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Part 2: Optimizing Hormone Health

Last month we reviewed common hormones found in the body. Now let’s explore how to best support these hormones.

First, the liver is the organ responsible for processing and recycling hormones. Our livers can become inundated with contaminants from our environment (such as plastics, fragrances, air pollution) and from what we put into our bodies (pesticides on food, lotions, shampoos, makeup and other body products). Encouraging optimal liver function is the first step to balancing hormones since a backlogged liver won’t be able to process and recycle hormones in an efficient manner, leading to hormonal imbalances.

The best liver support is what naturopathic doctors prescribed hundreds of years ago to remove toxins from the body on a daily basis:

  • Move your body: Get a light sweat going each day, ideally outside.
  • Castor oil: Rub over liver, activate anti-inflammatory properties with heating pad or warm shower.
  • Drink clean water: Hydrate body with filtered water.
  • Eliminate regularly: Daily formed bowel movements are the goal.

Herbal medicine has a powerful effect on the liver by accelerating glucuronidation and the elimination of steroid hormones (estrogens, progesterone, testosterone). Herbs for liver support:

  • Milk Thistle
  • Artichoke
  • Bupleurum
  • Rumex

Heavy periods, weight gain, hot flashes, and night sweats can be signs of too much estrogen. Eating plants, called phytoestrogens, that bind excess estrogen can be beneficial in balancing hormones and relieving embarrassment and discomfort. Phytoestrogens are found in tempeh, miso, and ground flaxseeds.

Short menstrual cycles (25 days or less) or minimal bleeding during menses are signs of low progesterone levels. Eating complex carbohydrates and foods rich in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber support optimal progesterone levels.

  • Amaranth, brown rice, sweet potatoes, millet, buckwheat
  • Cooked leafy greens (kale, swiss chard, collards, mustard greens, spinach)

These are a sampling of the many therapies available in naturopathic medicine to balance hormones and improve how we feel. This is general information and not medical advice. If you are experiencing effects of hormone imbalances, call the office at at #530-848-6364 to discuss how we can get you feeling better.