I was giving a presentation in front of my ninth grade English class the first time I bled through my pants. I was mortified and powerless. How did I not know my period was coming? How could I be so unprepared? Fifteen years later I am grateful that I recognize period symptoms and that I have tools to help me through my menstrual cycle. I have found that the key to regaining power over my period is understanding that it is all hormonal and it is a month-long process, not just a few days of bleeding.
The journey to understanding of my body was triggered in 2014 when I was overweight, constantly sick and in need of preventative care. Research led me to nutrition and essential oils as natural options to regain control of my life. Today, I utilize a period tracker and rely heavily on essential oils to support my body through mood swings, bloating, cramping, and exhaustion. Thankfully, this has caused a powerful shift in how I experience my period.
What are essential oils and how do I use them?
Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds found on plant matter and are responsible for optimizing the plant’s existence, whether that means protecting it from external threats, repairing itself, or helping a plant find homeostasis. When plants are harvested and distilled under ideal conditions, we can harness their power to do the same for our bodies.
Essential oils can be used three ways: aromatically, topically, and internally. Aromatic use is great for balancing emotions and can be done by using oils and water in an atomizing diffuser or putting a drop in your hand and inhaling. Topical use, applying oils to skin, can target localized pain or create a full body experience when applied to the bottoms of our feet. I always use a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, when I use oils topically to decrease sensitivity and increase the efficacy. Internal use, consuming oils through capsules, water, or food, can aid in detoxification and provide support at a cellular level. Note that internal use is specific to doTERRA essential oils. I trust their sourcing, production and testing and would never use another brand internally. You can learn more at sourcetoyou.com.
Supporting your mood and emotions with oils
I apply Clary Calm, a rollerball blend specifically created to support menstrual cycles, topically twice a day, every day of the month. I roll the blend in a “W” shape on my back of my neck and roll it from left to right and back over my abdomen before massaging it into my skin. This blend includes the best oils for hormone regulation and mood support. If I am diligent with this daily practice, it helps with drastic mood swings that accompany my cycle. If you experience heavy periods, PMS, or extreme cramping, this needs to be a daily oil for you, too.
In the days leading up to my period when I am most irritable, I grab clary sage and geranium. These oils are known to support endocrine function and have calming and stabilizing effects on our emotions. I apply one drop of each to the bottoms of my feet and over my uterus with three to five drops of fractionated coconut oil to support hormone regulation a few times a day. If I feel my hormones need even more support, I add two drops of each, along with two drops of thyme oil, to a vegetable capsule and take twice a day while symptoms persist.
I increase water intake during this time to manage bloating and add two drops of citrus oil to every glass of water I drink. Our bodies naturally retain water as progesterone and estrogen levels drop before menstruation. Not only do the oils make your water taste better, they also support gentle detox. My favorites are lemon, tangerine, and grapefruit. As an added bonus, grapefruit oil is a natural appetite suppressant and supports healthy progesterone levels.
Relieving menstrual pain with oils
Essential oils such as marjoram and copaiba can help relieve pain associated with cramping. Deep Blue, the soothing blend, is known for its ability to soothe sore muscles and relieve tension. This is my personal favorite. I apply two drops directly over my uterus with fractionated coconut oil and massage. You can do this up to every 15 minutes as cramps persist.
I always carry peppermint and wild orange in my purse for when exhaustion hits. I put a drop of each essential oil into the palm of my hand, rub them together, cup my hands around my nose, and then inhale deeply. Peppermint is the perfect support for fatigue and wild orange is energizing. Together they create a powerful experience. You can also put three drops of each in a diffuser to experience ongoing aromatic benefits.
Finding the right oils for you
I am a firm believer in our intuition as women, so experiment a bit and find what works best for you and your period. It is important to approach this with an open mind, knowing that every body is different and has a different chemical makeup. An oil that works for me may not be the right oil for you. As long as you are willing to try, you will find an essential oil that supports you through your menstrual cycle. And when you do, your period will never be the same.
It is important to note that I am not a doctor and you should consult your physician before making any changes in your routine. I have linked to doTERRA products because I use them exclusively but you are welcome to find a brand that works for you. I choose doTERRA because they are transparent with their testing and quality control, they are the purest and most potent oils on the market, and the company empowers women around the world through Co-Impact Sourcing and the Healing Hands Foundation. If you have any further questions, you can connect with me at @theboldessentials or firstname.lastname@example.org.