How to Use Essential Oils for Hormone Balance

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Essential Oils for Hormone Balance
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » How to Use Essential Oils for Hormone Balance

I’ve shared my favorite remedies for PMS and cramps before, but I’ve gotten a lot of questions about essential oils for hormone balance lately and wanted to share some experience with this as well.

Essential oils can be very powerful and effective when used correctly, but because of their power they also carry their share of risks. Check with a qualified health practitioner before using essential oils or any other remedy, especially if you are pregnant or have a health condition.

What is PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, is a name that refers to a combination of symptoms that women can suffer from in the week before menstruation. It is estimated by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that nearly 85% of women suffer from some PMS symptoms. (1) These symptoms can include:

  • Tension or anxiety
  • Mood swings or depressed mood
  • Crying
  • Appetite changes and food cravings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Change in sex drive
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid retention
  • Bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne
  • Digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea

Thankfully, the symptoms of PMS begin to dissipate once menstruation begins. The problem is that often times this begins a whole other set of menstrual symptoms such as abdominal cramping, nausea, diarrhea, back pain and more headaches.

Essential Oils for Hormone Balance

Many women have great success with using essential oils for hormone balance and to alleviate cramping, PMS and other symptoms. In many cases, using an essential oils safely (topically and diluted) can help alleviate the struggles of PMS and even helping hormones balance over time.

It is important to note that many of these oils should not be used during pregnancy (and no oil should be used during pregnancy without consulting a healthcare practitioner). Some essential oils can cause uterine contractions and cramping during pregnancy.

In researching essential oils for women’s hormone issues, there were several essential oils that were often recommended, especially clary sage, lavender, and peppermint. There are many others (including geranium, fennel, roman chamomile, bergamot, grapefruit, rose, ylang ylang, cypress, and rosemary) but I’m going to focus mostly on these 2 oils (and peppermint) because they seem to be the most well researched for providing relief of hormonal symptoms for women.

Clary Sage

Most of the big name essential oil companies carry their own brand of hormone balancing oil blends for women. Almost all of them include clary sage as their primary oil for PMS and women’s hormone imbalances and with good reason. Clary sage is a powerhouse when it comes to helping women. It’s wonderful for alleviating pain, reducing the feeling of stress, and improving hormone balance (that about sums all of our pms/menstrual problems up right there).

How does clary sage work for hormone balance?

Clary sage has unique hormone like components that help to balance out estrogen production in the body. Studies show that clary sage reduces pms and menstrual cramps.(2,3) In fact, it is so effective at relieving pain, another study showed clary sage to be quite effective in also relieving pain in childbirth (again, check with a healthcare practitioner).(4)


Lavender is one of the most well researched essential oils. It has so many beneficial properties including helping balance hormones, offering pain relief (particularly abdominal cramps associated with PMS and menstrual symptoms), as well as decreasing feelings of stress and depression, calming the stomach, and relieving headaches.

One of the most frustrating symptoms of PMS or hormone imbalance is feeling emotional or sometimes suddenly depressed, often for no apparent reason. Research shows that inhalation of lavender can alleviate some of the depression and emotional symptoms of PMS.(5)  Simply inhaling lavender for 10 minutes can begin to lessen these symptoms.(6,7)

Personally, I prefer to use essential oils aromatically by diffusing them into the air. Not only is this typically much safer than using topically or internally, but it can provide many of the same benefits (and it often smells wonderful). I reviewed some of the best oil diffusers found to disperse essential oils into the air in this post.

Using a diffuser would be a perfect way to inhale lavender in order to relieve PMS symptoms. Clary Sage and lavender are a wonderful combination to diffuse into the air to relieve stress or they can also be used individually.


While peppermint isn’t a typically used oil for PMS or menstrual issues, many women suffer from headaches during the premenstrual or menstrual periods of their month. Peppermint oil is known to significantly reduce the intensity of headaches.(10)

In fact, in one study, peppermint oil was found to be as effective in relieving headache pain as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen but without any adverse reactions.(11) It can also help to lift the brain fog that many of us have during some of our more hormonal times of the month (12).

Many oil manufacturers sell peppermint oils in a roll on applicator that can be applied to the forehead. I prefer to make my own headache roll on stick so I can control the strength of the essential oils and make sure they aren’t too strong for my skin.

How I’ve Used Essential Oils for Hormone Balance

As I mentioned, I prefer to use essential oils topically (diluted) or aromatically for hormone related issues or for any other purpose. Essential oils can be so powerful that this is often all that is needed to get the benefits and it reduces the risk of allergic reaction and other problems that can happen when essential oils are used undiluted or taken internally.

These are some of the ways I like to use essential oils for hormone balance…

PMS Bath Blend

I add 3 drops of clary sage, 2 drops of chamomile, 2 drops of geranium and 2 drops of lavender to a warm bath. Mixing these oils with 1/4 cup Epsom salt before adding to the bath will help keep the oils from floating on top of the water and will include the benefits of magnesium.

PMS Hormonal Balance Blend

PMS is largely influenced by the imbalance of hormones and neurotransmitters that is caused by hormone fluctuations before menstruation. Because of this, improving the balance of hormones and neurotransmitters can help alleviate the symptoms of PMS and other female hormone issues.

A simple aromatherapy formula is 2 drops of clary sage oil, 1 drop of geranium oil and 1 drop of ylang ylang oil.

“Clary sage oil can promote the release of dopamine in the brain and, therefore, help lift your mood. It also modulates the level of estrogen in the body. Geranium oil influences the release of adrenal hormones and also reduces fluctuations in hormone levels.”(13)

Menstrual Massage Blend

I use 6 drops of lavender, 3 drops each of clary sage and 3 drops of rose oil. Combine these with 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil such as coconut, sweet almond, or jojoba oil. This oil blend can then be rubbed on the abdomen, back, or all over the body.

Essential oils have been used therapeutically for centuries but we are just beginning to see published data on what many civilizations have already known. Hopefully, more studies will be done in the future and so that we’ll be able to gain more knowledge of the best ways to use these oils in our daily lives.

Do you use oils to help manage PMS or menstrual pain? What oils have you found to be effective and how do you use them?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


56 responses to “How to Use Essential Oils for Hormone Balance”

  1. jessie Avatar

    Do you know if you just use clary sage the week before your period starts to mitigate PMS and then during your menstruation to relieve the cramps? Or do you use it all month long??

  2. Laura Avatar

    I use this blend of oils in a diffuser every evening to get rid of mosquitos, small biting insects, roaches, spiders and other varmints that might be passing through or that fly in when an outside door is opened. It really works and seems to help when pollen counts are up also, I have noticed:
    3 drops eucalyptus, 2 drops peppermint & 2 drops lemon/orange. Note: Just the first 2 works fine also.

  3. Katherine Avatar

    Wonderful information, thank you. Am I able to make a large batch of the pms massage blend and use it as needed? Thank you!

  4. Mahru Avatar

    Can the essential oils rub be used during menstruation?
    Or are we suppose to use only after menstruation?

  5. Annelise Avatar

    I’m so grateful to belong to a community like yours. I’ve learnt so much for you and love your recipes

    I’m planning to make some butters for women … peri and menopausal … found that Clary Sage created bloating. Is this something that’s expected? I read elsewhere that Clary sage raises estrogen levels and I other places that it levels it out. Which is right?

  6. Patti Avatar

    Could you give me some info on how to lower testosterone levels? I would like to get rid of my facial hair. spearmint tea twice daily was one report I read so I am trying it. Thanks

  7. Destiny June Avatar
    Destiny June

    This page is amazing and extremely insightful! I am a 28 year old mom of 3 and had my last baby one year ago. I haven’t had my period at all since before getting pregnant. I am looking for the best blend of essential oils to help bring back menstration. It’s nice not having to deal with a period monthly but I do want to have more children one day… So I’m needing advice on what oils work best for reproductive health in general, and for keeping my hormones in balance to start and continue to have normal menstration. If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it!
    Thank you!

    1. Gail Avatar

      Are you still breastfeeding? I once went 15 months without a period. I’m pretty sure your period will come back in due time. I’ve never heard of anyone whose period never came back after having a baby.

  8. Shelby Avatar

    Is using these oils in a diffuser best or could I use these oils internally if I got the kind of essential oils you can ingest? I’m 22 and I’ve been married almost a year and I want to go off hormonal birth control

  9. ninaruth Avatar

    Hi Carrie, I stopped mine & then they came back. I have just consulted last week with a renowned homeopathic dr. & she really recommends consultation to treat – as herbs/homeopathic remedies DO work, so sometimes taking the wrong dose, or wrong cycle – or even wrong herb for your body, can make symptoms worse.

    For example, Evening Primrose is noted as a great balance of female hormones – but the wrong dose or taking for too long without cycling off for effectiveness, can really make hormones worse. That happened to me with both Evening Primrose and Vitex (Chasteberry).

    If you Google Dr. Gabrielle Traub, you may find her lectures very interesting/helpful. She is who gave the free seminar I attended. I can’t afford to have a consultation at their clinic, but just the info they shared w/us was so helpful, it pointed me in the right direction!

  10. carrie Avatar

    hello.Iam Carrie
    i am 46 years,i already stoped my periods.
    but still get hot tobalance my harmons

  11. Jen Avatar

    I have been using clary sage for the first day of my periods and it significantly decreases my flow. I’m wondering if this is ok? It takes my cramps away too but just wondering if it’s ok for it to decrease my flow. Thank you.

  12. Nina Ruth Avatar

    Congrats on baby number 6, Katie!! 🙂
    I’m having hormone issues that seem thyroid related…do you think balancing your thyroid helped with conceiving this precious baby?

    God bless you!!
    Nina Ruth 🙂

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