Menstruating naturally - how essential oils can improve the way we experience our period
Article by Sarah Oliviera:
In today's Western societies, there is not much left of honouring the menstrual cycle. Yet, things were different in ancient societies. Menstruation was considered as something spiritual, even holy. It was a time when people who menstruate were attributed spiritual power due to a correlation with lunar phases and due to the fact that periods are part of our reproductive processes allowing us to create new life.
For many of us, menstruation comes with a variety of uncomfortable side effects and pain - both physically and mentally. In large parts of the world, periods are something to be hidden a from others, something that cannot be openly talked about. It may not be obvious to everyone how such social pressures impact ourselves. It is clear, however, that when having to hide an essential and completely natural part of ourselves this will affect us consciously or unconsciously.
In the following text, I would like to introduce you to some essential oils which can support you in this very special time of your menstrual cycle, both on a physical and mental level. You will find advice on how to ease physical pain and cramps with the aid of powerful plant essences and learn about rituals using essential oils which strengthen the relationship between yourself and your body during this lunar phase.
Period shaming - what does it really do to me?
Thinking that periods are something to be concealed affects ourselves consciously and unconsciously. Platforms like nevernot which aim for normalising periods are incredibly important for our society. Still, it is just as important for every person who menstruates to participate in this development and to start appreciating their period. The process has to beginn within ourselves and I would like show you can implement it with small rituals and natural resources.
Fatigue and low energy:
Peppermint - Wild Orange
Many of us feel tired and worn out during their period. The reasons for this are plenty, whether it be due to iron deficiency, hormonal imbalance or cramping. Essential peppermint oil and wild orange are wonderful remedies against such symptoms.
Add 1 drop of peppermint and 1 drop of wild orange oil to your palms, rub your hands and take 5 deep breaths - in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to exhale at least as long as you inhale.
Peppermint acts energising and refreshing. Wild orange alleviates your mood and has calming effect.
Peppermint - Fennel - Bergamot or ZenGest doTerra essential oil mixture
Take 1 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil or almond oil and mix it with 1 drop of peppermint, fennel and bergamot oil each. Now use this to massage your belly and repeat several times a day, if needed.
Alternatively, you may use the original doTerra essential oil mixture which is a great support against flatulence. Mix 2-3 drops of ZenGest with 1 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil or almond oil and use it to massage your belly. Additionally, you may add a drop of ZenGest to a glas of warm water and drink it. (Be careful though: do not do this with any essential oils other than doTerra which are of a particularly high quality. Other essential oils should not be used orally.)
Cramps & pain:
Clary Sage - Basil - Lavender - Peppermint
Do you suffer from cramping and lower body pain during your period? Try out the following mixture. It helps surprisingly well and works all naturally.
Lavender and basil oil can sooth cramps and relax your mind and muscles. Clary sage reduces stress and helps to balance hormones (which, by the way, is a common reason for strong period pain). Peppermint oil can sooth pain and cramps.
ideally prepare a 10ml roll-on flask which you can keep using regularly.
20 drops of lavender oil
10 drops of basil oil
10 drops of peppermint oil
10 drops of clary sage oil
Fill up the rest of the flask with fractionated coconut or almond oil.
Here is a little extra advice: whenever possible, put a hot-water bottle on your belly after applying the oil mixture.
Clary Sage - Bergamot - Ylang Ylang - Lavender
Mood swings often occur during the days before our period. Of course, you may already use the below mixture during this time. This recipe is not only good for mood swings but also to generally support your inner balance.
Again, I recommend to prepare a 10ml roll-on flask so that you always have some of it ready.
20 drops of bergamot oil
10 drops of ylang ylang oil
10 drops of lavender oil
5 drops of clary sage oil
Whenever needed apply the mixture to your hearth area (along the sternum), wrists and palms. Inhale the smell from your palms. Like this, you will get the active ingredients to interact with your limbic system as they move through your nose up to your brain and enable them to positively affect your mood.
My advice: combine this application with an alternating breath exercise. In case you are not familiar with this exercise, search the internet for "alternating breathing" or "Nadi Shodhana". This balancing exercise is highly effective in combination with essential oils.
Honor Your Body Ritual
Grapefruit - Patchouli - Frankincense
Patchouli stands for embodiment, has a grounding and stabilising effect. It supports relationships and focus and helps to balance the nervous system. Grapefruit is the oil of honouring our own body and promotes the acceptance of our own body. Frankincense can support the relationship to ourselves, to our inner world and also reduces stress.
Mix 2 drops of grapefruit, 2 drops of frankincense and 1 drop of patchouli oil with 2 teaspoons of fractionated coconut oil or almond oil. Apply some of this mixture to your solar plexus, your heart area (along the sternum) and your neck. Inhale the smell from your hands for several deep breaths and repeat one of the following affirmations while inhaling:
"I love and accept my body. I am present here and now. I respect and honour my body. I am thankful for my body. My body is perfect the way it is."
Stay seated for a few more minutes, letting your handy rest on your legs and feel the effect of this exercise. Absorb the information and feel deep inside your body.
In case you have an oil diffusor, I recommend the following mixture. You can use this as an everyday sent or whenever you consciously do something good for yourself (e.g. when taking a hot bath, while journaling, while exercising):
3 drops of grapefruit oil
2 drops of frankincense oil
1 drop of patchouli oil
I hope you enjoy these essential oil mixtures. It is surprising how much we can change inside of us with natural essences, intention and calm.