Tag Archives: Holly Grig-Spall

Essential Oils For Your Menstrual Cycle – By Holly Grigg-Spall

Discover the right essential oil to match each phase of your menstrual cycle

Dr. Mariza Synder is the author of five books including “The Smart Mom’s Guide To Essential Oils,” which contains over 50 essential oil recipes. In this post, she shares the best essential oils for each phase of your menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is comprised of four phases – follicular, ovulatory, luteal or pre-menstrual, and menstruation. As well as supporting your hormonal health during each phase, essential oils can treat common hormonal symptoms, like mood swings, anxiety, or depression. 

Essential oils for the phases of your menstrual cycle

Follicular/ovulatory: Thyme and Ylang Ylang

Luteal/pre-menstrual: Clary Sage and Lavender

Menstruation: Bergamot, Lavender and Bonus: Clary Sage

Dr. Mariza Synder’s famous Hormone Synergy Blend, for the luteal/pre-menstrual phase and menstruation:


10 drops Clary Sage

8 drops Lavender

8 drops Geranium

4 drops Bergamot

4 drops Ylang Ylang

Carrier oil of choice

Directions: Place the number of drops, per recipe, in a 10 mL rollerball and then fill to the top with your carrier oil of choice (fractionated coconut oil, or almond oil). Roll the blends over your ovaries pulse points: neck, ankles and wrists 2-3 times per day.

Background on each of the essential oils:

Clary Sage

Clary Sage is effective in easing the pain caused by menstrual cramps by relaxing the smooth muscles, especially in combination with Lavender and Marjoram. A 2014 study showed that simply inhaling Clary Sage dramatically decreases the body’s cortisol – our stress-regulating hormone –  as well as improving the thyroid levels, thereby having an anti-depressant effect on the body and enhancing overall mood. This speaks to the power of aromatherapy and the instantaneous effect that it can have on our mind and body. Clary Sage can relax you to allow for a restful night’s sleep and ease any negative moods.

Ylang ylang

Ylang ylang’s nourishing properties and rich antioxidants help to protect and care for skin, especially during times of hormonal imbalance. It’s calming aroma boosts the libido and also brings calm to the mind and body.  Able to lower the heart rate and provide an overall sense of relaxation, Ylang Ylang can be an asset to anyone suffering from symptoms of depression or mood swings due to imbalanced hormones. With its ability to influence both mood and body, Ylang Ylang can offer daily support for combatting the symptoms of hormonal imbalance.


Aromatically, Bergamot has the unique ability to both uplift the mood while calming the mind. An added benefit of topical application of Bergamot is its ability to cleanse and purify the skin while positively affecting mood. In fact, even serious stress-induced disorders, many caused by a hormonal imbalance, can be positively impacted by Bergamot essential oil. By reducing the heart rate and blood pressure, Bergamot has proved to lower the body’s stress responses, possibly linking it with a direct effect on the adrenal glands.


Most notable for its ability to influence a restful night’s sleep, Lavender essential oil finds popularity for its versatility in a variety of situations. During times of hormonal imbalance when skin is at its worst, Lavender can ease and calm irritated complexions.  Its light floral aroma calms the mind and body while whisking away feelings of stress and anxiety. Massages with Lavender essential oil ease the pain of menstrual cramps while simultaneously balancing the emotions. Even used in an Epsom salt bath, Lavender can transport your body to a state of relaxation and work to rebalance your emotions while you recalibrate.


Thyme essential oil balances progesterone levels and could potentially delay the effects of menopause. It also supports natural hormonal levels to offset the effects of PMS and can energize the body during times of fatigue or stress.

Holly Grigg-Spall – Daysy Marketing Consultant and Blog Editor

When she came off the birth control pill after 10 years in 2009, Holly decided to write a blog about the experience. That blog became a series of articles, and then book, “Sweetening the Pill,” which then inspired a feature documentary, currently in production and executive produced by Ricki Lake. She is a fertility awareness and body literacy advocate and educator, a Daysy enthusiast, and excited to help more women come off the birth control pill and find a natural, effective alternative.  holly.grigg-spall@valley-electronics.com

The 5 Best Reasons To Go Off Hormonal Birth Control

The 5 best reasons to go off hormonal birth control:

1) You’ll enjoy sex more! It’s pretty much guaranteed that hormonal birth control has thrown cold water on your sex life in some way, at some point. Whether it’s made you less interested in sex, reduced your sexy dreams, given you less lubrication, pelvic pain or a harder time getting orgasms. Taking a pill to prevent you from getting pregnant, that then stops you wanting to even do the thing that might get you pregnant anyway is one of life’s cruelest jokes on women. We think not having to worry about getting pregnant will be the most amazing aphrodisiac (it makes sense!), but these synthetic hormones have the effect of removing the libido peaks all women would otherwise get with their non-medicated cycle. For many women, coming off the Pill is a revelation, because all of a sudden they really want sex, like physically want it, in this strong way they may not have felt since they were a teenager.

2) You’ll improve your relationship. Our body’s own hormones impact how we react to other people and how they respond to us. Many studies have shown that using the Pill causes men to behave differently around women and skews how women feel about men. Some experts even recommend women try coming off the Pill before marrying their long-term partner, just to check that they’re actually attracted to him. If you’re single, you might find not using the Pill helps you tune in better to your intuition when it comes to seeking out a date. If you’re in a relationship, coming off might cure any doubts you have. Not feeling solely responsible for preventing pregnancy is also really important for some women – sharing that part of a relationship can open you both up to more communication and intimacy.

3) You’ll experience all the feelings. Although the Pill can help some women avoid the perils of PMS (that said, there are better ways…), many women decide to come off the Pill because they feel it has caused them, conversely, to experience mood swings, depression or anxiety. The effect of hormonal birth control on your mood might be obvious to you now, or you might be questioning how it makes you feel after a decade or more of using it. For others, these methods of contraception cause a “blah” or dulled-down feeling that means they find it hard to get excited or feel really happy or enjoy life to the fullest. Everyone’s different. Going Pill-free can bring in a whole range of feelings and mood changes – some women have said it’s like coming out from under a cloud or from behind a veil. Colors are brighter, tastes better, and smells sweeter, a bit like when Dorothy switches from black-and-white Kansas to technicolor Oz! But without the weird little wizard man.

4) You’ll up your fitness game. This is a little-known fact unless you hang out with professional athletes – hormonal birth control actually prevents you from gaining muscle effectively. Some athletes have also noticed that the Pill makes them retain water weight through bloating. This all links back to testosterone – the Pill pretty much wipes out women’s testosterone levels which you need for energy, sex drive, and for building your strength and fitness. So, choosing non-hormonal birth control might actually help with your goal to tackle a triathlon this year or just to lose those 10 extra pounds. At the very least, it might make it less of a drag to get to the gym a couple of times a week.

5) You’ll stop worrying about scary headlines. Unfortunately, some methods of hormonal birth control cannot be categorized as safe. We’re seeing more and more in the media about the blood clot risks associated with the Pill and other hormonal methods like the NuvaRing and that’s because new brands with new formulations have been shown to have a significantly higher risk than the hormonal birth control methods of the past. You may have even already swapped your method because you read an article or your doctor mentioned the issue. As we get older our bodies change, we gain weight, we might be more sedentary – and as such our personal set of risks change. If the headlines have made you uneasy and you don’t feel like you should be at risk of death just because you want to avoid pregnancy (especially when there are so many other options out there for you), then coming off hormonal birth control can be a big sigh of relief.

Written by on Dec. 16, 2015

You’re reading The Daysy Planet. The most accurate, all-natural, fertility management solution for planning or preventing pregnancy. 99.3% accurate. Advanced tech with proven pedigree. Hormone-free, elegant, easy. Meet Daysy.

photo courtesy of Daysy.me

Unsweetened: Is Sexism In Science Blocking Hormonal Birth Control Research?

In this time of anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to discuss science critically. Jacobin magazine coined the term “New Scientism” to explain this trend, described as a fundamentalist approach to scientific practice that sees it as existing above the fray of politics and ideology; above criticism. Those who argue science is subject to influence and bias; that scientists can be apologists for the status quo, or even that not all of scientific progress is progressive, are labeled anti-science. Science, it seems, is not above embracing the “with us or against us” political style popularized in the post-9/11 era.

Last year the University of Wisconsin-Madison created a post-doctoral fellowship in feminist biology. This decision was met with accusations that the school was “rejecting science for equality.” The Guardian asked, incredulously, “Is the science of biology sexist?” The assumption is that science cannot be sexist, despite being conducted within and as a part of, rather than separate to, a sexist and patriarchal society.

Dr Janet Hyde, Director of the Center for Research on Gender and Women at UW-Madison, argued for the necessity of scientific inquiry that seeks to correct androcentric gender bias, “Scientists are humans and therefore have ideas, such as gender stereotypes, that other people have. Often these stereotypes influence how research is done, from the hypotheses that are proposed to the way in which the data are collected. Results that confirm gender stereotypes seem to “make sense,” whereas results that are contrary to stereotypes don’t seem to make sense and may not be reported.”

Dr Janet Hyde, Director of the Center for Research on Gender and Women at UW-Madison, argued for the necessity of scientific inquiry that seeks to correct androcentric gender bias, “Scientists are humans and therefore have ideas, such as gender stereotypes, that other people have. Often these stereotypes influence how research is done, from the hypotheses that are proposed to the way in which the data are collected. Results that confirm gender stereotypes seem to “make sense,” whereas results that are contrary to stereotypes don’t seem to make sense and may not be reported.”

This is illustrated most clearly when we look at the research conducted on a drug that is taken only by women, oral contraceptives.

Yet women are told that the majority of scientific research disproves the reality of their lived experience.

When Dr Alice Roberts described her experience of severe mood changes on oral contraceptives in the Guardian, science writer Ben Goldacre, amongst others, challenged her on Twitter, suggesting strongly that she should not have shared her experience when the preponderance of scientific research either denied the connection or was inconclusive.

However, hundreds of women were prompted to share their own similar issues with oral contraceptives with Dr Roberts and the response was overwhelmingly one of women grateful to have their experiences validated.

Considering the number of women who use oral contraceptives and the number of years they have been on the market, the amount and scope of research available is relatively small, with far more conducted into issues like breakthrough bleeding.

PSHE advisory and science teacher Alice Hoyle wrote in response, “Female voices and experiences are continually erased throughout history and in life and this is also true in science. How dare people erase the lived experience of women like this? The sheer volume of women on Twitter talking about their mental health experiences as a result of hormonal contraception should be raising red flags. How can this be dismissed because the “evidence” (such as it is) says there is no effect? How about listening to women?”

Feminists have argued that science sees the male body as the ideal and the female as a deviation. Leader of the women’s health movement, Barbara Seaman, once remarked that it seemed as though scientists were always trying to deal with “the disease of being female.” The medical field of gynecology was developed in the late nineteenth century and was not followed by an equivalent for male reproductive science. Soon after hormones were discovered, just over 100 years ago, it was decided that men’s hormones were stable and women’s hormones were unstable. As such scientific enquiry presumes women’s hormones require stabilization to meet the male ideal.

Just two decades later synthetic hormones were created and oral contraceptives, by replacing changeable natural hormone levels with one static synthetic hormone level, achieves this goal. Gender stereotyping assures the belief that, in regards to the impact on mood, taking oral contraceptives should bring about an improvement. Even if for some women this stabilization will be experienced as anhedonia or depression, suppressing the function of the female reproductive system until it is required for childbearing remains recommended medical practice. This is what is seen to “make sense.”

The most common reasons cited for the stalling of the development of a similar male hormone-based contraceptive pill are the negative impacts on mood and libido.

Across the board women’s health concerns are more likely to be labeled as psychosomatic and they are less likely to receive rapid treatment even when reporting chronic pain. This distrust of women’s own accounts of their experiences is not limited to the medical field and is currently debated more widely in discussion of cases of rape, for example.

Those that are seeking to develop more research into women’s health issues find it difficult to both source funding and to get their findings published.

Dr Jerilynn Prior, endocrinologist and director of the Center for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research in British Columbia, recently conducted a study into infertility in young women in Norway with significant results – 37% of the women were not ovulating.

The paper was rejected by five major medical journals, with only one reviewing the results. “I attribute this to the devaluation of women’s reproductive physiology by the dominant culture. Medicine, granting bodies and journal editors are all vested in that dominant culture. I even went so far as to appeal the decision at the British Medical Journal. Just imagine, instead, that this were a study in young men and the results showed that 37% were infertile at the time of the sample. Would you consider that relevant to patient care or practice? We think so. Is BMJ a general men’s medical journal?”

Dr Jayashri Kulkarni at Australia’s Monash University is currently undertaking a large national and international survey of women’s subjective experiences on third generation, newer hormonal contraceptives. She has discovered a link between these drugs and devices and subclinical depression with a variety of symptoms from lowered self-esteem to brain fog to obsessive-compulsive anxiety disorders.

Dr Kulkarni felt compelled to undertake this research for the benefit of women, “I built what I was hearing from women into a research project because I have a passionate belief that women have the answers. Yet they tell their doctors what they know is going on and they don’t feel heard.

I want their experiences to be validated by providing evidence that this is indeed happening.

Telling a woman who has made the connection that the research does not support her lived experience is unlikely to stop her coming off the Pill. But for the many who have not made the link, silencing women prolongs their suffering.

You’re reading The Daysy Planet. The most accurate, all-natural, fertility management solution for planning or preventing pregnancy. 99.3% accurate. Advanced tech with proven pedigree. Hormone-free, elegant, easy. Meet Daysy.