Balancing hormones naturally

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We have got the wonderful expertise and wisdom of Nicola Murphy (Senior Nutritional Herbalist from A.Vogel-Ireland) to give us a few key pointers in vital nutrients and helpful herbs in balancing herbs naturally in relation to fertility and hormonal health this month; Here are the few pointers!

Vital Nutrients

Vitamin B6

 B6 is a major vitamin Involved in Glucose metabolism so balances out the blood sugars and crucial in managing cravings. 50mg (or otherwise advised by a qualified therapist) is advised daily with food.

 It is also Involved in the production of key neurotransmitters – Serotonin, Dopamine and Acetylcholine – all excellent in mood, sleep & concentration so keeps everything at a nice even groove for PMT/period times.

 It also helps balance body water and cholesterol.

 As its not produced by the body, its essential that its taken through its sources of foods or supplements.

Vitamin B6 rich foods

 Spinach, Sunflower seeds, Brown rice, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peppers, Bananas,

 Supplements: 50mg or taken as a B Complex.

Vitamin B6 destroyers

 Be aware of the B6 destroyers however such as; Alcohol, coffee, smoking, excessive exercise, very high protein intake, the contraceptive pill & HRT

Magnesium

 Magnesium is a wonderful support for the whole menstral cycle. Its deficiencies cause cramps, headaches, migraine,tension, depression – all symptoms that are common prior to menstruation

 Wonderful stress busting mineral and excellent for aiding sleep also.

Magnesium rich foods

 Good food sources: Wholegrains, seeds, nuts and green vegetables

Magnesium destroyers

 Magnesium is depleted by caffeine in tea, coffee and fizzy drinks

Zinc

 Involved in the production of hormones, immune, skin health and general wellbeing.

 Activates Vitamin B6

 Aids in the production of Serotonin – beneficial for mood

Zinc destroyers

 Avoid too much wheat and alcohol as both can affect Zinc absorption

Essential fatty acids

 GLA (Starflower oil/ Evening primrose oil) – helps relieve breast tenderness and low moods

 Anti-inflammatory action will benefit conditions such as Endometriosis

Helpful Herbs

Agnus Castus

 Agnus Castus stimulates the production of the hormone Progesterone. Low progesterone levels in relation to oestrogen can cause heavy painful periods as well as other symptoms such as irritability and fluid retention.

Therefore Agnus Castus may help reduce these symptoms by reducing oestrogen dominance and boosting progesterone levels….helping fertility!

 Agnus Castus also been shown to inhibit the production of prolactin which is linked to breast tenderness, irregular periods and infertility

 Big warning though….Agnus Castus should not be taken with the contraceptive pill!

Look after your liver! ….Why?

 It is your body’s filter for toxins

 It is involved in degrading oestrogen – if it isn’t degrading it properly, oestrogen dominance and lack of progesterone (fertility hormone) may occur

 An overworked liver can also result in poor skin condition

Milk Thistle

 Milk Thistle Complex contains a blend of herbs that protect the liver, help renew liver cells and flush out toxins, therefore helping it work most efficiently which in turn and can contribute to better hormone balance.

Manage your stress levels

 Continuous stress on the body can result in hormonal imbalances

 Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands which prepares the body for flight/fight. Cortisol is made via the same initial pathway in our adrenal glands as progesterone, androgens and oestrogen. Adrenals always give priority to this pathway over and above that of producing the sex hormones! So ongoing stress is a big problem for your hormones…. See the article also on reflexology for helping stress and fertility for additional support.

 Stress relieving nutrients include B vitamins, Magnesium and Theanine

 Rhodiola and Passiflora may be beneficial herbs to soothe frayed nerves and help support the body’s resistance to stress and anxiety (again.. qualified advise important in taking any herbs! 😉

Fluid retention

 Try taking some Dandelion. It helps trigger the release of excessive fluid retained in the body and also replenishes potassium & other minerals normally lost with diuretics. Keep your intake of salt, sugar and wheat to a minimum…. sorry! 😉

Sugar Cravings

 Try taking some Chromium about one week in advance of your cravings kicking in. This can help stabilise blood sugar levels and really reduce cravings. It’s a general great one for weight loss anyway and is a nice idea after all those easter eggs hey!

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