I'm sure many of you are hearing a LOT about the menopause at the moment. It seems to be a hot topic and one that I'm pretty interested in myself as I'm nearing the end of my menopause journey. I'm not going to lie - my late 40's had been a bit of a rollercoaster: hormones, bereavement, kids leaving home AND a pandemic thrown into the mix. But as I've learned more about this fluctuating stage of life, I've become more grateful for certain beautiful oils - particularly when the going gets memory-muddled.
First off let's just be clear, Memory Muddles as I call it, or BRAIN FOG as it's more commonly known, isn't something to be terrified of. At first I used to think I was developing early onset Alzheimers, but I now know that this terrible disease is generally characterised in it's early stages by forgetting how to DO certain things (like drive) or fumbling with words in general (not forgetting a specific name for someone or something). Brain fog is a common and totally normal reaction to dipping levels of oestrogen and it also occurs during pregnancy. Perhaps it's also a sign that we need to slow down a little too, and take things one day at a time rather than running full throttle through this stage of our lives with the accelarator pressed firmly to the floor? Food for thought!
Anyway, enough digression and back to the oils! Below is a whole heap of info on some of my absolute favourite gentle memory de-muddlers. As is ALWAYS the way with oils, they are multi faceted so it's often the case that an oil which helps your mental clarity will also have properties that evoke calm and a little self-care introspection. Something we also need during this stage of our lives.
I've also included a little recipe blend for you to make at hom, but if home blending doesn't appeal then there's a link to a pure essential oil blend to use in burners and diffusers that is available to purchase on the website.
I make this blend for myself to use at home and I thought it would be nice to share some of my aromatherapy expertise with my lovely lady middle agers. I know there are a few of you out there ;)
PS I'm selling this oil at a low and affordable rate - cashing in on the monetary exploitation of women's health issues is one of my pet peeves and I have seen too much of that relating to the menopause lately! Just no! If you'd like to buy a bottle the link is here
Have a fab Easter break,
Eucalyptus Citrodora (lemon eucalyptus)
You can spot this lovely tree growing around Cornwall with its' long thin leaves rather than the usual round shape seen on the more common Eucalyptus Globulus. The oil fragrance is very different to the more widely known Eucalyptus G, as it has a soft and gentle lemon scent. It's much gentler in every way than it's slightly brash sibling . It's useful as a respiratory oil in addition to being a gentle brain fog clearer. The oil is full of vitality and needs freedom to thrive - maybe that's why it's so loved during our menopausal years. It encourages alertness and concentration and is great one to have in a burner at home or at work if you need to concentrate. Also great for calming anxiety and boosting immunity - any kind of weak state, and this oil is your friend.
You'll no doubt all be familiar with this common herb and its' strong green scent. This oil is one of my favourites for a quick and pungent fix for clearing the head - whether that's becaase I'm nasally congested or because I'm having a forgetful day. It's aroma is quite intense and the strength of it's personality is reflected in the protection it offers for those feeling weak and debilitated - which I certainly sometimes do as I navigate the menopause. Not one of the 'safest' oils for skin application due to the possible high methy chavicol content but absolutely fantastic when used in a burner. Do no use in pregancy. Which is unlikely if you're going through the menopause anyway! ;)
Another plant that is familar to most of us; cardamom is the fragrant and beautiful herb found in asian cooking. The oil smells like an intense and therapeutic version of the spice pods themselves. It has been used for thousands of years in Chinese and Ayurvedic mendicine and was first brought to Europe by the the Greeks in the 4th century BC. I find it an incredibly useful nervous tonic, and it helps when exhaustion strikes. The oil is a stimulant - both for the brain and the digestive system; and the motivating personality of this oil makes for an incredibly helpful addition to blends that are created with the aim of sharpening mental clarity and focus.
Another familiar perennial plant that has been used since the time of the anicent Greeks for it's medicinal properties. Fennel has long been associated with protection and it is an energetic oil and stimulating oil. Its' use for women is multifaceted - it helps increase lactation when breastfeeding, helps regulate scanty and painful periods and can also be used during menopause to relieve hot flushes and other symptoms caused by declining oestrogen levels. For the brain and nervous system, Fennel is a strong stimulant, but this potent oil can cause headaches with over-use so I would advise caution when adding to a blend: check in on yourself and see how sensitive you are feeling before use. As with Basil, do not use during pregnancy
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
Another everyday and easily recognisable herb, Rosmeary is probably the most well known essential oil for it's mind clearing and memory strengthening properties. Like many of the 'brain' oils it is pretty potent and stimulating - also able to clear out congested lungs, and get the digestive system working well. If Rosemary is an on oil that you don't happen to own, but you do have a Rosemary bush in the garden you can simply snip off a small branch and crush the leaves between your palms before inhaling for an instant energising brain boost. The oil is also useful for vertigo, diziness, and poor concentration. It is a must for any menopausal mental clarity blends!
Mix and store in an essential oil bottle. The blend is great to burn during the day in a diffuser on a desk or an oil burner. Quite potent so only 4-8 drops are needed.