Make sure that you read the general guidelines including information about the safety and risks associated with aromatherapy before you experiment with any of the aromatic waters or essential oils.
Aromatherapy may not cure your hot flashes but it is a safe treatment to make you feel better immediately.
How Do Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Work for Hot Flashes?
The theory behind the use of essential oil and aromatherapy as a natural remedy for hot flashes is as follows:
- Aromatherapy and essential oils act on the endocrine system by stimulating specific neurotransmitters that help to relieve menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.
- This works either by inhaling the chemicals in the essential oils (aromatherapy) or by absorbing the substance through the skin.
- If you use essential oils from herbs with phytoestrogens, your body will absorb the chemicals which in turn activate the estrogen receptors in the cells.
Most studies that have been done with scientific methods dispute that aromatherapy has any direct effect on symptoms. However, if it makes you feel better, it certainly is helpful.
Have you ever used Vicks or inhalations of eucalyptus when you had a cold? That is basically the same application with using different essential oils.
Any substance that causes a cooling effect will help with hot flashes, no matter what the studies say. Why wouldn’t aromatherapy for hot flashes not work if you use essential oils with familiar cooling qualities?
It was actually other women who wrote to this website and said that they use essential oils successfully to treat their hot flashes. (Please let us know your experience with aromatherapy for hot flashes so we can add it to the site).
Lavender water is not just helpful for the nerves. It has a wonderful fresh scent which makes it ideal for hot flash relief, as an air freshener and for a linen spray (keeps moths away).
(I use diluted lavender water to help with the dehydrated skin on oversea flights. I just spray it directly on my face to help with the jet lag. But on the next flight I will try the same with the peppermint water. I use an empty facial toner bottle because of the fine mist it produces.)
Rose water and Rose essential oil smell wonderful. The oils of the Rose damascena (which are the essence in both the essential oil and in rose water) are helpful for stress relief (i.e. good for menopause stress). Just like orange blossom water is it beneficial for the skin.
Orange Blossom Water (Neroli)
Orange Blossom water has a wonderful smell and is beneficial for the skin. Orange blossom water is also available under the name Neroli Hydrosol or neroli water. It is produced from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree.
The Best Essential Oils for Aromatherapy for Hot Flashes
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint has great cooling, refreshing and invigorating properties which makes it a great aromatherapy for hot flashes.
The topical application for peppermint oil suggested by our readers is as follows:
- Dip the tip of your little finger into the diluted oil and apply a very small amount into the bottom part of your ear for immediate hot flash relief.
- Put the diluted peppermint oil on the back of your neck and the insides of your wrist.
Instead of peppermint essential oil, you can use spearmint.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Just like Peppermint or Spearmint, Eucalyptus contains menthol. Menthol has an immediate cooling effect on the skin. Eucalyptus is a well known expectorant (have you ever used Vicks when you had a cold?) and antiseptic. It is a very potent essential oil and must be used sparingly.
Do not use Eucalyptus essential oil internally because it can be toxic.
Clary Sage Essential Oil
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) is an ancient herb that contains plant estrogens. The theory is that the skin absorbs the oil and helps with hot flashes. The same would apply when the oil is inhaled.
The diluted essential oil of clary sage is applied topically as a hot flash remedy.
Do not confuse Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) with Common Sage (Salvia officinalis). Common Sage is not recommended as an essential oil but is a wonderful herb for teas and tinctures for women with hot flashes and night sweats.
Lemon Essential Oil
You are familiar with lemon essential oil if you ever used lemon zest for cooking or baking. What you smell is the oil that is in the skin of the lemon.
Lemon essential oil causes high photosensitivity in skin. If you are using it as a topical in any way, avoid sun exposure for at least 24 hours.
Lemon oil is great if you use it in a diffuser or room spray because of the fresh lemony smell. The aroma is very uplifting and energizing. Many people report that it helps with concentration problems.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is a highly fragrant plant with distinct lemony smell. In aromatherapy for hot flashes, its benefits for excessive sweating come into play.
Lemongrass essential oil can cause skin sensitivity, which makes a patch test important (see general guidelines below). Do not use lemongrass essential oil if you have glaucoma.