What is an essential oil?
An essential oil is not really an oil. It is a concentrated liquid aromatic extract, obtained by steam distillation of different parts of plants: flowering tops, leaves, wood, roots, bark, fruits... The parts of the plant are then placed in a still into which steam is introduced. The water drops will recover the aromatic molecules. It is these essences, in other words, these aromatic concentrates which are recovered and bottled. An essential oil is therefore thedistilled essence of the aromatic plant..
Only chemotyped (i.e. botanically and biochemically defined) essential oils are suitable for the practice of aromatherapy.Written by consoglobeJan 28, 2020
DISCLAIMER: Please note that all the information in this article should be read with some distance and adapted to your body, your skin sensitivity(ies) and a doctor's opinion is advised. Certainly, the EO are natural, but are also very powerful and it is thus preferable to ask for an opinion from your doctor.
It is strongly advised against the use of essential oils in pregnant women, nursing mothers, asthmatics and epileptics. In addition, it is not recommended to expose yourself to the sun within 4 to 5 hours following the application of an EO. To test an EO in case of sensitivity, you can apply a good drop in the hollow of your arm (sensitive area) and see if you have a reaction (redness type). Usually it appears quite quickly.
A little advice : if you decide to apply locally an EO, some people apply it in a pure and rough way, others are more sensitive and will dilute for example, a drop of EO in 9 drops of vegetable oil of your choice (avocado oil, jojoba oil, ... for example).
How far can EO help me?
I'm not going to lie to you, it is not miraculous in the middle of an endometriosis crisis.When my hair is bristling with pain, when my body is playing hot and cold, when my eyes can't see anything and my ears are whistling, absolutely nothing can help me: it's too late, the endometriosis crisis is there. At that precise moment, I wait, I try to think about my breathing, I cry with pain, rage, incomprehension... (because yes, there is no shame in crying). I cry because I often ask myself why my little body can make me suffer so much, why he makes me suffer so much?
I hope one day to have an answer, but you see, a real answer.Not just the banal, ready-made phrase "Well, yes, you have your period/you have endometriosis, it's normal to be in pain".No, I hope one day to have a real scientific answer to why and how our women's bodies can hurt us so much?
While waiting for this answer, the most common treatments to relieve the pain of endometriosis as much as possible are anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers of different levels and anti-epileptics (I will talk about this very soon in another article).
The WHO (World Health Organization) has classified analgesic or analgesic drugs in 3 levels: :
- Step 1 : over-the-counter pain medication for mild to moderate pain;
- Step 2 : : pain medication for other more severe pain: codeine, nalbuphine, tramadol, or combinations of Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs (not available over-the-counter);
- Step 3 : pain medication for very severe pain: morphine. Reluctance to prescribe morphine has long prevented doctors from relieving even the most severe pain.
However, some of these drugs can be addictive but also have significant side effects. Of course, I am not saying that these drugs are not a solution, because they have obviously already helped me enormously in case of crisis.
However, I am gradually trying to turn to other alternatives. More natural, less "invasive" alternatives for my body, if I can put it that way. I try to reduce the medication as much as I can and as much as possible.My goal is not pas to make me suffer for nothing, I think we've all suffered enough for nothing, but I think above all that with the experience of living with endometriosis, I'm learning to distinguish between a time when EO can help me and a time when all I need is medication and a lot of courage.
My two allies: tarragon EO and lavender EO
In the case of endometriosis, we are mainly looking for antispasmodic (to help the digestive system, because yes digestive disorders are often present) and anti-inflammatory (to relieve symptoms and regain comfort in tense or injured areas).
- TarragonEstragon ((Latin name: artemisia dracunculus) : Scientific research today lifts part of the veil on its pain relief properties but especially anti-spasmodic. So, I don't know about you, but I personally, when I have "menstrual pain" as I often say (even if I am no longer regulated, but my family and friends quickly understand what kind of pain it is), it's "wave" pain, like stabbing in the lower abdomen. So my little "tip" is to locally apply a few drops of tarragon EO to my lower abdomen by massaging me. Very often this helps me at the very beginning of my pain and it allows me to delay taking the medication and therefore, over time, it comes to take less of it. I know that some of you take it on a neutral tablet. I personally have never done it but feel free to leave me your experience (positive or negative) as a comment.
- EO True lavender (Latin name: lavandula angustifolia ssp angustifolia) : I'm sure you too have spent evenings/nights crying either in pain or incomprehension about your endo, well you know what? I can assure you that EO of real lavender has helped me to find calm, reassuring and comforting nights. I don't really know how or why, but just smelling the EO (which I apply on my wrists and a few drops on my bed) with my eyes closed soothes me and allows me to resume calm and controlled breathing (I'm thinking of doing an article on the importance of breathing for crisis management, tell me if you'd be interested because it helped me a lot). In short, your anti-stress ally will be the EO of real lavender.
What you, the toimonendo-family advised me via Instagram
As much as I can advise you on the EOs I explained above, I cannot advise you on the following ones. I'm working on it little by little, but I don't have enough distance to give you my own opinion yet.
What's great is that YOU have shared your "tips" with me and as I always say "it's together that we're stronger" so here we go, I'm sharing this with you and don't hesitate to tell me what you think about it and especially if it makes you feel better.
- Yarrow ((Latin name: Achillea millefolium) : According to your statements, this EO acts against uterine cramps and in the lower abdomen. Yarrow is a decongestant and antispasmodic plant, which treats both pain and cramps. It would have an astringent and slightly hemostatic action (yes I know, those are complicated words) but basically it is what would decrease bleeding from heavy periods (so personally, I don't have any more periods since I'm on the continuous pill, but if that's the case, WAW, GO tell us in commentary girls: we want to know everything! ) Finally, it would detoxify the liver from excess estrogen (you see this hormone that "feeds" endometriosis and that we hate so much). In short, you advised me to take it as an infusion: 1 teaspoon of dry plant per cup of water and let it infuse for 10 minutes. You can drink from 2 to 6 cups a day, two days before the arrival of your period and during your whole period (here it was explained to me in the form of a plant, so it's not directly an EO). If you prefer, you can apply it locally on your lower abdomen.
- Noble Roman chamomile (Latin name: chamaemelum nobile). The main properties of this EO would be: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, digestive tonic, calming of the central nervous system, antispasmodic, antifungal (especially against the fungus type "candida" that is found fairly regularly in women with endometriosis). This EO could also help to better manage menstrual disorders, whether amenorrhea, i.e. absence of periods, or dysmenorrhea, i.e. painful periods. If this is the case for you, you can have an infusion 2 to 3 times a day during the days when your period is painful. However, if you want to use it as a real EO, you can apply it locally.
- Ylang-ylang (Latin name: Cananga odorata). This essential oil is known for its calming and anti-spasmodic properties. It can therefore be a good combination in case of pain since often, when we suffer: we get anxious, we get angry, we can be revolted by this pain that is inflicted on us and I reassure you, it is normal. Nobody likes to suffer. If you want you can apply it directly on your lower abdomen or you can apply it on your wrists and let your olfactory system (the sense of smell) soothe you.
Another ally but a little different this time: raspberry tea
You are really very numerous to have advised me the famous raspberry tree tea. In infusionit could relieve you. Ideally, your toimonendo-family endocopines advise you to drink 3 cups per day, during the 5 days before the date of the menstruation and the first 3 days of these. This herbal tea promises to reduce the inflammatory state of the female genital system and to soothe the menstrual pain. de menstruation.
You wonder what is an infusion and herbal tea? It's simple, it's tea! I'm sure that word doesn't mean anything to you anymore! So hop, a little tea and at worst if it doesn't relieve your menstrual pain, you'll be hydrated and that too, it's very important!
EO has to be avoided because it would be called "estrogen-like".
And yes, I too fell off the map when I read that some HE may promote endometriosis. Well, of course these are just theories because we don't have any scientific proof yet but I think everything is good to take.
The essential oils listed below are composed of molecules that can mimic the action of estrogen in the body. They should therefore be avoided in the case of estrogen-dependent pathologies, such as endometriosis, which is a hormone-dependent disease of estrogen.
- Wild Chamomile
- Chamomile Matricaria
- Cedar of the atlas
- Criste Marine
- Sweet Fennel
- Helichrysum of Madagascar
- Peppermint (very often used in case of pain during menstruation because it has anti-spasmodic properties)
- Himalayan Nard
- Clary Sage
To tell you the truth, I was a big fan of peppermint EO throughout my teenage years. Coincidence? I don't know. Coincidence?
Whether it's with EO or medication, relieve yourself, listen to your body.
In short, I will end this article by reminding you that every body, every woman is unique and that something that works for you, on you, may not work on another, and vice versa. What works for your friend may not work for you. It doesn't matter. Give yourself time to find an alternative that will work for you.
Remember that menstruation is normal, but not pain. If you're reading this article, I'd like to remind you that you don't need to hold on, not to take a pill to prove something to someone. The only person you need to prove something to is you and only you and if today you are in pain, if you are in pain, please listen to your body and relieve yourself. If it's with an EO, so much the better, if it's with medication, so much the better. Be indulgent with yourself, we've suffered enough as it is. You know your body better than anyone else, so trust yourself.
Laura of the family @toimonendo