In this episode, we discuss one of my favorite things, using essential oils to soothe PCOS symptoms, with one of my favorite people, inspirational doctor and best-selling author, Dr. Mariza Snyder. Listen in (or read the transcript) as we take a deep dive into essential oils for managing PCOS including suggested blends to:
- Manage hormones
- Morning ritual/wake up
- Elevate mood
- Reduce fatigue
- Reduce stress
- Control sugar cravings
- and Mariza’s “superwoman blend”
Mentioned in this podcast:
Podcast episode 56, The Unexpected Solutions to Self-Healing
2 Free Downloads from Dr. Mariza:
Amy: Today, I’ve invited one of my favorite previous guests back on, Dr. Mariza Snyder. If you have not listed to episode 56, The Unexpected Solutions to Self-Healing, definitely go back and listen to that, because we talked a lot about self-care rituals, one of which is using essential oils for hormone balancing and other PCOS symptoms. Kind of touched upon it, and I wanted Dr. Mariza to come back on and let’s take a really deep dive into essential oils for managing PCOS. So welcome back to the PCOS Diva Podcast, Dr. Mariza.
Mariza Snyder: Thank you so much, Amy, for having me. It’s such an honor to be here.
Amy: Well, I’m thrilled that you’re back, and for those PCOS Divas that are not familiar with your work, I just want to give you a little introduction. You are a functional practitioner and the author of six books. I wrote one book. I can’t imagine writing six books.
Mariza Snyder: Well, that was a pretty amazing book.
Amy: Thank you. But six books, best-selling Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils, which I have in my library and is excellent, and the Dash Diet Cookbook. Your newest book, which we’re going to talk about today and I’m just super thrilled about, focuses on balancing hormones with the power of essential oils and it’s called The Essential Oils Hormone Solution. For the past 10 years, you’ve lectured at wellness centers, conferences and I’ve seen you lecture. You’re super inspirational. You’re an expert on hormonal health, essential oils, nutrition, detoxification, and you’ve been featured on lots of media, like Dr. Oz, Fox News, Mind Body Green. So, I’m just super honored to have you back with us on the podcast.
Mariza Snyder: Thank you.
Amy: In episode 56, you really talked a lot about your story and how it led you to help women with hormone issues. Like women with PCOS. You experienced a lot of symptoms and hormone dysregulation that we do with PCOS. I know for those that have listened before, I don’t want to go into too much detail because you can always go back and listen to episode 56, but maybe you can give us a short version of your health journey and what led you to your passion with women’s hormonal health.
Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. I’ll definitely make it short, because I know we went into a lot of it back on that last episode. I think about what led me down the path of what I called … It felt like hormone chaos. What I realized, it was interesting. Even on that journey, I didn’t realize what kind of got me in trouble to begin with, and that really was that I was brought up with this belief that my worth was predicated on how much I did for others, and I was the last on that list. Even if I was on the list at all. I don’t recall being on that list.
I remember that anything that I even potentially considered doing for myself felt like such a selfish act. That was just how I was raised. You put yourself first and that is the worst thing that you could do as a woman. I found myself very much in a situation where I was very sick. Earlier than I think a lot of other women who struggle with some hormone issues … Not necessarily with PCOS. I find that even young girls, 18 and even in their teens can start to really experiencing those types of symptoms. But for me, it was mid-20s and the late 20s that things really just got worse for me.
I had chronic fatigue. I had complete adrenal deregulation and my hormones were just plummeting. I had very little progesterone, and I just felt terrible. I felt horrible. I knew that a lot of it had to do with what I was not doing for me. I took a hard look. I made major shifts in my nutrition. I made major shifts in the type of supplementation I was taking, but also had to change the way I just lived my life. Because the way I was living my life was not going to get me well. It’s what got me sick in the first place. That was a big wake up call for me.
I took a lot of responsibility for my situation because I definitely played a big role in it. Once I gave myself a lot more grace and ease and permission to take care of me, so much shifted for me.
Amy: I love how you stated about giving yourself grace and ease to take care of yourself. That’s really a good PCOS Diva philosophy, realizing that our needs need to be met in order for us to be as healthy as we can be.
Mariza Snyder: I claimed my Diva. I did. I put the crown on, girl.
Amy: You talked about having low progesterone, and that’s often such a driver of PCOS issues. You talk about in your book, how you were able to reclaim your health and essential oils had a big part to play in that.
Mariza Snyder: Absolutely they did. A couple different reasons. People always ask me specifically, is it the ability for the oils to support the lifestyle or is it what they’re doing inside the body? It really is a combination of things. The point of essential oil I feel in my research, is they really want to help bring the body back to balance. They can be used to leverage a lot of different ways and have really profound impact on a biological level inside of the body. However, how I was using them, was I wanted to create a lifestyle that I really relished.
I wanted to create a lifestyle that made me happy, that I knew was supporting me, because I had recognized that if I wasn’t committed every day to really taking care of my body, that I was going to find myself back where I was and I didn’t want to go back there. So, I use oils to really support everyday decisions that I make. Everyday lifestyle habits that I make, and that has been the big piece for me.
What makes it even more incredible is that they make all the things that I do on a day to day basis just more fun, more enjoyable, and I think that helps our journey which is as we all know, and if you guys haven’t realized it yet, this is the journey we’re on forever. This is going to be the forever journey. Especially for us as women. We’re going to have those times where everything’s going to feel great and we’re going to just slip up a little bit and we’re going to feel that.
I will say that there have been moments even after I’ve done all the healing, that I have gone back to just sliding back to some of those old habits and my body gives me those key indicators that I am not doing something right. I love that I can use oils in a way that is very positive. It’s very enjoyable and it just creates a really fun life for me.
Amy: I have to have some true confessions here. I’ve also slipped and just very recently. I had a very anxious summer. I know I’ve shared with people, with Divas, with my son. We had a health scare and it was very anxiety ridden summer. I’m still coming off of that, and a lot of my self-care rituals went down the toilet when I was taking care of him. Now I realize I have to put the oxygen mask back on myself.
One of the ways I’ve found that I can really ground myself, is with essential oils to help me with stress reduction and in my life, that’s really where they play a key role is in reducing stress. Especially using them in a bath with Epsom salts. It’s amazing how calming it is afterwards. I was glad to see when I was reading your book, that some of my favorite oils you use in many of your remedies for PCOS symptoms. That’s clary sage and geranium and lavender.
Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. I can speak to those a little bit more. Clary sage is that queen of essential oils when it comes to hormones. I consider it to be an all-around winner for women who are working with their PCOS symptoms. A lot of it’s because as we know, you and I both know, it’s great for relieving anxiety. I’m sure that became a really great oil for you during those moments where you were taking care of your son and making sure everything in the family was running.
That’s the thing about women. As a matriarch, it’s kind of our job in a way, or at least it feels like it is, to make sure everyone’s okay, and Amy, you were holding a lot on your shoulders.
Amy: I was. Now that things are settled down, I have to go back to my grounding morning routine and you talk about starting your day with essential oils. That’s something that I don’t do, and I’m thinking about adding it into my morning routine, which really helps ground me and start the day. I’ve been finding myself hitting the snooze, and I hate when I do that. So can you share an essential oil morning ritual, right as you wake up, to get yourself out of bed?
Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. I have an energizer blend that I love. The great thing about it is, one of the things I don’t want to have happen is that I get out of bed and I’m running around like a Tasmanian Devil just trying to get the things done. I like to be grounded just like you said, and I believe that one of the best ways that we can do that is by creating a morning ritual that really belongs to us. Because it’s so quick that we can give over our agenda to somebody else’s priority.
I love to start the day. We have diffusers in the bedroom. I get a diffuser going. Usually three oils that I love to diffuse, because they really cue me in not only in an emotional level, a spiritual level, but give me that brain boosting power. That is I diffuse two drops of wild orange. It could be grapefruit, because you love tangerine … Oh so good. Either any of those. A citrus like wild orange, a couple drops of peppermint because it just opens up the lungs. Opens up the airways. Then two to three drops of frankincense, because frankincense is phenomenal at helping to wake up the brain. But also it’s very calming too. It’s very grounding.
That little trio is my … I’ve been diffusing that trio for many years now. It is very much my wake up. My abundance. Really getting into that zone of taking care of me first in the mornings. Getting into my journal and starting the day off on the right foot. Because how we start our day, is really how we live the rest of our day. I’m done, I’m over the years of starting my day just crazy town. I’m good. I don’t need that in my life anymore. I’m far less productive when I start my day stressed. And that particular blend, I have trained my neuro pathways to really just get into the right framework to have an incredible day. It starts with energy. It starts with a great mindset. I feel like I just can’t go wrong with that.
Amy: Do you just turn your diffuser? You have it all ready the night before and you just turn it on in the morning and then lay in bed and do your gratitude or your journaling ritual for five, 10 minutes, before you get up?
Mariza Snyder: That’s right. That’s exactly it. Sometimes I even have the blend premade by my bedside as well. Because sometimes I really want to smell it direct. So, I rub it on my palms, rub my palms together. Actually I usually do the combinations. I’ll turn the diffuser on, but then I’ll grab the premade blend. I like efficiency. I’m not going to lie. I’m every woman who knows how to race, so I like to have the blend premade. We just have a 15 ml bottle of it made up. I’ve been using it for years. Put a couple drops on my palms. Get the diffuser going and just rock out that journal where I set my intention.
My particular journal that I use, I write out my five big rocks for the day. What I’m grateful for the day and what I would love to have happen in my life coming up. So, it really does set the tone for what I’m going to do that day, what are my big priorities, but also what I’m so grateful for. I feel like that really can set the tone for you to have not only an amazing day, but also you turn on so many of those happy neurotransmitters when you are in a state of gratitude.
Amy: It really helps the anxiety go away. When we start our day worrying about the day ahead rather than shifting to what we’re grateful for. My son’s picking out his college classes for second semester and he’s all stressed out, and I just told him, “These are first world problems, and most of our anxieties are first world problems”. We have to focus on all the reasons that we’re grateful, because there are so many.
Mariza Snyder: All the choices he gets. I’m kidding. Sometimes choices can be a little overwhelming.
Amy: I know. So great morning ritual using essential oils to start the day. For those of us who struggle with common PCOS symptoms like fatigue and cravings, stress and mood. I loved your chapter on mood and using oils to elevate mood. I’m not really sure where you want to start there.
Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. Let’s start with fatigue. I know when you’ve got low progesterone reserves, it’s very stressful to manage a lot of the PCOS symptoms along with just doing life. Fatigue is one that comes up for so many of us. I remember growing with my mom, she was always saying, “I just need more energy. Where can I just get some more energy?” She oftentimes relied on sodas and candy. The things that tend to really not serve. Can exacerbate our symptoms a lot with PCOS. As we know, we really got to be mindful about all the sugar intake.
My mom was so skeptical. She was, “I don’t know about these oils.” I’m like, “I don’t know about that piece of candy. I don’t know if that’s serving you.” We talked a little bit about that abundance blend in the morning, and the reason why I use those oils is not only are they energizer oils and that’s how I want to feel in the morning when I get up, but also I really want that mental acuity. I want that focus and concentration. I want to feel like I’m firing up all cylinders.
I have an energizer proactivity blend that I use. I think it’s just so incredible. I have it in a roller and it is just similar to the blend we talked about. It is five drops of rosemary. So a 10 ml roller, you can get them anywhere. But I like a roller, because it’s so easy to roll in the back of my neck, on my temples, over my palms. Again, we talked about my love for efficiency. I just feel like every woman needs to have their little arsenal of things that they can grab out of their purse.
I call it like balancing your hormones out of your purse. This blend again, 10 ml roller, five drops of rosemary, and rosemary has been shown to boost mental capacity, boost cognition. It’s just such a great essential oil to use for productivity and just that brain fog and that mental fatigue that we can experience. 10 drops of peppermint, 10 drops of wild orange, and then I love to top that off with four to five drops of ylang ylang. It sweetens it up. Ylang ylang is also very calming. It’s a very heart centered oil. Especially sometimes fatigue is driven by stress. I love that little piece because it helps to manage the stress.
Once you’ve got it in a bottle, just cap it off with coconut old or almond seed oil, whatever carrier oil you prefer. Whatever fatty oil you love, and then you would just roll this anytime you’re feeling fatigued. If you’re in the car, you’re sitting at work staring at your computer screen like a zombie. I want you to just grab that oil, put it on your palm, do a couple deep belly breaths and just stand up. Take a moment to stand up, roll that roller over your neck. Because that peppermint is going to kick in in a moment, and I’ll tell you what. I don’t care how exhausted you are, that roller is going to wake you up and get you back in gear without the need of caffeine and without the need of sugar. That is my go to energizer, brain fog be-gone blend. That was energy.
The next thing I think you asked Amy honey, was for stress. Was that it my dear?
Amy: Yes. Stress, sugar cravings and mood.
Mariza Snyder: The stress when it comes on a lot for all of us. You think about stress. Oh my goodness. Talk about an exacerbator of so many of our other symptoms. It really can get us into so much trouble. For me, that has always been the thing. I’ve always been triggered by that go-go mentality that, “If I could do more, why shouldn’t I do more?” Stress just rears its ugly head for me, and so probably the way the way that oils have saved my life, I think literally going to save my life. Because if there was anything that was going to kill me Amy, it was going to be stress. It was going to get me.
I am so aware of stress today. I know what it feels like in my body. I know the uncomfortable experience it is. I can see it when my stress resilience is slipping. I think we all recognize when that happens. When we realize we don’t have that resilience that we normally are used to having. It’s just a couple of oils, lavender and bergamot. If you wanted to get fancy, you could add some clary sage. You could add some Roman chamomile, whatever you love. But those two oils get the job done. It because they’ve been clinically shown to down regulate that hypothalamic, pituitary adrenal access, and they’ve also been shown to lower serum cortisol levels in a matter of minutes.
I’ll tell you what. You have those two oils. I’d love to combine them with one drop of bergamot, one drop of lavender. They smell so delectable. It almost feels like a cheat. It almost feels like you are cheating your way out of stress. I have reprogrammed my body and my neurological pathways that when I smell those oils, my body’s like, “Oh, oh, oh. We need to step out of this mode. This sympathetic nervous system mode. We need to go back into the let’s make sure she’s functioning mode.” It’s parasympathetic.
Just using those two oils, not only can you create a lifestyle and a ritual around getting yourself out of the stranger danger zone, but you also, those oils biologically are going to shift the way that your neurotransmitters, that your hormones are functioning in the body. I love that for stress. Anyone can use them. Everyone’s going to experience that benefit. I’ve used this technique on so many women over the years with these two oils and just by simply breathing them in, they will shift you in such a way that it’ll become your next best ritual.
Amy: I think that so many of us are stuck in that fight or flight state, and it’s so important to try to get into that more relaxed state. The other thing I was just going to say is that isn’t it interesting how our body intuitive wants to come back into balance? I have loved Earl Gray Tea for a long as I can remember and I know this summer I think I was drinking pots of it because of the bergamot. It’s just the aroma of it. I have a really good blend with and I actually sometimes put a drop of essential oil on top of the tea leaves too. Just the aroma of it, it definitely does put you in a more calming state of mind.
Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. I love Earl Gray as well. I think the reason why a lot of people love Earl Gray is the bergamot. It’s so soothing. It’s such a gentle, beautiful citrus. It’s the oil of self-love and self-acceptance. That’s why I love it so much. Because it’s designed to ease anxiety. It’s designed to ease stress. That’s why I think that that tea is such a … women in particular love that tea and I think it’s for that reason. For emotional wellbeing. Let’s be honest Amy, emotions can get the best of us, especially when we’re not feeling 100%.
I’m going to share my superwoman blend. I’ll tell you, there are probably, I don’t know how many thousands of women are using this blend right now as we speak, but there are. I get testimonials every single day for this blend. I really created this blend for me, because I knew that I was a superwoman. I always felt that way. I didn’t mean so much the superwoman that just wore herself down to the ground. I meant the girl who could easily access that energy and easily just get into my zone of genius. That’s what I wanted.
Whenever I was feeling like I was in a slump or I was feeling aggravated, or I just wasn’t feeling worthy, I wanted to create a blend that really allowed me to step into that space. So I wanted to share this blend with you girls today. It is in a 10 ml roller, and I tend to buy a fancy, pretty colored roller, because I just feel like if I’m going to make this blend, I need it to be in a pretty bottle. So, I have this, and it’s this beautiful bright pink fuchsia blend. That’s my color for my superwoman attitude.
There’re a couple different oils in here. So 10 ml vial. It is 12 drops of clary sage, because you know you gotta have that clean oil in there. Also a hormone balancer. So 12 drops of clary sage, 10 drops of lavender, five drops of geranium. Geranium not only supports the adrenals, but it supports the metabolism of excess estrogen in the body. It is phenomenal for skin. There’s so many wonderful things about geranium. It’s great for helping to clear up acne. I just love this oil so much.
So, geranium is five drops. Cedar wood which is a very calming oil is another five drops. I top it off with four drops of ylang ylang and then if you are feeling fancy … you don’t have to do this. I have jasmine and rose oil, and I tend to pour just a tiny little bit of jasmine and rose into this blend as well. It’s not necessarily a part of the recipe. It’s a bonus. I recognize that those oils are not the cheapest oils. But for me, this is like the ultimate diva oil right here, because it was made to really just love up myself, to get myself in that mode and so, you just top it off with fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil, whatever works. Roll it on your palms. Roll it on your wrists. You can roll it on your neck because it can be a perfume. A lot of people wear it as perfume.
I just breathe it in. I step into that superwoman pose. That pose in its own right just really gets you into that feeling like yourself. Getting back in that energy that you know you possess and so, if I were to just pick an overall blend for emotional wellbeing, that would be the blend that I would use.
Amy: I have to attest you talk about that on our last call.
Mariza Snyder: Oh did I?
Amy: Yeah. You’ve expanded on the recipe a bit. After our call you sent me this lovely travel kit, where I had some essential oils in these tiny little vials, and I had them all for the different recipes that you talked about as I’ve been following you on your podcast, which I want to mention. Your “Essentially You” Podcast, which is fantastic. I didn’t really even think about it when I went to PCOS Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill this past April. I had my little emergency kit with me, and it was confiscated when I was going from the House Offices over to the Senate Offices, and I was so bummed. I didn’t really think of it as liquids.
Mariza Snyder: Oh my goodness. That’s like little teeny, teeny.
Amy: I know. Those little teeny vials. The security guard took them all. They let me keep my case, but not the oils. But I have to say, yes make some of this superwoman blend and also just want to mention that those recipes that you’re talking about and more are all in your new book.
Mariza Snyder: Yes they are. I know we’re supposed to talk about cravings. I was going to tell you guys, peppermint and grapefruit, they’re both craving suppressors. They get the job done. It’s just a drop of each to breathe them in. You also want to incorporate cinnamon and ginger. You guys know cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar levels and it also helps to boost metabolism. I know that making sure that our insulin levels are functioning and are balanced. Also, when we’re stressed and when we’re exhausted and when we’re feeling emotional, those cravings really kick in and they can get the best of us. They can totally hardwire against our willpower. So, I love oils for those moments of emergency.
I’ll tell you what. Not that I don’t have cravings. Those definitely pop up, but I just love that I have a solution that gets the job done. Even if it’s just peppermint and/or grapefruit, both of those oils have been researched and proven to be craving suppressors during those moments of emergency.
Amy: Okay. Just to be really clear. I’m having a carbohydrate craving. Usually for me, it’s something like a simple carb like chips. So, I’m standing at the pantry staring at the chips and I think, “Oh my gosh. I need to try my essential oils instead.” So, I go and put a couple drops of peppermint on my palms, or do you have a cravings blend that you have in the book?
Mariza Snyder: I do. I have a cravings blend. Again, I love rollers and only because they’re so easy. My little roller is marked cravings. Like cravings be gone. It is just again, the grapefruit and the peppermint is so key here. Because grapefruit not only helps to … grapefruit, there’s so many benefits to grapefruit oil. I’m not going to get into all that today. But just note that its biggest benefit is can act as an appetite suppressant, but it most importantly a craving suppressant. So 10 drops of grapefruit, 10 drops of peppermint, and peppermint has definitely been proven also as an appetite and craving suppressant. So 10 drops of each. Five drops of cinnamon, because I do want to focus on stabilizing those blood glucose levels. Five drops of cinnamon and then five drops of ginger. And ginger is not only a great tummy tamer so it’s great for digestive support, but it’s also phenomenal for boosting metabolism as well.
So, 10 drops of grapefruit, 10 drops of peppermint, five drops of cinnamon, five drops of ginger, 10 ml roller. Top it off with an oil. A coconut oil or whatever you prefer and just apply that literally to the palms and you’re taking those deep belly breaths. I’m not necessarily a proponent of adding oils to water. However, you could do a toothpick from this blend and blend it into an eight ounce glass of water and it will have the same impact.
Amy: I’m going to definitely try that next time encountering the chip bag in my pantry.
Mariza Snyder: Oh my goodness, because it stares right back at you.
Amy: I know. I have to say, I’ve been reading your book. I got a preview copy and thank you so much for sending it to me. After reading it, it really makes me feel more empowered to use essential oils. I think a lot of us, we have the essential oils. We buy them, but then we’re not really sure how to integrate them into our life. This book really makes you feel confident. Even almost like an expert by the time you finish reading, and you’ve given us so many practical ways to use oils. Lots of recipes. And recipes for things like bath bombs and hand soaps and so many ways to integrate oils into our life.
Mariza Snyder: That’s what I really wanted. I knew that when women picked up this book, they weren’t necessarily going to be essential oil experts. Not to say that there aren’t going to be some women who are both, but I knew that women were looking for a natural solution to balance their hormones and thank goodness that we’ve got amazing individuals like yourself that are giving us these natural tools. I knew that a lot of people had been interested in oils. When I saw the connection. When I saw the relationship between using essential oils and helping to support our hormones in a way that felt very easy. In a way that felt enjoyable.
Like I said, so often we’re on these journeys and there are times where it is frustrating and it feels like a struggle. I just wanted to create something that made things just a little bit more enjoyable in this journey that we’re on. Because again, we’re on this journey forever so, the book has lots of recipes. It’s designed for even if you don’t know anything about essential oils, but you want to balance those hormones and everything is in here and what was really important to me was really giving you the why as well.
Like, “What is really going on in my body,” so that you felt educated not only what’s been happening with yourself, but also if you were visiting a practitioner, if you were seeking guidance, then you have the information to really become the CEO of your own health. That was really important to me.
Amy: That’s how I feel when I walked away from reading it. So, thank you so much for taking the time to write it, because I know how time consuming and what a journey it is to write a book.
Mariza Snyder: I know you do, girl.
Amy: But thank you for taking the time for that, and just to let everybody know it’s now available at Amazon. Anywhere books are sold. Again, the name of the book is The Essential Oils Hormone Solution, by Dr. Mariza Snyder. Also, check out Dr. Mariza’s podcast, The Essentially You Podcast, and her website, drmariza.com for lots more hormone tips, recipes and remedies. I love that you’re more focused on natural solutions to helping women with hormone symptoms. So many Western Medicine Doctors just want to put us all on the pill. You’re giving us so many more natural remedies with this book.
Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. The pill is definitely not always the answer. If we can solve these hormone issues without having to use synthetics that feel really in alignment with what we want, I think that’s a win for all of us.
Amy: Yeah. Definitely. Thank you again for coming on the podcast and sharing your wealth of knowledge about self-care and essential oils.
Mariza Snyder: Thank you so much Amy, for having me. It was such a pleasure.
Amy: Thank you everyone for listening. I look forward to being with you again soon. Bye-bye.