Category Archives: Women’s Health

How to keep your weight-meter down: Aromatherapy for weight loss

Weight loss and aromatherapy, are they connected? Of course, they are. But you need to know the basics of which oil works well for you, before you enter into aromatherapy for weight loss program. Another fact to remember is, weight loss is in no way associated with essential oils except that some oils help you forget your appetite or improve your fat-burning activities. The first step toward a weight loss program with essential oils is to check whether your body is acclimatized to aromatherapy and how you can use oils in the right proportion to help with your weight loss. This is because one individual is different from the other and not all individuals can work with the same weight loss principles.

Aromatherapy for weight loss – first steps: The first step, as mentioned above, is to consult your regular medical practitioner on how to control weight gain and which program is suitable for you in aromatherapy. You can also discuss with a  licensed aromatherapist on this. Work with both your doctor and aromatherapist to design a safe plan that will suit your needs. This plan has to be framed after you analyze the reason for your food cravings or whether you eat more. If yes, why do you crave for food? The reason could be – physical or medical, you may have a poor quotient of nutrition supplements in your food, you may consider eating as a form of comfort or an activity in an otherwise boring routine, or you maybe suffering from grief, depression or other emotional problems. Once your freeze on the reason for your food cravings, base your weight loss program on that.

Why essential oils for weight loss? There is no particular reason except the scientific. Aromatherapy is the only kind of alternative medicine which has a huge impact on the limbic node of the brain. This limbic system activates the hypothalamus immediately and releases hormones or chemical messengers into the body. By controlling the hypothalamus, one can control everything from sex drive to appetite. Called the Master Gland, hypothalamus helps stimulate your hormones and reduce your cravings for food. To be exact, oils stimulate the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus and that can cause fullness in the stomach. This kind of satiety can reduce your appetite to a phenomenal extent, make you food-proof and a regular eater.

Dr. Hirsch in his book, ‘Guide to Scentsational Weight Loss’ talks of how he experimented with 3000 people and how most of them where able to reduce more than 30 pounds within a short period of time.

Weight loss tips with essential oils: Once you have identified your cravings, choose your essential oils. Yes, choose oils of your choice. Oils that can please you and make you feel full always. Once this is done, eliminate oils that may cause problems for you. For instance, some oils like Ajawon, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Juniper, Garlic and Nutmeg etc. can burn the nose if you are not prepared. So, avoid them. Also avoid oils that can induce migraines in you.

Weight loss essential oils: The best oils for weight loss are – Peppermint, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang and Patchouli. Most of the oils are either sedatives which relax you and give you adequate rest or energizers which uplift you and make you feel full.

Moon cycle or mood cycle? Aromatherapy oils for PMS relief

It is often considered a curse. Some people call it a monthly disorder. Others treat it as a mood-syndrome that rhymes with the moon cycle. Only a few see it as a periodical cleansing of toxins from the body. We are talking about Premenstrual Syndrome or what is better known as PMS. PMS is common among women who menstruate. It is a collection of disorders which ranges from headaches, stomach disorders, breast swelling to extreme mood swings and unusual behavior. Though not all women experience severe PMS, most women have it, thanks to the increase in stress levels and lifestyle changes.

Though PMS symptoms last only for 3 to 5 days, it can be very debilitating. Women throw temper tantrums, go through a short state of depression and irritability during this period. Though there are many oral pills to treat the symptoms, nothing offers instant and natural relief as aromatherapy. In many ways, aromatherapy essential oils are the best remedies for PMS. You can find great relief to any kind of Premenstrual Syndrome symptom by taking an aromatherapy massage or inhaling a diffuser oil or bathing in aromatic water.

Essential oils for menstrual cramps: PMS is characterized by depression, irritability, mood swings, migraines, backaches, temper tantrums, breast tenderness and swelling, water retention etc. Women often tend to be touchy during this period so much so that any frustrating incident can make them highly reactive and emotional. One can avoid the pain of PMS by using essential oils in a variety of ways. Some of the essential oils which help with PMS relief are Neroli, Rose, Jasmine, Clary Sage, Lavender, Geranium, Marjoram, Rose and Chamomile.

1. For moody behavior: Nothing can beat Clary Sage in treating depression and mood swings. Women  tend to be emotionally hyperactive during PMS and hence a dose of Clary Sage would be helpful in keeping them normal and down to earth. Temper tantrums can be reduced by using Lavender, Neroli, Jasmine and Rose.

2. For bloating and breast tenderness: Breast tenderness and heaviness is common during this period. Women suffer from the pain of swollen breasts and bloated bodies. To alleviate these symptoms, you can use Juniper Berry, Patchouli, Grapefruit and Carrot seed oils. Birch oil can also be used as it is a natural pain reliever.

3. For water retention and headaches: Juniper Berry is the ideal antidote for water retention. If you are afflicted with headaches, inhale Lavender, Marjoram or Rose for relief.

It is better if you use all these remedies a couple of days before your PMS starts. Sometimes you may experience symptoms like hypertension, acne and fatigue. You can use the appropriate essential oil blends for the same.

4. For uplifting mood: If you are down to the dumps, try this aromatherapy recipe. Add 9 drops of Geranium oil with 6 drops of Chamomile, 3 drops of Clary Sage, 3 drops of Angelica, 2 drops of Marjoram and 2 oz of vegetable oil. Blend everything together and massage the oil on to the body or add a few drops in your bath water. The recipe is a great mood enhancer which gets you out of the blues even if you don’t have PMS.

5. For migraine relief: Add 6 drops of Lavender to 3 drops of Juniper Berry, 2 drops of Birch and 1 drop of Patchouli and mix the ingredients well. Include a tsp of the blend in your bath water or foot massage preparation. You will get instant relief from your migraines.

Labor of love: 7 ways to use aromatherapy for pregnant women

Labor pain is said to be the most severe pain in the world and every woman who passes through labor, wants to make it as pleasant and less-stressful as possible. Pregnant women love to surround  themselves with comfy things and pampering items that relax and soothe their labor and evoke a sense of familiarity in the birthing place or hospital in which they go through childbirth. Aromatherapy can do wonders to a pregnant mother as it can calm and rest the body and mind with its variety of aromas and herbs.

Aromatherapy for pregnant women – Things to note: Though aromatherapy can be replace drugs or act as relaxants during childbirth, they can be harmful sometimes. This is because some essential oils have strong scents which affect the senses of women and cause stressful conditions like menstruation, painful labor, contractions of uterus, miscarriage etc. To avoid such troubles, stay away from strong scents that you do not like before labor. Even the aromas that you like before labor can turn resentful during labor. So, consult with your doctor or an expert aromatherapist before inhaling or using any essential oil during childbirth. Especially, you need to stay away from a few essential oils like Basil, Clary Sage, Cedarwood, Cypress, Fennel, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Origanum, Peppermint, Rosemary and Thyme. Similarly avoid herbs like rue, golden seal, mistletoe, poke root, wormwood, sage, calendula, cotton root, male fern etc. NEVER ingest any of the essential oils.

Essential oils to choose from: You can choose essential oils that are mild in aroma and yet have a therapeutic effect on your mind and body. You can choose essential oils that are pain relievers, anxiety-relievers, anti-depressants, fear-eliminators, relaxants, oils with calming effects and body soothing properties. Below are some oils to choose from for use during labor:

1. For pain relief: Pain can be very stressful during labor. A woman’s blood pressure and stress levels increase when the pain intensifies. To alleviate painful and depressing labor, you can use Geranium, Rosemary, Chamomile or Lavender. These oils have pain-relaxing properties that can reduce pain and relax the body.

2. For depression: Pregnancy and postpartum depression can be treated with oils like Geranium and Neroli. Both the oils have anti-depressant properties which helps with anxiety, fear and apprehension tension during labor. Geranium also helps with breathing by improving circulation.

3. For feminine health:
Uterus contractions can be very painful and depressing during labor. Rose oil can be used as an uterine tonic to support labor and alleviate the traumas women undergo during it.

4. For relaxation: There are several essential oils to achieve relaxation and mental balance. Some of them are Lavender, Bergamot, Rosemary, Geranium and Chamomile.

5. For emotional upliftment: Women can become really depressed during labor. To steer clear of labor blues, use a strong scented oil like Ylang Ylang. Since this is a strong scent, you need to try and check if you are comfortable with it several months before labor. It is a great option for lowering blood pressure and hence can help with labor. You can also use Jasmine for its uplifting properties.

How to use oils? Ok, let’s assume you have chosen your oils and are ready to use them. Now the question is, how would you use an essential oil? Below are two ways:

6. Spritzer method: Make a spritzer by combining two drops of your essential oil/s with four ounces of water. Pour the mixture into a small spray bottle and shake well. Then, store the container in the refrigerator until labor day and use it in the following ways:

  • Spritz into your bath water and soak in it on your labor day
  • Spritz on your handkerchief and keep it with yourself all the day
  • Spray a little bit into the birthing room to freshen the air around you during labor
  • Make your feet clean and fresh by spritzing on it. You will feel good about it during labor

7. Bowl method: Fill a small bowl with hot water and add your essential oils into it. Place it somewhere in your birthing room or other place where you can both inhale it and from where it can be easily removed.

The ‘pause’ button in a woman’s life: 10 essential oils for menopausal troubles

Menopause is a significant stage in the lives of women. It is an end which signals a new beginning, accompanied by a series of emotional, physical, psychological and hormonal changes. The word menopause is derived from Greek and means “monthly halt”, meaning the end or halt of a monthly process (menstruation). Menopause can set off a lot of changes in women like hot flushes, depression, physical pain, irritability, fatigue and changes in skin, hair and sexual desire. Though there are medications to treat menopause, modern women find it increasingly difficult to cope with the issue. Aromatherapists opine that menopausal women’s troubles can be alleviated using essential oils.

Essential oils for menopause: Essential oils are used to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions in women and menopause is no exception to this. The best thing about using essential oils to treat menopause is, it alleviates problems without side effects (often caused by oral consumption of drugs). Menopause is a phase marked by several conditions, of which the most prominent are depression, insomnia, hot flushes, lack of sexual desire, increased fatigue and a frail existence.

Depression is one of the most common of menopausal ailments. Not able to withstand the change, many women go into a state of serious depression. This leads to lack of concentration, failure to perform and very low self-esteem. Women start failing in their roles as mothers, wives and friends. They get frenzied and touchy in their interpersonal relationships, which in turn lead to several break-ups and social problems. Anxiety is also a common denominator in such cases. The following oils can be used to treat depression in women:

1. Frankincense oil:
A great anti-depressant which works extraordinarily well on any human being, leave alone a menopausal woman.

2. Basil oil: Basil is always a healing oil. It is not just an anti-depressant but also a mental healer which helps cure mental fatigue.

3. Sweet marjoram:
This oil can cure nervous depression, irritability and anxiety to a great extent.

Insomnia is another common condition in menopausal women and the following essential oils aid in treating sleep problems during menopause:

4. Lavender oil: The best of all sleep-inducing oils, lavender oil can soothe and calm the mind to sleep. It can also be very relaxing and reduce the physical and mental stress in women.

5. Clary Sage oil: Another great essential oil to treat nervousness and mental fatigue in women. This would alleviate the tendency to be irritable also.

6. Roman Chamomile:
Chamomile oils always work great in helping with insomnia and depression. Roman Chamomile is the best of the kind and helps reduce irritability too.

Hot flushes are another headache with menopause. They make women feel low and are irritating to the core. Essential oils which help alleviate this problem are:

7. Peppermint: This oil cools a woman’s body and reduces the sudden hot flushes that happen now and then.

8. Cypress oil: Women can benefit by taking Cypress oil. It helps avoid excessive sweating and minimizes hot flushes.

Sexual life takes a back seat when women are through menopausal stage. Menopausal women lose interest in sex, have painful intercourses or labored orgasms. Essential oils can be aphrodisiacs in uplifting the sexual lives of women during these days.

9. Ylang Ylang oil can be a great aphrodisiac that help alleviate painful sexual intercourses. It can also invigorates the sexual life of menopausal women.

10. Rosemary oil: Apart from being a beneficial oil for relaxation, rosemary also uplifts one’s mood and encourages sexual participation.