By Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
Updated December 2021
Essential oils are a powerful resource in your PCOS toolbox. While upgraded diet, lifestyle, and mindset are the pillars of thriving with PCOS, essential oils can help to alleviate individual symptoms. If used correctly, they are safe to use every day to help reset abnormal patterns, and they are especially beneficial when trying to balance hormones and insulin levels.
Why use essential oils?
Plants (and oils derived from plants) are powerful healers. Aside from the medicinal applications of plant compounds, their essential oils can have a strong effect on the limbic system. In this way, they help to restore hormonal balance, release emotional stress and impart the feeling of relaxation and well-being.
In addition, essential oils can ease other common PCOS symptoms such as acne, hirsutism, hair growth, infertility, and insulin imbalance.
Also, women with PCOS are particularly sensitive to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These EDCs are present in many medications, household products, make-up, our food, water, and the list goes on. Any opportunity we have to avoid these hormone disruptors should be taken. Essential oils make terrific replacements for endocrine-disrupting chemicals in many household products. For more information about EDCs and PCOS, read “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals & PCOS: What’s the Connection?”
What is the best way to use essential oils for PCOS?
For many oils, diffusion is the most effective method. It can be accomplished in a variety of ways including simply opening a bottle, using a vaporizer or humidifier (check manufacturer instructions), or a warmer.
In this method, essential oils are applied directly to the skin. Usually, oils are diluted in a carrier oil, but some may be used “neat.” Castor oil packs or roller ball bottles are popular methods of application. Many women have success using the topical method in conjunction with reflexology.
Some very specific oils can be ingested. I don’t use this method, but if you choose this option, proceed with extreme caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
What are the best essential oils for PCOS?
#1 Clary Sage
This is one of the best all-around oils for PCOS. Clary sage fights acne, relieves anxiety, depression, and stress, and boosts hair growth. Importantly, it also works toward hormone balance and fertility.
Geranium stimulates the adrenal cortex, helping to balance emotions, alleviate anxiety & depression and improve focus. It is particularly good for balancing hormones, improving fertility, and increasing progesterone. Geranium even helps balance out the oils in your skin for help fighting acne!
#3 Ylang Ylang
One of the oldest applications of ylang-ylang is as an antidepressant. It works to balance your cortisol & adrenals (reducing stress) as well as to promote emotional balance. As an added bonus, women with PCOS often see improvements in fertility and hair growth.
Who doesn’t love the smell of cinnamon? Good news! It isn’t just for the holidays. Cinnamon can help reduce insulin resistance (support blood sugar balance) and even help you lose weight.
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils for good reason. While it is best known for promoting relaxation and relieving stress, it can also help bring emotional balance and reduce anxiety and depression. That makes it a home run for the whole family!
If that isn’t enough, women with PCOS can see added benefits including a reduction in hirsutism (unwanted hair), hair growth, hormone balance, and improvement in acne.
For more detailed information about how to use essential oils for PCOS, check out my mini-course How to Use Essential Oils for a symptom by symptom guide to healing with essential oils.
Amy Medling, the best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help them gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.