Aromatherapy for women from puberty to autumn years
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Aromatherapy for Women From puberty to autumn years Penny Price M.Ed(Oxon.) Topics for discussion Overview of hormones and aromatherapy Problems in puberty Pregnancy and childbirth Menopause Old age Volatile essential oil molecules and aromatherapy

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Aromatherapy for WomenFrom puberty to autumn years

Penny Price M.Ed(Oxon.)

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Topics for discussion

  • Overview of hormones and aromatherapy

  • Problems in puberty

  • Pregnancy and childbirth

  • Menopause

  • Old age

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Volatile essential oil molecules and aromatherapy

  • Hormones are a group of substances of greatly varying composition which are produced in most living things. They are produced by the endocrine glands and can be in the form of steroids, polypeptides or amino-acid derivatives. Hormones have the following ‘job description’!

  • Regulate metabolism, growth, development, reproduction

  • Govern the stress response

  • Chemical messengers within the body

  • Co-ordinate groups of organs

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Volatile essential oil molecules and aromatherapy

  • Using essential oils that supplement oestrogen will not stop the menopause but will regularise the body as is loses the natural oestrogen and progesterone so that the effects of the hormonal changes are ‘buffered’ and the body is given help to adjust to the different levels.

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Volatile essential oil molecules and aromatherapy

  • Volatile molecules that are hormone-like include the following:

  • Anethole (methyl ether)

  • Citral (aldehyde)

  • Eugenol, carvacrol, thymol, gingerol (phenols)

  • Matricaria methyl ester (ester)

  • Viridiflorol (sesquiterpenol)

  • Sclareol (diterpenol)

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  • Anethole is found in aniseed, fennel, star anise is oestrogen-like, emmenagogic and lactogenic. In other words it is used to regulate periods, stimulate milk flow in nursing mothers and help control hormone deficiency during the menopause.

  • Because anethole is to be used with caution, it is not recommended for internal or intensive use, but can form a small part of a blend for application to the skin in a carrier.

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  • Citral can be found in many different oils characterised by their ‘lemon-drop’ smell.

  • It has a slight oestrogenic effect on the body and can be used long term without side effects for helping to control the menopausal symptoms.

  • Citral is found in eucalyptus staigeriana, citronella, litsea, lemongrass, geranium, true melissa, palmarosa and many others.

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Eugenol, carvacrol, thymol and gingerol

  • Eugenol, carvacrol, thymol and gingerol are found respectively in clove, origanum, red thyme and ginger and have an effect in the production of prostaglandins.

  • Therefore they are not usually used for women in the menopause.

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Matricaria methyl ester

  • Matricaria methyl ester is used in the delay of puberty and is not usually used specifically during the menopause, although because it is found in German chamomile and yarrow, it is used as part of the whole oil for helping to control inflammation and irritation.

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  • Viridiflorol is found in Niaouli and is oestrogen-like, influencing both ovaries and testicles. It is used to help regulate periods and to help the body to cope when there is a deficiency of oestrogen as in menopause.

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  • Sclareol is found in clary sage and is very similar in shape and size to oestrogen, helping the body to cope with hot-flush and aging skin as well as other menopausal symptoms.

  • It is also an aphrodisiac!

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Other oils

  • Other oils that are hormone-like include vetiver, cypress, sage, Spanish sage, sweet orange and rose otto, sweet basil, cajuput, sweet marjoram, Roman and German chamomile, sandalwood, rosemary, peppermint and pine.

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Salvia sclarea

Melaleuca leucadendron

Melaleuca viridiflora

Salvia officinalis

Pimpinella anisum

Chamaemelum nobile

Foeniculum vulgare

Pelargonium graveolens

Thymus mastichina

Mentha x piperita

Pinus sylvestris

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosa damascena

Santalum album

Hormonal oils - summary

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Salvia officinalis

Salvia sclarea

Foeniculum vulgare

Pimpinella anisum

Melaleuca viridiflora

Ocimum basilicum

Oestrogen-like oils - summary

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Oestrogen and Progesterone

There are some essential oils that have oestrogen-like properties and some that can mimic the actions of oestrogen in the body

Hydrolats have oestrogens in larger quantities

Progesterone-like molecules are only found in hydrolats not essential oils as they are too large to distil but do dissolve in water

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  • The molecules in hydrolats are cortisone-like and so resemble the human hormonal structure.

  • Hydrolats have beneficial effects on all types of hormonal imbalance, particularly hot flushes, menopausal symptoms and irritation

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Essential oils

All essential oils can be helpful when attempting to balance the hormonal system as essential oils help to balance the whole person – mind body and spirit

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  • Irregular periods

  • Haemorrhage

  • Painful periods

  • Acne

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Irregular periods

  • Drink hydrolats of sage and cassis to help to normalise the blood flow and regularity

  • Use essential oils of clary sage, sage, Niaouli, fennel and rosemary – all of which are emmenagogic and some help balance oestrogen levels

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  • Drink immortelle (helichrysum) and cypress hydrolat to try and control blood loss on a daily basis.

  • Use essential oils of cypress, helichrysum, juniper and sweet marjoram in the bath and as a body lotion regularly to help with blood loss and to ‘back up’ the hydrolat treatment.

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Period pains

  • Suggest drinks of chamomile hydrolat before the pains start (if this is possible to assess) and use the chamomile in the bath

  • Make a compress of chamomile German and Cornmint, 5 – 10 drops of each onto the abdomen, cover with film to exclude the air and apply heat for 40 minutes. This can also help in the small of the back.

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  • Frankincense, lavender, chamomile and tea tree

  • Carrot carrier oil

  • Naturally Pure Cleansing Milk

  • Naturally Fresh Toning Lotion

  • Naturally Balancing Moisture Cream

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  • Do oils cross the placenta

  • Oils for the body

  • Oils for the mind

  • Oils for labour

  • Aftercare

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Essential oils balance the body

  • Mild diuretics and emmenagogues cause no damage to pregnant women

  • Pregnant women develop an extra layer of fat for protection – this gives a slow release effect of the essential oils into the blood stream and gives proper time for metabolisation

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Relaxed mothers have relaxed babies

  • Essential oils DO CROSS the placenta

  • The placenta is not fully formed until at least 10 weeks

  • Essential oils can be present in breast milk but only in very small amounts

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Mind oils

  • Geranium a cleanser for the lymphatic system and mind. Balances emotions, anti-depressant. Safe and gentle

  • Melissa true deeply balancing, can cross blood/brain barrier. Deals with deep depression, emotional and hormonal imbalance. Safe to use

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Mind oils

  • Roman chamomile balancing, antifungal, good for skin, stress and insomnia. Safe to use

  • Rose otto antiviral, antiseptic, balancing. Good for skin, stress and insomnia. Very safe and gentle

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  • Hot flushes

  • Vaginitis

  • Irregular periods

  • Lack of sex drive

  • Haemorrhage

  • Dry, wrinkled skin

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Pelargonium graveolens

Citrus bergamia

Mentha x piperita

Salvia sclarea

Pimpinella anisum

Chamemelum nobile

Lavandula angustifolia

Eau de rose, cassis and peppermint hydrolats

Hot Flushes

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Evening primrose


Santalum album

Canaga odorata

Rosa damascena

Pogostemon patchouli

Chamaemelum nobile

Lavandula angustifolia

Vaginitis/dry vagina

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Salvia sclarea

Salvia officinalis

Melaleuca viridiflora

Foeniculum vulgare

Rosmarinus officinalus

Use in borage or evening primrose oils

Irregular Periods

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Cupressus sempervirens

Pelargonium graveolens

Juniperus communis

Lavandula angustifolia

Thymus mastichina





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Salvia sclarea

Pimpinella anisum

Pelargonium graveolens

Syzigium aromaticum

Rosa damascena

Santalum album

Cananga odorata

Lack of Sex-Drive

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Dry, wrinkled skin

  • Use calendula for steroid damaged skin

  • Use macadamia for cracked skin

  • Use essential oils of rose, neroli, ylang ylang, geranium and palmarosa

  • Naturally Soft moisture cream

  • Naturally Velvet feeding mask

  • Naturally Renewing night cream

  • Naturally Delicate eye and neck cream

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Autumn years

  • Incontinence

  • Memory Loss

  • Arthritis and aches and pains

  • Chest infections

  • Emotions

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Cupressus sempervirens

Thymus mastichina

Lavandula x intermedia





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Memory loss

  • Rosmarinos officinalis – is the very best oil to use for this distressing condition

  • Nepeta cataria is also helpful

  • Apply oils undiluted to the wrists and elbows

  • Use in the bath

  • Inhale during the day (if you remember!)

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Oregano majorana

Juniperus communis

Zingiber montana

Cymbopogon citratus

Lavandula angustifolia

Use in a light lotion

Or in the bath

Very helpful in a blend for massage using sesame carrier oil

Aches and pains

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Eucalyptus smithii

Boswelli carteri

Oregano majorana

Santalum album

Use in a light lotion

Or in the bath

And as inhalations during the day and the night

Chest infections

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Enhance the Happiness

  • Aromatise the memory - Rosemarinus officinalis

  • Uplift the spirit - Citrus reticulata

  • Help sleep - Lavendula angustifolia

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  • Aromatherapy can help

  • Hydrolats are very important for hormonal issues

  • Dosages need to be adhered to for the vulnerable

  • Thank you for listening