As you have been reading my blog, you have likely come to know that I have personally been using essential oils (EOs) for years. It is fascinating to me how oils can positively impact fertility. During my interview with Stephanie Fritz, licensed midwife and certified professional midwife, we spoke about various fertility issues and which essential oils would be most helpful.The recipe blend found here, is one she recommends. Today I am going to write about one of the EOs in the blend - and my personal favorite - Lavender!
Lavender first originated in mountainous zones of the Mediterranean where it thrives in the sunny, stony terrain. Today however, you can find it throughout southern Europe, Australia, and the United States. The oil in lavender's small, blue violet flowers is what gives the herb its fragrant scent. The oil from these little flowers is powerful!
What are some of
the main benefits of this herb?
Lavender is probably the most adaptable of all essential oils. It contains more natural chemical constituents than any other plant (as many as 200) and therefore has a great range of usefulness. This amazing little plant has been found to have antibacterial, antifungal, immune stimulant, analgesic, and anti-anxiety properties. It has been found to perform wonderfully against acne, sun damage, burns, ulcers, and surgical wounds.In addition it supports healthy brain function by being helpful for: mental concentration, sleep quality, stress, blood pressure, and Alzheimer's disease. In a nut shell it can almost do-it-all!
In this particular recipe however, Lavender is in place for its anti-anxiety properties and to help support the work of Geranium and Clary sage in balancing the endocrine system. The scent of lavender has shown to have positive effects on mood and can help to alleviate mild feelings of agitation or distress.It's there to help you relax and de-stress.
cause estrogen imbalance? Sorting out
There is a lot of misleading information on the internet.You may have heard that Lavender is not safe to use during pregnancy because it is an emmenagogue (menstrual stimulant) and may directly stimulate uterine contractions. As a matter of fact if you Google it, you get over 1,000,000 hits on this topic alone.So how do we find the truth? We go to some well-regarded experts in the essential oil field: Bartram, Tisserand, and Franchomme & Pénöel.
Tisserand states, "Lavender oil does not mimic estrogen nor does it enhance the body's own estrogens. It is therefore not a 'hormone disruptor', cannot cause breast growth in young boys (or girls of any age), and is safe to use by anyone at risk for estrogen-dependent cancer."
Bartram defines emmenagogue as: "Plant substitutes for hormones that stimulate the pituitary gland to produce more gonadotrophic hormones. Herbs that initiate and promote the menstrual flow. Most are uterine tonics and stimulants to restore normal function of the female reproductive system. Not used in pregnancy, except when a practitioner has good cause to do so in the first few weeks." Bartram goes on to list 54 emmenagogue herbs, though lavender is not one of them.
Franchomme and Pénöel give no contraindications at all for lavender oil, and also do not mention menstrual stimulation. However they do list an antispasmodic action for the oil, but this is defined as a substance that is helpful in relieving menstrual pain and not one that would stimulate menstruation.
Additionally we find that Herbal Safety texts such as:
The Complete German Commission E Monograph - lists L. angustifolia, both flowers and essential oil, as "approved with no side effects and no contraindications.
McGuffin et al (1997) - places herbs in different classes of safety, with Class 1 herbs being defined as "generally safe to use, with no contraindication for pregnancy or breastfeeding". This texts rates lavender flowers as a "Class 1". NOTE: They apply this to Lavandula angustifolia (true lavender) L. latifolia (spike lavender), L. stoechas (Spanish lavender) and L. x intermedia (lavandin).
Mills and Bone (2005) - state that using lavender flowers (L. angustifolia and L. spica) is compatible with breastfeeding, and is safe in pregnancy.
So as you can see, the research simply doesn't support the hype that lavender is an emmenagogue. In fact, what it shows is exactly the opposite; Lavender is not a uterine stimulant, nor does it appear to have adverse effects during childbirth. So enjoy the benefits of this wonderful herb - relax, de-stress and have a good night's sleep. These are all important in keeping your body healthy and well-prepared for your bundle-of-joy!
Remember adding an essential oil to your fertility toolkit is only part of the equation. It is important to take a holistic view of your fertility and not treat symptoms as this may not give you the result you are looking for! When you use functional medicine to address the underlying cause of your infertility and can restore your health and protect the health of your future children. Book your free 15 minute consult here to see if you would be a good fit for one of our programs.
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Join the Free Fab Fertile Support Group on Facebook for mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration!