The subject of essential oils in endometriosis is very controversial and somehow delicate, but I will approach it closely, based on the studies found so far and my experience.
Essential Oils Cannot Cure Endometriosis
I do believe essential oils cannot cure anything; they are nothing like the magical cure some having tried to convince people on Social Media. Yes, they are beneficial for a lot of conditions, they could be an important part in complementary treatment plan for many things, including endometriosis, but they cannot cure anything.
This is my humble opinion and I wanted to state it loud and clear before proceeding into the subject. Besides, don’t you forget endometriosis is a chronic disease, not curable, invalidating for some medical systems (including those of Italy and France – don’t you believe me? – here and here are some proofs), so there is no one magical pill or natural treatment that can cure it. Yes, a mix of factors – medical, surgical, and natural ones - could give a great management of this disease, but that’s it.
What Essential Oils I Do Recommend
The below essential oils were either included in some studies on endometriosis, or the benefits are great for this disease’s manifestations (adhesions, pain etc.) – and are not estrogenic. I have used all of them so I can certify they do function (I will tell you below in which way) and that they are safe.
Frankincense Oil – good for adhesions and inflammation
What piqued my interest in this case were frankincense properties against adhesions and inflammation. Ever since I started my research back in 2014, after my first surgery, I read a lot about endometriosis adhesions, about surgery adhesions and how we should “fight” against this.
Of course, there are voices who say once formed, adhesions cannot go away, but I truly believe frankincense essential oil and not only, can loosen up a little bit the things in the interior or even prevent adhesions to form.
Here, here and here there are some studies or articles that can support this idea.
Regarding my experience with it: I purchased it from Oman as I have some relatives there and I used it from time to time. Till 1 year ago I used it frequently, several times a week, now not so often maybe because I don’t have such disturbing symptoms or maybe because time has passed and I am not so afraid anymore of a relapse.
Still, when I did use it regularly, my doctor never told me I had adhesions. I mention here I know that in some countries, people (patients or doctors) say doctors cannot see adhesions on ultrasound – well, sometimes – not always – the highly skilled, trained doctors can do that. I have friends, other patients, who also went through a surgery like me at the same doctor and after some time the doctor told them they have some “new” adhesions.
Therefore, frankincense helped me in not having a relapse – meaning any other endometriosic nodule or adhesions.
Still, it didn’t have a positive effect on my period pain level. Here you can read about the supplement that really helped me with that.
Helichrysum essential oil – the best essential oil against scar tissue
Helichrysum essential oil is also great against inflammation and also for scar tissues/adhesions. Besides, it is a great antibacterial and anti-microbial oil. Here you can read more about it and its properties.
As it is very expensive, I only used it in conjunction with Frankincense oil (and, of course, a career oil – cocos oil in my case) and just for topical use, for the massage.
I felt the same effects as the above, without diminishing pain. Here I would want to emphasize the fact that till my very first period, at 11 years old, I had terrible period pains. After my second surgery, my doctor told me that due to my medical history and a level of 10 on a pain scale, it is unlikely I will reach to 1 or 2 level, regarding pain. Besides, when they perform the excision surgery, they take out the endometriosis adhesions/nodule/cysts but they do not take out the cause (inflammation, hormonal problem, genetic aspect etc.). Moreover, an excision surgery is a stress for the organism and a lot of patients, me included, might experience heavier periods after surgery.
Still, with patience, diet and supplements, especially that no.1 supplement I have told you here, now I am at a 2-3-4 pain level, which means sometimes I don’t even take a painkiller during my periods. This may differ depending on what I am eating, how stressed have been etc.
Copaiba oil – the only essential oil that was included in a 2 “endometriosis studies”
Below you have these studies that place, at least “officially”, copaiba on top of essential oils for endometriosis.
1. Changes in the volume and histology of endometriosis foci in rats treated with copaiba oil (Copaiferalangsdorffii) - a study from 2011
Results: Copaiba oil (Copaiferalangsdorffii) appears to be a promising alternative treatment for endometriosis.
2. The oil-resin of the tropical rainforest tree Copaifera langsdorffii reduces cell viability, changes cell morphology and induces cell death in human endometriotic stromal cultures - a study from 2015
Results: Our data indicate that NanoCOR has a greater impact on the behaviour of human endometriotic stromal cells than on the eutopic endometrium stromal cells, supporting the idea that NanoCOR should be further investigated as a novel and valuable alternative to treat endometriosis.
Now, my experience with copaiba was not so great, maybe because it was the only essential oil I tried internally. Even when I bought an expensive, highly praised brand copaiba essential oil I couldn’t take it internally as I experienced gastro intestinal issues (nausea, bloating etc.) Yet, in a massage mixture it was great.
How do I use essential oils for endometriosis – my scheme
My scheme is simple and efficient: 10 of coconut oil (the career oil), several drops of frankincense oil (it depends how pure the oil is), several drops of helichrysum oil and several drops of copaiba. Of course, when I don’t have one of these 3 oils, I use the other too. I massage my lower abdominal area and also my low back area.
What essential oils I do not understand?
First, I wanted to write a separate article about this, but no, as I do not want to raise any more controversies around this subject.
My number 1 fear regarding essential oils was their estrogenic effect. And here were a lot of discussions: some said most of them have this estrogenic effect and could not be used especially by women with hormonal problems and some said the quantity of oestrogen in them is very, very low and it does not affect our health.
I will not take sides. I will just say that the 3 above essentials are not included (at least) in “top estrogenic essential oils”. I do not understand why you should add a lot of other essential oils when you have these 3 which are the safest you can get.
On the other hand, I do have to say I STAY AWAY of lavender essential oil and tea tree essential oil. They are included in a lot of studies and one of my acquaintances told me that after a tea tree oil supplement she developed an endometriosis nodule.
I will leave you the studies below, without further comments:
1. Chemicals in lavender and tea tree oil appear to be hormone disruptors
Conclusion: “Lavender oil and tea tree oil pose potential environmental health concerns and should be investigated further."
2. Prepubertal Gynecomastia Linked to Lavender and Tea Tree Oils
Conclusion: Furthermore, studies in human cell lines indicated that the two oils had estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities. We conclude that repeated topical exposure to lavender and tea tree oils probably caused prepubertal gynecomastia in these boys.
3. Lavender oil linked to early breast growth in girls
Conclusion: The findings suggest that compounds in the essential oils may promote breast growth by enhancing estrogen activity while inhibiting androgen activity.
That was my insight into the world of essential oils for endometriosis. I do not believe only they can do wonders in our case.
Yet, integrated into a weekly complementary plan could have a lot of benefits for our health, for the health of endometriosis patients.
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