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essential oils for soul: weekly scents and remedies, week eleven

Hormone balancing - Clary Sage, Clove, Ylang Ylang (Image © Yoga Robin®)

All about Hormone balance. Of course, it's best to stay in balance at all times, especially with your endocrine system. When something goes wrong, the effects are often times confusing, and can even allow your senses and intellect to get buried. Happiness and grounding become quite impossible. For this reason, being proactive toward hormone balance is the best bet.

Endocrine glands and effects

(Source: off my Healing Series)

Before diving into specific hormones that effect me and their essential oil and yoga remedies, first let me summarize parts of the endocrine system (a.k.a., your hormones).

Pituitary gland: Lying on base of the brain, it’s the master gland as it controls the release of hormones from other glands. It’s vital to our well-being and also connects to the Hypothalamus (nervous system), harmonizing together. Frankincense essential oil is known to oxygenate the pituitary gland, and enhance spiritual connection (diffused or applied topically).

Pancreas: Lies beneath the stomach in the abdomen and handles digestive functions. Produces insulin, a hormone needed to regulate the amount of sugar in blood, responsibile for body's energy. If the blood glucose level is low, the pancreas triggers stored glucose release from the kidneys into the urine, expelling more water, resulting in excessive thirst. Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar gets too low. Cypress essential oil (applied topically) is known to support the pancreas.

Adrenal glands: Lie on kidneys. They complement the sympathetic nervous system (physical performance “fight or flight” response) and regulate mineral balance, electrolytes, energy balance and sexual characteristics. The adrenal glands handle metabolism of proteins and fats, while also maintaining anti-inflammatory properties such as cortisone. Basil and Rosemary essential oils (applied topically) are known to support the adrenal glands.

Pineal gland: Secretes melatonin, needed for regulating daytime and nighttime (sleep). It is also responsible for maintaining blood pressure and body temperature. Frankincense and Sandalwood essential oils (diffused) are said to support the pineal gland.

Thyroid gland: (See below). Myrrh essential oil helps with hyperthyroidism condition (overactive—topically, diffused).

Swimming in a chrolinated pool or hot tub

Chrlorine affects your mood and hormones, in particular the thyroid. The thyroid hormone is composed of four molecules of iodine and one molecule of the amino acid tyrosine. Chrlorine pushes iodine out of the way, interfering with receptor sites, which is how the endocrine system sends messages through your body. Lack of iodine leads to poor function of metabolism and immunity.

Iodine is in high concentration in the ovaries, acting as a protective buffer to estrogen. Adequate iodine helps guide estrogen on an ideal path, supporting female sex hormones. Iodine also assists the proper function of numerous hormone receptors throughout the body, thus helping hormones in general communicate more efficiently.

Essential oils that support the loss of iodine are Peppermint or Clove (hypothyroidism, underactive—topically, diffused). Hence, whenever I get out of my hot tub, I take a few drops of Clove and Peppermint into my hands and rub onto the front of my neck.

Let the sun come out again

I feel the most imbalance—in terms of hormones—in my menstrual cycle, in particular PMS. My customized, concocted blend to be consumed, inhaled and worn proactively is: Clove, Ylang Ylang and Clary Sage. I apply it undiluted (ratio 1:3:3) to my wrists, chest and navel.

When needed, I prepare my diffuser with my PMS blend before bed, and another diffuser on my desk during the day. Taking in the aroma is an important part of its effects and healing. Since each of these oils can be taken orally, I add a few drops to a pitcher of water and sip away throughout the day for its effects.

Clove (myrtaceae) has many beneficial qualities, one being that it's great as a drawing salve for tissues, effective at pulling out infection. And so too emotionally and spiritually. If you have buried yourself in some story, it invites the story to leave so that calm and personal power come back alive.

Ylang Ylang (cananga odorata) - is vata-reducing, enhances romance, is a sedative, alleviates anger, stimulates adrenals, helps with stress. It's phytoestogenic, assisting with hormone balance.

Clary Sage (salvia sclarea) - promotes clarity and vision, changes perception. It brings forth the courage to say the truth. It activates the 6th chakra of intuition. It reverses limiting beliefs and stress from drastic change and opens creative channels, while eliminating distractions from the mind. It increases dreams and teaches the spirit how to use its natural gifts. Inviting discernment in life, it brings out acceptance of the reality of the spiritual world.

Menstrual cramps and discomfort

Hormone balance - doTERRA ClaryCalm® (Image © Yoga Robin)dōTERRA proprietary blend, Clary Calm®, helps me with menstrual cramping. It's to be applied topically (not orally). I rub it on my lower abdomen. But, as each person is unique, this blend does not help me with the emotional and mental side of PMS in the same way as the blend I've created above.  

Clary Calm® includes some amazing ingredients: Clary Sage (eases muscle tension, mood lifting, hormone balance), Lavender (calming, support normal hormone levels), Bergamot (emotionally uplifting, helps ease muscle tension), Roman Chamomile (relaxing, helps ease muscle tension), Cedarwood (supports normal hormone levels), Ylang Ylang (helps with stress, phytoestrogenic), Geranium (balances endocrine system, phytoestrogenic), Fennel (supports estrogen production), Carrot Seed (supports healthy endocrine activity), Palmarosa (soothing, supports thyroid), Vitex (bio-identical to phytoestrogens, anti-spasmotic).

Yoga during menstrual cycle

What about practicing yoga during the menstrual cycle? There are many teachers and teachings that say not to. Even if it feels good to move—or not, yet calming to move anyway—the reasoning has to do with various facts and inclinations with the typical menstruating yogini body.

* The menstrual cycle is ridding the body of blood, the body’s purification process, and needs to flow downward for health so it's meant to be left alone, not flipped around. Even doing downward dog in yoga, which is not a full inversion (e.g., headstand), is said to mess with the flow. For the body to properly cleanse, each of the channels in the pelvic region during menstruation need to be soft, dilated, open, relaxed and flowing. The menstrual cycle is for eradicating the toxins (physically, mentally, emotionally) from the body accumulated during the month.

* The ovaries are located in the 2nd chakra, Svadhishthana, the sexual center and seat of creativity (the power to create life). Nearly all the asanas in Ashtanga yoga are designed to bring that creative force, kundalini, up the central axis, sushumna, until it elevates through each chakra reaching the 7th chakra, Sahasrara, at the top of the head. Since the natural flow of kundalini is upward and menstrual flow is downward, these forces contradict each other.

* Menstrual cycles remain in harmony with the cycles of the moon especially for women who live close to nature, starting their menstruation on either the new moon or full moon. It is said to respect the body's natural inclinations to rest when needed. If you are lethargic and know your body is telling you something, it's an indication that yoga is not good for that day.

* Menstruation is a natural sedative for many. The main point of attention to the abstaining from Ashtanga yoga while menstruating is really to respect the nature of the body. Breathing with sound during asana not only affects the muscles and joints in the body but also our anatomical systems—respiratory, nervous, digestive, circulatory, immune, reproductive and endocrine. Regular practice harmonizes the subtle energies of mind and body, calms and steadies the nerves lessening physical tension.

* During the heavy part of your menstrual cycle, do not practice mula or uddiyana bandhas.

Having said all of that, if menstruation is a fiery, lively time, and continuing to do yoga during your cycle allows you to feel more in balance with all the systems, I say that is valid and to listen to it. From my experience, menstruating around the full moon can heighten the dominance in the 2nd chakra making for an energtic practice once the energy spreads throughout the body, especially to the heart. I have my best backbends (4th chakra centered) on these days. It is always recommended to modify your practice as needed and follow your inner guidance.

Best supplements and lifestyle to protect hormone balance

* Increase phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogen Lifetime Complex™
dōTERRA Women Phytoestrogen Lifetime Complex™ "is a natural dietary supplement formulated to support healthy hormone levels in women. It also supports healthy bones, heart, breast tissue, and other body structures and functions as a woman ages. Phytoestrogen Lifetime Complex includes a standardized extract of soy that provides supplemental plant-sourced phytoestrogens that have gentle estrogenic activity. It also includes a standardized extract of pomegranite for antioxidant support and flax seed lignans that help to maintain a healthy hormone metabolism." (Source: I have yet to try this supplement but have placed an order and look forward to beginning.

* Powerful antioxidants

Zendocrine® essential oil....
dōTERRA Zendocrine® essential oil blend supports organ cleansing and healthy tissue function. Massage on bottoms of feet. Essential oils in this blend: Rosemary (strong antioxidant, known to mitigate stress), Cilantro (supports liver against toxins), Juniper Berry (cleansing), Tangerine (support digestive system), Geranium (hormones, liver, kidney, pancreas support). I apply to my feet each night before sleeping.

* Vitamin E, Vitamin B's, Magnesium and Calcium

Through food or supplements

Have a happy day... Next post on the importance of sleeping well.

[If you want to try some dōTERRA® essential oils yourself, here are two ways to do it. 1) Shop here for retail purchases directly. 2) Join to get wholesale prices. Ships internationally.]


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, M.A.


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