When I was trying to get pregnant with our son, I was part of an incredible online forum of women who were on the trying to conceive journey as well. You could say that it was really my first experience in interacting with other like minded women online…the basis of a community. A real online community.
I can remember reading through some of their posts though, and even some of my dearest friends on there would often post about hormone imbalances. I was a healthy early 20’s year old woman though, I couldn’t let my mind wander to that.
I’ve always said, even right after I had Junior, that he was my miracle child. Some how, I just knew, he might be my one and only. But I refused to speak it, I refused to think about it. I refused to think about the possibility of my body being ailed by a condition such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
Fast forwarding 7 years—here I am. I have a 7 year old little boy, healthy as could be. But I’ve also had a miscarriage, and I’ve fought infertility for the past 5 years. But again, I refused to let my mind go to PCOS.
As most know, my journey into herbs, holistic health care, and essential oils (EOs) was really prompted by my son’s early childhood asthma. Thank the Lord, he has outgrown it, and I’m sure our lifestyle changes helped. But more recently, I’m turning to them for my own health.
There is something to be said about living a mostly healthy lifestyle, and yet, being ill. Why does that happen? How does it happen? A few months back, I noticed an over abundant amount of facial hair on my chin and upper neck. Maybe you’ve noticed it if you’ve been around me. Maybe you haven’t. I hide it pretty well (by waxing etc.) when we go out somewhere or plan on seeing someone. But sometimes, it just pops up before I have a chance. We joke that I can grow a 5 o’clock shadow quicker than my husband, but in all reality, it’s incredibly humiliating and discouraging as a woman.
This new discovery (along with many other new symptoms) instantly triggered my encyclopedia of brain knowledge and I quickly turned my attention to the possibility of thyroid and hormone imbalance. Because, you know, I didn’t really want to consider the elephant in the room.
While thyroid issues can cause infertility and unwanted hair, the kind of symptoms I was having didn’t seem to completely match up with all of the thyroid symptoms that a person would have. Either way, I knew that my estrogen and progesterone levels needed to be leveled out, and so I researched my options and opted for EOs this time. Clary Sage and Thyme, to be exact. Clary Sage is an incredible EO for balancing out estrogen, and Thyme may help level out progesterone.
While they helped, it wasn’t enough. I knew it wasn’t enough. I knew I was missing a key component, I knew I had some unwanted over abundance of male hormone in my system. Its been causing hormonal outbursts, which is unlike me. I am not a hormonal person, generally speaking. I have always been pretty level headed and easy going. Something is going on and I need to figure it out.
So, I sat down, I opened my books, and I opened the web browser, and every. single. symptom. led me to PCOS. Every single one. I have every single symptom, to every single degree. It is the one and only medical condition that my symptoms line up with—infertility, Hirsutism syndrome (excessive hair growth caused by excessive androgens), irregular periods (cycles longer than 35 days, or none in 4 month intervals), polycystic ovaries (I’ve had ovarian cysts my entire life), weight gain or issues losing weight in the waist, darkening of skin (specifically under the breasts and along neck creases), and more.
PCOS is caused by high levels of androgens—male hormones—or by insulin resistance. Or both. Either way, when you have PCOS, it heightens your chances of heart disease, heart attack, endometrial cancer, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and cholesterol, depression and anxiety, and type 2 diabetes—either as you age, or imminently.
Talk about an elephant in the room.
I have prided myself, so many times, on my good health now that we live healthier lifestyles. And, certainly, I am trying to lose weight—that’s still a big issue, I know. I’m a work in progress.
There is something to be said about self diagnosis, though. To be clear, I’ve not been professional diagnosed with PCOS. I most certainly should go to the doctor, but if you know me, you know I will most likely try everything in my power to fix it before turning to alternative medicine. That’s right, I’m calling it that, because herbalism was the original medicine, not the other way around.
So, the Clary Sage and Thyme. It’s helping, and it will continue to help. As with most herbs and holistic remedies, sometimes you can’t tell it’s helping until you stop using it. That has been the case with Clary Sage and Thyme. I’ve felt bad for so long, that I have forgotten what feeling good feels like…until I’m feeling bad again.
While these two are helping, I’m still going to need to put a few more things in my arsenal. So, here’s what I’m going to try.
Essential Oils for Balancing Hormones
By placing 20 drops of each of these into a roller bottle, and then filling the roller bottle the remainder of the way up with a carrier oil, you’ll create your own unique PCOS blend. Roll the oil on the areas of your stomach where your reproductive system is, especially where your ovaries are located, or in the general area. Do this daily.
In a study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research in 2014, Clary Sage was proven to have anti-depressant effects on women in menopause with hormonal imbalance. Clary Sage oil had the ability to reduce cortisol levels by 36% and improved thyroid hormone levels (TSH). Clary Sage’s biggest ability is to help level out the female hormones, whether they are in excess or decline.
Many women deal with low progesterone levels. Thyme has the ability to help even those levels out. Low progesterone levels have been linked to infertility, PCOS, depression, anxiety, and overall imbalanced hormones.
Geranium in and of itself is a stimulant of the adrenal cortex. This allows your body to de-stress and release the proper amount of hormones into your system. This is extremely important, as depression and stress in general can cause hormone imbalance.
Sweet Fennel also helps balance hormones and the menstural cycle by reducing hormone fluctuations.
While we like to talk about estrogen and hormone imbalance, let’s not forget about testosterone and androgens. Sandalwood helps balance out these male hormones in the body. Which is really important for someone with PCOS, most likely caused by a high level of male hormone.
Cinnomon sounds like a really weird option for PCOS and hormone balance, and in fact, it doesn’t balance hormones at all. However, don’t forget that one of the issues with PCOS is insulin resistance. Cinnamon helps with that, allowing your body to level out blood sugars naturally.
Ultimately, diet, health, and exercise are all important aspects of healing PCOS as well. There are many herbs that can help with PCOS, but I plan to finish this journey of EOs first, and then if necessary, add herbs. And then, if all of that fails, I suppose it will be time to take that next leap into modern medicine.
However, I will say that in the small amount of time that I’ve been using the Clary Sage and Thyme, my body feels a difference. A big difference. And I have no doubt that adding these other oils will increase that feel good as well!
If you are interested in joining my essential oils family, and learning more about holistic remedies in general, please feel free to reach out to me! Or, visit my website here. You can also join my online Facebook Group here.
Amy K. Fewell is an author, family herbalist, entrepreneur, homesteader, and homemaker. Living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, her and her family live a natural homesteading lifestyle where they promote self-sufficiency and liberty. Amy is the founder of the Homesteaders of America organization and annual events. You can discover more on this website and at homesteadersofamerica.com