Effects of Lavender and Bergamot Essential Oils on Menopausal Symptoms

More than one-third of the U.S. population of women is peri or post-menopause. Driven by a significant change in hormones, many women in this stage of life experience decreased libido, changes in sexual function, difficulty with sleep, and memory decline.

A recent study looked at the effects of aromatherapy or a mindfulness intervention, or the combination of the two, and their impact on sexual function. Not surprisingly, aromatherapy was shown to be helpful.

Study Design

One hundred thirty-two postmenopausal women were divided among four groups:

  • Aromatherapy + Routine Care (standard medical care)
  • Mind-Body Intervention + Aromatherapy Placebo
  • Aromatherapy + Mind-Body Intervention
  • Routine Care + Aromatherapy Placebo

The women were 50-60 years old, hadn’t used hormone therapy in at least the previous six months, had moderate anxiety with some sexual dysfunction, and were otherwise healthy.

The aromatherapy groups inhaled two to three drops of a lavender-bergamot essential oil blend three times per day for eight weeks. The blend was made with essential oils and a 60% ethanol solution. It contained a 0.04% concentration of bergamot and a 5% concentration of lavender, so it was pretty diluted compared to two to three drops of pure essential oils. Even with such a dilution, the essential oil blend led to significant positive outcomes for the women.

Study Results

At the end of the study, the Mindfulness-Based Intervention and the Aromatherapy groups experienced improvements in sexual function and depression. Interestingly, eight weeks after the study, only the aromatherapy group showed continued improvements.

Studies show that aromatherapy stimulates the release of endorphins, which contribute to reductions in pain, stress, and anxiety while increasing relaxation. 1Hickey M, Bryant C, Judd F. Evaluation and management of depressive and anxiety symptoms in midlife. Climacteric. 2012;15(1):3-9. doi:10.3109/13697137.2011.620188

According to the study’s authors:

The mechanism of action of these essential oils is two main ways: The first is through the olfactory pathway, which stimulates the receptors located in the olfactory bulb and transmits the olfactory message to the limbic system. This system is the brain’s emotional center and is effective on pulse rate, blood pressure, respiratory system, and stress response. The second way is through skin absorption. Molecules of essential oils are absorbed through the skin over 20-40 min.

Mojtehedi M, et al.

Other studies reinforce the findings in this one. Rose, fennel, geranium, and bitter orange have been shown to improve menopause-related symptoms as well, as has Ginko biloba.

Read also: Lavender Essential Oil for Anxiety and Depression

My Thoughts

The results of this study aren’t surprising, as so many other previous studies have found similar effects, not only for women during and post-menopause but also for libido, anxiety, and other mental health effects in both men and women of most age groups.

The effects of the Mindfulness-Based Intervention are also interesting, though this isn’t a topic I write about. If it’s something of interest for you, I recommend finding a practitioner who specializes in it.

Regarding aromatherapy, I want to point out some crucial points.

First, the study participants used the oils multiple times per day, consistently. Your body metabolizes essential oils relatively quickly. This differs from many drugs designed to release into your system over many hours. You can’t expect them to work on symptoms like those related to menopause if you only use them once per day or if you use them inconsistently.

Second, this study does not suggest that only lavender and bergamot are effective. Hundreds of essential oils are available, some of which you may find repulsive and others you’ll enjoy. Lavender and bergamot are well-studied, in part because they’re inexpensive and readily available. This makes studying easy, but that doesn’t mean that lesser-studied essential oils are ineffective. You are the best person to judge whether or not an essential oil or a blend of oils is effective. But going back to the first point, you’ll only gain that understanding by using them regularly and consistently. 

Third, there is a significant difference in quality and efficacy between commercially-available essential oils and those available through actual essential oils companies. There’s only one brand we buy from because we know it is uncompromising in the quality of its essential oils.

Read also: The Effects of Neroli Essential Oil on Sleep in Postmenopausal Women.

Photo by David Bazo on Unsplash

Get stronger, leaner, fitter, faster, and healthier, no matter where you're starting from.

With a variety of programs to choose from, I guarantee you'll find one you love. If not, I'll give you your money back.

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

If you don't love my training programs, I'll return your membership fees at any time during your first 30 days.*

*Does not apply to custom programs

I've created a wide variety of fitness programs. Each is unique based on your experience, fitness level, and goals. As a client, you can move from one program to another as your fitness level and goals change. Lumberjacked and Resilient are the two most popular programs.

Every Client Gets...

  • Periodized training program: Annual programming with 4-12 week training blocks based on specific fitness goals (i.e. strength, conditioning, lean mass, speed, power, etc.)
  • Exercise, set, rep prescriptions: Specified training variables to make ensure you get the results expected in each training session
  • Training history record: Sets and reps are saved after recording them for reference during future training sessions to help ensure you push yourself beyond past performances 
  • Video/written exercise demonstrations and instructions
  • Food tracking
  • Group messaging, training technique critiques, support, and encouragement
  • App syncing with Apple, Garmin, MyFitnessPal, and more
  • Ongoing 2-way messaging with me to answer personal fitness questions and provide support

Pick a program to start with. If you're still unsure after reading the descriptions, email me.

Beginner

Start here if you've never followed a structured strength training program or if you feel like you need to rebuild a base of strength and mobility before following something more intense.

Gym Program

Intro to Resistance Training (IRT)

By using primarily machines, you'll build strength and improve body composition while gaining an understanding of how your muscles should feel while training them. Plus, you'll feel more confident about doing the movements correctly as the machines add an extra level of stability while guiding you through the proper range of motion.

Program Summary

  • Program length: 12 weeks
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Goals: Improved strength, mobility, and body composition
  • Workout frequency: 3 days per week
  • Equipment: Resistance machines, bodyweight, and cardio machines.

Tap the button below and fill out the form to get started.

Gym Program

Genesis (Intro to Free Weights)

This program is what you need to get confident and comfortable performing the exercises most important for developing strength, mobility, and physical stamina.

You'll gain strength, increase lean muscle mass, and look and feel younger than most young adults! Most clients who complete Genesis transition to either Lumberjacked or Resilient.

Program Summary

  • Program length: 12 weeks
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Goals: Improved strength, mobility, and body composition, while gaining proficiency in the major free weight exercises used in more advanced programs.
  • Workout frequency: 4 days per week

Tap the button below and fill out the form to get started.

At Home Program

Beginner Bodyweight

Not yet ready for the gym? Need to take things slowly? This 16-week program is just right for you.

Program Summary

  • Program length: 16 weeks
  • Skill level: Beginner
  • Goals: Improved strength, mobility, stamina, and strength
  • Workout frequency: 3-5 days per week
  • Equipment: Bodyweight for first 2 months, resistance bands for months 3 and 4.

Tap the button below and fill out the form to get started.

Intermediate / Experienced

When you're confident about doing most movements correctly (squats, lunges, presses, rows, etc.), you're ready for the following programs. You don't have to be in peak physical shape to start them, but they'll help you get to that point if you follow them and your nutrition recommendations.

Gym Program

Lumberjack Icon

Lumberjacked

Most popular program for middle-aged men

Build muscle you can see through a flannel shirt and strength and stamina to get the job done, no matter how hard it is or how long it takes. This is not for wimps.

  • 3-5 workouts per week, 50-70 minutes per session
  • Gym membership or full home gym required
  • Focus is on building muscle and strength first, with the secondary benefit of fat loss and improved stamina
  • Programming is ongoing, based on an annual calendar so you don't need to change programs, the program changes over time for you.

Gym Program

Resilient

Most popular program for middle-aged women

Build conditioning and stamina that not only gets you leaner and fitter, it also helps you handle the stress and pressure of everyday life.

  • 4-5 workouts per week, 50-60 minutes per session
  • Gym membership or full home gym required
  • Focus is on building physical endurance and a lean physique first, and strength second, using mostly resistance training with some cardio
  • Programming is ongoing, based on an annual calendar so you don't need to change programs, the program changes over time for you.

At Home Program

Hit It At Home

This intense, intermediate program is intended for those who've exercised in the past and need to do resistance training at home for a while. It's also a great complement to an endurance athlete's program.

During your first two months, you'll do primarily bodyweight exercises three days per week, and Month 3 will require a small amount of equipment: TRX bands or rings, kettlebells or dumbbells, and resistance bands. Month 3 requires four days of resistance training workouts per week.

As with other programs, you can message me directly with questions as you work through your program. Nutrition targets and tracking are also included.

Look at what clients are saying!

Google Reviews
5.0
Based on 20 reviews
I committed to Tom's program because I needed a plan and 50 workouts in I am stronger, more fit, and growing in motivation. Success breads success and the program is challenging, dynamic, and keeps me engaged in my plan. Super appreciate the app and ease of following and tracking the workouts inside the community of other people following the same program.
Hands down best training, your search is over, stop and commit here. Here you will find workouts that give you strength, mental clarity, metabolic efficiency, are balanced for performance in your daily life. An added bonus, Tom shares wisdom behind just workouts sharing ways to master nutrition and lifestyle. Join here. You won’t be disappointed.
Great program that will improve not just your ACFT score but you're overall fitness as well.
I started with Tom's free ACFT program and transitioned to his subscription-based programming. I enjoy the variety and sense of community through his virtual format. I benefit from his military pricing, and it's a great value. Through his program, I have exceeded my fitness goals.
Over the years following Tom's strength and conditioning program, I have never been stronger and healthier than I am now. The workouts are straightforward and easy to follow. And he's always available to give advice and suggestions for form. I highly recommend Tom's program to everyone wanting to improve their strength and life overall.
Tom is a wealth of knowledge and one of a kind! I’ve been following his advice and been a part of his fitness programs for a number of years. He loves what he does and is very passionate about helping others reach their fitness goals.
Recommend without hesitation. Started training with Tom to improve my fitness for the Army Combat Fitness Test. It worked! Now I'm on a women's specific program to augment my triathlon training. The app interface is easy to use and track your progress plus meals if you are so inclined. I like the one-stop ship approach to fitness and health. What I appreciate the most is not having to think about planning my next workout.
The best training program I have ever used. Excellent instruction, a great community and an easy to follow health and fitness routine which has literally changed my body as well as adding vitality and longevity to my life.
Coach Nikkola is responsive and very involved in my training program. He has helped me work through multiple injuries while maintaining progress and physical readiness.The workouts are fantastic and the app is easy to use!
Tom’s training is amazing!! I’ve consistently used his program for 3 years now and absolutely love it.
Training with Tom has been the single best thing I have ever done for my fitness!I have thought about moving on, trying other scenarios, but I haven't because of what Tom has to offer with the training, programming, the connections I've made and have with other people who train with Tom.I am not the leanest I've ever been, but, I am most certainly the strongest I've ever been. And that's a credit to Tom's programming! Absolutely love it!
Tom's program is simple and transforming! He is responsive and always seeks your success.
Hands down the best program I have been exposed to in my life. Tom provides straight forward, highly effective approaches to your health on a personal level. Personally, I am stronger, more mobile, and feel better than I did 20 years ago. Highly recommend Tom’s services!
Great program, especially for AD Army
Love the workouts and love the app. Tom is a great dude and wouldn’t recommend anyone else!
Best program that keeps me consistent and always having a plan at the gym that I don’t have to think about.
Strength training is a non-negotiable for me. Not having to figure out my own strength training program has been huge for simplifying my life and helped me be successful in my fitness goals. Tom is an expert in his field and I have seen gains after gains by following his program for the last 2+ years. Whether you are beginner or expert you will see growth following Tom's programs. I can't recommend Vigor strength+conditioning enough!
I’m a 72 year old semi retired contractor. In my 16th week of training with Tom Nikola . It’s changed my life.I feel 20 years younger, I’m stronger more flexible no more sore joints. It’s not easy or simple but if you do the work It will work for you. Skip
I’ve been working with Tom since 2019. I started with his ACFT prep program and it got me prepared for the ACFT. Shortly after I became a full member and Tom has been my trainer ever since. He is knowledgeable and is a no BS kind of guy. He uses research and years of experience to back his training programs and diet recommendations. He is responsive and truly cares about his clients. 10/10 recommend. It doesn’t matter if your a beginner or a life long lifter, Tom is your man.
Next Reviewsjs_loader
Share to...