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Let's talk about the womb and the menstrual cycle each of us is experiencing every month.
Normally the only visible processes are the menstruation and perhaps the painful pre-menstruation. However, there are 2 more stages we should be aware of.
See below the 4 phases with the correspondent season (symbolically):
1. Menstruation phase (Winter)
This is the first stage of the menstrual cycle and normally lasts between 3-7 days but the average is 5 days. The endometrium where no egg was fertilized will be expulzed and bleeding will begin.
This phase requires rest and is a good time for introspection. No wonder it is associated with winter symbolically.
During menstruation I suggest you use oils that help you focus inward and inspire introspection. You might feel tired, lethargic, and not very sociable. My suggestion is not to fight against it but curl up comfortably with a book and enjoy the rest in silence. It is said that creative ideas are prone to come during this time since our body is slowing down.
Great EOs during Menstruation:
Thyme vulgaris ct.linalool
Sandalwood and Frankincense have deep psychological and spiritual benefits as recognized in many cultures and religions. They stop mental chatter, encourage tranquility and insight. They are also anti-inflammatory and could ease up menstrual cramps. Lavender, Rose and Bergamot are also recommended for cramps since they can relax the uterine muscles.
Particulary good against pain is also Clary Sage, but it is considered to increase flow so better not use if you are experiencing heavy bleeding already. Another amazing oil that I discovered recently to be very effective against pain is Thyme. It also been proven by science (article included in the reference list) that it has the same effect as taking ibuprofen, so why not go the natural way? :)
2. Follicular phase (Spring)
This phase starts on the first day of menstruation and ends at ovulation (Yes, it overlaps with menstruation). Estrogen is rising as the follicles in the ovaries are being matured. The phase lasts for 10-16 days.
Several follicles are being formed, out of which only one will become dominant and will release the egg. The endometrium starts to thicken.
The last stage can be symbolically associated with spring since it’s like a rebirth of the womb after the tiring menstruation. It is the time when we feel the most energized, confident and have the ability to engage in any kind of activity, project.Great EOs during Follicular Phase:
During the follicular phase, I recommend using more yang oils that cater to your inner warrior and help you accomplish things and be active.
Cardamom is a gentle tonic of the nervous system and aids with focus and memory as well as restores our desire for living and enhances our sexual appetite.
Basil is one of the best aromatic nerve tonics, it clears the head and helps with confusion and indecision.
Ginger is a catalyst of the will and determination and will tap into your potential for creation and accomplishing projects. Peppermint and Rosemary have a powerful effect on the Intellect and increase your emotional tolerance. They are the best when it comes to memory, learning and “digesting” new ideas.
Lemon helps with giving a clear perspective and uplifts the spirit.
3. Ovulation phase (Summer)
This is the shortest of all, it only lasts 24-48h. Estrogen is at its peak and triggers the release of the ovule. Endometrium continues to grow even thicker to support the ovule.
Symbolically it is the summer of the womb since energy and fertility are at its peak. You will feel confident and attractive.
During ovulation you can try out floral and earthy oils.
Great EOs during Ovulation Phase:
Patchouli helps get in touch with our sensuality and creative expression. It is both a powerful aphrodisiac but also a strong antidepressant. It awakens our desire to “conceive”- can be literally or in terms of idea generation.
Rose and Jasmine are both aphrodisiacs and help us feel desired and “at home”. They rekindle passion on both sexual and emotional fronts and restore creativity. Their comforting and sensual aromas comfort the mind and help release tension.
4. Luteal phase (Autumn)
This phase lasts about 14 days, and it is associated with the autumn of the womb, in the sense that energy slows down, and body becomes more sensitive. Progesterone is the dominant hormone. If progesterone quickly spikes while estrogen is not properly released out of the system you will experience the so called PMS: tiredness, cramps, moodiness.
Post ovulation you can support yourself with more gentle oils that have a more”yin” energy and draw your attention more inward.
Since during this phase PMS is frequent it helps using oils that help us release pent-up emotions and “clear” our channels.
Great EOs for Luteal Phase:
Geranium is ideal for the workaholic professional who can’t slow down. It reminds us to focus again on our emotional state and reminds ourselves of the creative force within. It is a great oil in case of bloating or fluid retention.
Bergamot is one oil that disperses stagnant energy, helping us let go. It can prevent fatigue, depression during this stage.
Lavender is also great at releasing frustration and irritability and encourages self-expression while also soothing the mind and body. It has been described by herbalist Peter Holmes as” habit-breaker and crisis smoother”.
Palmarosa is good for hot rashes, restlessness, anxiety. Combined with Lavender, Geranium it can be employed in genito-urinary infections.
Please bear in mind that you could use all of the oils above at any point as you feel and your intuition guides you. Perhaps at the beginning you are afraid to experiment and will feel more confident to follow my advice and that is perfectly okay. With time and experience you will figure out what is right for you and your energy.
Happy experimenting and be well,
Gabriel Mojay -"Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit"
This is beautifully written and described. Thank you.