Diagram of the Endocrine System

Aromatherapy for the Glandular System

In his book The Holistic Herbal, David Hoffmann states: “It is in the complexities of our inner control systems that mind meets body most closely. If consciousness is seen as a faculty of the brain, then the partnership of nervous system and endocrine glands acts as a bridge linking consciousness and body.” The glandular system includes the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pancreas, pineal, thymus and gonads (ovaries or testes). Endocrine glands secrete and release hormones directly into the bloodstream.

Receptor sites for different hormones in each cell trigger changes or reactions in the cell’s metabolism. Fatigue is probably the biggest complaint of North Americans and often results from overworked adrenals. Jobs, family, noise pollution and the stresses of today’s busy lifestyles all contribute. Drinking coffee and other caffeine beverages puts an extra burden on already overworked adrenal glands.

Pine and spruce help revive adrenals. A massage or bath with the blend given below supports adrenal function-but don’t forget to schedule time to relax!

Adrenal Support

4 drops pine (Pinus sylvestris)

4 drops spruce (Picea mariana)

2 drops lavender

1 ounce carrier oil

This blend can be used in the bath or as a massage. For extra stimulation, add 2 drops rosemary.

Herbal Adjuncts-Regulating the thyroid with essential oils alone may not be enough. Use an eclectic approach of herbs, diet and exercise for best results. For underactivity, some aromatherapists use seaweed absolute diluted to 3 percent and applied to the thyroid, although eating seaweed itself is more often recommended.

Digestive bitters-golden seal, dandelion and yellow dock, for examples-are useful here, acting through reflex stimulation. Beneficial herbs for the adrenals include ginseng and licorice. Add garlic, onions and seaweeds such as kelp, dulse, hiziki and wakame to your diet to boost an underactive thyroid.

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Written by Kathi Keville

Explore Wellness in 2021