Did you know that you can use essential oils for pelvic health?Not only can essential oils (EOs) reduce stress and boost your mood, they can also ease muscle tension and relieve pain. Furthermore, they support a holistic healthy lifestyle that can result in proper hormone balance, improved immunity, and a stronger body overall. You guys, I’m serious… This is something for any pelvic health enthusiast (or health nut) to consider.
But first, let me clear something up:Are EOs a “magic bullet” that can cure ANYTHING with just one drop?
No.Rather, EOs are a beautiful way to support a holistic path to pelvic health (including pain management if that’s something you need).
What are essential oils?Also referred to as “volatile aromatic compounds” (meaning they quickly change state from a liquid to a gas), EOs are highly concentrated collections of molecules that give a plant its aroma and protect it from insects and harsh environmental conditions. Essential oils are often likened to the immune system of a plant; think of them as tiny little packets of protection! Their protective benefits extend to HUMANS (and other animals) as well. Just one drop of essential oil contains 40 million trillion molecules that can service every cell of the body in a matter of minutes. EOs have been used for thousands of years in religious rituals and medical applications; in fact, EOs are mentioned multiple times in the Bible and have long been a staple of Ayurveda (a form of Eastern medicine). Before we had Tylenol and Advil, we had plant medicine. Many modern medicines are made to mimic or replicate the effects of EOs, but since they’re mass-produced sythetics, they often have significant side effects that natural (plant) remedies just don’t have. Thank goodness we’re FINALLY starting to get back to nature and appreciate the value of these gifts of the earth! Modern use of essential oils has grown rapidly in recent years, especially as scientists continue to research the numerous benefits and applications of therapeutic-grade essential oils. Many medical providers consider EOs to be a SAFE and EFFECTIVE treatment option, and even prestigious universities such as Vanderbilt promote the use of EOs with clients and staff. (1) EOs can be used three ways: aromatically by diffusing, topically by applying to the skin (usually diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil), and internally in certain situations. If using EOs internally, always check the label to make sure your oil is certified to be therapeutic-grade and safe for internal use.
Let’s get down to business. How can you use essential oils for pelvic health?
Supporting a Healthy LifestyleThis could be an entire blog post in and of itself, so I’ll only just briefly touch on the myriad of ways in which EOs can support a healthy lifestyle. Honestly, I think this is really where EOs shine!
- Eating right and exercising regularly: (I’ll talk about exercise specifically later in this post.) Regarding eating right, EOs are a great flavor enhancer (when using an oil that’s therapeutic-grade and suitable for ingestion). Morning lemon water is an excellent way to cleanse your body from the inside out and to wake up feeling refreshed and hydrated, but lemon juice (from fresh-squeezed lemon) is acidic and can be tough on tooth enamel. To get all the antioxidant benefits of lemon without the acid, add 1-2 drops of lemon EO to a large glass of water, stir briskly, and enjoy!
- Sleep/Rest: Proper rest is essential for energy, mood, hormone balance, a healthy immune system, and even pain management. If you have trouble sleeping, try diffusing 4-5 drops lavender by your bedside, or placing 1-2 drops on your pillow before going to bed.
- Cedarwood is another oil that has mild sedative effects when inhaled. (2) A blend of cedarwood + lavender is one of my favorite combinations for a restful sleep, or to ease anxiety when I’m feeling too “amped up” during the day.
- Reducing toxic load: Most commercial cleaning products contain toxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals (meaning that they can affect your hormones over time). Female hormone balance is “touchy” enough; we don’t need endocrine disruptors in our cleaning products to make things even worse! Over time, I have used EOs to completely revamp my stash of household cleaners. One example from my all-natural cleaning cabinet is my homemade glass and surface spray, which you can learn how to make in the video below.
- I’ve also replaced most of my lotions, serums, and body washes with homemade products that work better (and cost less!) than what I used to buy… And so much better for the skin, which is porous and directly absorbs the toxins that are in so many drugstore products. Make a simple DIY facial serum by adding 30 drops frankincense to a 10ml rollerball bottle, and then filling the rest of the way with jojoba oil. Apply to your face and décolletage morning and night. Bonus: Frankincense is one of the TOP anti-aging essential oils. (3)
Discomfort ManagementMany EOs can be used to relieve discomfort. A few that have been studied in relation to menstrual and/or pelvic discomfort include: thyme, lavender, clary sage, and marjoram.
- A study from the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found in a randomized, double-blind clinical trial that a blend of pure essential oils served to decrease duration of menstrual pain. (5) Lavender, clary sage, and marjoram were used in a 2:1:1 ratio, diluted to 3% in an unscented cream, and applied daily to the lower abdomen. Both numeric and verbal pain rating scales significantly decreased (P < 0.001) after just one menstrual cycle!
- Personally, when I experience menstrual cramps, I use doTERRA’s “PastTense” Tension Blend applied directly over my uterus. This oil blend + 10 minutes relaxing on the couch works like magic… No Motrin required.
Easing Muscle TensionExcess tension in the pelvic floor (and surrounding) muscles can cause a “headache in the pelvis.” Here are some methods of relaxing the pelvic muscles that will be helpful for both women AND men:
- Place 2-3 drops of peppermint in the toilet, sit over it for a few minutes and take some deep breaths. The pelvic floor will relax as the vapors from the oil surround your pelvic muscles and perineum. (6)
- As we’ve already discussed, lavender promotes relaxation. Place a drop of lavender in your hand and rub your palms together. Place your hands up to your nose and take a few deep inhales. While you are breathing, actively relax your pelvic floor muscles by doing a “pelvic drop” (the opposite of a kegel). Click here for pelvic drop instructions!
- While aromatic use (inhalation) is wonderful and effective for easing muscle tension, topical application may target your symptoms more directly. Similar to the study described in the “Pain Management” section above, combine lavender, clary sage, and marjoram diluted in an unscented cream or carrier oil (such as coconut oil). Apply daily to the sacrum, low back, lower abdomen, inner thighs, and/or groin area to ease pelvic discomfort.
- Wintergreen EO is also effective at relieving muscle tension and pain when applied topically. It’s one of the primary ingredients in “PastTense” Tension Blend, which I adore. Like the birch tree, wintergreen contains natural methyl salicylate, the main ingredient in aspirin. It was commonly used by Native Americans as a general pain tonic, and modern research has shown that wintergreen oil has a cortisone-like effect with anti-inflammatory, soothing, and antispasmodic properties. Note: wintergreen is one of the strongest essential oils and should never be consumed. (7)
- Enjoy a relaxing Epsom salt bath. Add 5-6 drops total of lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and/or rosemary EOs to a small jar filled with 1 cup Epsom salts. Shake well to combine, and then add to your bathwater. Soak for 15 minutes.
Bladder SupportCypress and Juniper Berry are both helpful for bladder concerns, particularly urinary urgency and frequency. Try combining 15 drops Cypress and 15 drops Juniper Berry in a 10 ml rollerball bottle. Top off with fractionated coconut oil, and roll over your bladder area 2-3 times/day.
Cough much? Immune Support & Seasonal ReliefFrom constant nose-blowing to coughing and sneezing, cold and flu season (AND allergy season) can be TOUGH on the pelvic floor! Essential oils can be used for immune support; a simple tip is to diffuse doTERRA’s OnGuard Protective Blend every morning for 15-20 minutes while getting ready for the day. For seasonal relief, diffuse 2-3 drops each of lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils.
Digestion and Hemorrhoid ReliefTo soothe digestion (including bloating, constipation, and indigestion), try essential oils such as fennel, peppermint, ginger, rosemary, and lemon. Your digestion 1000% affects pelvic health; inflammation in the “guts” can contribute to inflammation and discomfort in the rest of the pelvic region. Furthermore, constipation and STRAINING to use the toilet can contribute to pelvic organ prolapse and hemorrhoids. For a simple solution, drink daily morning lemon water (1-2 drops of doTERRA Lemon stirred into water), take TerraZyme digestive enzymes before your first meal of the day, and apply DigestZen Touch to your abdomen 2-3 times/day. If you have hemorrhoids, try my homemade cypress wipes! They not only reduce symptoms, they’re also a refreshing for ANYWHERE on your body when you need to freshen up.
Stress and Mood ManagementLet’s get real… Pelvic health concerns are STRESSFUL. Whether you’re dealing with painful periods, chronic pelvic pain, bladder leakage, or anything else “down there,” it can be anxiety-provoking and mood disrupting.
- Lavender is known as the “calming” oil, and I have personally used it (very successfully, I might add) when I am feeling over-anxious. My personal favorite use is to either diffuse 4-6 drops of lavender twice/day, or take 2-3 drops internally (in an empty gelatin capsule) up to twice/day. You can also consider taking 1-2 of doTERRA’s Serenity Softgels for soothing anxious feelings.
- Frankincense and vetiver EOs also have uplifting and relaxing properties. These can not only help YOU, they can help your family too.
Exercise/FitnessExercise keeps the pelvic floor strong and supple, and it’s important for weight management (which helps manage prolapse and incontinence). Furthermore, a daily fitness practice improves mood, energy, and focus throughout the day. Here’s how to use essential oils in your daily exercise routine:
- Boosting energy and motivation before workouts. I suggest using 1 drop each of peppermint and wild orange EOs, rub hands together briskly, and inhale deeply. Instant perk-me-up!
- Boosting exercise performance. Add 1 drop doTERRA peppermint or 1 drop doTERRA Slim and Sassy Metabolic Blend to a large (12-16 oz) glass or stainless steel water bottle full of filtered water. Shake well and drink before and during your workout for massive energy.
- Soothing post-workout muscle soreness. Any muscle in your body can feel fatigued and sore after exercise, even your pelvic floor! I talk about this in my Kegel Play video. I love doTERRA’s Deep Blue products for post-workout muscle soreness, particularly Deep Blue Rub. If your pelvic floor is feeling tired and sore, apply Deep Blue Rub to your inner thighs, outer hips and buttocks area, as well as your low back and abdomen. You’ll feel soothing, cooling RELIEF! I’ve also (very successfully) used Deep Blue when I have occasional joint discomfort after more intense workouts.
- Opening your lungs to ease breathing during exercise, yoga, or meditation. I recommend diffusing 4-6 drops of doTERRA’s Breathe Respiratory Blend, which contains Laurel Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Melaleuca Leaf, Lemon Peel, Ravensara Leaf, and Cardamom Seed EOs.
- “Grounding” into your body during yoga or meditation, so that you can feel peaceful, relaxed, and in touch with your lower chakras. I recommend applying 1-2 drops of doTERRA’s Balance Grounding Blend to each foot before your yoga or meditation session. Another grounding option is to diffuse 2 drops each of: patchouli, wild orange, and ylang ylang.
- Keeping your yoga mat clean and fresh:
- Add 8 oz water, 2 oz rubbing alcohol or witch hazel, 10 drops lemongrass EO, 10 drops lavender EO, 5 drops eucalyptus EO, and 5 drops melaleuca (tea tree) EO to a spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spritz mat, give it a wipe, and enjoy a clean mat + soothing scent before and/or after your yoga session.
Pelvic pain/discomfort is NO FUN (to say the least), and pelvic health concerns such as incontinence and prolapse can be daunting, disappointing, and frustrating to treat.The great news is that holistic modalities such as EOs can support you in your journey to recovery whether you require lifestyle support, better sleep, more energy, decreased tension, or pain relief. Although sometimes prescription (or over the counter) medications are required, I encourage you to explore natural alternatives so that you can find a healthy balance between modern medicine and time-tested natural healing methods. If you’d like more info about using essential oils for pelvic health, and if you’d like to work with me, please read about my inner circle and contact me via my doTERRA website. I can’t wait to connect with you! References:
- Opening Minds Closed to the Possibilities of Using Essential Oils, by Tonya McBride, RN, and Terese Sturges, RN. doTERRA’s LIVING magazine, Fall 2012.
- The sedative effects and mechanism of action of cedrol inhalation with behavioral pharmacological evaluation. Planta Med. 2003 Jul;69(7):637-41.
- Top Anti-Aging Essential Oils, draxe.com
- Comparative effect of thymus vulgaris and ibuprofen on primary dysmenorrhea: A triple-blind clinical study. Caspian J Intern Med. 2014 Spring;5(2):82-8.
- Pain relief assessment by aromatic essential oil massage on outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2012 May;38(5):817-22.
- How Can I Use Essential Oils to Support My Body and Ease My Pelvic Pain? drsusieg.com
- Amazing Essential Oils for Chronic Pain Relief, thealternativedaily.com
- Lavender oil preparation Silexan is effective in generalized anxiety disorder–a randomized, double-blind comparison to placebo and paroxetine. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2014 Jun;17(6):859-69.
You might also like: “The Best Essential Oils for Prolapse and Incontinence”