Hot flashes are one of the usual symptoms of the menopausal phase of life. According to a survey, more than two- thirds of American women experience hot flashes during menopause. (1)
Wondering what menopause is?
Menopause marks the permanent end of menstrual cycle and fertility of a woman. It’s a biological process and not a medical condition that you can resolve.
During this complicated period of life, your body experiences a decreasing level of ovarian follicles and estrogen production. It occurs after a year of your last menstrual period. (2)
In the U.S.A. the average age of entering into this crucial stage of life is 51. However, menopause can knock at your door as early as in your mid 30’s to 40’s.
Some of the health and living disorders, cancer and ovaries treatments may bring about menopause early in your life. You can continue to be healthy and sexually active after menopause.
Menopause results in a lot of hormonal shifts in your body. Thus, you may experience symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, insomnia, etc. (3)
A Complete Guide to Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are the resultants of an accumulation of heat and toxins inside the tissues and channels of your body. Menopause creates a lot of hormonal imbalance inside your body. The energy and warmth that is trapped inside your body need an outlet. (4)
They come as a quick rush of heat, sweat, and redness on your face and neck.
During a hot flash, the blood vessels that are close to the surface of your skin dilate. As a result, you sweat a lot. If the hot flashes occur at night, it is termed as night sweats. You may experience a rapid heartbeat and chills during hot flashes.
The duration of hot flashes varies from person to person. Some women experience a few episode of this symptom annually. Others may have multiple hot flashes daily and suffer it for the rest of their lives. However, the sign gets milder with you growing age. (5)
Prescription Treatments vs. Essential Oils for Hot Flashes
There are many prescription treatments for menopausal symptoms. These drugs and medical processes are expensive and are time-consuming.
Hormone replacement therapy or HRT helps to prevent hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood swings during menopause. But this treatment needs at least 5 years time to work on your symptoms. (6)
Some of the other conventional drugs for relieving hot flashes are Brisdelle and Duavee. The drugs come with the risks of side effects.
Essential oils are great alternative remedies for relieving hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. According to a 2008 journal on alternative medicine, the essential oil can manage psychological symptoms of menopause such as depression, mood swings, anxiety, etc.
Some of the aromatic oils work as phytoestrogens and balances the hormones, and uterus functions in your body. Thus, essential oils can deal with hot flashes, mood swings, vertigo, insomnia, night sweats, weakness, headache, and many other menopausal symptoms. (7)
6 Essential Oil Remedies for Hot Flashes
1.Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil originates from the evergreen peppermint herbs. The medical use of this herb dates back to ancient Egyptian civilization.
Peppermint oil has extensive use in cosmetic and medical industries. Among a host of therapeutic components, it contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, antidepressants, and antifungal properties. (8) These are potent agents to soothe your nervous system improve your psychological health.
Peppermint oil has the cooling effects because of menthol. If you topically apply this oil, it can boost the blood circulation and prevent the contractions of muscles. A 1996 experiment on 41 headache patients proves the effectiveness of peppermint oil to relieve stress headaches. The oil has significant uses in reducing hot flashes, joint aches, congestions, and fatigue. (9)
2. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil is well known for a host of therapeutic properties. This favorite herbal oil comes from the evergreen foliage- Lavender, grown in Northern Africa.
This sweet-scented herbal oil is rich in anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, anxiolytic, anti-anxiety, sedative, and antimicrobial properties. (10)
From ancient time onwards this essential oil has been a potent remedy for various aches and pains, neurological and skin disorders.
The two major components of the lavender oil are linalool and linalyl acetate. If you topically use lavender oil or go for an aromatherapy these two chemical elements get absorbed through your skin instantly. They help your limbic system and reduce the depression and anxiety to cure hot flashes. Lavender oil directly balances the serotonin level in your body to prevent discomforts. (11)
Lavender oil promotes relaxation and sound sleep. That’s why it is useful for treating insomnia, another menopausal symptom. (12)
3. Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary sage essential oil comes from the medicinal herb Salvia sclarea. This perennial herb is a native of Mediterranean, Africa, and central Asia.
The major chemical components of clary sage oil are alpha-terpineol, linalyl acetate, sclareol, geraniol, germacrene-D, Linalool, caryophyllene, neryl acetate, and esters at about 72%. These hosts of therapeutic components make clary sage oil an active hormone balancing agent.
The anticonvulsive, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and astringent properties can work as sedative and nerve tonics to prevent hot flashes, insomnia, depression, hormonal imbalance, cramps, and many other menopausal symptoms.
Clary sage oil has natural phytoestrogens. Thus, this herbal oil regulates estrogenic effects inside your body and ensures healthy uterus.
A study conducted among 22 postmenopausal women suffering from depression shows that clary sage oil can lower cortisol level in the body to regulate thyroid and female hormones. Thus, this oil has antidepressant effects for improving moods. (13)
4. Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium essential oil comes from the leaves and stems of the geranium plant through steam distillation.
Some of the major chemical components of this herbal oil are alpha-pinene, limonene, linalool, myrcene, menthone, etc.
This sweet smelling aromatic oil has anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and antiseptic properties. The oil has holistic benefits for your physical, emotional and mental health.
Geranium oil has potent effects in regulating and secreting female hormones. Thus, the oil alleviates menopausal effects such as hot flashes, mood swings, insomnia, irritations, and anxiety. (14)
This aromatic oil can regulate circulation and digestion system. As a result, the oil detoxifies and cleanses your body of all accumulated heat and toxins.
5. Citrus Essential Oil
Citrus essential oil comes from the rind or peels of citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, grapefruits, mandarin, tangerine, etc. Bergamot, neroli, yuzu essential oils are also citrus oil.
Each of these aromatic oils has a refreshing, earthy smell to uplift the spirits. They help in flushing out the impurities from the cells and tissues, improving neuron functions and circulation system of the body. Thus they help to prevent menopausal symptoms.
A 2014 study gives the evidence of positive effects of citrus essential oil inhalations for postmenopausal women. The participants experienced less hot flash, mood swings, and an increased sexual desire. (15)
Moreover, citrus oils can lower systolic blood pressure. Thus it improves pulse rate and estrogen level in your body.
The anti-inflammatory properties of citrus oil prevent aches and pains related to postmenopausal life.
6. Basil Essential Oil
The readily available kitchen herb basil has benefits far beyond the culinary world. Therapeutically potent Basil essential oil comes from Ocimum basilicum or basil leaves.
Basil essential oil is a rich source of anti-inflammatory, diuretic, antiviral, anti-anxiety and many other wellness properties.
A basil oil massage can improve your mood, and curb the episodes of hot flashes. The oil balances the female hormones and increases the secretion of estrogen. (16)
How to Use Essential Oils for Relieving Hot Flashes
Here are some of the practical ways of using the essential oils for hot flashes. The methods address a number of other menopausal symptoms other than hot flashes.
Let’s get to know these methods step by step.
- Essential oil body moisturizer for hot flashes: make a body moisturizer by diluting 5-8 drops of basil essential oil with a carrier oil such as almond, coconut or jojoba oil. Now massage this oil blend on your neck, back, and feet three times daily.
- Essential oil inhalation: you can just place a couple of drops of your choicest essential oil on a tissue paper or a napkin and inhale deeply. Keep on this inhalation and exhalation process for 15 minutes twice or thrice daily. The method has a quick effect on lowering stress and anxiety. Clary sage, peppermint, geranium, and citrus essential oil are some of the right preferences for this method.
- Essential oil room spray: You can add 10 drops of citrus essential oil, 100 ml. Vodka and 200 ml. Purified water to make a solution. Now pour this solution into a spray bottle and disperse it in your room. The process will clean and aromatize your room. Spray the solution twice a day and especially before going to bed to bring down menopausal symptoms.
- Essential oil bath: combine 8-10 drops of geranium oil to your hot tub and dip in a relaxing shower. The process will bring down all inflammations inside your body and detoxify the skin tissues. It’s better to indulge in this refreshing activity before you hit the bed at night. Alternatively, you can mix a cup of coconut milk with the warm bath water.
Additional Lifestyle Hacks to Prevent Hot Flashes
You need to make specific changes in your daily routine for a healthy menopausal phase of life. These lifestyle changes include your diet, physical activity, and mental wellbeing. Let’s have a look at them and learn the dos and don’ts. (17)
Check Your Diet:
Food habit has a lot to do with your wellness. Apart from using the essential oil remedies for hot flashes, you should keep a check on your diet. Your diet should comprise of cooling, fresh and calming food items. Spicy, warm, and pungent foods overheat your body and make you sweaty and exhausted.
Some of the hot/ disturbing/overheating foods include:
- Fried junk foods
- Red meat
- sugared items
- Cigarette smoke
- Consuming acidic foods such as garlic, onions, tomatoes, etc.
You should intake cooling food items to balance the excess heat inside your body.
Some of the cooling foods include:
- Coconut water
- Leafy greens
Say ‘No’ to Stress:
Stress is one of the primary reasons for hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats and many other menopausal symptoms. Stress has direct effects on adrenal fatigue and inflammations in your body.
By now you know that essential oils are great stress relievers. But there are many other natural techniques that you can turn into your daily habits for a stress-free life. At the very outset, you should identify the object of your stress. Now, find out the ways to avoid the stress using some natural methods discussed below:
- Don’t be a workaholic
- Don’t procrastinate your work
- Try to avoid deadlines
- Have your meals at the right time.
- Have a moderate breakfast, big lunch and light dinner for better digestion
- Avoid drinking icy cold water
- Drink herbal tea before you go to bed
- Avoid wearing tight clothes
- Hit the pillow early
- Do yoga, meditations, and consciousness exercises. (18)
- Fill your mind with positive thoughts
- Involve with good companions and spend time with them
It’s important to relax and have a nap in the afternoon. Going to bed early can also help you prevent insomnia, hot flashes, and night sweats.
Menopause is a natural and unavoidable phase in the life of a woman. This crucial stage of life comes with its shortcomings. Now, you can efficiently deal with menopausal symptoms following the essential oil remedies and lifestyle hacks.
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