(Click Here to Listen to the Full Episode.)


The Many Actions of Essential Oils

If you recall, Dr. Anna Cabeca, DO, OBGYN, FACOG, AKA the “Girlfriend Doctor”, recently joined us on the Essential Oil Revolution. That podcast was epic for providing an understanding of all the ins-and-outs of women’s health, sexual health, and how essential oils can be an ally in maintaining balanced hormones. In the accompanying detailed show notes, I provided further supportive studies that demonstrated how essential oils could balance hormones. If you missed it, I definitely recommend for you to listen to that episode and check out the research.

In this episode, I wanted to expand on how essential oils can support healthy hormones in a holistic and integrative way. Since essential oils have multiple mechanisms of action, and contain hundreds of biological compounds, this podcast could have gone on for an inordinate amount of time. So, to save time and brain overload, I narrowed it down to five key areas and kept my chatting to about 30 minutes.

During the podcast, I first touch upon various hormonal triggers. Next, I review five specific areas in which essential oils can support optimal mind-body-hormone balance. Throughout the show, I also highlight specific essential oils which are helpful for endocrine function. This is based on my own clinical practice, scientific literature, or a combination.


The Five Key Ways Essential Oils Impact Hormones

Five key areas essential oils indirectly (or directly) influence healthy hormone balance are through their effects on:

  • multiple biological pathways (that indirectly influence hormones)
  • stress and our vagus nerve
  • mood, emotions, and trauma/ brain neurotransmitters
  • sleep
  • overall hormonal health

You can click here to listen to the full episode now and get all the juicy details.

Below is an Expanded Overview of What You Will Learn:

  • An overview of the five key ways essential oils benefit hormones (2 min)
  • The many factors that relate to hormonal balance that essential oils can influence, due to their multiple mechanisms. These include their effect on: (3 min)
    • Lifestyle factors (sleep, exercise, and mind-body)
    • Microbiome health
    • Cellular membrane health
    • Prenatal environment and adverse childhood events
    • Relationships and social connections
    • Infections
    • Blood sugar balance
    • There are also other factors not directly related to essential oils that trigger hormonal fluctuations (nutrition and genetics).
  • How stress impacts hormones: (8.40 min)
    • Stress raises cortisol, catecholamines, and insulin which impacts oxytocin, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and estrogen.
  • The five ways essential oils affect stress which influences hormones including: (9.30 min)
    • Modulating the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis through odor perception pathways.
    • Interacting with hormone receptors via entering the bloodstream through the lungs.
    • Decreasing brain inflammation related to terpenes’ anti-inflammatory effects.
    • Modulating neurotransmitters.
    • Influencing cortisol levels.
  • Essential oils that balance cortisol levels (12.30 min)
    • Bergamot and lavender essential oils
  • Essential oils that impact the vagus nerve and how this supports the stress response: (14.30 min)
    • Activating the vagus nerve can bring someone into a calmer state, the parasympathetic state.
    • Bergamot, lavender, ylang ylang, and petitgrain oils affect vagal tone.
  • How essential oils influence our emotions and how this relates to hormonal balance: (16.30 min)
    • Volatile compounds go directly through the olfactory bulb to the limbic system, affecting emotions and memory.
  • Why “exercising our noses” may help keep our memory intact (17.40 min)
  • Essential oils that support emotional health: (18 min)
    • Frankincense oil, rosemary oil, menthol oils, and citrus oils all support brain health.
    • Nervines are relaxing to the nervous system and can be complimentary.
  • Three ways essential oils impact brain function to modulate mood: (19 min)
    • Essential oils affect neurotransmitters, brain patterning, and overall emotional health based on smell associations.
  • Which essential oils impact serotonin, dopamine, and neural synapses for better brain communication: (19.30 min)
    • Sage oil impacts dopamine.
    • Lavender and bitter orange oils effect serotonin.
    • Lemon essential oil can suppress dopamine and accentuate serotonin.
    • Bergamot oil can enhance synaptic connections.
  • How psychoaromatherapy is related to brain and hormone health: (21 min)
    • Aromas impact the brain through psychological expectancy, hedonistic effects, memory-based associations, and pharmacological effects.
    • Biochemical effects include endocannabinoid modulation, relieving excessive inflammation, and other mechanisms.
  • How essential oils can influence trauma in relation to neuroplasticity (22.50 min)
  • The interaction of essential oils, neurotransmitters, and hormones: (24 min)
    • There are links between serotonin and estrogen, progesterone and GABA, and thyroid and dopamine.
  • Essential oils that impact sleep: (25.50 min)
    • Lavender, bergamot, chamomile, cedarwood, and clary sage oils all can benefit sleep, according to research.
  • Studies on various essential oils that modulate estrogen, cortisol, and oxytocin (27. 30 min)
  • Why clary sage is a favorite oil for hormonal health (29 min)
  • Other ways essential oils may modulate hormones: (30 min)
    • Detoxification and clean living
  • Closing thoughts: free and additional resources, soon to be available limited openings in my practice, essential oils consults, and a shout out to our sponsors (31 min)

Listen to the full episode to get all the details.

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Disclaimer: 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. (Affiliation link.)

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.

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