Last time we talked about the roles hormones play in our design as human beings. You can read part one here if you missed it or need a refresher. It’s not hard to say hormones are HUGE! God has designed them to play a part in almost every function of our bodies, and so it’s not hard to see that having them in balance is crucial to functioning well physically, mentally, and spiritually.
There’s so so many hormones, but as I said last time, I just want to look at the two biggies. Getting those two in balance is key to managing all sorts of feminine issues.
Estrogen and Progesterone
This is again, super duper simplified, but inherently:
Progesterone is a good guy, and Estrogen is a bad guy IF in excess (which it very often is).
Too much estrogen is the cause of many negative physical conditions, including cancer, bone disease, cysts, autoimmune issues, etc.3 It’s also what causes lesser conditions around “that time of the month” like PMS, mood swings, weight gain, breast tenderness, etc. Too much estrogen in the system can lead to a disorder called “estrogen dominance”.
Some symptoms of estrogen dominance include: weight gain, hair loss, edema, infertility, varicose veins, irregular or skipped cycles, vaginal dryness or itchiness, flooding during cycles, scant flow during cycles, insomnia, night sweats and fatigue.4 To help keep estrogen in check, the body uses other hormones—primarily progesterone.5
Progesterone on the other hand, “is the most protective hormone the body produces…in experiments, progesterone was found to be the basic hormone of adaptation and resistance to stress..”5 Progesterone relieves anxiety, improves memory, protects brain cells, and can even prevent epileptic seizures. It helps with respiration, helps to prevent bulging veins, and can improve the efficiency of the heart. It reverses signs of aging, promotes healthy bone growth, can help with arthritis and a variety of immune disorders.
Our bodies keeping a good ratio between estrogen and progesterone levels was God’s design for us and is what keeps a woman feeling at peak. So, how is it that estrogen gets out of hand and higher than it should be? There’s several factors present in such a condition.
Sources of Excess Estrogen
One of the avenues that the body uses to eliminate estrogen is through the liver.6 So, if your liver is sluggish and not functioning optimally, then estrogen will not be well eliminated and will remain in the cells and accumulate. It’s the same with the kidneys. Researching or talking to an herbalist or naturopath about a liver and/or kidney cleanse might be a good thing that can help to restore the intended balance between estrogen and progesterone. Some herbs that are known for cleansing these bodily systems would include: dandelion, uva ursi, artichoke, and burdock.
Dr. Ray Peat, a phD and thyroid specialist with many years of experience in studying hormones, recommends that to help cleanse the liver, as well as keep the intestines functioning well, it is good to eat a raw carrot every day. This helps to rid the body of excess estrogen. The fiber from the carrot cleanses and detoxifies the intestines, reduces inflammation, and binds estrogen and other toxins and eliminates them from the body.7 Gelatin and bone broth are reported to help flush out excess estrogen as well.
Also, in the quest to rid the body of excess estrogen, and thereby balance hormones, a woman’s diet is HUGELY important. “It is THE most powerful controller of physiology and hormones”.8 If your diet is full of bad oils, junk food, processed foods, etc, then you’re increasing the risk of estrogen dominance significantly and causing nutritional deficiencies that add to the problem. Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician well known for practicing a wholistic approach to medicine, says, “Refined carbohydrates, hard [trans] fats, empty foods—and too much of it—all serve to raise your estrogen to abnormal levels, as much as twice the normal, which are maintained for the better part of the adult lives of most American women.”9
Agreeing with that, Dr Peat also says, “People under stress, or who have a thyroid deficiency, or who don’t eat enough proteins, typically have elevated estrogen levels. The accumulation of the “essential fatty acids,“ the polyunsaturated oils, in the tissues promotes the action of estrogen in a variety of ways, and this effect of diet tends to be cumulative, and to be self-accelerating.“10 Again, one’s diet is tremendously important in balancing hormones, and that includes getting a proper amount of protein.
There’s still more to share about God’s design for our endocrine system beyond just diet, but that’s it for Part 2 for now. Lots more to share about food and environment and the part they play in messing with the architecture of our hormones. And, we’ll eventually wrap up our discussion by looking at some essential oil possibilities that can help. So, stick with me! 🙂
4 Catherine Crow, FNTP, https://butternutrition.com/estrogen-dominance-hormonal-imbalance/
6 Hole’s Human Anatomy & Physiology, p495
7 Dr. Ray Peat, https://biochemnordic.com/dr-ray-peat-carrot-salad/
9 Dr. Joseph Mercola, https://naturone.com/menopause-Dr-mercolas-comments/
10 Dr. Ray Peat, http://raypeat.com/articles/natural-estrogens.shtml
The purpose of Jordan’s Crossing Herbal Connections is to promote the sharing of information about healthy, natural products and dietary supplements. JCHC’s views and opinions are INFORMATIONAL ONLY and are not intended to constitute medical advice. If you are sick, injured or pregnant, please consult a licensed health care professional.