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Hacking your Hormonal Health: Essential Oils and Testosterone Levels

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

In my office and in the holistic health world in general, essential oils are a particularly powerful tool in our toolbox. Their therapeutic benefits are world-renown and with over 60 different oils in use in my office alone, it's safe to say that at least I'm a big fan and so are my clients. But it's not just for their pleasant aromas (they're not all flowers and roses after all!): they carry the potential to influence our physical, emotional, and as the title of this article implies, our hormonal well-being. (This is a somewhat controversial topic but only due to the paucity of double blind placebo controlled studies, which in my opinion some western researchers and media outlets depend too heavily on at times, to the detriment of the people they are supposed to serve).


So, with that disclaimer out of the way, let's dive a bit into the intriguing relationship between essential oils and testosterone, blending traditional wisdom with emerging scientific insights.


The Science Behind Essential Oils and Hormones


Essential oils are complex aromatic compounds that, when applied topically, inhaled, or on rare occasion ingested, they interact with potentially every one of the body's systems, including nervous systems, integumentary system (skin), respiratory system and endocrine system among others. That last one is the system that relates to testosterone most directly.


The effects of these oils influence physiological responses through mechanisms that, while still unclear, are the subject of a rapidly expanding volume of scientific research, even as we speak. How quickly? The number of essential oil studies ever published in the National Institutes of Health pubmed database as of the time of this writing was nearly 34,000. Of those, 29,000 were published in just the last 20 years! See the graph below from the pubmed website!

graph showing huge percentage of studies about essential oils done in the last 20 years
Distribution of Studies on Essential Oils -1900-2024.

That said I must also formally request anyone reading this to refrain from applying these essential oils to your bare skin and refrain from swallowing them. You can cause yourself considerable discomfort and burning doing so. Work with a qualified aromatherapist to start with! (or wait until all the human studies are done but I wouldn't recommend that option).


Ginger Oil – Potential Direct Influence on Testosterone

ginger root pieces used to make ginger essential oil
ginger root

Ginger oil, a personal favorite and renowned for its warming and stimulating properties, is one of the main drivers of the conversation about essential oils and testosterone. Some animal studies and traditional uses suggest that ginger oil may directly increase testosterone by enhancing testicular blood supply and oxygenation. This aligns with the holistic perspective of supporting the body's natural processes for maintaining hormonal balance.


Basil and Clary Sage Oils – Supporting Reproductive Health

basil essential oil is made from this basil plant
basil

Basil oil, often associated with enhancing digestive and reproductive health, has been discussed for its potential role in boosting testosterone. Traditionally, it is believed to work by increasing luteinizing hormone levels - a precursor in testosterone production. Basil's antioxidant properties may also play a role by protecting the health of testicular cells that contribute to hormone synthesis.


Clary sage oil, on the other hand, is known for its estrogen-regulating properties. Containing the compound sclareol, it has been observed in animal studies to reduce cortisol levels -- high cortisol levels are known to have deleterious effects on testosterone levels. This dual action of balancing estrogen and potentially enhancing testosterone offers a double benefit of sorts.


Blue Spruce Oil – Case Studies and Personal Experiments


Blue spruce oil, less commonly discussed but equally fascinating, has been highlighted in several case studies. These studies indicated a significant increase in testosterone levels among men with low testosterone who ingested this essential oil. The personal experiments of some practitioners, who reported similar increases in their testosterone levels after using blue spruce oil, further underline its potential role in hormonal health. While these observations are promising, they serve as a starting point for more structured research.


Lavender, Rose Oils & More – Indirect Influencers

lavender essential oil is made from these flowers
lavender flowers

Moving beyond direct hormonal interactions, the stress-reducing and calming properties of essential oils like chamomile, lavender, rose, and sage play a crucial role in overall hormonal health. Stress and poor sleep quality are known to negatively impact testosterone levels. By promoting relaxation and improving sleep, these oils may indirectly support healthier testosterone synthesis. Each of the above oils has dozens of other properties and potential uses including anti-anxiety effects, aphrodisiac, serotonin- and oxytocin enhancements, and cortisol lowering properties and anti-depressant actions. These contribute to a dramatically more favorable environment for testosterone production.


Sandalwood Oil – Mood Enhancement and Endocrine Support

sandalwood pieces from which sandalwood essential oil is made
sandalwood

Sandalwood oil, often celebrated for its aphrodisiac properties, stands out for its ability to improve mood and drive. This essential oil is believed to influence testosterone levels by enhancing emotional well-being and supporting the endocrine system very broadly, with some calming properties that this particular holistic therapist can feel within seconds of applying. The thyroid gland and others involved in hormone synthesis also benefit from interaction with sandalwood essential oil.


Conclusion


The exploration of essential oils in the context of heightening testosterone levels blends traditional knowledge with emerging research. It is a fascinating topic and people are experiencing the benefits already.


If you're intrigued by the potential of essential oils in enhancing your well-being, I invite you to explore the services offered here at JP Holistics, my holistic health practice. We specialize in personalized treatments combining essential oils with a form of rapid transformational hypnotherapy that harmonize the mind, body, and spirit, and have fantastic effects on the mind - body health of our clients.

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