Stress management

Five Ways Essential Oils Support Your Hormones

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Adding Essential Oils to Your Routine to Balance Hormones

You may have heard of essential oils, and maybe you already use them. You might be wondering, “how do these really work?” In this article, I’ll explain five ways that essential oils work to powerfully affect your hormones in a positive way!

  1. Lower Stress and Benefit Sleep

There are several essential oils that have been shown in studies to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. (1) The speed of this reduction is what impresses me! You can feel calmer within seconds of inhaling a cortisol-reducing oil.

While you need cortisol for energy, immunity, and inflammation, you don’t need too much cortisol! Your cortisol tends to get high thanks to chronic stress.

Symptoms of high cortisol include:

  • Stubborn belly fat

  • Feeling high-strung

  • Trouble falling asleep

  • Being too keyed up to enjoy sex

  • High blood pressure

  • Increasing wrinkles and fatigue

Lowering excess cortisol with essential oils can help relieve the above symptoms. If stress and insomnia are chronic issues, I suggest using cortisol-reducing oils a few times a day, and especially in the evening as you wind down for bed.

Good sleep is important for another hormone, human growth hormone. This hormone helps you repair and rejuvenate at night; it’s how you get ‘beauty sleep.’ So lowering cortisol so you can sleep is key.

Common essential oils that lower cortisol are: lavender, basil, rosemary, orange and ylang ylang. The oil blend we use nightly in a diffuser is Serenity by doTERRA.

In a 2007 study, lavender and rosemary were both found to lower cortisol and prevent the free radical damage (hello, early aging) associated chronic high cortisol. (2)

       2. Reduce Appetite & Improve Metabolism

Having excess fat tissue contributes excess estrogen levels. Your fat tissue is an estrogen factory so, like cortisol, you don’t want an excess of body fat.

Avoiding processed foods and losing weight is challenging in our busy, toxic world! Luckily essential oils can give you a helping hand to make better food choices and to process calories efficiently.

Grapefruit oil is a cravings-buster when you place a drop on your tongue, as is peppermint oil. Grapefruit oil contains D-limonene, a compound that boosts metabolism and drains lymph (bye, bye puffy eyes and water weight). It can also be used externally along with a dry brushing technique to reduce cellulite. 
 
Cinnamon oil is a blood sugar balancer, and having balanced blood sugar will mean less cravings and better food choices. (3)

The cravings and metabolism blend I use regularly is Slim and Sassy by doTERRA. It has a dorky name but it works really well! It contains ginger, grapefruit, cinnamon, lemon and peppermint.

      3. Calm Emotions

Inhalation of essential oils directly affects limbic system, where you store emotions and memories. Taming negative emotions and painful memories can get you out of the sympathetic dominant mode that inhibits optimal hormone production.

According to the author of Healing with Essential Oils, Jodi Sternoff Cohen, the most powerful use of essential oils may be their value in emotional recovery and management:

“Fragrant substances pass on to the limbic system without being registered by the cerebral cortex. This powerful emotional reaction in the limbic system is triggered by nerve impulses which, in turn, trigger other areas of the brain that are responsible for secreting hormones and neurotransmitters and for regulating body functions.”

“This makes essential oils especially powerful tools for dealing with emotional challenges, like anxiety, depression, fear, worry, grief, trauma, anger and self-abuse.”

Some essential oils help you feel more grounded and others give you a sense of peace. The essential oil cedarwood helps me feel secure and confident, while essential oil of neroli makes me feel euphoric!


      4. Improve Digestion

Strong digestion is critical for healthy hormones. Within the digestive tract:

  • Nutrients needed to make hormones are absorbed

  • Neurotransmitters are produced

  • Hormone metabolites (used hormones) are cleared from the system

If the digestive tract is inflamed, these important processes won’t happen. Some symptoms of digestive distress include:

  • Constipation

  • Diarrhea

  • Bloating

  • Multiple food sensitivities

  • Skin eruptions

  • An autoimmune diagnosis

There are many essential oils that can support proper digestion and help detoxify the gut. I’ll highlight three here:

Lemon oil has been shown to inhibit candida albicans infection. Excess candida yeast can cause sugar cravings and foggy thinking. (4)

Peppermint oil relaxes smooth muscles in cases of IBS, and it also helps break down the biofilms that protect chronic bacterial infections in your gut. ( 5, 6)

Essential oil of ginger promotes digestion, reduces nausea, and has been shown to help prevent and treat stomach ulcers. (7)

A product I love that combines several oils in one formula for both acute and chronic indigestion is DigestZen by doTERRA. I try to use in on my abdomen with a carrier oil at least twice a day, and I also inhale it and sometimes use a drop on my tongue.

I find the warming and bitter nature of the oils in this formula help me digest a meal and have healthy bowel movements.

      5. Lower Inflammation

Inflammation is a process in the body that is helpful and necessary at times. It gathers to do its job when you are injured, when you’re fighting an infection and more.

But chronic inflammation presents various problems, one is which is preventing proper hormone production and signaling.

Inflammation allows less hormone to attach to receptor sites on a cell’s membrane. This means that hormones may be knocking at the door, but they can’t get inside. With an inflamed cell wall, also toxins can’t get out and nutrients can’t get in.

Inflammation also dysregulates the immune system, which can lead to autoimmunity, in which the body is attacking its own tissue. You can use essential oils to lower inflammation, thus allowing your hormones to signal correctly.

Frankincense is an oil derived from a tree resin that contain a high percentage of boswellic acid. Boswellic acid is able to lower inflammation and modulate immunity. It has become a popular oil in autoimmune thyroid conditions for this reason. (8, 9)

Lavender reduces the inflammation of a bug bite or a sunburn but also the systemic inflammation that interferes with your hormones.

Conclusion

Many oils overlap in their functions; many simultaneously lower cortisol, prevent bacterial growth and lower inflammation. This is because the ‘essential oil’ of a plant protects it and keeps it healthy. Essential oils can provide some of the same protection to you as you endeavor to stay healthy through the changing seasons of life.

What I love about essential oils is that they are easy and enjoyable to use. There are some cautions to take, for instance some oils need to be diluted or they will feel hot or burning on your skin. A few oils can make you sunburn easier, so you need to avoid applying them on an exposed area before a day in the sun.

With a little education, essential oils are fun and creative to use, and you can reap benefits immediately in reduced stress or a calmer stomach, and you can enjoy long-term benefits in better periods, less hot flashes, thicker hair and more.


Learn More!

Balance Your Hormones with Essential Oils

 Join me for this webinar recording, where I explain my favorite ways to balance hormones with essential oils.

 

My Five Top Essential Oils for Thyroid Support

Free guide: You want help for your thyroid symptoms ASAP! Cut to the chase with this straight-forward guide, outlining the exact techniques I use to help keep my Hashimoto’s in remission.

Let me help you start addressing your symptoms now!

Questions? Please post below.

 


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Case Study: A Functional Approach to Hormones and Gut

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How Functional Health Coaching Treats Mood, Gut and Hormones in an Integrated Way

The Symptoms

When Emily joined our coaching program, she was struggling with depression, anxiety, fatigue, and brain fog. She said that she did not have the energy to improve her diet or exercise regimen to support her health. She feared that trying to make major changes could have the potential to elicit panic attacks that would prevent her from moving forward.

Photo by Jason Briscoe

Photo by Jason Briscoe

Emily felt “tired almost all of the time.” Up until a few years before joining our functional coaching program, she had lived an active life. She had spent years gaining her education and working as a public health professional. And, at 38-years-old, she found herself barely making it through the day.

Emily had resorted to some of the most common coping mechanisms available: coffee in the morning to give her enough energy to get going, and alcohol at night to help her sleep.

Emily had resorted to some of the most common coping mechanisms available: coffee in the morning to give her enough energy to get going, and alcohol at night to help her sleep.

She suffered from symptoms of gas, bloating and indigestion. Her symptoms eased when she was strict about her diet but returned whenever she wavered slightly. 

The First Steps

The first thing we advised Emily to do was to take the huge step of removing coffee and alcohol from her diet. Within a matter of a couple of weeks, she was amazed at how much better she felt, just from those small changes. While this is not always as impactful for everybody as it was for Emily, it does show that sometimes a couple of small tweaks can have big effects.

The Labs

As Emily made those early changes to diet, we ran a handful of functional labs, including:

  • DUTCH Complete hormone panel

  • Comprehensive thyroid panel

  • GI-Map stool pathogen test

  • Micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) test.

The Test Results

The test results showed that Emily was quite deficient in the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone but it is also responsible for providing a sense of energy and plays an important role in regulating the circadian rhythms controlling sleep/wake cycles.

Emily was also very low in all of her female sex hormones (the estrogens and progesterone) and she was also very low in melatonin, a hormone that helps promote restful sleep.

Emily's thyroid appeared to be slightly sluggish and she was deficient in seven different important micronutrients.

Her stool test detected two different parasites, an overgrowth of two different opportunistic yeast species, suppressed immune response in the small intestines, and a very strong sensitivity to gluten-containing foods.

Part of the Hormone Report

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Stool Test Results

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The Protocol

Emily remained free from coffee and alcohol and began to adopt a gluten-free diet.

She started doing moderate exercise, managing her stress levels, eradicating gut pathogens through an herbal protocol, and supporting her healthy hormone balance through diet, herbs, and lifestyle changes.

She introduced some herbal tinctures such as black cohosh, red clover, vitex, and motherwort to support her female hormone levels. She used a product called Adrenotone from Designs for Health to support the adrenal glands and the balance of stress hormone production through the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Emily supported her micronutrient balance through the introduction of a complete mineral support formula and used the Designs for Health GI Microb-X product as one of the antimicrobial blends for eradicating infectious microorganisms. She also introduced Megaspore probiotic to rebuild beneficial gut flora and to support the immune system. 

For dietary support, Emily began seed cycling and introduced more healthy fats into her diet. She also incorporated detoxification strategies such as dry brushing and rebounding into her daily routine to help her move toxins out of the body in a natural way.

The Transformation

Photo by Patrick Hendry

Photo by Patrick Hendry

As Emily gained energy, she was able to reintegrate exercise into her life and she enjoys mountain biking and outdoor sports of many kinds.

After six months on the coaching program, Emily reported feeling better than she had in years despite experiencing some extreme stress, including the sudden death of her partner’s mother.

Over the course of her six months on the program, Emily gained enough energy and mental clarity to make big decisions about her life, including the purchase of a new home and a desire to have a baby.

Emily is now thriving, pregnant, happy in her life, and excited about her future.

 

 

Are You Ready for Your Transformation?

Work With Us!

We would be honored to work with you as a private client. We provide testing and coaching options to women in most every state and country. Come check out our coaching options to see if it’s a fit.


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Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP, is trained in functional health coaching and has worked with thousands of women over her career since 2004. She is the founder of Women’s Wellness Collaborative llc and HormoneDetoxShop.com.

Essential Oils that Balance Sleep, Mood and More with Jodi Cohen

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Jodi Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils, an essential oils company, and the best selling author of "Healing with Essential Oils". She's a nutritional therapist and essential oils expert. In this episode we talk about the nervous system and how to get into parasympathetic rest mode, getting a good night's sleep, the adrenal glands, and histamine.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:35 Introducing Jodi Cohen
Min 03:25 Jodi's health history
Min 08:40 Essential oil formulas
Min 11:00 How essential oils work
Min 17:45 Jodi's first approach to helping clients: improving sleep
Min 22:55 Mold & clearing the sinuses
Min 23:40 Melotonin and how it detoxifies
Min 25:40 Effects of stress on the body
Min 28:50 The adrenals & HPA
Min 34:10 Detoxifying estrogen
Min 35:45 Using binders
Min 38:40 Mood adjustment with essential oils
Min 45:15 Histamine balance for air cleaning
Min 46:05 Jodi Cohen's essential oils
Min 48:30 Jodi's resources

To learn more about Jodi Cohen, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook page 
Facebook discussion group 
Pinterest 
Twitter 
Instagram 
YouTube 

Resources:

Buy essential oils 10% off using the code "womenswellness"
Leaky Gut Solutions interview with Kiran Krishnan
Free gift: Download a free chapter of Jodi's book, Healing with Essential Oils

Here's the video version of the interview with Jodi Cohen:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Taming Fussy, Hormonal Skin with Megan Schwarz

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Megan Schwarz is an attorney turned female hormonal health advocate, with a specialty in skin care. She offers clients dietary, lifestyle, and hormonal support focused on inflammatory skin issues such as hormonal acne, dermatitis, and hyperpigmentation. In this episode, we are going to focus mainly on the internal aspects of skin issues.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:15 Introducing Megan Schwarz
Min 05:50 The connection between stress, healthy skin & ovulation
Min 10:05 The androgens
Min 12:45 Treating clients with skin issues
Min 16:55 Adult acne & PCOS
Min 19:20 Using the birth control pill for acne control
Min 23:35 The gut & liver
Min 24:40 Good skin care tips
Min 30:50 Megan's resources

To learn more about Megan Schwarz, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Instagram 

Resources:

Webinar: Beautycounter - Choosing Best Products for Your Skin Type

Beautycounter products - non-toxic line of beauty products

Here's a video version of the interview with Megan Schwarz:

Is Your Gut Messing up Your Hormones?

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Fixing Chronic Fatigue with Shelley Gawith

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Shelley Gawith is a Functional Nutritionist in private practice in Wellington, New Zealand. She completed Nutritional Therapy Association studies, IHS Advanced Functional Assessment Training, and is a Certified Gluten Practitioner. In this episode we talk about adrenal health, her amazing health history, and her work in helping busy career women overcome fatigue & anxiety.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:30 Introducing Shelley Gawith's work
Min 04:25 Shelley's health journey with chronic fatigue syndrome
Min 08:30 Shelley's steps to getting better
Min 12:10 Cellular energy & adrenal health
Min 16:40 Root causes of Shelley's health problems
Min 21:45 Work stress & its effects on the adrenals
Min 26:50 Shelley's advice for career women
Min 36:50 Hydrochloric acid
Min 39:05 Gulping water but getting dehydrated
Min 42:30 Using electrolytes
Min 47:40 Shelley's resources

To learn more about Shelley, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook
Instagram 


Resources:

Check out our summit recordings and programs at our shop.
31 Day Challenge 
Beautycounter products - non-toxic line of beauty products

Here's the video version of the interview with Shelley Gawith:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Overcome Weight Loss Resistance with Karen Martel

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Karen is a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach and weight loss expert from Canada. She is a health leader and researcher determined to revolutionize nutrition for modern women. In this episode Karen and I talk about some of the causes of weight loss resistance like stress, hormones & indigestion.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 02:30 What is weight loss resistance?
Min 04:10 Karen's personal experience with weight loss resistance
Min 09:20 Testing to get to the root cause
Min 10:40 Karen's passion in nutrition & helping women
Min 14:35 Causes of weight loss resistance
Min 20:35 Karen's personal meal plans & health coaching
Min 23:50 Weight loss resistance case scenarios
Min 28:00 The ketogenic diet & being in ketosis
Min 33:40 Karen's resources
Min 36:25 Connecting with your health coach

To learn more about Karen, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook 
Instagram 

Resources:

On Track program 
Free recipe ebook "Paleo for Hormone Health Cookbook"

Check out our summit recordings and programs at our shop.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Get Your Brain Working Better with Dr. Steven Masley

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Dr. Steven Masley, MD is a physician, nutritionist, trained-chef, and author. In this episode we talk about brain health and his new book "The Better Brain Solution" coming out Jan 2, 2018.

Here’s what you’ll hear:

Min 01:55 The fear of aging & brain health
Min 02:55 Introduction to Dr. Steven Masley
Min 03:25 Motivation behind the book "The Better Brain Solution"
Min 05:55 The 5 pillars to better brain health
Min 06:45 The odds of cognitive dysfunction for men & women
Min 08:35 Why women's brains rewire during menopause
Min 10:50 Other factors affecting brain health
Min 15:50 Exercise for improved brain health & insulin control
Min 19:30 Ketogenic diets, memory loss and interminent fasting
Min 22:10 Avoiding meat & grains when fasting
Min 25:00 Nutrients & supplements for a better brain
Min 30:10 Toxins (BPA, Phthaletes, Mercury), paleo eating & preservatives
Min 36:55 Dr. Steven Masley's brain quiz

To learn more about Dr. Masley, visit his website here and follow him on social media:
Facebook
Twitter

Resources: 

  1. Dr. Steven Masley's brain quiz

  2. Enroll for the 30-Day Better Brain Challenge

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner

Bridgit's Year in Review

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I'm your guest this week where I will be reviewing the year 2017 and the decisions I made on my health, family and business. I'll be interviewed by our new team member Stephanie Risinger who'll also tell us about her podcast.

Here's what you'll hear:

Min 01:05 Introducing Stephanie & Bridgit
Min 03:15 Transitioning from Portland to Arizona
Min 06:20 Review of Bridgit's physical health
Min 11:16 Marcons and using Western medicine with Eastern medicine
Min 14:10 Dealing with emotional health
Min 20:30 Getting help from different practitioners
Min 23:45 Lessons learnt in 2017
Min 26:50 Bridgit's habits and routines
Min 28:50 Big wins for Women's Wellness Collaborative in 2017
Min 33:35 The future of Women's Wellness Collaborative
Min 37:35 Stephanie Risinger's podcast
Min 40:10 Health steps taken by Stephanie

To learn more about Stephanie and her Holistic Fertility and Wellness Podcast, visit her website here and follow her on social media:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Resources:

  1. Marcons And Biofilms With Dr. Yoshi Rahm

  2. Low FODMAPs diet

  3. Are Food Sensitivities Preventing Your Pregnancy? with Sarah Clark

  4. Fertility Week sign up page

Here's a video version of the interview I did:

How was your 2017? I’d love to hear about it below!

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure take our "Is a Gut Infection Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance" quiz here, and come on board!

We have lots of valuable, free resources for women's health we share weekly.

Bridgit Danner,

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Pause and Pivot to Reduce Stress

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I wanted to give a quick tip, in the form of a 5-minute video, that you can use to transform uncomfortable feelings and react differently to hard situations.

You can use this technique in any situation, from complaining mother-in-laws to general anxiety. One thing I didn't emphasize enough in the video is that you don't necessarily need to say something in the moment. You can slow down time, so to speak, by taking a walk, leaving a conversation, or choosing your reaction after more time to reflect. If you're a firecracker like me, it's nice to practice this option sometimes!

This technique stemmed from work with my 'transformation coach', Toni St. Clair. If you'd like to find out more about Toni or schedule a discovery session with her, go here. Toni definitely got some stuck things to shift for me!

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative  

Parasites: A Hidden Root Cause with Dr. Todd Watts

Dr. Todd Watts is a functional medicine chiropractor from Idaho and in this guest we’re talking about parasitic infections. 

Click here to download an mp3 of "Parasites: A Hidden Root Cause with Dr. Todd Watts."

Here's what you'll hear: 

Min 01:20 Introduction to Dr. Todd Watts

Min 03:40 Dr. Watts working on his own case

Min 05:10 Why most of Dr. Todd's patients are women

Min 06:45 How often female patients have parasitic infection

Min 10:50 Testing for parasites

Min 15:25 The connection between Epstein barr and Lyme

Min 19:25 Responses to parasite treatments

Min 22:40 Stress, exposure to chemicals & electromagnetic frequency

Min 25:30 Dr. Todd Watt's healing process & the 5R's of cellular healing

Min 33:00 Parasitic infection and systemic inflammation

To learn more about Dr. Todd Watts and his practice, visit his website here and follow him on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women’s Health

Are you doing all the ‘right things’ but still feeling blah?

Get my list of 5 Easy Detox Swaps for Women’s Health to start clearing out the toxins and reset your system to feel better today!

Click here for more information on private coaching.