There are key times of life where hormonal transitions can lead to imbalances and disorders. Puberty, pre-menstrual cycles, and menopause are the most important hormonal transitions. Rebalancing hormonal relationships can help relieve emotional and physical symptoms associated with these imbalances, or, improve delayed growth or slow down early puberty.
Bio-identical hormones are plant-derived hormones that are similar to your body’s natural hormones. Glandular products are ground up animal organs (ovaries, adrenals, etc.). While these products can give good results early on, they can make your glands lazy but shutting them off while the bio-identical hormones do all the work. They also need close monitoring and blood levels to make sure that your body does not experience too much of a good thing. In a small group of patients, they may increase the risk of cancer, especially of the breast, ovaries and cervix.
At Full Spectrum Health Center for Integrative Medicine we never use bio-identical or animal glandular products. We have found that medicinal plants have subtle hormone-like effects without forcing active hormone activity on the body. If using bio-identical hormones is like playing a single note, using the whole plant is like playing a symphony, with your body as the conductor. Medicinal plants let your body regulate the hormonal effects of the plants and when to turn it on or off. Finally, medicinal plants influence multiple hormones at the same time in an integrated manner helping many problems at the same time. Using medicinal plants for hormonal balancing does not require hormone monitoring by blood draws.
A few example of medicinal plants with hormonal activity include:
- ESTROGEN + PROLACTIN: Chaste tree (Vitex agnus castus)
- ESTROGEN + THYROID: Dalmatian Sage (Salvia officinale)
- PROGESTERONE: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)
- ANDROGENS (Testosterone, DHEA, etc.) + THYROID: Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
- ANDROGENS + ESTROGENS: Sequioa, (Sequoia gigantea), Eleuthro (Eleuthrococcus senticosus)