Which essential oils actually work for PCOS symptoms?
We’re a science-based site, but we also love natural cures and symptom management! This
is why we jumped at the idea of looking at how essential oils can help with the management
of PCOS symptoms.
What are essential oils for PCOS?
Essential oils are very strong, potent oils extracted from plants. They have been used for
thousands of years to treat everything from menstrual cramps to hair loss - but are they
effective at treating PCOS symptoms? What does science say about this ancient wisdom?
Which PCOS symptoms can be treated with essential oils?
Some classic PCOS symptoms that can be treated with oils that are scientifically proven to
have an effect (or where the evidence is promising and still being investigated) are:
●PCOS adult acne
●PCOS hair loss
●PCOS weight gain
Can I use essential oils to treat PCOS acne?
Adult acne is one of the most visible symptoms of PCOS, and essential oils are already
widely used to treat acne.
Although adult acne from PCOS is hormonal, it can be exacerbated by stripping the skin’s
natural barrier with harsh products. While it might seem strange to treat acne with oils, oil
cleansing can remove pore-clogging buildup and bacteria without stripping the skin. This can
allow it to heal and settle, resulting in less acne in the future.”
Treating individual zits with essential oils can help to neutralize the bacteria that can spread
spots to other parts of the skin. While tea tree oil is probably the best known oil for this
purpose, it can burn and irritate the skin if it’s applied neat. It’s very satisfying to simply nuke
your spot with a potent oil though - so if you want to apply neat oil to your skin then Lavender
oil is really the only oil that can be used neat. It has proven antiseptic qualities and it smells
a little more pleasant than tea tree oil.
Instead of your usual moisturiser, or acne treatment, try switching to a blend of essential oils
formulated to soothe, nourish and calm your skin. Remember that it takes the skin several weeks to react to a change of skin regimen, and sometimes skin can break out before it settles down. Playing the long game with adult acne
and putting up with the initial breakout can really pay off - but discontinue use if your skin
becomes irritated, sore or otherwise reactive.
Is tea tree oil safe to use on PCOS acne if I might be pregnant?
If you think you may be pregnant, then you need to be careful with tea tree and other essential oils.
Can I use peppermint oil to treat PCOS hair loss?
Yes! While peppermint oil by itself has not been definitively proven to improve hair retention, the
combination of peppermint and head massage could help you to hang on to more hair.
Hair follicles are nourished by the skin’s blood supply. Hair follicles die when the blood supply
withdraws from the follicles. Stimulating the scalp improves blood flow to the follicles - and
both head massage and peppermint are shown to have a stimulating effect.
If you are suffering hair loss from PCOS, then you can learn to regularly self-massage your
head with diluted peppermint oil. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this can help you to
nourish your hair follicles, ensuring that they continue to stay healthy and produce hair.
Can I use essential oils to treat PCOS weight gain?
While you cannot control your metabolism with essential oils, it is possible to disrupt some of
the unhealthy patterns of behavior that can lead to weight gain. For example, emotional
over-eaters can reduce their stress levels with regular aromatherapy massages and scented
oils, and some people find that their cravings for chocolate and other sweet foods can be
reduced by sniffing sweet-scented oils.
Stubborn weight retention is a complex issue, and can be an emotional as well as purely
medical challenge. Essential oils can help to treat symptoms of stress, depression and
anxiety, all of which can add to the complex issue of weight gain and retention.
How do I use essential oils for PCOS safely?
Essential oils are extremely potent, and whether you are pregnant or not, you should always use them safely. Used incorrectly they can cause irritation, burns and even poisoning and respiratory distress. Keep them away from children and pets, always dilute oils before use, and never put them into an unlabelled container.
Here is a guide to using essential oils safely if you think are trying to get pregnant or you think you may be pregnant.