Many women experience mood swings, unexplained weight gain, horrible PMS, and fatigue at some point in their lives. As it stands, these experiences are likely symptoms of hormonal imbalance. So what causes it? And more importantly, how can women heal their hormones?
In this podcast, I speak with Dr. Mariza Snyder, a functional practitioner and the author of numerous books, including “Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils,” “The Matcha Miracle”, and is currently working on her latest book “The Essential Oils Hormone Solution.” Dr. Mariza has helped hundreds of women heal their hormones using lifestyle interventions.
One of the things Dr. Mariza found to be particularly effective in helping her patients balance their hormones was essential oils. Essential oils have been proven effective for many ailments, including stress, sleep, and hormone balance. That does, raise the question what are the best essential oils for hormone balance, energy, and stress?
Listen in, as Dr. Mariza uncovers the link between hormone imbalance and fatigue, and the best essential oils for hormone balance, sleep, stress, weight loss, and more.
In this podcast, we’ll cover
- Why do women experience hormone imbalance?
- The best essential oils for stress
- Mariza’s morning and evening routine for optimal energy and hormone balance
- The link between stress, cortisol, and sleep
- Is there science to back the benefits of essential oils?
- The best essential oils for energy
- The importance of rituals for balanced hormones
- The best calming essential oils for sleep
- How hormone imbalance influences weight (the best essential oils for weight loss)
- What is the link between hormone balance and fatigue?
- How Dr. Mariza helped her mother overcome a lifetime of hormone imbalance and fatigue (you’ll love the results)
- Essential oils for hormone imbalance and menstrual cramps
- Dr. Mariza’s top nutrition and lifestyle tips for energy and hormone balance
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The Link Between Hormone Imbalance And Fatigue │ Essential Oils For Hormone Balance, Sleep, Stress, And More With Dr. Mariza Snyder – Transcript
Ari Whitten: Everyone, this is Ari Whitten and welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. Today, I have a very special guest who has recently become a friend of mine, Dr. Mariza Snyder, and I’m going to read you a little bit about her bio before we get into this.
Dr. Mariza Snyder is a functional practitioner and the author of six books, the best selling “Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils,” “The Dash Diet Cookbook,” as well as The Low-GI Slow Cooker,” The Antioxidant Counter,” the “Water Infusions” detox book, and “The Matcha Miracle.” I’m a big fan of Matcha as we talked about recently, by the way.
Dr. Mariza is currently working on her newest book “The Essential Oils Hormone Solution.” For the past 10 years she has lectured at wellness centers, conferences and corporations on hormone health, essential oils, nutrition and detoxification. She’s also the host of the Essentially You Podcast, designed to empower women to become the CEO of their health.
You can check out her website at drmariza.com, and that’s M-a-r-i-z-a, so it’s spelled like Mariza, but the proper pronunciation is Marissa and it’s all about women’s hormonal health and menopause tips, including essential oil recipes and remedies.
With all of that said, welcome Dr. Mariza.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Thank you so much for having me, Ari. I am so happy to be here with you.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. It’s a pleasure. And, you know, we’ve had the pleasure of connecting in person a couple of times now. We had lunch a few weeks ago and then we hung out at a seminar recently and I have to say, just on a personal note, she is just an absolute pleasure of a human being. Extremely knowledgeable. And I love the work she’s doing when it comes to female hormonal health, which is the subject of today’s podcast, as luck would have it.
With that said, I would love to get started Dr. Mariza, by just having you talk a bit about your background and how you became so passionate about women’s health.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So I became really passionate about women’s health because I was having my own health challenges. Growing up, I remember my grandma and my mom struggling, but I didn’t know what was going on necessarily. I felt back then we didn’t really have conversations around women’s hormones or, you know, what could be happening in terms of imbalance.
But my grandma really suffered from hormonal issues and my mom, you know, growing up with her mood swings, unexplained weight gain, horrible PMS, and it was just, you know, I just thought my mom wasn’t well really, is what we thought. And so as I was growing up, I had some of my own kind of hormone issues, even as a teenager and into my twenties. But again, it just wasn’t something we talked about and it just seemed like for women it was just a normal thing.
But then as I got into my late twenties/early thirties, and I’ve always been kind of a quick-paced, fast, you know, I wouldn’t say a type A girl, but just like to keep busy, and that kind of hit up to a screeching halt. And so I had just started my practice. I was seeing patients and seeing women with chronic pain or chronic fatigue, but also a lot of hormone issues.
And around the same time that I was starting to really take care of these women I was having, I was having some of my own hormone, I called “hormone chaos.” I had put on 35 pounds and I couldn’t get rid of it. I was having horrible PMS, insomnia, mood swings. And I was literally chronically fatigued. And I found myself one morning waking up and just really having this inability to lift my head up off the pillow. And I knew that I was in trouble. And I remember looking at myself in the mirror as I kind of crawled to the bathroom that day and I just didn’t even recognize this person. And there were a lot of shame and embarrassment because here I am going to go show up, run tests, figure out what’s going on with these women when I haven’t even figured out a way to take care of myself. And that was when I knew something needed to shift now. And that’s, that was kind of the start of that journey.
How hormone imbalance has become an epidemic
Ari Whitten: Wow. Intense. And this has become, you know, obviously you are one of many here. This has become an epidemic that there are hormonal issues and different kinds of hormonal imbalances that are occurring in women on an epidemic level. First of all, would you say that’s accurate?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely, that’s accurate. And very much so. And I think women don’t know what’s happening and a lot of times I feel like these hormonal shifts are happening kind of in the background. You know, starting out as whispers in a way. We just really don’t notice it.
We just think it’s, you know… and when you’re talking to other women, too, about it, it’s just like we’re all living in this normal. And then when we head to the doctor’s office, either, you know, we are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all and we’re prescribed something entirely different, right? We’re showing up for anxiousness or depression or maybe we’re showing up for, you know, needing a sleep pill. And that’s really not getting to the core root of the issue, it’s just a symptom of what’s happening with us.
Ari Whitten: So why do you think this issue is becoming an epidemic or has become an epidemic? Like give me kind of like the broad landscape. And let me phrase this a different way, like why… you know humans are designed over the course, you know our biology is a product of hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Why do we even have to think about our hormones at all, or do any strategies that are designed to balance out our hormones? Why hasn’t, you know, sort of nature just taken care of this and our hormones just work the way they should and we don’t have to think about it?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Well, it’s, I think a big reason for that… you know, I had a different answer and then I’m glad for the clarification because I was going to go on this whole tangent around beliefs and how women don’t believe that they deserve to take care of themselves, which is true.
Ari Whitten: Well, we should talk about that later, too.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Yes. But what I think is really happening is we are talking about all of those tens of thousands of years of genetics. I would say that our chemistry, our biochemistry, our brain chemistry hasn’t caught up with how quick paced our modern world is. In a lot of ways when we talk about the stress response, and this is what you know more than anybody, so I’m so excited to have this conversation with you. But you know, when we used to, you know, when there was a, I call stranger danger, right?
When there was a threat in the area. And especially for women, it could be, you know, it could be… back in the day it was animals or maybe it was a man or something that was threatening us or… we would have an opportunity to respond through our autonomic nervous system, right?
We had an automatic response through the hypothalamus, sorry, hypothalamic pituitary axis. I’ve said that word I don’t even know how many times today. But so I think it’s, I can’t say it any longer supposedly. So the HPA axis. And I think what’s going on is that our modern world is just triggering us a lot easier and our chemistry, especially our brain chemistry, that HPA axis and our hormone system is having to respond so fast, and we weren’t necessarily meant to do that.
Like I think about a gazelle. You can think about being in Africa. You think about this gazelle and gazelles are just doing their thing, grazing in nature. All of a sudden there’s a tiger and gazelles start to run full speed ahead because that system kicks in and then once the threat is gone, they just go back to doing them. They go back to grazing.
Well, but today for us, you know, imagine that gazelle, is that we’re constantly getting that signal over and over and over again. On the text message, you know, driving somewhere, stuck in traffic, late for a meeting, getting something turned in on time, late for our kids, whatever that may be. We’re constantly triggering the sympathetic nervous system response that’s leading to this cascade of hormone triggers that is over time deregulating the system. And that’s why I think we’re finding ourselves in a bit of a hormonal mess.
The primary cause of hormone imbalance in women
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So let’s get specific now. So what specific kinds of hormonal imbalances are we talking about? And we can make this very specific to women. Obviously, you know, chronic stress also applies to men, but let’s talk just about women here. What specifically is going on hormonally in the people that you’re working with?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So what I find with women, I picture an average woman that I work with, usually her cortisol levels are deregulated. Oftentimes what I see is they are high at night, so she’s working late into the night, maybe at a computer or doing the second or third job of her day in the evening, and then waking up to lower cortisol levels. And that’s usually due to a lifestyle of stress that can then have an effect on… you know when I look at progesterone and estrogen levels, what I will normally see is if cortisol is requiring that master hormone to make more cortisol.
We call that Pregnenolone, that mother hormone for all of our sex hormones for women. We’re kind of stealing that from progesterone. We tend… I see a lot of women with deregulated cortisol levels.
They also have lower amounts of estrogen. And sometimes with women that I work with, which is oftentimes in kind of that perimenopause and menopause state, they can have, you know, it’s interesting, they could even have lowered estrogen levels or even higher depending on the situation.
But in relation to progesterone, that estrogen is higher, so they’re showing up for estrogen dominance and that can have a… that can also have an effect on our insulin levels, that can have an effect on our thyroid that we’re not, we’re not firing off, you know, our T3 and T4 correctly. We’re not transferring that properly and we start to see women struggling with the inability to go to sleep at night at a good time because they’re wired and tired.
We see women not able to lose weight properly or maybe they’re feeling very sluggish and ultimately, oftentimes what I find is women are just feeling just completely exhausted throughout the day as well. And not that there aren’t other symptoms, but that’s often, I mean I can’t tell you how many levels of hormone tests I’ve looked at over the years and it breaks my heart to see this very similar pattern show up. And I’ve had that exact hormone, those hormone results myself.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So just to clarify one point, so you can have estrogen dominance while also having low estrogen levels. It’s because it’s relative to the progesterone, correct?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: That’s correct, yes.
Ari Whitten: So you sometimes see women with very high estrogen and low progesterone or you sometimes see low estrogen and even lower progesterone.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: That’s correct. Yep, that’s right.
How hormone imbalance affects weight loss
Ari Whitten: Okay. So let’s talk about weight gain and weight loss specifically. So how do hormones, some of these hormone imbalances that you just mentioned, how do they relate to people struggling to lose weight or kind of gaining weight without really apparently changing any of their lifestyle habits and they are all of a sudden putting on weight?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So, you know, let’s give an example of, you know… cortisol I find is kind of the orchestrator of a lot of this, in least of what I have seen. And so cortisol can deregulate our insulin levels. So it could help, it could create what I call like insulin deregulation where we’re not metabolizing, we’re not getting blood glucose into the cells, into the liver as efficiently as we could and that lends to weight issues.
Also, I start to see that the thyroid is beginning to overcompensate. And in that particular instance, you’ll have more symptoms of hypothyroidism where women are just, they’re, again, they’re exhausted, their metabolism isn’t firing the way that it normally should because those receptor sites aren’t being filled. And then the other way is we are seeing high estrogen levels. We know high estrogen levels tends to start putting weight on our hip, on our booty, you know, all the places we don’t necessarily want it unless you’re trying to look like Kim Kardashian.
And with the cortisol, too, you know, we’re talking about visceral belly fat because, you know, that particular hormone is our survival hormone. And even if you’ve eaten, even if you’re eating well, you know, your body is in this state of scarcity and it really does feel like it needs to stock up for that emergency moment that you’re having.
So, you know, and the thing about it is, is that each and every one of these hormones can be at play at the same time, you know. But I feel like kind of that master orchestrator, at least in my opinion, what I’ve seen is oftentimes the chronic stress. And yes, can you have hypothyroidism or thyroid issues without having chronic stress? Absolutely. But just in the kind of hormone balances that I see with my patients, cortisol is usually playing a bit of a role too.
How stress affects cortisol
Ari Whitten: So one of the things you mentioned when it comes to cortisol is this pattern of lower morning cortisol, when we should have a big peak in morning cortisol levels, and higher evening cortisol levels. It’s often called a flattened diurnal curve because we’re supposed to have this big sort of peak at the beginning of the day and it’s supposed to decrease, and a lot of people have a blunted peak and then kind of it doesn’t really go down as much as it should.
It kind of stays elevated throughout the day. So what are the biggest factors in causing that and can you talk about maybe some of the ways that you approach correcting that flattened diurnal curve of cortisol?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So as I had mentioned before, a lot of what I see is that… well a couple things that I have seen is that women, in particular, are just kind of running into their evening. Like they’re not setting up a time for restful sleep. They don’t have a sleep ritual in play. They’re pretty much what I call kind of Tasmanian deviling into bed. And what I’ve learned through my own mistakes is that you can’t just run into bed and go to sleep, you know, your brain is running. And so I think also being at the computer, that blue light is definitely not playing, not helping us as well.
Not being out in nature, not connecting into our bodies is all playing a major role there that we are just kind of in this artificial environment, you know, working, working, working until we fall asleep at night and that’s really stressing the system there.
So I think a lot of it has to do with the way that we’re treating our bodies throughout the day as we’re kind of heading into the evening that then is just throwing us off in the morning. So instead of having that peak of cortisol in the morning to kind of get us up, we’re kind of slogging through that morning, slogging through our day, drinking caffeine, or hitting caffeine and sugar at the same time to kind of get things going. Which again can play a major role on our cortisol levels as well, kind of leading into that Catch 22. But then just kind of like I said, just working our way through that evening and deregulating cortisol levels.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. You know, one thing I’ll add here. I’m actually literally all day for the last several weeks, I’ve been working on this really comprehensive review around causes of diurnal, a flattened diurnal curve in cortisol levels and actually being a night owl. I don’t know if you’ve looked at this at all, but there’s about five or six studies looking at night owl chronotypes versus morning chronotypes, whether you’re a morning person or night owl.
And just being a night owl, even if you’re perfectly healthy and you don’t even have any symptoms can cause profound differences in the morning peak of cortisol levels and the evening levels of cortisol. You can create that pattern, a flattened diurnal curve, just by going to sleep later at night. You know, and just that factor alone is enough to produce pretty big shifts in the cortisol rhythm, which is kind of amazing.
So I think that what you’re saying about kind of people running into the night and not really knowing how to shut down and start to turn things off and kind of just go, they’re still in go, go, go, go mode like for hours and hours and hours probably later than they should be.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Their brain thinks it’s like 2:00 PM, I feel, you know, running at that 2:00 PM speed when it’s 11 or midnight at night.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So just that alone. I mean not even looking at any other factor, just that can create pretty big shifts in terms of cortisol dysregulation.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Yeah. And I can’t tell you, I was on the phone with three different people today, just women, supporting women, women and entrepreneurs as well. And I think each and every one of them was up until one, midnight, two in the morning yesterday. I did interviews with them today and I was like “this is why we’re in trouble.”
They were… every single day I come across… my husband’s a night owl and I’ve really had to force myself to go to bed before him, you know, to not get into that habit because it definitely doesn’t serve me. But I’ve talked to so many women, they’re like, “it’s my only time, It’s my time to get these things done.” Like it’s, they’ve built it in as that third work shift. Like “that is my precious work moment” and I’m like “yeah, and it is killing you.”
Ari Whitten: Yeah. No, I honestly think it would be better for those women to go to sleep early, like maybe with their family, with their kids much earlier in the evening and maybe wake up super early and kind of have their time to do their own thing at that time. Just based on the research that I’ve seen, I think that might be a better strategy for their long term health.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: I agree. I think what it is, is that people, you can kind of push it. It’s like I have this quote recently that I’ve been sharing. It says “you need that extra hour sleep more than you need that next Netflix episode.” Right? You know, it’s so much easier to kind of just push the envelope to stay up a little bit later, but nobody wants to get up super early, you know?
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Well, I mean it’s a function of the modern environment with our houses filled up with artificial lighting and, and TVs and iPhones and computers and all these things that are producing all this light that have subtly shifted like everybody’s bedtime as an entire population. We’ve shifted our bedtime later and later and later over the last few decades. And it’s just being programmed in by the environment and a lot of people now are convincing themselves, “oh, this is just my normal bedtime. This is when my body has always gone to sleep.” Well, yes, but only because of the environment you live in, not because you are genetically designed to go to bed at that time.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. I mean go camping, right? Go camping. When the sun’s down, there’s not a lot more you can do.
How hormone imbalance affects weight
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So, well, let’s get back to weight loss. What in terms of these hormonal imbalances that are contributing to kind of being stuck in terms of weight loss or gaining weight without wanting to. What are some of the things that people can do to start fixing that?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. Well, I think, again, getting to that core root of the issue. You know, you’ve got this orchestrator, this one hormone that, you know, it’s really beautifully designed to protect us in a lot of ways that it’s kind of running the show. And so really I think it’s about starting to create those habits, you know, starting to getting up early, making sure that you’re going to bed at night, creating a morning and evening ritual, you know, to make sure that you’re kind of resetting those cortisol levels.
Becoming more self aware of when you’re feeling stressed and being okay with asking yourself questions. Things like, you know, “is this going to serve me right now?” Or “how is my body going to feel if I do this” or, you know “what is it going to feel like in the morning if I don’t get to sleep?” Just getting really good clarity. I always say that the unexpected solution to radical self healing is self awareness. And if indeed it’s a lifestyle that is kind of causing this deregulation, this flattening of our cortisol curve, then we’ve got to be able to be mindful about switching that. I think a lot of this is lifestyle, especially when it comes to those stress levels.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. So when it comes to stress and when it comes to… actually, you know, before we get there, let’s talk about the morning and evening ritual and dig into some specifics. So I would love to find out about what your night ritual and your morning ritual looks like.
Mariza’s morning ritual
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So I want you to know that my rituals are punctuated with essential oils. I feel like they really do just bring into those rituals… you know, a lot of the reason why I feel we struggle with them is that these are habits. At the end of the day “rituals” is just a kind of a sexier word, right? It sounds a little bit more fun than a “habit”. And, you know what I love about oils, it just makes some of these things a little bit easier. But I do get up early in the morning. I think that that is important. I try to be more of an early morning person than a night owl and I start my morning every day with a warm glass of lemon water because I want to just support my digestive system, kind of wake things up and hydrate my body. Because, goodness knows, at night we lose a lot of water, so we kind of wake up dehydrated.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Then I get my oils out. And my favorite, I love wild orange, peppermint, monoterpenes and that methanol, they just open up the lungs, kind of awakened the senses and it just gives me that little extra boost of something. Then I go out in nature. I try to go out and put my feet on the grass. I’m outside for a good 10 to 15 minutes at least. Outside I, also, we have a table out on the deck looking over the ocean, so I grab my gratitude journal. I’ve got my little gratitude blend or maybe just a citrus oil like tangerine or wild orange.
Wild orange is known as the oil of abundance and so I always breathe that in, because who doesn’t want a little bit more abundance in their life. And I start writing in my journal because I always say it’s really difficult to have a crappy day when you have just thought about all the ways that life has blessed you. So I have my journal, I map out my big blocks for the day, although I oftentimes do that the night before as well because I think kind of knowing your schedule, prioritizing yourself before you prioritize anybody else’s needs is really going to help you get centered and set the tone for the day. And then I’m a big green smoothie advocate. I’m a green smoothie girl and so I make the green smoothie…
Ari Whitten: I think that moniker is already taken, just so you know.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Yes, it is.
Ari Whitten: Robin Openshaw may object to you calling yourself “The Green Smoothie Girl.” A long as you specify you are “a” green smoothie girl…
Dr. Mariza Snyder: I’m “a” green smoothie girl, not “The Green Smoothie Girl.” I thought I had said a green smoothie girl. So yeah, I follow the legion of the green smoothie girl, it’s because of her that I’ve been drinking smoothies for 10 plus years now.
My goodness, we’ve known each other a long time. And we put plant based protein in there, we put avocado in there, all kinds of yummy greens and I put matcha green tea in there. I put my berries and it’s just, there’s this ritual around making these green smoothies that really feel nourishing to be in the kitchen to be doing all of this and it’s, you know, it’s very much something I’ve been doing for a long time.
So we have our green smoothies, we take our supplements and so that’s really a big part. And that takes me about, I want to say about a half hour and there’re other things I do. I adorn myself with oils. I have a little shower ritual where I spritz oils around me just to kind of continue to just wake up and just enjoy my mornings.
So that’s my morning routine in a nutshell. So motion, just inspiring the mind, you know, elevating with the oils, fueling the body, hydrating the body and getting out in nature. Those are major things that have to happen for me. And I’ll tell you once you create a morning ritual like this, and it can look different for everybody, you know, you’re not going to want to give it up. You’re not going to want to give that up.
You know, try to take my morning away from me, I swear, ooh, you know, it’s not pretty. So I have to really have that now because I know that I, not only am I protecting my hormones and taking care of my body, but I know that I’m going to show up for this interview or for everything else I do that day like so much better. So that’s my morning. Do you want me to go into the evening as well?
Ari Whitten: Yeah, you beat me to it. That was beautiful. I love your morning ritual.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Awesome. I’ve got a feeling we were aligned. So evening ritual, again, all electronics have got to go off. I’ve got a big rule, we got to shut it down. So about an hour to two hours before bed, the phone gets put away, I mean, I literally turn it off. Computers go down, try to avoid all the blue light and I’m a big reader. I love reading and I don’t read on a tablet. I read like a real book, you know, and I’ve got books everywhere all over the house. And so I love reading. We get the diffuser going. So we have, I have a little nighttime diffuser right here. We put in calming essential oils, so about an hour to two hours before bed. Oils like Clary sage, lavender, bergamot, which is the oil self love and acceptance, roman chamomile. Any of those oils that kind of just really tell the brain to shut it down.
And so we run those in the house. We run those in our bedroom and then I’m just reading. I’m just taking time to either connect with my husband Alex or reading. And then once we’re heading into bed, I really feel like I’ve kind of got my brain ready. Once I’m heading into bed, I have oils by the bedside. So I have like a little roller like this and it has, again, some of the same oils, like Vetiver, Cedarwood, lavender. And I roll them on my feet, I roll them on the back of my neck, I roll them in my palms and do a couple of deep belly breaths. Take my book, I’m still reading my book in bed, and then usually it is shut down time and I’m asleep within about 15 to 20 minutes. That’s usually what my evening ritual looks like.
Ari Whitten: So you get like two and a half pages of reading done?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Well the second time, yes.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, no, I know how that is. Sometimes when your nightly ritual is too effective, you don’t actually get much reading done.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Not a lot of reading done. But you know what, I’m totally okay with that because I had done some before as well. And so yeah. So I usually have like very specific books in bed. So like my in bed books are fiction books. Those usually will keep me up a tiny bit longer, but you know, so often the book is falling against my chest right before heading to bed.
The best essential oils for stress
Ari Whitten: Yeah, totally, I know the feeling. So stress. You’ve talked quite a bit about stress. What specific essential oils do you find are most effective for combating stress?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely, so there’s a lot of research on essential oils in reducing cortisol levels, even blood pressure and pulse. So I love oils for reducing stress. And some of the ones that I mentioned for sleep, very similar can be supportive for stress. And when it comes to using them for stress levels, it’s really about the use of aromatherapy, so breathing in those chemical constituents, that’s going to be the most profound way to do that. Because they have a no holds bar directly into that limbic brain, kind of calming down the amygdala, which is again kind of the most important part of the brain for what I call “stranger danger,” right?
Just assessing what is happening and when it’s over activating, you can find yourself very triggered very easily. So I go to oils for stress, if I had to pick a top five is lavender, because lavender is all things calming, Cedarwood, Clary sage, bergamot and roman chamomile. So those, all those five oils have been thoroughly researched to reduce cortisol levels in the body and it’s as simple as having them on your person.
I always have my oils on me at all times. I have a little oil bag that goes into my purse that I have on me. But even when I have a little purse I usually have a stress oil or kind of a relaxing oil on me because you never know when you’re going to get that text message or you never know when you’re finding yourself kind of in a situation where you feel a little bit overwhelmed, at least for me as a woman, it feels that way sometimes. And so what I do is I just take that oil blend. Usually I like it in a roller.
I’ll give you an example. Twenty drops of lavender, 20 drops of bergamot, top it off with grape seed oil or almond oil, whatever you prefer, you know, mix it up. And then I’m going to roll it on my palms like this. And I have a technique called the “the pause and stress reset technique.” And what you do is you have all those chemical constituents on your palms. You take a deep breath and you, all that air, just suck it all the way in and you will hold it for five seconds.
I’m going to do that for you and hold for one, two, three, four, five. Hold it and then breathe it all the way out through your mouth and you’re going to hold it there for another five seconds. And then I repeat this kind of, this pause meditation for five breaths. And what’s happening is you are literally switching from that sympathetic mode over to more of a relaxed parasympathetic mode. And if you do this technique enough with your oils, because that’s that extra boost, you’re getting those chemical constituents at play, you can begin to actually change the way that you manage or you respond to stress.
And that is one, has been one of the most profound ways that I have been able to kind of mitigate or kind of walk around stress so that I’m not as reactive as I used to be.
How your essential oils can affect your cortisol levels
Ari Whitten: Very interesting. So going back to what we talked about before as far as the flattened diurnal curve, lower morning cortisol, higher afternoon/evening cortisol. Do you specifically do this towards like afternoon, let’s say, like throughout the afternoon and the evening hours rather than the morning since these things tend to lower cortisol levels?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So yes, absolutely more in the afternoon is when I’m kind of bringing things down. But I will say, you know, I have, you know examples… like, let’s say I have flight anxiety, you know. And I fly a lot. And so there may be a moment where I’m, you know, we’re taking off and it’s really turbulent and that’s usually when my anxiousness kind of clicks in.
And that’s, even if it’s in the morning, it doesn’t matter what time of the day. Like it can be so intense I literally feel that like adrenaline coursing through me. And I got to, I know that I need to shut that response down. And so I usually will have this oil blend with me to kind of calm down that alert response, that panic response. But I will say that, you know, I find, and I don’t know if this is for everybody, but I tend to feel a little bit more triggered, a little bit more reactive as the day wears on probably because I am getting tired and I find myself using a blend like that. And then I tend to use more awakening, more invigorating blends in the morning.
Ari Whitten: So what types of… so you mentioned some of the ones that you use in the morning already, wild orange and…
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Peppermint.
Ari Whitten: Peppermint, okay. Just out of curiosity, are you aware of any research on any oils that actually enhance the cortisol awakening response in the morning? That would increase cortisol levels in somebody that has lower cortisol levels?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: I would say usually it’s your mints, your spearmint, your peppermint. But you know what, Ari, I actually haven’t done that research. So I really, I can’t speak to that. But knowing my oils, like knowing those constituents, I mean the reason why I recommend energizer oils kind of when people are feeling sluggish, when they’re feeling fatigued, it’s usually going to be citrus oils because of those monoterpene content.
The limonene in particular for like wild orange, grapefruit, lemon, and then the menthol in like a peppermint or a spearmint. Those tend to be an awakening oil. And then rosemary. Rosemary has been most researched for, you know, I think about brain fog, but really focused concentration, alertness. So like my go-to kind of, I call it my get stuff done oil or my awakening blend usually will also involve rosemary as well.
Ari Whitten: So like peppermint, rosemary, wild orange. Any other good ones for like enhancing focus and mental performance?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So my go-to oils for enhancing mental performance are going to be rosemary, basil, so both of them because very similar families, rosemary, basil, frankincense, peppermint, any mint so spearmint, peppermint, and then any type of citrus. So tangerine, orange, lemon, lime, any of those are going to have that monoterpene content that I talked about.
And so usually it’s a combination, like I have a blend that has a combination of all five and I’ve been working with women who are dealing with thyroid issues or working with women who are just constantly exhausted. That’s usually a blend they’ll use, you know, during the daytime if they find themselves still in like a zombie at their computer or just feeling exhausted during the day.
Essential oil benefits have been backed by science
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Now one thing I want to mention for people listening to this, I did one podcast with a mutual friend of ours named Eric Zielinski probably maybe six months ago or something like that. And one of the things I talked about in that podcast is the fact that I used to think essential oils were like total new age hippie nonsense and that was mostly just a position based out of ignorance, that I had never bothered to actually look at the research and just assumed that they were nonsense.
But in fact, there’s actually a whole bunch of research on this showing that essential oils have very legitimate effect. There’s chemicals that are in very concentrated amounts, actually, that have very real physiological effects that, as we’re getting at here, can enhance physical performance, can lower cortisol levels. One other thing I’m hoping we’ll talk about is kind of some female hormone balance stuff.
But you know, there is, I just want to point out to people that maybe hadn’t heard that podcast and what I talked about there as far as my story of discovering the science in this area. There is actually a lot of science on this topic. So it’s not just new age hippie nonsense or some things that smell nice, but don’t actually do anything on a physiological level.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: I really appreciate you saying that, but Ari, you are such a great researcher. And then I was, I’m a very good researcher myself. And I, initially, when I got introduced to oils, I also had some of the same reservations mainly because I hadn’t really heard of them before.
Nutrition was my area of focus before that and I was really blown away by the research that I had found. And, you know, my new book coming out on hormones and oils, and we have 40 plus pages of bibliography, like, oh my, I couldn’t believe how the research that was going on in that particular topic. And so it’s really fun to get to research this topic and really, I mean, it’s great to know that people have an option, they have a different option. And I like when I can provide women, and just families in general, a safer, natural alternative to some of the stuff that’s at the drug-store or even, you know, at the pharmacy.
The best essential oils for hormone balance and essential oils for menstrual cramps
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. Female hormone balance. What specific essential oils have you found most useful for correcting some of the issues we talked about there as far as estrogen dominance and that sort of thing?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So one of the things I do want to state about oils and hormones is oils are not hormones. So I don’t want people to think like, “oh, I can just do, I can just use an oil and it’s going to automatically boost my estrogen levels.” But then when I think about that as well, you know, I’m not a big proponent of women necessarily taking a bunch of bioidenticals or synthetic hormones.
I think that a lot of the things that we can… a lot of our hormone imbalances can be adjusted and remedied with food, with lifestyle, with oils and with supplementation. So I just wanted to let the record straight there is that, you know, as much as I would love an oil to kind of… I don’t know, actually I don’t even know if I would like necessarily if an oil would go in and just directly increase estrogen levels. But they do still have really profound properties. I think ultimately we think about food as information. I think about oils as information. Ultimately, your body is the one that’s healing and if you can give your body that good information to make good decisions, then we’re on the right track.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, so…
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Okay, so now we can get into the topic.
Ari Whitten: That was a nice preface but…
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Thank you, yeah, the disclaimer, lay the groundwork. So the thing that we were talking about earlier. Yeah. I don’t mean to kind of bring that back, but you know, so often you know what I’m talking about working with cortisol, you know, like I said, these oils can… that’s the one thing I can guarantee, that research is, the oils can lower cortisol levels, it can lower blood pressure, which is really fascinating to me.
And so if you find yourself in a chronic state of stress, the chronic state of deregulated cortisol, you can use oils on a day-to-day basis to really create that balance and also leverage them to make those healthy lifestyle changes. Now, oils can also be used to help support the thyroid, they can be used to help support the gut and the liver.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: And so, for instance, I think about oils for thyroid support is frankincense and myrrh and clove and, you know, there’re blends where women can put on. And the thing about it is, I never want people to think, “Well, oh, if I just use this oil blend, my thyroid is going to be cured.” No, there’s so much more to thyroid health than just using oils. But we know that oils can help reduce inflammation and that they can help support a healthier thyroid. So that’s kind of an example.
Another example I love to use is helping us, helping to raise progesterone levels because we are supporting those cortisol levels. That’s a big one as well. So if we can get cortisol back on track, then we begin to lift the progesterone levels as well. We’re not stealing as much of that Pregnenolone anymore.
And then another one, you know, for boosting metabolism, you know, we’ve got oils like cinnamon oil that are great for blood sugar regulation and insulin regulation. You’ve got oils like peppermint that are great for cravings and great for digestive support. And so, you know, usually what I’m looking at for women is how can I aid with sleep support, how can I aid with cravings and metabolism, how can I aid with stress levels or mood support, and then most importantly like how can I aid with like things like hot flashes or bloating, a lot of the symptoms that women are dealing with when it comes to hormonal imbalance.
Ari Whitten: So let’s get into some of that stuff. Let’s talk about like maybe PMS and menopause symptoms and hot flashes. What are some strategies that you found or some oils that you found to be especially effective there?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So, you know, it’s interesting, I was just working with a woman the other day who woke up in the middle of the night with the worst menstrual cramps, like so much pain that it woke her up, you know, in the middle of the night. And you know, that go-to oil for helping to reduce menstrual cramps mainly because it helps to calm spasmatic soft tissue, muscle, especially uterine contractions are going to be Clary sage.
And so I have a blend that I, it’s called my hormone synergy blend, my superwoman blend that addresses things like PMS and addresses things like menstrual cramps, hot flashes, and that blend is, the majority of it is going to be clary sage because that tends to be the magic maker. The chemical constituents in that oil, the linalyl, the linalyl acetate in that and the… I’m trying to think about the other major constituent for that… that particular oil helps to calm smooth muscle, helps to support estrogen and helps to stop things like hot flashes and mood swings.
So my superwoman blend is 12 drops in a 10 mil roller, like this, 12 drops of Clary sage, 10 drops of lavender, five drops of Cedarwood, five drops of geranium and four drops of ylang-ylang. And then you just top it off with whatever carrier oil and then you are rolling it, literally rolling it over the ovaries, which is about three inches below the belly button.
Or it can be on the bottom of the feet. It can be on the wrist or inside the arm. Because again, oils are lipophilic and so and they’re systemic, so once they get into the system they are going to go to work. Now I do believe in the path of least resistance. So if you’re having menstrual cramps, maybe not put them on your knee or on your neck, put them right on the area of concern. But that is one of the oils that I really love for women is going to be Clary sage. It tends to be a really big, like kind of a magic maker for women when it comes to hormonal PMS in particular.
Ari Whitten: And that’s having some direct effects on estrogen and progesterone, right?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: It is, it is having some effects on those hormones as well. More so, it’s really, it’s kind of a progesterone booster more than it is an estrogen booster in the research that I’ve seen and it’s phenomenal for women in peri-menopause and menopause. So it really helps to support those menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, irritability, even heavy flow, like heavy periods that can be happening during peri-menopause.
The best and safest way to apply essential oils
Ari Whitten: Very interesting. So actually one other point I want to kind of quickly digress on is there are some people who say that it’s okay to apply essential oils directly to the skin and other people who object to that. What’s your take on that?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Great question. So to dilute or not to dilute that is the question. So there are a lot of benefits to diluting. So it really, honestly, there’s no reason to not dilute. Remember that essential oils, and I hadn’t talked to you about this in this podcast, but essential oils are volatile aromatic constituents, which means they go from liquid to gas state once they’re at room temperature.
So, for instance, if you had walked into my house and I had just opened a bottle of wild orange, the second that you walked in, that aroma is going to just immerse itself in the environment and you’re going to smell it. Even if I’m across the room several hundred feet away. That, it’s going to be pervasive inside of the house and you’re going to smell it. You’re going to, it’s going to elicit an experience for you and maybe even an emotion for you.
And so that volatility of those oils means that when you put a neat oil on your arm or in your hand or wherever you’re putting it, it’s evaporating as you’re using it, and so in order to really get the full benefit of that oil, diluting it is such a key piece because it allows the oil to stay on the skin and not evaporate as quickly so you’re getting more effectiveness that way.
Also, you’re able to cover a bigger surface area. So if you are dealing with low back pain or neck pain or you’re dealing with stomach cramps or gas and bloating, you can cover a bigger surface area. But then also the big thing about oils is that they are very, very powerful and a little goes a long way. And very rarely do you find that someone needs full strength of anything, and why waste it if you don’t have to.
So those are really the big reasons for diluting. Now with that high concentration with some of these oils, they can be very warming. They can be very cooling literally to the touch and very irritating, so you want to be really mindful of that. So like, for instance, oregano oil. If you look at the research, oregano oil helps to get rid of warts and toe fungus.
And Ari, I can’t tell you how many before and after photos I have received with oregano oil over the years. But again, it’s a really hot, hot oil. You have to be mindful when it comes to using it. So I always say always dilute. You know, are there some oils you can use neat? Yes, there are definitely some of them that are safe. You want to make sure you’re using a very high quality oil. But for the most part they just, it makes sense to use them in a dilution.
The best essential oils for energy
Ari Whitten: Yeah, got you. So at least two, maybe three other contexts, I want to talk about. One is energy. Obviously a lot of people listening to this podcast, The Energy Blueprint, are interested in enhancing their energy levels. I know we kind of indirectly got some of that with the brain enhancing, cognitive enhancing stuff which kind of overlaps with energy enhancement with rosemary, peppermint and wild orange and a few of the others you mentioned.
But are there specifically any substances that you found to be especially effective for kind of maybe giving an afternoon energy boost if somebody is taking a dip and starting to feel tired?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. You know, I have more women come to me because they just want more energy. How often do women ask that of you, Ari, I can’t even imagine. A lot. And so, you know, my mama, that was her thing. I was asking my mom, “how are you doing?” “I just need more energy, Mariza.” And so oils. That was one of the first things I discovered. It was like “can I use these oils to get a little bit more energy out of my day?” Absolutely…
Ari Whitten: And by the way, just, I can’t resist commenting, but you’re, as we were having dinner a couple weeks ago with friends. Your mom texted you that she had just completed a marathon. So whatever the intervention is that you’re about to tell us you did with your mom is obviously effective if she went from “I need more energy” to “I just ran a marathon.”
Dr. Mariza Snyder: And it was first place. She got first place in that one. So proud of her. So yeah. So growing up, my momma always wanted more energy and, you know, that was the one thing. She’s like, “well now you’re a doctor, you got to figure out a way to get me more energy.” And man, she took to oils and took to a lot of my recommendations like fish to water because when you’re that desperate for more energy, or whatever it is that you’re looking for, you’re willing, you know, at that point you’re willing to try whatever it took. And it was using oils for energy that got my mom hook, line and sinker.
And she travels. She, actually, she runs with her oils. You know, you can get these little tiny vials you can put your oils in, you can just tap them out. And so she always has her energy oils with her wherever she goes.
But we have talked about a couple of those oils before and I’ve written some really fun articles for magazines and publications around oils for energy. And really, it’s those citruses are such a big player. Monoterpenes, especially when it comes to the brain, have an ability to activate those good feelings, serotonin, dopamine, neurotransmitters.
So monoterpenes are amazing and they’re very, very adaptive. And when I think about essential oils, I think about the one essential oil that’s very adaptogenic. It’s going to be citruses. So anything that’s got a high monoterpene content, but most specifically 85 to 95 percent limonene is what we’re looking for that really helps give you that extra burst of energy. And that’s what I love to pair those monoterpenes with those oils, those citrus oils with like a mint, like a menthol, because menthol not only kind of opens up airways, so bringing more oxygen to the brain.
It really just kind of alivens the senses, alivens the sinuses and you just feel more alert, more awake. And so, you know, I have people doing long road trips or long nights at the office. Usually I tell people to always have peppermint with them to just be sniffing peppermint oil, you know, into, you know, depending on what it is.
You know, a lot of people I’ve worked with have, you know, are working on the road really late at night and instead of reaching for a red bull or a caffeine, some type of caffeine beverage, it’s usually peppermint and some type of citrus oil. So those would be the two oils based on the chemical constituents that really help to give you that extra energy boost.
The best essential oils for weight loss
Ari Whitten: Very cool. Two other contexts, weight loss, and I know that you’ve kind of addressed this already, but maybe addressed it a little bit at least. But are there any specific oils that you found to be especially effective for weight loss?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Yes. So there are some oils that are good for weight loss and also great oils for cravings. You know, I always think about cravings as being this unmet need. Usually it’s not the thing that you’re trying to reach for, right? That Kind bar, that See’s candy, those kettle chips, whatever your flavor is that you’re reaching for. Usually it’s, you know, you’re tired or you’re stressed or you’re feeling emotionally drained, whatever that may be. So just being really mindful about what that craving is.
Like what is your body really craving, what is it really looking for? But then using oils to kind of help, you know, depending. There are oils specifically for, you know, I don’t necessarily recommend using oils as an appetite suppressant, but if indeed you are about to make a decision to eat a Twinkie or a donut because you’re tired and you need sugar, you could use oils for boosting energy instead.
But if you’re looking for an appetite suppressant or a craving oil, peppermint is going to come up over and over and over again. And Ari, it’s literally my favorite oil because it has so many benefits. But peppermint is a really powerful, really powerful craving reducer, but also it’s an appetite suppressant. There was a really great article that came out.
Dr. Hirsch had discovered that peppermint oil can actually suppress appetite specifically around cravings in the middle of the afternoon. So peppermint oil is going to be a great oil. Also, cinnamon. Cinnamon is great for blood sugar regulation, grapefruit is wonderful for lymphatic, but also supporting the liver and digestive health. It’s also a powerful detoxifier.
And then ginger oil. So ginger is not only phenomenal for gut health and helping to ensure that you are actually getting the fuel that you consume, but it’s also a metabolizer. It actually kind of, it warms up the body. So ginger and cinnamon are very warming oils and they tend to kind of rev up the metabolism a little bit. So those would be my go-to oils. But there isn’t necessarily an oil that’s like the magic bullet, weight loss oil.
I just oftentimes think, why are we overeating? What’s going on? Why are we making these choices? Clearly, it’s not because we’re fueling the body. Oftentimes, it’s for a different need all together.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I think you can kind of attack it from multiple angles there by addressing appetite control and, you know, kind of suppressing cravings for junk food at the same time supporting energy levels, and you’re affecting the inputs that are controlling body weight regulation through a number of different angles that way. And then you also mentioned, you know, for example, you know, suppressing cortisol levels in the evening when they’re elevated, which is a factor promoting insulin resistance, and decreasing chronic inflammation, which is going to affect thyroid hormone levels and you know, you’re addressing so many different angles all at the same time, which is great.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, it’s really interesting, you know, the use of these. And not that they don’t have their own powerful chemical constituents, but I feel like we have to take a little bit of responsibility around the types of behaviors we’re creating. And you know those late night snacks because we think we need to stay up later. You know, instead, if indeed you had to stay up late for whatever reason, I always have peppermint.
There are, right now in our home, we probably have about eight opened peppermint bottles. Gosh forbid, there wasn’t one in every room of the house because we use it so much for so many reasons. But you know, it’s the thing I reach for if any craving comes out and I always know it’s not because I’m hungry, it’s always something else. But any craving comes around, it’s peppermint. I need a little bit of a boost, it’s peppermint. Like I am just, I’m hardwired to reach for that before I reach for anything else.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. And thank you for mentioning also the fact that this is within a context of, hopefully, you know, nutrition and lifestyle support and interventions as well. You know, one thing I want to comment on that I’ve experienced a lot is I’ve seen a lot of people, especially women who get hormones tested, who get a blood test or a saliva test and then they say, “my hormones are this, this and this. What should I do to affect my hormones?” And they don’t make the connection that hormones are a product of nutrition and lifestyle.
They think like, okay, there’s nutrition, lifestyle and those affect me in certain ways, you know, make me healthy. But they don’t understand that nutrition and lifestyle are directly affecting a lot of these different hormones. Whether cortisol, whether estrogen, whether progesterone. These things are in a constant dynamic interplay with nutrition and lifestyle. And so it’s like, yeah, “okay, you know, my hormones are off, so forget your nutrition and lifestyle stuff. I want something that’s going to fix my hormones.” Do you know what I mean? Like people just don’t see the connection between those two things very well.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: They don’t realize that it’s, that explanation is your hormones are literally chemical messengers that are running around like little UPS men, delivering packages everywhere, you know, with the information you’re giving it. They are literally in response to what you are creating. And I think when people begin to realize that, and I always give that analogy, I’m like, “do you want the UPS man to deliver the wrong package to the house?” I say “because you’re creating a situation where that’s going to happen, you know, over and over and over again” Yeah, we villainize these hormones.
We villainize these chemical messengers that are literally just trying to receive messages and do our bidding based on our lifestyle choices and it’s, you know, it’s always of just kind of, again, taking that deep long look in the mirror and seeing what kind of life do I want to live?
You know, one of the things that Tony Robbins said when I was at an event a couple of years ago is that your life is measured by how you feel, by your emotions. And I remember thinking to myself like, “man, I feel stressed a lot. And my life is measured by how I feel.” My life was being measured by my stress and that was a major kind of… talk about Mack Truck moment. And I was like, “I don’t want to live like this anymore. I am cultivating these behaviors and something has got to shift. ”
The best calming essential oils for sleep
Ari Whitten: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And thank you for clarifying that point because obviously we’re, you’re trying to give people like some easy, simple solutions to a lot of these problems like “here use… this helps with this and this helps with this,” but we don’t want to give the message, and I know that you don’t want to give the message, that’s like “this is the entire solution is just to buy 12 essential oils and then you are completely fixed. You can forget about your diet and lifestyle because all you need is essential oils.” Right? So, you know, I thank you for clarifying that, and that was beautifully said.
One more context that I would love for you to talk about essential oil tips with is sleep. And I know you kind of mentioned this when you covered your nightly ritual and I believe you mentioned, let me see if I remember, chamomile, lavender and bergamot. But are there any others that you found that are especially effective in kind of helping the brain shift into sleep mode, shutting down the sympathetic nervous system?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So there is, there are some major players I did not mention, so I apologize, but I’m going to get to mention them now.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Yeah, my goodness. So the big player, you know, it’s so often, you know… when I think about these oils, I think about bridging the gap towards creating those habits that you really, really want. Oils just kind of just ease us into this with a little bit more grace and ease. That’s how I think about it. And when I think about, you know, going to sleep and sometimes we need a little help to turn off that mental chatter.
Sometimes we need a little bit of a help to get into a routine and I think that’s where oil’s really show up. And I’ve had the blessing to work with a lot of women and men together dealing with sleep issues because, my goodness, it is so prevalent here in our society. And so if I had to name like the two oils, the hook, line and sinker oil, it’s going to be Vetiver. Now Vetiver is a very powerful neurological tonic. Lots of incredible research with Vetiver. And it’s really considered a natural sedative. It’s a root and Vetiver is grown mostly in Haiti. And so, and it smells like, kind of, it smells like peanut butter. It’s really rich, very viscous. And so Vetiver and lavender, you know, that’s kind of our, we call the liquid Ambien of the sleep essential oil world. And it’s really, you can diffuse it, you can make a roller bottle out of lavender and Vetiver. Another one, you know these wood oils are really profound.
So Vetiver, myrrh, sandalwood, frankincense, all of these very calming, very grounding, very sedative. All have these chemical constituents called sesquiterpenes, and sesquiterpenes are neuro calming. They just, they have a way of just shutting down the brain and, you know, it’s so funny, I was diffusing Vetiver and lavender.
Usually the diffuser is a little bit away from the bed, but one of the nights a couple of weeks ago I was diffusing Vetiver and lavender, and I think I had roman camomile in there as well. I like to do it in threes. I like to do threes, you can only do two, but I like threes. So I was diffusing that by the bed by Alex, and Alex was in the middle of talking to me about something and all of a sudden like his, his voice was like flourish. It was, he was falling asleep as he was talking to me. I literally drugged my husband before going to bed.
Ari Whitten: Nice. Do you have any like truth serum, essential oils that substitute for like giving somebody an injection so that they can tell you the truth and can’t help themselves…
Dr. Mariza Snyder: I don’t know those yet. But I do know the really, the big sedative oils and so vetiver is a big one. And then when I work with patients, if… because there’re blends, you know, that they can try that they get. If they aren’t doing the trick I’m like, “okay, we need to bring in the big guns and that’s Vetiver.” And so often it really does have a way of just calming the brain and it’s that… it’s one of the highest sesquiterpene content you can get your hands on that really tends to do the trick.
The best essential oils for anxiety (The benefits of copaiba essential oil)
Ari Whitten: One other… oh, you know, I’m just curious, have you looked into copaiba essential oil at all?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Ooh yes, I have. Yes…
Ari Whitten: So tell me about copaiba.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: So how I think about Copaiba, it has a lot of benefits. You know, it’s an endocabinnoid. It connects with the CB2 receptors when it comes… like you think about CBD oil or you think about THC and copaiba is, it’s separate. It acts in a different… because those are acting on CB1 receptors. These are acting on CB2 and so it more connects with the endocrine system but has a really profound effect on the neurological system. And it was… I was interviewing a woman today who is a stress researcher and she talks about how when you’re feeling stressed, it’s almost like a rolling boil, and the use of copaiba can take a rolling boil and take it back down to a simmer.
That’s how she describes that ability. So copaiba is kind of very similar to a Vetiver or a Cedarwood or a frankincense, has really powerful calming and sedative properties, but most of where people are using copaiba is really painful and more neurological pain.
So we’re seeing people using it for neuro spasticity or they have hyper spasticity where their, you know, their muscles are overly firing. We’re seeing really great benefits with that. And you know, I need, I will preface the fact that there’s, I need to do more and more research with this oil.
But what I do know about it is that it’s really phenomenal for the neurological system specifically around those C fibers or pain fibers. And it is great for stress. It’s great for anxiousness and it is also, we’re learning that it’s great for cardiovascular health. And so people, it depends on the reason why they’re using it. Some people use it for sleep, some people use it for anxiety, and some people use it for pain, specifically neurological pain.
Ari Whitten: Very nice, very nice summary. There was one other context that I wanted to ask you about…
Dr. Mariza Snyder: And you feel it, Ari. Like you take, you use that oil, and it shifts something. You know, we have it, we have it at home, it’s not too far from where I’m sitting and anytime I use that oil man it is, I feel like you kind of need to buckle in. Be really intentional with an oil like that, you know, be really clear about why you’re using it because you will feel a shift. So I just wanted to just give that information as well.
Ari Whitten: Buckle up and get ready for a hallucinogenic trip. No, not quite. I do really like it and I definitely notice a calming effect from it. But just to be clear for anybody who doesn’t understand my humor there, it is very far from hallucinogenic. So you have no concerns with that.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Yeah. It’s not like mushrooms. No, it’s just, it’s just a very calming oil. Oh goodness. Now no one’s going to use it.
How to use essential oils safely
Ari Whitten: So we’ve talked a lot about a lot of different oils here. One thing that I want to ask you is, are there any concerns like with, I mean, obviously these are very concentrated chemicals, these are not, you know, these aren’t like homeopathic substances that you could take huge doses of and kind of not even notice any effect. These are very, very concentrated chemicals with active compounds that are pharmacologically active in the human body. Is there any concern about taking too much or using too many different oils or anything like that? Are you aware of any kind of potential side effects of getting a little carried away with essential oils?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Yes. I can speak to that. And you know, this is from a girl, when I first got started with oils, I had no idea. I was just putting them on, playing with them and even for as powerful as they are, they can still be pretty, pretty safe. However, you do want to be mindful. Anytime we’re taking something like, you know, as powerful as essential oils, you want to be mindful. So yes, you know, at the end of the day your liver is having to process this, your kidneys are having to process this like they’re processing everything else. We don’t want to overload the system.
On average I would say about, you know, a very safe place to play is about 15 drops of oil a day. And when you’re diluting these oils, you really aren’t getting 15 drops a day. You got to really work hard to get 15 drops of essential oils into your system every single day. In terms of using a ton of them, you know, I have blends with five oils in them. And, you know, we will, I’ll use a blend with five oils in them and the oils are being diffused into the environment around me. And so I haven’t really noticed a lot around… you know, I don’t think one should use 20 oils at the exact same time. But I think that, you know, on average usage, you know, you’re using a blend for sleep or maybe you’re using a blend earlier in the day for alertness that you’re really pretty safe.
But just making sure that you’re diluting all of your oils. I typically like to operate around a 10 percent to 25 percent dilution. I feel like that really works for me and a lot of the people, the tens of thousands of people that have used. When it comes to children, you know, you’re looking at an even lower concentration than that, anywhere between one to five percent.
And then for more acute issues, maybe even up to 10 percent. And so, you know, I do a really good job in my “Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils” book to really break down dilutions and I’m very conservative in that book because I don’t know what kind of oils people are using. I don’t know the purity of those oils. So I always want to be really mindful of that. But as long as you’re not dousing yourself with oils every hour on the hour, you know, tons of them, I really feel like you’re in a pretty good place.
Ari Whitten: Got you. One… a couple more quick things on oils. One is how to use them, and I know you’ve covered this a bit already like as far as using the roller, that seems to be your preferred method…
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Let me use some rollers, they are so easy.
Ari Whitten: So and that’s, you’re getting it like basically in two different, through two different mechanisms. You’re absorbing some through the skin and you’re inhaling some, is that accurate?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: That is correct. Yeah. So the roller, I think anytime you’re using topical, you know, the cool thing about topical usage is that you really can be targeted to the area of concern. So yeah, if I am feeling a little bit bloated or I wake up in the middle of night with menstrual cramps, I can apply it right to that area of concern and kind of target that issue.
Or maybe I wake up with a kink in my neck and I need some support in the back of my neck for that. So you can kind of use them in that way. But the fastest and most effective way to use essential oils is going to be aromatic because again, not only are the oils going to the brain, to the limbic system through that olfactory nerve, but you’re also breathing them in and through… you know, these are very, very tiny molecules and so they go into the lungs, they go through the alveoli and they hit the bloodstream.
So the fastest way you can get these oils into the system is by breathing them in. It’s also the easiest way to use them, the most effective way to use them. Topical, I think for a lot of people, you know, the practitioner, you know, I know a lot of people are looking for a very targeted specific problem, you know. They’re having respiratory issues or having sinus issues, they’re having digestive problems.
And when you can apply an oil to that area, you know, there’s something to be said about touch been so healing. So being able to apply those oils or have someone, apply oil on you is a very healing experience. So you’re getting both the benefits of that targeted, you know, area of concern and then the aromatic benefit as well. And then the more controversial consideration is internal. I don’t typically recommend internal usage. People use the copaiba internally. It has to be a very specific reason for very targeted purpose. The oil has to be a very specific grade. There’s a lot of things that have to line up for internal usage to make sense, you know, and it’s not really necessary when you have the other two options.
How to find the best quality essential oil
Ari Whitten: Got you. On that note you mentioned very briefly there, it has to be a very specific grade. I know there’s a lot of talk and controversy among essential oils experts when it comes to specific brands and like fake essential oils or essential oils that not very good quality and maybe are diluted and things of that nature. I know everybody has their favorite brands they like to talk about. But can you talk about to what extent is this really a problem that, you know, an essential oils that someone might get at their local health food store might not be that great of quality,
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Absolutely. So you know it is actually a bit of a concern in the essential oil world. About 85 percent of oils on the market are for synthetic, for perfume purposes. You go down, you go to your local drug store, you’re going to find lavender lotions and even gum and flavorings. Even Coca Cola, for example, what makes Coca Cola the flavoring of Coca Cola is essential oils. And it has to be, you can’t, I can’t even imagine. I haven’t had a Coca Cola in probably almost 20 years. Oh my gosh. But like I’m guessing for those who drink Coca Cola that they don’t want it to taste different. You know, they don’t want one batch of Coke to be different than another batch of Coca Cola. So a lot of the essential oils in the world are actually used for pharmaceutical properties or they’re used for fragrances or they’re used for food grade.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: When it comes to an oil specifically tailored for a therapeutic purpose, there’s a lot more standards that have to come into play. So they’re just being mindful of that, that there’s that whole world of oils there. So you’re looking, you know, when it comes to looking for a good oil, you’re looking for a couple of things, you know. You’re looking for, for me, you know, we live in a world of information. You can Google pretty much everything and anything. So if you’re about to buy an oil from a company, I would just go onto the website and take a look. Do they tell you where they’re sourcing their oils? Do they disclose where these oils are coming from? Because, Ari, you and I both know when it comes to food and when it comes to any kind of plant, you know, where our plants are sourced is really important. You know, are they even sourced in their original habitat?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: That’s going to be important as well. And then what happens after this oil is sourced? You know, what kind of testing are they doing on these oils? Are they antimicrobial, are they free of any types of fillers and additives. What kind of testing do they use? Do they use gas chromatography or gas spectroscopy? Are they testing for chirality? There’s a lot of different ways to look at oils in making sure that they’re pure. So I would just really, what I’m looking for is I’m looking for, tell me where you’re getting them, tell me where these oils are coming from. And then two, are you testing them at all? And any company that’s doing that will share with you that they’re doing it. Just kind of like organic. You know, a farm will tell you if they’re organic, just as an example, because why wouldn’t they? You know, so a company will tell you the type of practices they have around their oils, just like a farm for vegetables will.
Ari Whitten: Okay. And if somebody doesn’t want to spend all of those hours to do all of that investigation of all those companies, do you have a quick breakdown?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: I do.
Ari Whitten: You do, that you want to provide here or that someone can get from you on your site or something like that?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: I’ll share it right now. I’m just pulling all my little, all my little things up real quick. So judging an oil by its label. So one of the things you’re looking for is you are, one, you want to make sure that the oil bottle is amber, that it has an orifice reducer on it, that it’s not a dropper or it’s just, the oil can just spill out because an orifice reducer helps it from oxidizing, helps it from getting… preventing contamination. But amber because oils, again, are volatile and they can be contaminated through light as well. You’re also looking on that amber bottle that there’s a scientific name of the plant that’s clearly labeled on the bottle. And if it’s diluted it should say it’s diluted. It needs to disclose everything inside of that bottle. So if they did use fractionated coconut oil, it had better say they used fractionated coconut oil. They should also, the price is a big thing as well. If you are looking at all of your oils on the shelf and frankincense is priced the same as lemon, best believe they are cheating in some way.
There’s adulteration there. There is no way that you have a cold press lemon oil the same price as a… I mean the thing about harvesting of frankincense oil, people die harvesting that oil. The labor intensity around harvesting that oil in Somalia in 130 degree weather on a mountain, a jagged cliff mountain. You know it’s far beyond such a different way of getting these two oils processed. So there’s no way they can be priced the same. So if you’re seeing that all the prices are the same on the shelf, then that is a red flag to tell you that something’s not right with those oils. And then last but not least is expiration. They better, they need to have an expiration date on them and they need to tell you how to use them. You know, they need to have the ATI label on there and if they are internally consumable, they need to have a supplement label on them as well.
Ari Whitten: Nice. So do you have like top two, three brands that you can suggest and if you don’t want to name them here, you can direct people to…
Dr. Mariza Snyder: To head over to my web site…
Ari Whitten: Yeah.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: You can head over to my… So my top brands, I like Plant Therapy. I think they do a good job. They do disclose a lot of where they get their oils and their purification practices. I am a big fan of DoTERRA because I also feel like they do a good job of disclosing where they get their oils and their purification practices. Those would be my two, and then Mountain Rose oils. I feel like they do a pretty good job at that as well.
Ari Whitten: Nice. Cool. So to wrap up, and this has been excellent. This has been like very practical content packed. Unusually practical where like almost every question that I’ve asked you is like “and what are the practical solutions for this, and what are the practical solutions for this?”
Dr. Mariza Snyder: I like practical and I like easy because I feel like that’s our life. And, you know, I love the science as well. But I feel like so often, you know, people are like, “well how, what do I do, how do I do it?” So I hope that was helpful.
Mariza’s top 4 tips for balancing your hormones
Ari Whitten: Yeah, it was great. So to wrap up, I would love… you know, actually I was going to say your top three things that you want to leave people with, but actually I would like top four because I want one of them to be matcha.
This is just my personal request because obviously when we met for the first time and we hung out for lunch. I was telling you how I just got into matcha and I was like starting to kind of love matcha tea a lot. And you’re like, “oh, I wrote a book on matcha.” And I realize right now that we’re at the end of this interview, we haven’t even talked about matcha at all, so I want you to give your top four tips, but my request is that one of them needs to be matcha.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Okay, perfect. I can do that for you. So top four tips. First, tip, when it comes to supporting your hormones and really just kind of getting your body back on track, I think it’s super important to have that morning and evening ritual.
Time that is for yourself, that is geared toward that self care. And definitely top two is put oils to work for you. Have those instant wins where you go in and you feel like you’re equipped with the right tools to make those practical decisions and those changes, and that you’ve experienced quick wins. You know so often in this healing journey, it can feel overwhelming and it can feel like you’re not always winning. And that’s what I think I love the oils so much about, is that there are definitely days where I need that win and they really come, they come and they give me that instant win.
So that’s going to be number two. Number three, just get real big clarity on that self awareness. Ask yourself those important questions. You know, what is serving me? How can I love my body more? What’s going to really allow me to have my best day ever? Asking yourself more questions and be coming in tune with your body is such a critical piece to living the best life. And then number four, having again a part of that morning ritual, having wonderful things that you can rely on like matcha green tea.
You know, matcha is a powerful antioxidant. It’s 10 times more powerful than the average green tea. It has L-theanine, which is really wonderful for helping to kind of give you that focus throughout the day without jitters or excess. You know that weird funky energy. And so there’s so many wonderful benefits for matcha from immune system to metabolism to again, keeping you focused at the task at hand. So matcha always makes the list. I drink matcha every single day. And those would be my top four things. I know they were a little bit out of order, but those are the things I’d have you focus on.
Ari Whitten: Get it right next time. Jeez. No, that was beautiful, Mariza. Thank you so much. It was really such a pleasure having you on. Thank you for going a little overtime with me. I appreciate the extra love. And such a pleasure hanging out with you and chatting as always. And thank you. Enjoy the rest of your day. Also, where should people go to get more from you? I know you just wrote a book, the “Smart Mom’s Guide to Essential Oils.” That’s your latest book, but where would you like people to go? Do you want to direct them to Amazon? Do you want to direct them to your site?
Dr. Mariza Snyder: You know, I want to direct them to my podcast. That is where you really get to know me, get to experience amazing individuals like yourself. I can’t wait for our interview. So the Essentially You Podcast. You can find it anywhere, Stitcher, iTunes, you know, wherever you love to listen to podcasts. Wherever you’re listening to Ari’s podcast right now, that’s where you can go. And then if you wanted to check out the books, they are on Amazon. All the books are there. So, but thank you, Ari, for letting me share where you can find me.
Ari Whitten: Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with my audience. It was such a pleasure having you on and enjoy the rest of your day.
Dr. Mariza Snyder: Thank you so much.
The Link Between Hormone Imbalance And Fatigue │ Essential Oils For Hormone Balance, Sleep, Stress, And More With Dr. Mariza Snyder – Show Notes
How hormone imbalance has become an epidemic (4:10)
The primary cause of hormone imbalance in women (8:05)
How hormone imbalance affects weight loss (10:47)
How stress affects cortisol (12:49)
How hormone imbalance affects weight (18:40)
Mariza’s morning and evening rituals (20:12)
The best essential oils for stress (26:24)
How your essential oils can affect your cortisol levels (29:29)
Essential oils benefits have been backed by science (32:52)
The best essential oils for hormone balance and essential oils for menstrual cramps (35:05)
The best and safest way to apply essential oils (41:19)
The best essential oils for energy (43:58)
The best essential oils for weight loss (47:39)
The best calming essential oils for sleep (54:09)
The best essential oils for anxiety (The benefits of copaiba essential oil) (58:03)
How to use essentials oils safely (1:01:01)
How to find the best quality essential oil (1:06:00)
Mariza’s top 4 tips for balancing your hormones (1:12:10)