Like many hormonal imbalances, estrogen dominance is strongly influenced by stress, toxins and liver health.
And although diet and supplements play an important role in balancing estrogen, you can also get a lot of benefits from using essential oils for estrogen dominance.
So, in this post we’re going to look at:
- the main things that trigger estrogen dominance.
- which essential oils to use for estrogen dominance.
- how to use these essential oils effectively (and safely)!
So, if you’re ready to watch your symptoms fade away, then keep reading!
Note: this post contains affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you use them.
HOW ESTROGEN DOMINANCE OCCURS
Estrogen dominance occurs when there is an excess of estrogen in the body and not enough progesterone to counterbalance the estrogen (source).
This definition shows that there is a tight relationship between estrogen and progesterone.
But the question is, what causes estrogen dominance in the first place?
Exposure to xenoestrogens
These are synthetic estrogens that mimic, and interfere with, our natural estrogen. Xenoestrogens are found in cosmetics, pesticides, and our environment as a whole.
Sluggish liver and detoxification pathways
This means your body can’t eliminate xenoestrogens and other toxins fast enough. Eventually, they accumulate in your body and contribute to estrogen dominance.
Excess estrogen from drugs
The most common source is hormone replacement therapies (including birth control).
An imbalance in gut flora, combined with a weak gut lining, can affect your ability to regulate hormones and detox waste.
Too much chemical, emotional and/or physical stress, causes the body to make more cortisol. As cortisol increases, this can negatively impact sex hormones like estrogen (source).
So, as you can see, in order to improve estrogen dominance symptoms we need essential oils that reduce stress, regulate estrogen/progesterone and support detoxification.
7 ESSENTIAL OILS THAT HELP WITH ESTROGEN LEVELS
In the previous section we saw that the best essential oils for reducing estrogen dominance are oils that lower stress, regulate progesterone/estrogen levels and support detoxification.
So based on this, here are 7 essential oils that you can use to balance estrogen dominance:
- Clary sage
- Ylang ylang
|Vitex||Establishes a healthy balance of estrogen to progesterone.|
|Grapefruit||Improves lymphatic circulation, speeds up detoxification, boosts mood.|
|Lemon||Supports the immune system and lymphatic system; uplifts mood.|
|Clary sage||Reduces cortisol and has strong anti-stress effects.|
|Bergamot||Lowers stress and cortisol; reduces fatigue.|
|Lavender||Anti-inflammatory, fights stress and anxiety.|
|Ylang ylang||Increases energy, anti-inflammatory, improves circulation.|
Vitex (aka chasteberry) herb is very popular for regulating various female hormonal imbalances.
And it turns out that vitex essential oil, is also very beneficial for hormone health.
So, how does vitex work its magic? Well, simply by acting on on the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
The end result of this action is that vitex increases progesterone levels slightly, and helps create a healthy ratio between estrogen and progesterone (source).
According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, grapefruit essential oil speeds up the elimination of toxins and also improves lymphatic circulation (source).
The lymphatic system is an important part of detoxification because if it is stagnant, then waste material doesn’t get flushed out of the body.
In addition, grapefruit (like all citrus oils) is helpful for reducing anxiety and boosting mood (source).
Similar to grapefruit oil, lemon oil is a citrus oil that boosts moods and helps reduce feelings of stress.
Furthermore, lemon supports the immune system, which means less internal stress and inflammation.
Last but not least, lemon encourages drainage of the lymphatic system (which is equivalent to emptying out your body’s sewage system!).
4. Clary Sage
A study done with 22 women, some of whom were diagnosed with depression, showed that their cortisol levels went down by 36% after inhaling clary sage essential oil.
In addition, another study compared the anti-depressant effects of clary sage, chamomile, rosemary and lavender essential oils.
The final results showed that clary sage has the strongest anti-stress effect (source).
NOTE: Clary sage is one of the most important essential oils for hormone balance. If you use no other essential oil, at least use clary! To learn more about it, read this post on how to use clary sage oil for hormone balance.
When it comes to essential oils that balance estrogen dominance, bergamot offers benefits for stress relief and cortisol reduction.
In one study, participants were allowed to inhale bergamot oil for 15 mins. Their saliva cortisol levels were tested after the 15 minutes had gone by.
The tests showed a notable drop in cortisol levels (source).
In addition, the participants reported that they felt less fatigued and experienced less negative emotions after inhaling bergamot oil.
This oil is a staple when it comes to stress reduction because it works.
Research continually shows that inhaling lavender oil reduces feelings of stress and lowers cortisol.
In addition, lavender has been shown to help with inflammation, anxiety and depression (source).
7. Ylang Ylang
This oil has a uniquely intoxicating smell (in my unbiased opinion!) which is probably the reason why it has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac.
Aside from being an incredible mood booster and energizer, ylang ylang also fights inflammation (less internal stress!) and improves circulation (source).
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO REDUCE ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
The 3 main ways to add essential oils in your estrogen dominance treatment plan are:
- body oils.
- detox baths
In each case you can buy the oils individually and blend them yourself, or you can get ready made blends that contain these estrogen dominance oils.
Two ready-made blends to try for estrogen dominance are Purify and Gal Pal, from Eden’s Garden.
The Purify blend is a potent combo of citrus oils like lemon, grapefruit, lime, along with eucalyptus and lemongrass.
As for the Gal Pal blend, it’s got clary sage, bergamot, ylang ylang and vitex. Definitely a potent blend for female hormones 🙂
Diffusing is the easiest and quickest ways to enjoy essential oils.
To get started, you can diffuse 4 to 6 drops of one oil listed in this article, or you can combine say 2 drops from 3 or 4 oils.
Run the diffuser for about 30 minutes to an hour and then take a break.
There’s no need to run your diffuser all day long because this can actually be too much for your body to handle.
Note: if you have children around, be aware that they will also be inhaling the oils you diffuse. As far as the oils covered in this post, ylang ylang is not considered safe for use around kiddos. You can get the full list of oils that are safe to use around kids here.
Body Massage Oil
Body oils are another great way to use essential oils because the oils can penetrate the skin and get into the bloodstream.
To make your own body oils for estrogen dominance, you need:
- A carrier oil: almond, grapeseed, olive, coconut, jojoba, apricot seed and carrot seed oil are all good options.
- Glass bottle: Ideally, use a 1 ounce (or larger) bottle.
- Essential oils
For topical application of essential oils, a 2% to 5% dilution is safest.
The term “dilution” simply indicates how many essential oil drops to use for every ounce of carrier oil.
Here are the basic essential oil dilution guidelines:
- 2% dilution: 18 drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
- 3% dilution: 27 drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
- 4% dilution: 36 drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
- 5% dilution: 45 drops essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
When making a body oil, you can use one essential oil, or a combination of oils.
Just make sure that the total number of essential oil drops does not exceed the amount listed for the dilution.
So, let’s say you want to make a 2% blend with clary sage, lavender and vitex.
Based on the dilution guidelines, you need a total of 18 drops.
So, your final essential oil recipe could be:
- 6 drops clary sage, 6 drops lavender, 6 drops vitex.
- 6 drops clary sage, 8 drops lavender, 4 drops vitex.
- 8 drops clary sage, 6 drops lavender, 4 drops vitex
…and so on.
NOTE: Citrus oils (such as lemon, grapefruit and bergamot) are known to increase sensitivity to the sun. It’s best to avoid going out to the sun if you use them topically. It’s also recommended not to go above a 4% dilution for grapefruit and 2% for lemon (source). As for ylang ylang it can also irritate the skin and it’s best not to exceed 0.8% dilution (source).
An essential oil detox bath is a soothing way of supporting your body’s detox pathways and improving estrogen dominance symptoms.
Just keep a few things in mind when using essential oils in a bath:
- Essential oils do not dissolve in water, so avoid putting the oils directly into the water. Otherwise, you run the risk of seriously irritating your skin.
- Mix 5 – 20 drops of essential oils in 1 tablespoon carrier oil, then add this to your bath water. The best oils to use in this case are jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil.
- Another option is to mix 5 – 20 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon liquid castile soap. Use that mixture in your bath.
All of the above tips come from the Tisserand Institute, which is a leading authority on essential oils.
Visit this page for more of their tips on how to use essential oils in a bath.
CAN ESSENTIAL OILS INCREASE ESTROGEN?
Before we wrap up this discussion on estrogen balancing essential oils, it’s important to address a common concern: are essential oils (like lavender, or clary sage) estrogenic?
The short answer is: there is no conclusive evidence showing that essential oils are estrogenic (or that they even contain hormones).
The longer answer is that some of the plants that are used to make essential oils do contain phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are simply plant estrogens and they are also found in soy, sesame seeds, flaxseed and other foods (source).
But once a plant has been distilled into an essential oil, the chances of those components still being present is slim.
Another point to keep in mind is that even though there are studies claiming that some oils are estrogenic, there are flaws in how those studies were conducted.
Those studies used lavender and tea tree oil, mixed with other compounds that are known to be hormone disruptors.
Experts have since argued that the known hormone disruptors were the cause of the estrogenic effects, not lavender or tea tree themselves.
Having read through various pieces of research, my conclusion is that essential oils are not estrogenic.
For a full breakdown of why you shouldn’t worry about estrogen in essential oils, read these articles on why lavender and clary sage are not estrogenic. Both are written by essential oil expert, Robert Tisserand.
How can I flush excess estrogen?
Start by eating mostly whole and unprocessed foods. And focus on cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and kale because they compounds like indole-3-carbinol, which helps with detoxification.
You also want to eat foods that are high in sulfur (like garlic), reduce your consumption of pesticide-heavy foods and make sure your liver is in good health.
For more tips, read this post on how to get rid of estrogen dominance naturally.
How do you detoxify your liver?
Increasing your consumption of natural, unrefined fats, as well as fruits and vegetables goes a long way toward improving liver health.
Also, cut back on foods that are high in pesticides, refined sugar, as well as artificial additives/preservatives.
For more liver-friendly tips, read this this article on the liver and hormone balance.
What can I drink to flush my liver?
An herbal tea made of herbs like dandelion and milk thistle is great for cleansing the liver.
In addition, drinking a warm cup of golden milk (which contains liver-friendly turmeric) or taking a liver supplement can be very helpful.
This post on how to use turmeric for hormonal imbalance contains my favorite golden milk recipe which you can use.
With regular, and safe, use of the essential oils listed in this post, you can start improving symptoms like pms, weight gain, hot flashes and many other estrogen dominance symptoms.
However, do keep in mind that the best way to reverse your symptoms naturally is to take a holistic approach.
For more tips on supplements, food and other natural remedies that will help you avoid (or reverse) estrogen dominance, read this post on how to eliminate estrogen dominance naturally.