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Last week, I discussed the five key factors involved when using natural medicine and essential oils for balancing hormones and achieving whole body health. I felt this was important to highlight before continuing with my series on the general uses, properties, safety, and research of specific essential oils deemed to cause “endocrine disruption.” This is because, when highlighting all the wonderful properties of any healing tool, especially essential oils, it’s easy to get caught in the glitz and glimmer of chasing a panacea in a bottle. This can make many fall victim to the belief that trying to suppress symptoms is the same as healing the dysfunction at the deepest level. One must consider the underlying factors that created the issues to begin with. If not, any modality, including essential oils, will bring about temporary relief and not have a lasting impact. Although essential oils can address the emotional, physical, and biochemical imbalances simultaneously and assist with addressing behavior changes for lifestyle factors, dietary imbalances, and replacing defeating, negative thought patterns, more is often needed.
The goal of this series on “hormonal essential oils” is to clear confusion and calm the nerves from the media hype that has been misleading and scaring the bottles out of essential oils lovers’ hands. As a quick review, I first thoroughly debunked the validity of extrapolating the actions of essential oils based on the observations made of cells soaking in petri dishes. These oftentimes have much high levels of only one or two of compounds normally found in those essential oils. Next, I began vindicating the safety and efficacy of several essential oils often associated with “hormonal activity.” After completing my articles on sage, clary sage, and fennel oil, I began my overview of rose geranium oil. You can access this video blog to get the summary and/or to get all the references and links to more in-depth information.
Now that we are at the point of reviewing rose geranium’s “hormonal action,” the factors from last week are imperative to keep in mind. We are complex individuals, with unique biochemistries based on our genetics and environmental imprinting, starting prenatally and continuing through adulthood. This means we all will have different manifestations of bodily responses based on our unique triggers, dispositions, variations in our gene expression, and cellular health and functioning. You can read this blog if you’d like more information and/or a summary of all these factors.
Below are some additional resources for those would like more science:
- Genes, Behavior, and the Social Environment: Moving Beyond the Nature/Nurture Debate– a wonderful scientific explanation of the nature-nurture debate and the interaction of genetic-epigenetic influencers on health.
- Understanding Human Genetic Variation– an explanation of single nucleotide polymorphisms and the importance of studying genes.
- Mechanisms of Disease: Genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
If you’d like an overview of rose geranium before reading on, click here.
Now, let’s explore the science behind this oil’s effect on hormones.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil and Hormonal Effects- A Look at the Science
There is no report of hormonal effect of rose geranium in the Natural Medicine Database. This is a comprehensive database that includes many resources for physicians, including detailed monographs reviewing the scientific studies on various natural medicines. However, many bloggers report there are endocrine effects (source, source, source) and I also found some research on its effect on levels of hormones. Let’s begin discussing the science versus the claims around rose geranium.
Rose Geranium Inhalation for Women’s Mood Across the Hormonal Spectrum- From Labor to Postmenopausal
I’ve already discussed how stress and mood impact hormonal levels and how rose geranium could be beneficial in calming the mind and body. One study showed that inhalation of rose geranium oil could be used safely at one of the most critical times of hormonal fluctuations. This trial consisted of 100 nulliparous (first time birth) mothers in Iran. The researchers sought to determine if geranium essential oil inhalation at 2% dilution, in comparison with a placebo (control), would decrease anxiety levels during their first phase of labor. The outcomes were measured using a questionnaire prior to and after the experiment. Blood pressure, respiratory rate, and pulse rate were also measured to assess physiological shifts as the result of this intervention.
The authors concluded:
The mean anxiety score decreased significantly after inhalation of the aroma of geranium essential oil. There was also a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure…
Aroma of essential oil of geraniums can effectively reduce anxiety during labor and can be recommended as a non-invasive anti-anxiety aid during childbirth. (source)
As noted, stress does not only effect reproductive hormones, but also impacts other biological outcomes and processes of the fetus. Calming the emotions of the mamma with the mind-body properties of essentials both benefit her and her baby’s outcomes as well. (source)
If you’d like to learn more about using essential oils safely in pregnancy and in infants, please click on the links from my database. You can also learn about a propriety line of essential oils specifically formulated for the infant’s delicate body and needs here.
Next week, we’ll continue journeying through the hormonal spectrum using rose geranium essential oil.
Please post your comments below!
- Safety First! Please review the resources for essential oils safety here.
- Essential Oils Quality
- Which Oil Should You Choose: A Summary on Synergy
- Systematic Overview of Aromatherapy Article
- Get an essential oils consult from me.
- Learn how I apply the philosophy and principles of the naturopathic and functional medicine to guide you with which essential oils and supplements will work best for you.
* Please note that the studies from PubMed aren’t specific for any essential oils company.
This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Independent Distributor, Affiliation link.)
Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.