To understand the process our bodies and spirits go through during menopause, we have to understand our whole menstrual life cycle from beginning to end.
For every cycle, there is a biological sense and an energetic sense. Through our menstrual life, our sexual hormones, progesterone, and estrogen peak and go down one after the other, giving place to all the nuances of our months, from the menstrual phase to our luteal phase. Progesterone and estrogen produce ovulation, and these hormones are secreted by our sexual organs, the ovaries. The ovaries are related to our sacral chakra, Svadhisthana, the energetic center of material reality, sexuality, and creativity. The biological sense of these hormone dynamics is reproduction and the energetic sense is the cycle of creativity, manifesting not only in the potential of creating life (pregnancy) but also in how we CREATE and project our essence into the world. Our menstrual life is all about learning to manifest into materiality our desires and our life mission.
These hormone levels start to decrease with the beautiful process of aging when someday, there isn't enough hormone production to ovulate. During menopause, the hormones LH and FSH take over, secreted in the brain by the anterior pituitary gland, which can be associated with the third eye, Ajna, and to the crown chakra, Sahasrara.
These two energetic centers are ones of divine vision, connection, altered states of consciousness, deep meditation, clarity, and clairvoyance. This is the time in the life of a woman when she steps into a new archetype, that of the wise woman, she has lived and has earned her knowledge through many cycles of life and death, she understands both and everything in between. The wise woman is called to expand her vision beyond her family and close circle. This can be the time where creativity flourishes at new levels; a time to birth to the world new and exciting projects, perhaps write a book, be a teacher to many, transform oneself, and discover a whole NEW self, a true time of Renaissance!
This transition can be uncomfortable but we can support healthy hormone levels and stable moods with natural plant medicine available to us such as essential oils, yoga, and the power of plants, infused or in tinctures.
Essential oils have many uses, they have great power in aromatherapy, our pharmacy, and even the kitchen, depending on the quality of our oils and the plant we are working with.
- Peppermint contains a substance called menthol, which is of great help with hot flashes since its cooling effect on the skin and the respiratory tract is felt almost immediately.
- Basil balances estrogen production, you can know which hormones are higher in your body, reading the signals it gives you. Hormone balance is key for a healthy and happy life.
- Citrus essential oils are a great friend if you feel your sexual desire drops from time to time. It can also support and regulate hormonal changes and imbalances.
- Geranium smells wonderful and also aids to balance hormones, mind, spirit, and body since it also has antidepressant properties!
- Clary sage is one of the most used oils for women’s health, it balances hormones and supports the healthy production of estrogen while giving us relaxation and clarity in our lives.
Remember that every oil should be diluted in some carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond, you can use a rollerball bottle to apply on your body.
You can also create your own cooling and feelgood spray, mixing the oils that feel good, here's one suggestion:
Cooling spray for hot flashes
- 1 oz of witch hazel
- 1 drop of peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops of clary sage essential oil
- 2 drops of geranium essential oil
Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and use liberally.
It is well known that yoga works on the subtle parts of our body and this Vedic philosophy offers poses that work as antennas, tuning into different things, depending on the posture and pranayama exercises to help soothe hot flashes amongst other things. Every forward fold has a cooling effect on our body and spirit and calms the nervous system. Practice these postures:
- Balasana, child's pose
- Uttanasana, standing forward bend
- Janu sirsasana, head to knee forward fold.
You can practice poses that are comfortable and relaxing for your body.
Pranayama offers many ways to regulate our emotions and our mind through breathwork, different exercises have different names. Sitali pranayama is also known as the cooling breath, it consists of inhaling through the mouth while the tongue is folded in an “u” form and exhaling through your nose.
Finally, let's remember the extraordinary and infinite power of plants. I will leave a list down below of the top plants you can use to help with the transition that is menopause. Some of these will be easier to find in tinctures and others in the form of dried plants to have as an infusion.
- St-John’s wort has proved to help with depression, it works as a mood stabilizer, which is great when our moods are up and down due to the tremendous change in our hormones secretion.
- Valeriana is a great aid in relaxation thanks to its calming effect on the nervous system.
- Clary sage reduces hot flashes, helps a clear vision, and balances hormones.
- Shatavari, which we've talked about many times before, is one of the most exceptional plants you can consume daily to nourish & support female hormonal-related issues.
Keep in mind that you are in transition and that patience, self-love, and letting go are needed when we are transitioning and growing into renewed selves!