, some of the wood oils.
What Should You Know Before Getting Started?
Understanding the three ways to use them. When in doubt on how to use them, always diffuse them. Always dilute them. The oils go a long way. I always recommend a 5 -10% dilution. Sometimes, even more, depending on what you are working on. When it comes to oils, it is nice to make them part of your routine and rituals. They make you feel good and they have the ability to change your mood; they are self-love.
What Are the Biggest Mistakes People Make When Using Essential Oils?
Not diluting. Taking oils internally can be abused, your liver can only metabolize so much. I worry about internal usage if it isn’t the right brand or quality. If you are taking oil internally, it must be for a very specific reason. You need to only take the recommended dosage. You shouldn't be chugging essential oils all day long. Not using oils consistently enough is a big mistake. You can't use a blend once a month and expect the result you are looking for. You need to eat your vegetables every day, you need to use your oils every day. If you are looking for results you have to be consistent with the oils.
How Long Does it Take To Notice an Improvement in Symptoms?
Things that are systemic like blood sugar regulation, inflammation, immunity, require consistent usage over time. It is difficult to put a number on that but probably about 90 days. Depends on the scenario. The key to regulating hormones is daily usage. For symptoms like cravings and anxiousness, you will notice an improvement in like 30 seconds upon contact. You should be able to stop that craving and calm your nerves in a couple of minutes.
Any Potential Side Effects of Using Essential Oils?
If the oils are not good quality, you might get a headache. If you don't dilute them and it goes on the skin, there could be redness or irritation on the skin. That is the biggest complaint that the skin gets irritated.
What Oils are Best for Lowering Testosterone? Anxiety? Acne? Blood Sugar Regulation? Hair loss? Sleep?
Essential oils are not hormones, but they can have an effect on hormones. They don't specifically go to the receptors.
Testosterone: My go-to oil to support and regulate hormones is clary sage. It supports estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. It does it in an indirect path. It helps support the hypothalamus and the limbic brain, but also clear up receptor sites.
Anxiety: Clary sage also is great for anxiety. But my go-to for anxiety would be Vetiver and Lavender. A combination of the three would be a blend I recommend. Ylang-ylang and bergamot are also great as well. Anxiety Diffuser blend:
2 drops of clary sage
2 drops of vetiver
2 drops of lavender
Directions: Add the essential oils to the diffuser for diffusion for 30 minutes to an hour.
Anxiety Rollerball blend:
8 drops of clary sage
8 drops of vetiver
8 drops of lavender
Top off with fractionated coconut oil
Directions: Add the essential oils to an empty rollerball bottle and then top off the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Apply that oil to the palms and take 3-5 deep belly breaths and you will begin to calm down.
Acne: The number one oil I recommend for acne would be tea tree oil, also called melaleuca oil. Spot treatment for acne would be diluted tea tree oil. You can use tea tree oil every day as long as it is diluted.
Geranium oil is also great for acne. Geranium supports the adrenal cortex, balancing emotions, alleviating anxiety and depression, improving focus, and balancing out the oils in our skin to fight acne. Geranium is one of those powerhouses.
Acne rollerball blend: A 10-ounce rollerball bottle:
15 drops tea tree oil
15 drops black cumin seed oil
10 drops lavender oil
5 drops rosemary oil
5 drops lemon oil
Fractionated coconut oil
Directions: Add the essential oils to the empty rollerball bottle and then top off the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Mix well, turning the rollerball bottle up and down gently about 15 times. Apply morning and night after washing your face to the affected areas.
Blood sugar regulation: Cinnamon is amazing for blood sugar balance. The combination that I love for reducing cravings and supporting blood sugar levels and the digestive system is this recipe: Crave Control rollerball bottle blend:
10 drops of grapefruit
10 drops of peppermint
5 drops of cinnamon
5 drops of ginger
Top off with a carrier oil like grapeseed oil
Directions: Add the essential oils to the empty rollerball bottle and then top off the remainder of the bottle with grapeseed oil. Mix well. Apply the blend to your palms, the wrist, and then breathe it in. Do this twice a day or when a craving comes on.
Cinnamon and ginger are not only great for boosting the metabolism, but ginger is phenomenal for supporting the gut microbiome.
Hair loss: Rosemary, peppermint, geranium, and lavender are the most beneficial oils for increasing hair growth and stalling hair loss. You would want to use a blend that is applied to the scalp. An easy way to do this is by adding them to your conditioner. Consistent daily usage plays a key role here. It takes 3 to 6 months to see a noticeable change.
Hair blend (15 ml essential oil bottle):
40 drops of rosemary
20 drops of peppermint
20 drops of geranium,
40 drops of lavender
Directions: Add 2 drops of this blend to your conditioner and the ticket is to really massage it into the scalp and then let it rinse out.
Hot Oil Hair Treatment:
4-5 drops of the hair blend above
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
Directions: Add a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to the 4 to 5 drops of the hair blend. Apply it to your scalp and massage your hair and let the oils soak in. Once your hair is coated, wrap it in a towel. Leave it in for at least an hour and up to overnight. You can do that once a week. Your hair will be shiny and beautiful, and you will stimulate hair growth.
Sleep: The five most powerful oils for sleep are lavender, vetiver, clary sage, cedarwood, and roman chamomile. We as women should take a moment to unwind. I recommend diffusing oils before bed. Run your diffuser a couple of hours before bed.
You don't have to use all five, I recommend using two. The biggest two I recommend is lavender and vetiver. Vetiver is a natural sedative. It will shut the brain off. I love diffusing lavender, vetiver, and clary sage or roman chamomile.
Sweet Dreams Rollerball bottle blend:
A 10 ml rollerball bottle:
10 drops lavender oil
10 drops vetiver oil
7 drops cedarwood oil
4 drops ylang-ylang oil
Fractionated coconut oil
Directions: Add essential oils to the rollerball bottle and top off with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to the back of the neck, the bottom of the feet, on the palms, on the wrists, any pulse points. Take a deep breath in.
You could also make a spray and spray your bedding. These are ways to signal your body that it is time for sleep.
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