Essential oils are useful to have in your toolkit for managing perimenopause and menopause symptoms. Discover the blends for balancing hormones, soothing skin, easing anxiety and supporting sleep…

You more than likely know how soothing and restorative essential oils can be, whether that’s through a massage, in a candle or in a diffuser. But, did you know that essential oils can also ease symptoms commonly associated with perimenopause and menopause, such as low mood and trouble sleeping?

A number of studies have shown that essential oils can help with the anxiety and mood swings that may occur during perimenopause and menopause.

A review, published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, found bergamot, geranium, lavender, orange and sweet orange essential oils among the most effective in reducing anxiety.

Other studies have found that clary sage, lemon, Roman chamomile, rose, ylang ylang and sandalwood have powerful, natural anti-anxiety effects.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite essential oil blends to help alleviate and soothe perimenopause and menopause symptoms. But first, we explore what makes an essential oil and how they work.

What is an essential oil?

Essential oils are not actually oils at all. They are lipophilic (fat-loving) and hydrophobic (water-hating) volatile organic compounds that dissolve readily in fat but don’t mix easily in water. The word volatile simply means they rapidly evaporate.

Each one is extracted from a single botanical source, such as aromatic flowers, leaves, seeds, grasses, roots and resins.

It’s the essence of the plant, a complex chemical compound that comprises hundreds of separate substances, which determine its distinctive aroma, flavour and unique therapeutic properties.

How are essential oils extracted?

Most essential oils are made by steam distillation. The still is packed with plant material, steam is pumped through at high pressure, the steam cools back to water and the essential oil floats to the top.

Citrus oils are cold pressed’ (oils are mechanically squeezed out), as heat would change their chemical composition.

How do essential oils work?

The oils can be used aromatically, such as through inhalation, topically, or, less commonly, internally. Molecules pass to the brain via nasal receptors in the nose, or are absorbed by the skin into the bloodstream, where they are dispersed throughout your system.

The chemicals within the oils bind with certain enzymes and receptors, creating physiological effects. Essential oils also act on the limbic area of the brain – the area to do with emotions and feelings

Your essential oils toolkit: best blends for menopause symptoms

Whether you’re in the perimenopause stage or further along, these essential oil blends can help you manage a wide range of symptoms, from anxiety to stress – and even help you burn fat more effectively!

Hormone-balancing serum

Try this balancing serum for PMS, perimenopause and menopausal symptoms.

  • 2 drops clary sage
  • 2 drops frankincense
  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops neroli
  • 1 drop ylang ylang
  • 10ml evening primrose oil
  • 10ml roller bottle. Try: Baldwins Amber Glass Roll On Bottle (£0.89,
  1. Add essential oils to the roller bottle and fill with evening primrose oil.
  2. Massage over neck (thyroid) and along lower back and over kidneys (adrenals) every morning and night.

Anti-anxiety inhaler

Sniff this relaxing blend to alleviate anxiety.

  • 5 drops orange
  • 5 drops bergamot
  • 5 drops sandalwood
  • 5 drops ylang ylang
  • Aromatherapy inhaler. Try: Shirley Price Nasal Aromatherapy Inhaler (£1.83 for a pack of two,
  • Cotton pad.
  1. Place a cotton pad in the inhaler tube.
  2. Drop the essential oils directly on the cotton pad.
  3. Secure the cap and keep the inhaler handy.
  4. Whenever you feel anxious or stressed, open the inhaler and take a few deep breaths.

Anti-ageing healing skin serum

Use this healing serum for skin that gets drier during perimenopause and beyond.

  • 5 drops lavender
  • 5 drops frankincense
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil (softened or melted)
  • 1 tbsp cold, organic aloe vera gel
  1. Blend the coconut oil, aloe vera gel and essential oils until smooth.
  2. Apply to face, neck and body daily.
  3. Store in the fridge and make a fresh batch each week.

Body blend massage oil

Use this body blend to keep skin firm. It’s particularly useful if you want to lose menopause-related weight, but don’t want saggy skin. It promotes more effective fat burning, too.

  • 3 drops lemon
  • 3 drops grapefruit
  • 3 drops lime
  • 3 drops peppermint
  • 3 drops orange
  • 30ml jojoba oil, sweet almond or vitamin E oil.
  • 1 small glass container
  1. Mix essential oils with carrier oil in glass container.
  2. Rub into abdomen and other problem areas, such as backs of arms, thighs and buttocks, 3-4 times a week.

Click here to discover the best essential oils for healthy weight loss!