What hormonal imbalance do most women have but don’t have any idea they have it?
Estrogen dominance (ED) is one of the most common hormonal imbalances that the women I work with experience. It can cause all kinds of hormone symptoms including breast or ovarian fibroids, varicose veins, heavy menstrual bleeding, body fat and cellulite, fluid retention, PMS, and anxiety. It can also help trigger or worsen conditions such as endometriosis.
If you wish to learn more about how to use herbs to rebalance your hormones, join the FREE online workshop “How to Use Herbs to Rebalance Hormones.”
Estrogen dominance can be caused by many lifestyle factors including stress, poor diet, some meds, inadequate liver function and exposure to an estrogenic cocktail of chemicals from skin care products, cleaners, packaging, and food.
These can trigger:
- Excess levels of the strong estrogens: Estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2), as compared to estriol (E3), which is the “protective estrogen.”
- Low progesterone: The ratio of progesterone to E2 is too low because estrogen becomes too dominant and also because many women don’t produce enough progesterone due to issues such as stress.
Nature offers powerful remedies to help restore the hormonal balance between estrogen and progesterone. Here’s a snapshot of common ED problems, along with the herbs and plant foods that can help women:
Fibroids, Breast Lumps and Breast Cancer
Long-term, excess estrogen can increase the risk of developing estrogen-positive breast cancers. Herbs and plant foods that help liver function also encourage balance between estrogen and progesterone. They can also relieve other signs and symptoms of ED including breast tenderness and benign lumps (which could turn cancerous). Good choices include:
– Chaste tree:
Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) also known as Monk’s Pepper got these names from the anti aphrodisiac qualities of the plant. Monks used to chew the berries and leaves of this plant to reduce urges. When used in large quantities some may experience a reduced libido. Chaste tree works by increasing luteinizing hormone which helps to raise progesterone levels so that estrogen levels are not so dominant. It can help reduce issues such as painful, lumpy breasts, bloating, depression, headache, and constipation.
is high in chrysin, a naturally occurring flavonoid that is found in plants like passionflower and chamomile and may help lower estradiol. It is a great plant ally for perimenopausal sleep disturbance because it helps lower estradiol and has calming, mild sedative qualities.
– Raspberry Leaf:
Enjoy this in tea form and benefit from its rich levels of an antioxidant called ellagic acid. Raspberry leaf can alter estrogen metabolism, helping to reduce the risk of hormonal cancers caused by 17beta-estradiol, shows research in animals from the University of Louisville.
Like licorice and ginseng, maca root is an “herbal adaptogen”. This means it will adapt to your body’s needs, helping to naturally balance your hormones. Research at Charles Sturt University in Australia has shown benefits for women taking 500mg capsules off Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon Maca twice a day. Over four months these women experienced an increase in progesterone – which is often too low for women suffering from Estrogen Dominance. You can read more about various uses for Maca in my article here.
Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts:
According to some research, Broccoli helps inhibit breast cancer stem cells, preventing new tumors from growing because it contains a compound called sulforaphane.
These herbs can be used in easy to make salves, tinctures, and infusions. Learn how to use herbs in your everyday routine in my FREE online workshop “How To Use Herbs To Rebalance Your Hormones”
Poor Liver Function
When excess estrogen is constantly circulating in your body, the liver can become overloaded, rendering it unable to filter out harmful estrogen metabolites (which, are easily excreted when the liver is functioning optimally). This can then lead to even circulating levels of estrogen.
Milk Thistle: Assists the liver to remove excess estrogen and can also help reduce high cholesterol levels.
Artichoke: Boosts the production of bile, which in turn, supports liver function to eliminate excess estrogens.
Dandelion root and leaf: This bitter plant stimulates bile production which facilities your liver’s detoxification process, helping it to break down estrogen and progesterone byproducts and remove them from the body normally through excretion.
Another research study shows that foods like broccoli, kale, arugula, and cauliflower contain glucosinolates, which also activate a phase 2 detoxification in the liver. These powerhouse veggies filter estrogen metabolites from your body.
If you have thyroid issues, cooking your cruciferous vegetables helps reduce ~ 80% of their goitrogenic chemicals. For more about foods to help estrogen dominance, read my article on the topic here.
Does your menstrual cycle sometimes make you feel like you’re riding a hormonal roller coaster? Many women experience mood swings, fluid retention, and breast tenderness in the days or weeks leading up to your period. These fun symptoms can be painfully exacerbated by Estrogen Dominance.
Seeds: Seed cycling can be used to reduce symptoms of ED. Seeds can also increase your levels of nutrients, including zinc and vitamin E. You simply add two tablespoons of one seed or one tablespoon each of two different seeds to smoothies, salads or soups.
You will need to experiment to work out what best suits your body and hormonal profile. As a general rule to Boost Estrogen – the following seeds are favored during days 1-14 of the menstrual cycle:
– Pumpkin Seeds
To Boost Progesterone – these seeds are taken during days 15-28 of the menstrual cycle when ovulation and menstruation occur:
– Sesame Seeds
– Sunflower Seeds
For more about how to use seed rotation to balance your hormones, take a look at my post on the topic here.
In this FREE online workshop you will:
- Learn about 20 healing herbs and spices to help support and heal your thyroid, adrenals, menopause, weight, hair loss, cellulite, PCOS, hot flashes (and more).
- 5 simple and delicious herbal recipes to restore and rebalance your hormones
- Ashwaganda Latte
- Matcha Morning Kickstarter
- Protein Balls
- Women’s Health Infusion (Drink)
- Anti-wrinkle Oil (a chemical free and affordable recipe)
- How to avoid common chemicals found in everyday skincare, personal care and house cleaning products that disrupt your hormones
- Discover which herbs are best for your individual needs
- Discover what herbs are best for you