Tag Archives: painful periods

Help for Pre-Menstrual Tension

Pre-menstrual tension

Pre-menstrual tension is the term given to the many different symptoms you may experience in the week to ten days before your period. There are many reasons for PMT but fluid retention caused by low levels of oestrogen and high progesterone levels just before your period in addition to stress and poor diet maybe the cause.

This can result in the following physical symptoms; tenderness of the breast, swollen abdomen, headaches, nausea, uterine cramps, fatigue, weight gain, constipation and mild to severe fluid retention.

Emotionally you may experience depression, weepiness, irritability, food cravings, loss of concentration, lethargy, tearfulness and in some rare cases violent and dramatic personality changes.

Woman Lying in a Bathtub Using essential oils in the bath, vaporising them and massaging can make a difference to how you feel each month. Gently massage your blend over your lower back, solar plexus, tops of your thighs and buttocks and your abdomen approximately one week before your period is due and for approximately one week afterwards. Do for 2 or 3 months to assess the difference.

Placing a hot compress (be careful not to burn yourself) over your abdomen may be soothing. Adding 4 or 5 drops of clary sage, marjoram or lavender essential oils to the compress water is helpful.

Essential oils for Pre-Menstrual Tension include:
Clary Sage – cramping
Geranium – mood balancer
Rosemary – cramping, uplifting, concentration, lethargy
Bergamot – uplifting, weepiness, depression
Roman chamomile – cramping, fluid retention, depression
Lavender – cramping, weepiness, headache
Petitgrain – depression, lethargy
Rose – calming and emotionally healing. Buy as a 3% dilution in jojoba and use as a perfume.

Make a blend using any of the above oils. Use up to 30 drops in total in 30 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil. You may need to experiment to come up with your perfect blend or see your aromatherapist for a blend to suit you.

For painful periods try
Clary sage 10 drops
Geranium 10 drops
Petitgrain 10 drops in 30 mls of cold pressed vegetable oil

In addition to the above you may want to supplement your diet with a good vitamin B complex and evening primrose oil.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Family: Asteraceae

Synonyms: Milfoil, thousand weed, achillea, soldier’s woundwort.

Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous similar to German chamomile.

Colour: Deep blue.

Yarrow 7Plant: Perennial with tiny clusters of white or pink flowers growing to a metre in height. The lower part of the stem is leafless and woody while the upper stem has alternate feathery lace like leaves.

Main Growing Areas: Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria, France.

Major Constituents: Camphor, 1,8 cineole, iso-artemisia, azulenes, achilline, sabinene.

Interesting snippets: Grown specifically for medicinal use as it is considered a weed in most places.
Yarrow tea has long been used for mild digestive upsets and menstrual cramps.
It is said that Achilles tended his soldier’s wounds with yarrow during the war with Troy.
The 50 wooden sticks used for the I-Ching were made from the stems of the yarrow plant.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Leaves and flowering heads by steam distillation.

Therapeutic actions: Cuts and abrasions, eczema, menstrual pain.

Emotional and Spiritual: Gabriel Mojay writes that yarrow oil is most appropriate for those in whom feelings of anger or rage are linked subconsciously with emotional wounding and vulnerability.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi considers yarrow the perfect oil for times of major life changes such as mid-life crisis and menopause because it helps reconcile opposing forces when we are feeling torn.

Robbi Zeck asks you to learn how to maintain your balance in every situation without abandoning your integrity. Ask for clarity of vision so that your inner perspectives will match your external actions. Yarrow with its balancing action refines the senses, enhancing the power of your insights as well as your outer vision.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I am nurtured and protected as I release the anger, pain and bitterness from the past.

Yarrow FCHC

Contemplations for the Soul:

Have you been deeply hurt and are still feeling angry and bitter about it?
You may find yourself lashing out at every perceived insult, hurt and offence in order not to feel any pain and protect yourself.
You may become defensive seeing insults where none are intended.
You may pretend that these insults or hurts have no effect on you while sinking deeper into anger at yourself for not addressing them, leading to a depression or sadness that seems never ending.
Take time now to nurture yourself as you release all the bitterness, pain and anger.
Feel the pain, forgive yourself and the person or people who caused it; let it all go knowing you will come through this stronger and able to love and feel joy again.

Safety: Non-irritating, possibly sensitising, non-toxic. Possibly best not to use in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Sources: Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Kerr, J, Yarrow Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.19 (2001)
Fischer-Rizzi, S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Myrrh (Commiphora molmol)

myrrh header

Myrrh is one of the three gifts given to the baby Jesus by the three wise men. She has a long history of use both for wound healing and as a spiritual aid.

Family: Burseraceae

Aroma: Spicy, pungent, balsamic, resinous.

Colour: Light brown to reddish brown.

Myrrh treePlant: A small stunted tree with scanty leaves and small white flowers.

Main Growing Areas: Somalia, Ethiopia, the Middle East and northern India.

Major Constituents: Delta-elemene, alpha-copaene, beta-elemene, curzerene, furanoeudesma-1,3-diene, curzerenone.

Interesting snippets: The name myrrh comes from the Arabic murr meaning bitter.

Myrrh was used by the ancient Egyptians in religious ceremonies, embalming, fumigating, cosmetic preparations and perfumes.
Myrrh tearsThe trunk of the tree naturally exudes a pale yellowish oleoresin through the fissures in its bark which harden to semi-transparent reddish brown tears on exposure to air. The natives make incisions in the bark and collect the resin once it is dried and ship it off to various countries for distillation. The trees then require 6 months to two years to recover and if not given this time will wither and die.

Myrrh was given as a gift to Jesus at his birth and on his death a mixture of myrrh and aloes was applied to the linen his body was wrapped in.

Part of Plant used /Extraction: Resin by steam distillation. The resin can contain 25-45% resin, 40-60% gum and 3-8% essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Wound healing, mouth ulcers, dry cracked skin, weepy eczema, tinea, coughs, bronchitis, painful periods.

Emotional and Spiritual: Use for people who feel stuck in their lives and want to move forward emotionally and spiritually. Helps balance the upper and lower chakras.

Gabriel Mojay writes that myrrh is able to instil deep tranquillity of mind and is one of the principal oils for overthinking, worry and mental distraction. Myrrh subtly helps to close the wounds of both loss and rejection.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Myrrh aromatherapy insight card                                                     Courtesy of J Jefferies & K. Osborn

Remove mundane thoughts and be inspired by what is possible. Tap into your dreams and visions to release a liberating strength and awareness. Be curious, seeing only possibility. Myrrh helps you be still and grounded while being inspired so that you can manifest your dreams.

Contemplations for the Soul:

Myrrh Contemplation for the Soul

Are you feeling overwhelmed, rejected, or have lost someone or something precious to you?
Are you stressed, confused, worried or lacking clarity?
Have you been wounded physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually?
Ask your family, friends and angels to support you through this difficult time.
Spend time in nature to bring you some inner calm, peace and tranquillity.
Although it may be difficult if you have been wounded, learn to trust both yourself and others again.
If you are feeling stressed look at all the possibilities and accept that there may be other answers that you are not yet aware of.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Kerr, J, Myrrh Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.23 (2002)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)

Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

Angelica header

Angelica – Like a tiny bell, an angelus, softly calling, it asks us “what do you really believe in?” Jane Grayson

There is an angelica essential oil made from the seeds of the angelica plant but I am discussing the oil made from the root here.

Family: Apiaceae

Synonyms: Angelica officinalis, garden angelica, wild celery, Holy Ghost.

Aroma: Earthy, peppery, herbaceous.

Colour: Pale to light yellow when freshly extracted, changing to dark orange and then brown due to age and oxidation.

Angelica Plant: Large hairy plant up to 2 metres with ferny leaves and umbels of white flowers followed by pale yellow oblong fruits. It has a strong aroma and large rhizome.

Main Growing Areas: Europe, Siberia, Belgium, Hungary, Germany.

Major Constituents: Alpha-pinene, 1,8 cineole, alpha-phellandrene, limonene, borneol, angelicine, bergaptene.

Interesting snippets: In 1665 a monk had a dream in which St Michael the archangel told him to use the herb to help victims of the bubonic plague.
The liquor Benedictine derives its distinctive flavour from angelica.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Dried root by steam distillation.154 grams of root yields about .453592 grams of essential oil.

Therapeutic actions: Painful periods, arthritic pain, sinus infections, coughs, colds, bronchitis, migraine, lack of appetite.

Emotional and Spiritual: Susanne Fischer-Rizzi writes that angelica is for those who are afraid, timid, weak or who lack perseverance and have a tough time making decisions.

Robbi Zeck writes that angelica brings a fiery action to the physical vitality and can assist in strengthening your resolve and to follow through with your convictions. Angelica encourages you to stand your ground, to assert and to express your truth and confidence.

Gabriel Mojay states that the root oil’s influence on the mind and emotions is relaxing, stabilising and yet strengthening. It is appropriate for those who are prone to fatigue or nervous exhaustion, and who at the same time complain of insomnia and mental anxiety.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: Angelica – I receive inspiration from many sources nature, human and angelic.

AngelicaContemplations for the Soul:Angelica CFTS cardAre you having a hard time making a decision, asserting yourself or expressing your truth?
Do you lack perseverance or give up easily because things don’t seem to work out for you?
Is there another way to look at this situation and your part in it?
Have you tried everything you can think of to change or make the situation better and yet nothing seems to change?
You have an inner strength and now isn’t the time to give up.
The time has come to ask for angelic support.
The inspiration or answer you receive may come from nature, music, another person or a totally unexpected source.
Be open to all the possibilities.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic, photo-sensitive.

Note: Short shelf life of 18 months as she oxidises rapidly once opened.

Sources: Atterby, D, Angelica Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.53 (2012)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A to Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Fischer-Rizzi S, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Essential Oils for Radiant Health Sterling Publishing Company (1990)
Grayson J, The Fragrant Year. The Aquarian Press (1993)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Mojay G, Angelica Class notes
Smith I, Angelica. In Essence Vol.6 No.1 (2007)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

Cypress header

Family: Cupressaceae

Synonyms: Italian cypress, Mediterranean cypress

Aroma: Slightly spicy, woody

Colour: Pale yellow

Cypress treePlant: An evergreen tree with small flowers that produce green/brown to gray/brown cones. It has an arrow like erect shape and reaches a height of between 25 and 40 metres.

Main Growing Areas: Mediterranean, France, Spain, Morocco

Major Constituents: alpha pinene, beta pinene, sabinene, delta-3-carene, terpinolene, linalool.

Interesting snippets: Cypress was first mentioned in Assyrian texts 3,500 years ago as a treatment for haemorrhoids. The leaves were also used in purification rites.
The ancient Greeks dedicated the tree to Hades, the god of the underworld. The tree is found in many cemeteries and is the symbol of grief.
Ancient civilizations used the leaves to stop internal bleeding, haemorrhoids and diarrhoea.

Cypress leaves and conesPart of Plant used /Extraction: Terminal branches/needles, leaves and twigs by steam distillation. The branches are harvested in autumn with distillation taking approximately 17 hours to produce approximately 0.2 % of essential oil from the fresh plant material.

Therapeutic actions: Coughs, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, painful periods and excessive menstrual bleeds, deodorant for sweaty feet.

Emotional and Spiritual: Oil of transition. She helps you cope with and accept even difficult change whether of an outer or inner spiritual nature. She helps dissolve remorse and instil optimism allowing you to move through the ebb and flow of life. She can also assist those transiting from life to death to accept the outcome and gives a sense of comfort and eases the feelings of loss in those left behind.

Cleanses the spirit and helps release blocked and suppressed emotions.

Valerie Ann Worwood writes that cypress offers strength and energetic protection to those who need protecting, and those who are feeling vulnerable and insecure, or have lost their purpose.

Robbi Zeck writes that during times of change cypress supports and holds the space for the soul to remain in balance. Support will come from everywhere, you simply need to find your voice and ask!

Deborah Eidson states that energetically cypress encourages inner strength and spiritual growth and affirms the direction and purpose of your path. Cypress supports you in making life-changing decisions.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Cypress(Courtesy of J.Jefferies & K. Osborn)

Helps in times of emotional and physical transition such as career changes, moving home or dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Change is inevitable, moving from one state to another and from one experience to another. The world moves fast now so we need to go outside our boxes and move with the changes that are happening around us. As you move forward, leave everything that drains you behind. When you move from one challenge and experience to the next, Cypress supports and protects you. This time of transition can either be positive if you go with it or a struggle if you resist it. Go forward, and stop people and situations from draining your emotional energy. Enjoy the ride.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I move forward with ease and grace.

CypressContemplations for the Soul:

Cypress CFTS card

Are you going through a period of change emotionally, spiritually or in your circumstances?
Are you finding it difficult to adapt to change, clinging to what was?
What fears are holding you back from changing and moving on?
It’s time to accept that things are no longer the same and to move on.
Do you need to ask for support to help you move on?
Know that within you there is an inner strength which will allow you to move forward. Dig deep and find it.
If this change involves the loss of a loved one take time to mourn their loss and then move on with your life knowing they will never be forgotten and will live on in your heart.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising.

Sources: Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Eidson D, Vibrational Healing, Frog Books (2000)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr J, Cypress Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.14 (2000)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)