Woman, Herbs & Aromatherapy

by Jeanne Rose

INTRODUCTION:  Herbs and Aromatherapy for Her:

The cyclic nature of the female hormones helps women to become very aware of their monthly and yearly changes.  Modern women go through menarche early and menopause later and generally have fewer pregnancies with healthier children and end up living longer.  They have to realize this and take the proper nutrition, vitamins and exercise to take full advantage of this longer life.

            Look at the chart prepared by Jeanne Rose that follows this written work.


1. Emmenagogues: Encourage the expulsion of the uterine contents. 

            These herbs include Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), Rue (Ruta graveolens) and Sage (Salvia officinalis).  These herbs are taken in tea form (1 oz herb to 1 qt water, steep 20-30 minutes, strain and drink throughout the day for at least 3 days).

            Essential Oils are Anise seed and Fennel seed by ingestion and massage.  Pennyroyal oil by massage, not ingestion. Ravensara anisata can be taken as an aperitif (use a drop in a shot glass of Pernod or like liqueur) or in a massage blend with Rose. Rosemary camphor is used as an inhalant or in a massage blend.  There are other essential oils, please check the special Therapeutic Index of 375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols.

2. Uterine Spasmolytics have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle.  They are used to relieve pain due to cramping and during menstruation, help prevent miscarriage and calm the uterus during labor.

            The herbs include: Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus), Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolium), Chuan Xiong or Cnidium (Ligusticum wallichii), Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) and Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa). Wild Yam also treats menopause symptoms.  These herbs can be taken as a tonic tea together. Use the standard infusion dosage.

            Essential oil massage would include the following: Lavender and Cypress oils.

3. Uterine Tonics: Have a normalizing effect on the uterus and improve function.  These when taken regularly but at intervals will support the body's ability to self-regulate and repair. 

            The herbs include Dong quai (Angelica sinensis), False Unicorn root (Chamaelirium luteum), and Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus).  Angelica is especially good as a tonic, for irregular periods, or menstrual weakness or amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea.  False Unicorn root is a Native American plant and seems to have a regulating effect on the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis (HPO).  It could be classified as a regulator for the ovary function.  Red Raspberry has many uses as a tea for women.  It is a tonic and tea to be drunk daily for the pregnant and lactating female.  It will ease the labor, relieve nausea, relieves and aids uterine contraction during childbirth, relieves menstrual pain and heavy periods.  It is a good all around tea to use.  Red raspberry dose is infusion (1/2 oz/quart water, 1 cup 2X/day) about 2-5 ml of the extract 3X/day.

            Essential oils include the following that can be used regularly in massage oil blends:  Basil CT linaloöl, Eucalyptus polybractea, Jasmine sambac and Thyme CT geraniol.  Probably Rose Geranium would be effective here. 

            Hydrosol can be taken internally, especially Rose Geranium, 1 T/liter of water, drunk throughout the day.  It is possible that Lavender Hydrosol will also be effective.

4. HPO Regulators (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Ovarian) influence these inter-hormonal processes. During menopause, the hypothalamus can cause an increase in FSH and LH from the pituitary when the ovaries produce less estrogen.  These two herbs are safe when taken together and are found in many over the counter herbal products, such as ProEstron by Nutraceutics and New Passion Libido Support by As We Change.

             These herbs include Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), and Chaste berry (Vitex Agnus castus). Black Cohosh treats arthritis aches and pains, menopause hot flashes, painful periods, thinning of the vaginal wall and PMS.  Vitex Agnus castus is a prime herb for the treatment of PMS and hormonal irregularity.

            The essential oil of Vitex Agnus castus can be used by inhalation and may help as an HPO regulator.  It might also be worthwhile to try it in a localized massage blend with Rose oil. Since these two oils are so expensive, use them only locally on the abdomen and upper groin area.

HERBAL & AROMATHERAPY BATHS:  For hormonal disruptions of any kinds, it is wise to take a treatment of herbal baths to which you have added essential oils, hydrosols and various other treatments such as clay or moor mud. These herbal baths will help you to relax, and act as a tonic to your skin and aid your body to repair.

             Start your bath with an herbal infusion.  Take 1 oz Roses petals and leaves, Patchouli herb, Red Raspberry leaves, and other fragrant herbs from your garden, up to 8 oz by weight of dried herbs.  Bring to a boil in 1 gallon of water; turn off heat, steep until the rest of your bath is ready.  Strain into the tub.  You can add scented bath salts or Moor mud to the water.  Take a series of baths, 5-10 nights in a row.  The herbal leftovers, add 3-5 drops of essential oils such as Rose and Chamomile (Roman) or the ester full essence of Owyhee (Artemisia ludoviciana) or Rose Geranium and tie in cheesecloth and rub your body down both before and after the bath.  Drop the cheesecloth bag into the tub along with 1-2 cups of hydrosol.

            Hydrosols are very important in a woman's bathing rituals.  Always add at least a cup per bath.  Particularly good for regulating the feminine functions are Rose Geranium, Rose.  For cleansing use Lemon Verbena or Lemon Balm, for relaxing use Lavender or Lavandin and as an astringent for over oily skin use Witch Hazel.  These hydrosols can also be drunk daily.  Simply add 1 tablespoon- 1 ounce of hydrosol to a liter of water and drink that throughout the day.  The larger amount is considered therapeutic and should be done only for a course of 5-10 days.  The smaller amount can be taken daily.  Vary the hydrosols that you use as a drink on a daily basis.

MASSAGE:  Many massage formulas have been developed for treatment of a woman's menstrual cycle.  These may be found in books and articles.  A simple formula is to add 3 drops of Rose Oil, 3 drops of Rose Geranium oil to 1 ounce of Calendula infused oil.  This can be used as a full body massage on a regular basis.  Rose oil is the prime woman's essential oil.  Remember to use the Rose absolute in skin care products and for massage and to use the Rose Otto as an internal treatment (1 drop once/day).

DIET:  Be sure your diet includes a variety of fruits and some grain at breakfast.  A friend I know eats a bowl of fruit — one citrus, one apple, one banana and a few slices of cheese followed by a high protein breakfast such as Chile Relleños or baked eggs.  At lunch, you can have tea and a snack.  Dinner should be protein and salad.  The protein should clean white poultry or fish and the salad should include a variety of greens, tomato, cucumber, onion, garlic, radish and whatever else you enjoy.  Do not forget to use quantities of herbs as seasonings.

It is important to go to a compounding pharmacy and get the hair follicle, saliva tests to determine your hormone levels. For Daily Health, you might want to add the following.


1. 1-2 T of Flaxseed oil every day or add Flax seed to all of your food

2. Evening Primrose oil every day

3. daily multivitamins and 400 mg of magnesium at night

4. zinc 50 mg daily at night

5. natural progesterone cream applied every day (thigh or arm) for hot flashes and to help the body lubricate

6. Exercise

7. destress stress

8. no coffee refresh the adrenals instead inhale essential oils of  Chamomile, Pine and Fir oils

9. soy phyto hormones

10. Use the Woman’s Kit by Jeanne Rose. Use it every day according to directions.

11. Apply the Rose Cream externally to the labia when needed.  

EMOTIONAL CARE: .............A good selection of essential oils for Women’s Care would be:

                                          Aromatherapy First Aid Kit™ WOMEN’S CARE

Ylang-ylang: Inhaled as anti-depressant; sleep-inducer; applied to a handkerchief and inhaled reduced tension, anxiety, depression, anger & can stimulate the adrenal glands.  Acts as an aphrodisiac and stimulant to the immune system. Calms nerves, euphoric, insomnia, sedative, soothes anger and reduces intense physical pain. Externally in lotions, massage oils, baths as a relaxant and soothing to jangled nerves. Internally 1 drop in honey taken daily is used as a treatment for impotence and frigidity.

Geranium: Inhaled to stimulate the adrenal cortex to reduce symptoms of asthma and menopause, stimulate the thyroid for weight loss. Treats depression, dejection, fatigue, inertia, confusion and bewilderment, all anxiety states, balances adrenals, balances hormones, has a harmonious effect, calms and refreshes and uplifts the body and psyche. Externally in facial steams, lotions, massage oils, baths to treat face and body especially dry to normal and normal to oily skin.  Balances all functions of the oil glands. Massage to ease PMS or cramps. Healing and antiseptic.  Excellent all-purpose essential oils for skin of young to old women, also children.

Chamomile/Lavender: Prime all-purpose women's oil.  Inhaled to soothe and calm, to ease depression and soothe irritability. Put a drop on forehead for relaxation and to allay bad temper.  Soothes children.  Calming, for headache, migraine, stress reducer, relaxing agent and leaves peaceful feeling.  Externally has many skin uses.  Calms acne, in facial steams to cleanse pores, in baths and washes to reduce puffiness, used in massage oils to reduce muscular aches and pain, eases pain in reproductive system and anywhere in body.  Soothes inflammation of the skin.

Grapefruit/Clary Sage: Inhaled is an adrenal stimulant, eases depression, reduces hot flashes, helps the new mother relax, mildly intoxicating, with Geranium is good for menopause symptoms, eases nervousness, soothes PMS symptoms. Relaxing and euphoric, with Ylang-Ylang for menstrual irregularities, for ‘grounding’. Externally regenerates skin, reduces wrinkles, applied to hair roots to stimulate growth. Used in baths for health and relaxation, spray on face for hot skin and during heat waves. As massage encourages the labor process, strengthen kidney and stomach. Very good for all menstrual disorders. Internally one drop in warm water as gargle for sore throat.

Seaweed absolute.  Apply one drop to thyroid area to facilitate weight loss and ease changes. It has a balancing effect on the emotions.

The above selection of essential oils is already available as a pre-packaged product.

All kits available from Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy. Please call 415/564-6785.


Warning: Keep essential oils out of eyes. Dilute essential oils before use.

Sources:  local health food store for supplements and herbs.

Herbal BodyWorks for books and Aromatherapy kits. 415/564-6785. www.jeannerose.net

Prima Fleur has many organically grown hydrosols and fabulous beauty treatments.  The   number is 415/455-0957.

Aromatic Plant Project has hydrosols by the quart, Calendula Infused Oil and books.

                  P.O. Box 225336 , San Francisco , CA 94122 .

As We Change, 1/800/203-5585.


Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. North Atlantic Books. 1999.

Rose, Jeanne. Herbal Body Book.  North Atlantic Books. 2000

Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Aromatherapy for the Sex Organs. Herbal Library, 415/564-6785 ($5.00)

Thomsen, Michael. Herbs for Her, Natural Pharmacy. July/August 2000


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