Hot flashes. Vaginal dryness. Night sweats. Mood changes and anxiety. These are only a few symptoms of menopause. Isn’t it strange that a slight shift in hormone production can lead to all of these changes? While some women dread approaching menopause, others see it as a positive change. It marks the end of hormonal headaches, premenstrual syndrome, periods, and pregnancy concerns during sex.
Regardless of your outlook on menopause, one thing is for certain: You’ll likely experience some uncomfortable symptoms along the way. But there are several things you can do to reduce their severity. Exercising, eating well, and keeping hydrated can help, and a new review paper points towards aromatherapy as a natural option for managing menopausal symptoms.
Aromatherapy uses plant extracts to promote wellbeing. These essential oils harness the power of terpenes to create changes in mood, sleep, and even sex drive. A systematic review published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine explored previous research that tested essential oils against menopausal symptoms.
After running the numbers, the authors found that both the inhalation of essential oils and their use in massage can help to reduce anxiety, depression, and physical symptoms while improving sexual desire.
Out of a variety of oils, both lavender and neroli performed the best.
The authors believe aromatherapy may produce these effects by stimulating the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.