Essential oils in case of hormone-dependent pathologies

Hormon-like, estrogen-like, cortison-like... barbaric names that terrify many. It is time to explain. Essential oils are composed of molecules acting at different levels of our body. According to the structure of these molecules, a specific activity of this one will allow to act at the level of a system, an organ, a particular tissue. The hormonal or endocrine system can also be regulated by the aromatic molecules present in certain essential oils. In certain cases that could be very beneficial for the organization and present particular targeted interests (female hormonal system, diabetic problem, etc...). However, in cases of hormone-dependent pathologies, certain recommendations should be considered...

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Hormone-like, estrogen-like, cortison-like essential oils...

Hormone-like essential oils

These essential oils are composed of molecules that can mimic the action of different hormones in the body. They are therefore to be avoided in case of hormone-dependent pathologies. Please ask for a medical advice.

  • Cistus
  • Cypress of Provence
  • Juniper
  • Red Myrtle
  • Thyme with thujanol
  • Fragrant Verbena

Estrogen-like essential oils

These essential oils are composed of molecules that can mimic the action of estrogen in the body. They are thus to proscribe in the event of pathologies dependent on the estrogen. Please ask for medical advice.

  • Wild Chamomile
  • Chamomile Matricaria
  • Cedar of the atlas
  • Criste Marine
  • Sweet Fennel
  • Helichrysum of Madagascar
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Nutmeg
  • Himalayan Spikenard
  • Niaouli
  • Patchouli
  • Clary Sage

Cortison-like essential oils

These essential oils are composed of molecules which can mimic the action of cortisone in the body. They are therefore to be avoided in case of pathologies dependent on cortisone. Please ask for a medical advice.

General precautions for the use of essential oils in case of hormone-dependent pathologies

"I have (or have had) a hormone-dependent disease or am currently on hormone therapy, what precautions should I take before using essential oils?"

Before embarking on recommendations that should not be overlooked, a few reminders and physiological knowledge are good to take...

First of all, what is a hormone?

A hormone is a substance secreted by our body for the purpose of transmitting a message to a target organ. To act, the hormone will attach itself, like a piece to its puzzle, to a specific receptor. Once the hormone is attached, the message is sent... Once the message is received by the target organ, it will act accordingly...

You are familiar with many of the hormones that work daily to keep your body functioning properly.

  • For example, after each of your meals, your blood sugar level will increase. The hormone called insulin will detect this change. It will be secreted by the pancreas in order to send a message to the liver. The liver will then understand that it must reduce the level of sugar in the blood. A blood sugar level that is too high could have negative consequences on your body, especially on the cardiovascular system.

So, insulin = message to lower blood glucose levels.

  • Another example is the well-known testosterone. In men, this hormone is produced in the testicles and adrenal glands. It will allow the maturation of young spermatozoids and the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics such as a voice that changes, more developed hair, the size of the testicles and the penis that increases.

So, testosterone = at puberty, message for the man to grow! Yes but not only...

As you can see, hormones are essential messengers for the proper functioning of your body.

Secondly, how can a disease be hormone-dependent?

As we have seen previously, the hormonal or endocrine system is very important since it regulates and coordinates many essential functions of the body (growth, development, metabolism, behavior, etc.). Thus, a large number of organs are normally regulated by hormones. However, the endocrine system can be disturbed by an abnormal stimulation of the organs by hormones coming from outside (these are the famous endocrine disruptors!). When this endocrine system is disturbed, the quantity of hormone produced can be higher or lower than normal. Thus, when we deviate from this normality, we fall into a pathological state, i.e. a state of health related to disease.

This is particularly the case for cancers affecting organs regulated by hormones. We then speak of hormone-dependent cancers or (in English) hormone-dependent ;). We are talking about ovaries, prostate, uterus, breasts, thyroid, etc... In these pathological cases, the growth and then the development of tumors are largely stimulated by hormones. Hormones will bind to tumor cells with specific receptors and thus stimulate their multiplication. These hormones thus promote the development of a tumor.

This is why in some cases a treatment called hormone therapy is recommended. The strategy is either to block the production of the hormones responsible or to block the action of the hormones directly in the tumor.

Other pathologies, other than cancers, are called hormone-dependent. We are talking here about pathologies affecting, for example, the thyroid (hypo- or hyperthyroidism), the uterus (endometriosis, adenomyosis), etc...

Finally, why are certain essential oils not recommended in the case of hormone-dependent pathologies?

Essential oils are, let's remember, substances composed of numerous chemical molecules capable of acting on our body. Some of these molecules have a structure similar to that of hormones. Thus, a molecule such as sclareol, present in the essential oil of Clary Sage, will have a structure close to the hormone called estrogen. Thus, this molecule will be able to bind to the receptors normally specific to estrogen and thus behave like estrogen: we talk about oestrogen-like substance.

So, you understand well by reading all this that, if pathologies develop because of hormones, it is formally forbidden to use essential oils containing molecules mimicking the effects of hormones.

Some hormone-like, estrogen-like or cortison-like essential oils are nevertheless beneficial, in which cases?

On the other hand, the ability of certain molecules to mimic the action of hormones can have real benefits on the body. For example, the essential oil of Clary Sage, by mimicking the effect of estrogen, will have beneficial effects during premenopause and menopause. Indeed, it will help fight against hot flashes or irregular periods by regulating the hormonal system. Another example, the essential oil of Green Myrtle is known as a thyroid stimulant. It may therefore be recommended after medical advice in case of hypothyroidism.

Discover our pages on essential oils for children and babies


Essential oils for babies?

Babies who are over 3 months old can use certain essential oils without any risk. To help you know how to soothe your baby's aches and pains with essential oils, The company of the senses explains everything.

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Essential oils for children

Children under 6 years old and over 3 years old remain fragile and cannot be treated with any essential oil. To know everything about the use of essential oils in children, The company of the senses has developed a page that helps you to sort out the issues.

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