Naturally balance your hormones with your favorite essential oil? All your hormonal imbalance questions and solutions answered…
Hormonal imbalance has probably occurred at one point in your life and you might not have realized it. The side effects vary as widely as the issue itself. One woman might see a few pimples while her friend may experience painful, ovarian cysts. The hormones estrogen and progesterone run our bodies like a Swiss watch from puberty until death. Often they are the baseline for our gut decisions. Because of this extreme importance, hormonal health checks should be put in place regularly. This week, we will be discussing the complex topic of women’s hormonal health. Are you exhibiting symptoms? How can you naturally balance your hormones?
Endocrine System – Hormones
First, it’s important to understand how hormonal imbalances occur in the first place. The endocrine system, a chain of glands within your body, are comprised of several different sections. Each section is important to the creation, storage, and release of these important hormones that make our body move. Therefore, when hormone levels drop, it’s easiest to begin looking at symptoms of distress in the endocrine system. There are many options as far as solutions, but you should always try to naturally balance hormones before moving on to heavier treatments.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance:
One way to tell if you’re suffering from a hormonal imbalance is poor sleep. This occurs for a number of different reasons when hormones fall out of balance. A major sources of sleep loss include anxiety, hot flashes, night sweats, and adrenal fatigue. Most all of these stem from major sexual maturation phases in a woman’s life (i.e. puberty and menopause). All of these disorders stem from fluctuation in estrogen levels. Estrogen, among many other things, is a hormone essential to falling asleep and maintaining deep sleep.
Unexplained Weight Gain
Another signal of hormonal distress is weight gain. Although additional weight may indicate a range of other issues, you should look for added indicators. Women suffering from hormone-related weight gain often experience it in tandem with irregular periods, vaginal dryness, and headaches/migraines. Additionally, one may experience inability to lose weight despite recommended diet and exercise. Adversely, one might instead see inability to gain weight as well which may be paired with hair loss. These are always key signs of an imbalance that you should not ignore.
Serious Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
In some cases, women will experience more extreme symptoms. If hormonal imbalance persists more severe symptoms like anxiety and/or depression may occur. Although rare, these can prove to be very serious if left untreated. Excessive estrogen has been shown to wreak havoc on more than just your emotions. Hormonal imbalance may also cause painful ovarian cysts, aggravated PMS symptoms, and heavy bleeding. If you are experiencing these symptoms consult a doctor immediately. The number of treatment options available vary as widely as the causes. However, a trained professional will be able to guide you towards a specific plan for success.
How to Balance Hormones Naturally
If the thought of committing to hormone replacement therapy scares you, gentle options are available to treat mild cases and relieve symptoms. Popular and effective treatments include but are not limited to: essential oils, food quality, and diet. However, keep in mind it’s always best to consult a doctor when considering treatments for hormonal imbalance. There, they can order a more in depth blood test to test hormone levels. Natural solutions may not work for more serious cases of hormonal imbalance, but are a good source for relief for all that suffer.
Essential Oils for Hormone Balance
Essential oil remedies can provide excellent relief to patients across the board. How? Certain essential oil compounds work as bioidentical hormones, encouraging your body to boost hormone production and right itself. The science behind this homeopathic option is relatively understudied as their natural properties cannot be patented under a label, but each day we come closer to understanding their full capabilities. If you are seeking to naturally balance hormones, massaging or diffusing an essential oil may be the perfect place for you to start your healing journey.
This violet-tinted herb can do more than just grow over 6 feet tall. Clary Sage has been used for centuries to cure many female issues related to hormone imbalance. This potent essential oil is so good at balancing female hormones due to its phytoestrogens, which stimulate natural estrogen production. This is why many women use clary sage to relieve issues related to excessive testosterone.
Research has even further solidified these theories. In this study, this potent herb was shown to assist with those who suffer from menopause-related depression and anxiety. Similarly, Candida, a potentially dangerous yeast infection. Clary sage oil caused the breakdown of the yeast’s protective cell membrane, effectively killing it off. Similarly, the oil can ward off the painful effects and cramps of menstruation. This is due to herb’s rich store of linalool, famed for its anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties. Clary sage should definitely be on your list when looking to naturally balance your hormones.
Lavender oil is another therapeutic option for those seeking relief from hormonal imbalance. Also rich in anti-inflammatory linalool, this famed essential oil is loved for even more reasons. Women going through menopause can seek night time relief with lavender aromatherapy. Linalool and linalyl acetate have the combined capacity to act like a narcotic on our brains, depressing the central nervous system. This is why lavender pillows are popular treatment options for those suffering from anxiety. Patients reported improved quality of sleep, feeling of well being, mental alertness, and mood levelness. Lavender’s combined relaxing and pain-relieving qualities make it an easy go to for women seeking to naturally balance their hormones.
Not for the boys, this little leaf can pack a punch where women need it most. Peppermint essential oil can be a godsend for someone seeking to right a hormonal imbalance due to its estrogenic qualities. What does this mean? Peppermint, in specific quantities, works wonders for women with unbalanced testosterone levels. In one study, researchers found significant improvement in women with excessive hair growth due to oversupply of testosterone. Similarly, another study with male rats found that supplementing the rodents diet with peppermint tea increased levels of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, effectively boosting their estrogen levels. So if you’re a man, consider this essential oil before daily use.
Hormone Balancing Foods
This topic constitutes its own post at some point. However, if you’re not hearing the buzz about organic food and hormonal imbalance then we need to catch you up. Hormone-laden animal products are slowly killing Americans every year. How? Dangerous growth hormones are either injected or fed to these animals to gain weight and muscle mass quicker. These chemicals don’t leave when the animal is slaughtered. Residual build up in non-organic/grass-fed meats and dairy make their way into your system where they clog and disorient your endocrine system. These endocrine disruptors make enough confusion in your system to cause a wide array of issues.
Hormone Problems in Children
Many alarming studies blame growth hormones fed to dairy cows, cattle, and poultry for early onset puberty in children, although indirectly. Growth hormones pass through the animal and into its milk and muscle tissue. This only contributes to America’s plague of childhood obesity: a leading cause for early puberty. When a child’s body weight reaches that of a child-bearing adult, the body signals for the menstrual cycle to begin. If a child has been fattened with estrogen-soaked animal products, they are more likely to experience early hormone imbalance. This puts them at a higher risk for weight gain and in turn, early adulthood.
Hormones in Milk
Organic food can be volatile for men as well: most namely with milk. Genetic enhancement of dairy cows has introduced various industry mutations. One alarming change? These cows now continue to lactate through pregnancy, releasing dangerously high amounts of estrogen and progesterone into their milk. This can cause a wide array of issues in men including, but not limited to: low muscle mass, decreased libido, hair loss, weight gain, and fatigue. If not treated, high estrogen in men can seriously elevate risk of diabetes, prostate cancer, and heart disease. Adversely, organic milk is high in healthy fats like omega-3s that have been proven to reduce the risk of women’s diseases.
Produce, Pesticides, and Hormones
Organic food isn’t limited to animal products. Produce should be taken into account as well due to pesticides used. The USDA uses a handful of different guidelines to differentiate organic food from other options. The produce must be made without synthetics (man made chemicals), GMOs, sewage, radiation, or pesticides. Avoiding these toxic, chemical pitfalls in combination with mindful crop rotation results in organic produce. Although nutrient levels of non-organic and organic foods are relatively similar, switching to organic produce should be heeded as a precautionary measure.
Luckily, organic food is becoming more available in modern America. Better yet, the cost is going down as local farms and butcheries embrace a more educated shopper. Look online for local farmers markets may have special prices direct to consumer. This also gives you the unique opportunity to meet the person who raised your food and educate yourself further. Look for grass-fed beef when selecting red meat products. Organic is good, but often at a higher cost to the small farmer and in turn consumer. Furthermore, grass-fed means the animal never ate chemical-filled grains, which typically results in a fattier animal. One might additionally look for organic fruits and vegetables that are in season. These are often not only the cheaper, but also more flavorful option.
Foods that Balance Hormones in Females
Quality of food isn’t the only place you can naturally balance hormones. Encourage consistent and healthy hormone production in your body with the foods you eat as well. These recommendations are just a start. Talk with a nutritionist or dietician to strategize a hormonal health diet plan that will best suit your specific needs.
This powerhouse is a good place to start when resetting your hormones. Why? Hormonal balance is centered around our gut health. Real bone broth is loaded with collagen that is great for promoting good digestion, and so much more. This powerful protein creates a protective lining around the inside of the gut, allowing nutrients to be processed and repurposed by the body. It also means waste and other stomach materials can’t get out and into the bloodstream, further affecting mood and hormonal health. Studies have shown great promise with the treatment of estrogen-driven breast cancer and gut-soothing foods like bone broth.
Additionally, flaxseed is known to promote estrogen production in controlled portions. This compelling little seed is full of important phytoestrogen, lignan. This specific hormone is still being studied with great interest as studies indicate it may be able to suppress breast tumor growth. At the least, scientists have noted that flaxseed has the ability to cause cell apoptosis (cell die off), which has lead to exciting discussion of cancer treatments. Experts recommend getting two tablespoons of uncooked flax in your diet each day to help optimize your hormonal balance.
They aren’t a crowd favorite, but this crisp crew of veggies is the perfect assistant to balance your hormones. These veggies are amazingly high in fiber and antioxidants, but they really shine for their large amounts of DIM (diindolylmethane). DIM helps with detoxification of both the liver as well as removal of mutated estrogen metabolites. This keeps estrogen byproducts out of the bloodstream and effectively reduces the chance of breast cancer later down the road. Add more cruciferous vegetables in your diet with arugula, broccoli, kale, radishes, and bok choy.
Another option for positive female hormone balance comes from the deep blue. Sea vegetables are very high in vitamin B. Researchers feel it’s too soon to draw a complete conclusion on the estrogenic benefits of vitamin B. However, certain studies suggest the direct correlation between vitamin B supplementation and estrogen levels in postmenopausal patients. In this study, scientists studied the effects of this vitamin on thousands of women over a 12-month period. The results suggest the importance of vitamin B and hormonal breast health. To get more in your diet, seek seaweed, kelp, and wakame at a local special grocer.
Our endocrine system is spread throughout our body and has a hand in many daily functions… but don’t be too alarmed. Many people across the globe suffer from hormone imbalance to some degree. Luckily, it’s often very fixable with better lifestyle practices. Remember to consume a diet rich in estrogen-friendly foods, exercise regularly, and limit drinking and smoking. Don’t forget that our bodies are machines too. You will get out exactly what you put in. Make sure it counts.