The Moon, Periods & Emotions - How are they linked and what can you do?
The word menstruation or ‘menses’ is derived from the Latin word Mensis which actually means month and also relates to the Greek word “Mene” which means ‘moon.’ So, it is said there is a correlation between lunar phases and fertility and the menstrual cycle of the start of the period. Considering that the average length of a menstrual cycle in reproductive-age women lasts about 28 and 29 days, and so does the lunar cycle, which is 29 days, consequently, giving the impression that monthly periods are directly linked to the moon cycle.
Women’s menstrual cycles are wired to be in sync with the moon, menstruating with the new moon and ovulating with the full moon. Some women find that observing the moon cycle will give them a clue as to when their period will begin others use the moon to know when they are most fertile. The best time to conceive is when there is a full supermoon, because when the moon is closer to the earth, this is when the gravitational pull is the most powerful. In all early societies, before industrialism and processed foods disrupted traditional cultures, all women on the planet would have ovulated at the full moon and menstruated at the new moon. This is every woman’s intrinsic default setting, this is how we are meant to be. Hormonal disruption caused by the pill, refined food or emotional stress, however, causes biological chaos in our menstrual cycle.
While data collected from 7.5 million cycle tracking app Clue indicate that there is no correlation between moon cycle phases and the menstrual cycle these days, this just shows how out of sync we are, to how we should be. Though science may not fully understand how the moon ties into our biological systems, we currently know that the moon cycles play the key roles on earth, such as controlling the tides. Humans are intrinsically connected to Mother Nature, and I believe, as science progresses, we will get more and more glimpses into this uncomprehendingly complex connection.
If you are out of sync, there are ways you can trick your body into aligning with the moon. ‘In the late 1960s, Louise Lacey, a writer, realized that being on the Pill took her body away from its natural rhythm. She went off it, and subsequently had very irregular cycles. She began reading about circadian rhythm and the sexual cycles of some primates, which suggested peaks of sexual activity relating to the lunar cycle. Lacey wondered if the moon's cycles relate to human reproduction, and if so, how? She wondered if artificial lights interrupt the moon's effect.
A newspaper article that reported the effects of night-light on the menstrual cycle then caught her attention. John Rock (the Ob/Gyn whose experiments with giving infertile women synthesized progesterone led to the creation of the Pill) and physicist E.M. Dewan found that women's menstrual cycles became regular by sleeping in complete darkness Days 1-13, sleeping with a 100-watt bulb burning all night (under a lampshade in their bedroom) Days 14-17, and then returning to sleeping in complete darkness until the new period began (4).’ Read more.
With the moon cycles, also comes emotional cycles. ‘During the new moon phase, the nights are dark as they’re illuminated only by the natural light of stars and other celestial objects. During this time, the new moon controls our mind and emotions, and makes us mimic its behaviour. Like the absence of the Sun’s light reflecting off the new moon, our awareness becomes easily darkened and hidden from view – especially around emotional and primal matters. Although the new moon may be hidden from sight, we should never underestimate its powerful influence upon us. Like a magnet, the new moon draws out very specific experiences (external) and contemplations (internal) for us to go through. It is a good time to actively consider what you want to manifest for the rest of the month, so set your intention, your focus, and your efforts. It’s your opportunity to responsibly set your emotional tone and be receptive for the rest of the month, that is if you can keep your cool during this transit. Do not panic or get too irritable in the dark, whatever you do! Be mindful that everyone is in the dark with you.’ Read more.
Whether you are synced or not, you may still feel the crazy emotions linked to the moon phases. Sometimes I am in sync, sometimes not, but the new moon I can have 3 or 4 days of low mood, anxiety and general feeling of sluggish with zero energy. Come the full moon, I am jumping up and down, singing and feel like a different person! There are many oils that are great for the new moon phase to help balance emotions and also for PMS, physically and emotionally (if you have or haven’t synced). They can be burned in the room or added to a carrier oil and massaged in to your bodies.
Oils that help balance emotions and hormones
While every woman is different when it comes to PMS, one thing is certain, “aunt-flow” brings about all kinds of emotional and behavioral changes. You can experience low mood even depression, you feel bloated and cramped, your breasts feel tender, some come with unsightly breakouts, leave you feeling sluggish and no thanks to an increase in cortisol levels, you tend to get strange food craving and consequently, eat almost everything that crosses your path!
Some herbs and essential can help relieve pre-menstrual syndrome, which in essence PMS during the menstrual cycle can occur as a result of estrogen and progesterone hormonal imbalance, chemical changes in the brain, and other emotional issues such depression or anxiety which may aggravate the syndrome. Consider the following essential oils for PMS:
- Evening Primrose Oil - Evening primrose oil can be used to calm the symptoms of premenstrual syndromes, such as irritation, migraines, pain and swelling, thanks to its richness in prostaglandins and its anti-inflammatory action. That is, it is suitable both for relieving physical symptoms and emotional discomfort. The essential fatty acids in this oil help the uterus contract without causing cramping, consequently, positively affect the body’s perception of pain. When the evening primrose oil is consumed regularly it becomes a very interesting natural traditional remedy when there is irregular menstruation, since it helps regulate it naturally. It’s also an amazing skin oil with so many youth boosting benefits, which is why its no wonder its one of our key ingredients in aptly named Luna Goddess nourishing night serum.
- Lavender Essential Oil – Can alleviate PMS symptoms such as cramps and irregular menstrual cycles. It can also decrease feelings of stress and depression associated with menstrual symptoms. We swear by lavender! Its in the majority of our calming products for this reason.
Rosemary Essential Oil - Rosemary is rich in iron and calcium which not only help to increase the blood circulation and absorption of oxygen but also enhance the function of cells signalling to each other, including cells in the gland resulting in reducing the risk of depression, anxiety, fatigue and tiredness. It also contains vitamin B complex including vitamin B6 which is vital for controlling the nervous system in production of certain hormones which help to regulate sleep, mood, behaviour, cognition and inhibit prolactin hormone produced the pituitary gland. Can be eaten orally (the herb) or inhaled by burning the essential oil.
- Clary Sage Essential Oil – Thanks to it's anti-inflammatory, soothing and antidepressant properties, this oil can be used to cure PMS symptoms including hot flushes, hormonal imbalance, heavy menstrual cycles, food craving, mood swings, headaches, kill bacteria and infections, even relieve insomnia and promote skin health.
- Myrtle Essential Oil – It helps regulate body temperature, normalises hormonal imbalances of the thyroid, as well as the ovaries.
- Lemongrass Essential Oil – Contains certain hormone-regulating compounds, consequently giving it the natural ability to balance hormones. It’s also very uplifting which is great to bring you out of the low, sluggish feeling.
- Basil Essential Oil – Researchers believe that basil extract can increase the body’s natural response to physical and menstrual emotional-related stress symptoms such as forgetfulness, sleep problems, and fatigue. Tip! Blend with citrus oils for an energising, uplifting blend.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this journal post and found it informative. We encourage comments and conversation. If anyone can relate, please comment below!
I absolutely loved reading this. So informative I am going to give those oils a try. I have been a huge fan of evening primrose and also lavender 😍