When you think essential oils your first thoughts may be of aromatherapy oil diffusers or beauty products that use these oils to improve the health of hair and skin.
While there are a wide variety of ways to use essential oils to enhance air quality and as beauty treatments, these powerful oils can also be used for medicinal purposes.
And while there are treatment options available if you suffer from endometriosis, the methods commonly used to treat this condition can be unpleasant and have side effects most of us would rather avoid.
There’s differently a demand for more natural methods of addressing endometriosis and other chronic conditions, especially for those still in their childbearing years and wanting to protect their fertility.
It’s not that hard to get your hands on essential oils which may lead you to underestimate just how effective they can be in alleviating and treating chronic disorders.
Frankincense, lavender, and rosemary are just three essential oils that can give you relief from your endometriosis symptoms and allow you to function without narcotic pain medication or risky surgeries.
We’re going to take a look a natural way to manage your symptoms as well as reasons to consider using essential oils if you’re suffering from endometriosis.
Essential Oils for Endometriosis
What is Endometriosis
Periods are no fun. They’re even worse for women who deal with endometriosis.
Every month our uteruses are lined with something called endometrial tissue. This tissue breaks down and is expelled during a regular menstrual cycle.
For those who have endometriosis, endometrial tissue grows not just in the uterus but in other areas outside of it such as the ovaries, outside surface of the uterus, and other spaces within the body cavity.
This displaced tissue reacts our menstrual cycle’s hormonal changes and attempts to shed, causing severe pain and cramping. The trapped tissue can cause inflammation and blockage increasing the risks of infertility, autoimmune disorders, and miscarriage.
Some women may be silent sufferers of endometriosis, going diagnosed and incorrectly attributing their painful and heavy cycles to normal menstrual symptoms.
According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, one in ten women suffers from endometriosis in the US and over two-hundred million women deal with this condition worldwide. That’s an alarming amount of women who live with chronic pain and other symptoms that stem from this disorder.
Let’s take a look at some of the common symptoms of endometriosis:
- Pain: severe cramps, back, with intercourse, when urinating
- Inflammation caused by trapped endometrial tissue
- An increased risk of autoimmune disorders
- Infertility from block ovaries and fallopian tubes
- an increased risk of miscarriage
How Conventional Medicine Treats Endometriosis
After being diagnosed with endometriosis you may be presented with several treatment options.
Depending on how severe your symptoms are, your options will range from pain management to hysterectomy. Some women have pain so excruciating that a hysterectomy could seem like a truly viable option when faced with an unknown number of years downing narcotics just to function normally.
Often we walk away from these doctor visits thinking conventional treatment methods are the only route we can take. While these methods can work, synthetic hormones, surgery, and narcotic pain medication can cause new problems to arise and run their own risks.
You need to know the natural alternatives and understand the effects conventional treatments may have on your health and fertility.
- Pain management – This is the most common form of treatment as there are no known prevention methods for endometriosis outside of oral contraceptives. For pain that over the counter pain medications can’t beat, your doctor may prescribe narcotic pain medication such as codeine which may put you at risk for addiction and dependency.
- Hormone Therapy – Endometriosis is related to the levels of estrogen, progesterone and the balance of other hormones in your body. Your doctor may prescribe an oral contraceptive or other medication to alter your hormone levels as a treatment.
- Surgery – Another common conventional treatment method is to eliminate endometrial tissue via laparoscopy surgery. Considered less invasive, in this surgery the endometrial tissue is cut or burned away but it’s important to note that the tissue may grow back later. A hysterectomy is employed as a last resort and involves removing the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries or a combination of these organs, leaving some intact.
The Benefits of Using Essential Oils for Endometriosis
We’ve already discussed how pain management and hormone therapy are going to be your main treatment options using conventional methods.
Now let’s get down to what essential oils can do for your condition and why they truly are a practical choice.
There have been multiple studies done on individual essential oils showing their uses go beyond how awesome they can smell.
In a 2012 study, participants reported a combination of essential oils not only reduced menstrual cramp pain but that the combination also decreased the number of days they experienced pain. If that doesn’t motivate you to consider essential oils for endometriosis, lavender, a plant many of use to decorate our landscapes, is proven to have a calming effect on the nervous system as well as being beneficial for managing chronic pain. (1)
Essential oils can help relieve pain, balance hormones naturally, improve your mood, increase circulation, relieve inflammation and so much more.
One of the major benefits of using essential oils to manage endometriosis symptoms is that they lack the addictive properties of narcotic pain medication your doctor may prescribe.
The healing properties of essential oils include the added benefit of being antimicrobial, making them harmful to certain bacteria and viruses.
When looking at essential oils that can help bring you relief from endometriosis it’s important to look for oils that address pain associated with cramps and muscle spasms in other parts of the body, inflammation from trapped endometrial tissue, and hormone balancing.
Because stress and anxiety can exasperate endometriosis, essential oils that address these issues are also useful.
There are three main methods of getting the benefits of essential oils. Certain essential oils can be ingested in tea or another beverage, you can use an oil diffuser to reap the aromatherapy benefits of the oil, or you can dilute the oil with a carrier such as almond oil and apply it directly onto your skin.
Here are some essential oils that are good for endometriosis and the exact benefits this condition:
This essential oil is known to be helpful in treating depression, chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep disorder. Studies reveal that massaging lavender oil diluted in a carrier oil directly onto the skin can help alleviate acute and chronic pain. (2)
Stress and anxiety management is important for those dealing with endometriosis. The burden of chronic debilitating pain can cause anxiety when your period approaches as you anticipate pain and discomfort. The stress that comes from missing work and pay or regular activities when endometriosis pain strikes, can add more grief to those dealing with endometriosis.
The aromatherapy benefits of lavender oil can relax and sooth, decreasing stress and anxiety.
Another essential oil touted for its stress relieving properties, rosemary oil is anti-inflammatory, promotes healthy circulation and can aid in balancing hormones.
Studies also show this essential oil can aid in pain management. (3)
This multi-beneficial essential oil can be applied directly to the skin via a carrier oil or used in an oil diffuser for aromatherapy.
Who hasn’t heard of this ancient oil? The boswellic acid in frankincense may help fight the inflammation caused by endometriosis.
A 2006 study showed that frankincense can help reduce inflammation resulting from chronic disease.
It can also relieve stress and has hormone balancing properties via reduction of the stress hormone cortisol.
Because ylang ylang is antispasmodic it can help with the intense cramping associated with endometriosis.
It promotes relaxation making it a great sedative and stress reliever.
Ylang ylang is also reported to be an effective antidepressant.
Clary sage is another one of those essential oils that packs a multi-beneficial punch. It is antispasmodic, aiding in relief from spasms associated with muscle cramps
It can reduce inflammation and is a calming agent for those dealing with anxiety or depression.
Clary sage is also reported to help balance estrogen and improve overall circulation.
When ingested, rose essential oil helps fight inflammation.
Another benefit of this oil is its antispasmodic properties along with its ability to speed up clotting preventing excessive bleeding. (4)
Rose essential oil can provide relief from anxiety, depression, regulate hormones and ease cramps.
Chamomile is an herb that has been used for centuries to treat everything from the common cold to helping those who can’t get to sleep.
Considered a mild tranquilizer, chamomile can be useful for those dealing with anxiety, sleep disorders, and pain. (4)
It is believed that this essential oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can help with reducing smooth muscle spasms.
You may be familiar with how ginger can relieve an upset stomach or aid those with motion sickness, but did you know that some of the same properties that make ginger great for digestion also makes it a great choice for those dealing with inflammation?
An enzyme found in ginger, zingibain, is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can also help with pain relief. (5)
Use ginger essential oil in aromatherapy applications to receive its anxiety-fighting benefits.
Final thoughts on using Essential Oils for Endometriosis
You have options when it comes to endometriosis treatment.
Don’t think you are limited by the list above.
There are plenty of essential oils that have various healing properties that can provide relief without the side effects of conventional treatment.
You can even combine oils to receive multiple benefits.
Choose essential oils that will address your symptoms, then decide the way you will use them, and start enjoying natural relief today.