Herbs which help to promote progesterone production or balance estrogen and progesterone: Dandelion Root

Excerpt from Dr. Susan Lark’s Healing Herbs for Women

To maintain a balance of estrogen and progesterone and prevent symptoms of PMS or premenopause, it is important to support the liver in its function of breaking down and excreting hormones. The liver must produce sufficient bile, which then passes through the gallbladder and into the intestine. In traditional Chinese medicine, when this action of the liver is sluggish, the liver is said to be congested. Herbalists treat PMS with certain herbs to stimulate bile production and thereby bring hormones back into balance. Dandelion root, as well as fennel seed and milk thistle, are commonly used to support liver health.

Suggested Dosage: Dandelion is available in 500 mg capsules. Take one to three capsules three times per day.

For more information about dandelion or other herbs that help to promote progesterone production or balance estrogen and progesterone, see my book Dr. Susan Lark’s Healing Herbs for Women available on AmazonAmazon Kindle and Womens Wellness Publishing.

Herbs which help to promote progesterone production or balance estrogen and progesterone: Chaste Tree Berry

Excerpt from Dr. Susan Lark’s Healing Herbs for Women

Chaste tree berry also inhibits the release of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH is needed to stimulate estrogen production during the first half of the menstrual cycle. The end result is to promote the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio in favor of progesterone.

Consequently, chaste tree berry can help normalize the secretion of hormones and bring estrogen and progesterone levels into a healthful balance. This makes it a useful treatment for conditions related to estrogen excess, such as PMS and perimenopause.

Suggested Dosage: The dosage for chaste tree berry is 20 mg of the standardized extract, taken twice a day, in the early morning and evening. It is also manufactured as a 10:1 extract. If taken as a liquid, a typical dose is 1 ml once or twice a day. One milliliter is equal to one full dropperful of the herb in a 1 oz. bottle. It may take a while for the benefits of chaste tree berry to manifest, typically about three months or so.

For more information about chaste tree berry or other herbs that help to promote progesterone production or balance estrogen and progesterone, see my book Dr. Susan Lark’s Healing Herbs for Women available on AmazonAmazonKindle and Womens Wellness Publishing.

Herbs which help to promote progesterone production or balance estrogen and progesterone: Licorice Root

Excerpt from Dr. Susan Lark’s Healing Herbs for Women

Licorice root has been used medicinally for several thousand years in both Eastern and Western cultures. Prescribed for problems including respiratory infections, peptic ulcers, abdominal pain, and malaria, licorice is especially useful in treating PMS, which can be caused by a dominance of estrogen in relation to progesterone levels.

A review article published in the American Journal of Natural Medicine indicated that licorice root can lower estrogen while at the same time raising progesterone. Licorice promotes an increase in progesterone by inhibiting the enzyme necessary for its breakdown. Licorice root is also a phytoestrogen. The potency of licorice root is 400 times weaker than estradiol, the most potent form of estrogen created within the body.

Licorice is also useful in counteracting the common PMS symptoms of bloating and breast tenderness caused by water retention. Licorice blocks aldo-sterone, the adrenal hormone that limits the excretion of sodium, and as sodium attracts fluids, aldosterone can cause fluid retention (edema).

Suggested Dosage: To treat PMS symptoms, a woman should take licorice beginning on the fourteenth day of her cycle until menstruation begins. Licorice can be taken as a fluid extract in a 1 milliliter dosage, one to three times per day. One ml is equal to one full dropperful of the herb in a 1 oz. bottle.

It can also be taken in powdered form in a 400 or 500 mg capsule. The dosage is one to two capsules one to three times per day. Licorice is not recommended for individuals with a history of kidney failure or hyper-tension, or who are currently taking medic-ations made from digitalis.

For more information about licorice root or other herbs which help to promote progesterone production or balance estrogen and progesterone, see my book Dr. Susan Lark’s Healing Herbs for Women available on AmazonAmazon Kindle  and Womens Wellness Publishing.

Herbs which help to promote progesterone production or balance estrogen and progesterone: Maca

Excerpt from Dr. Susan Lark’s Healing Herbs for Women

Maca—referred to as either Lepidium peruvianum or Lepidium meyenii—is one of the most traditionally used and valued Peruvian herbs, due in large part to its rich nutrient concentration.

This malty, butterscotch-flavored root contains a number of minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, plant sterols, amino acids, and alkaloids, among other phytonutrients.

In terms of minerals, calcium makes up 10 percent of maca’s mineral content. Significant amounts of magn-esium, phosphorus, and potassium are also present in this herb. Maca also contains a number of vitamins and amino acids, including B1, B2, B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and quercetin, as well as arginine, lysine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine.

German and American researchers begin studying Peruvian botanicals in the 1960’s and 1980’s. They quickly discovered that maca has many health benefits, including relieving menopausal symptoms; stimulating and regulating the endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, ovaries, and testes); increasing energy, stamina, and endurance; regulating and normalizing menstrual cycles; and balancing hormone levels.

Maca appears to act as a central nervous system stim-ulant, at the level of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. It works to stimulate hormone production, which is a critical part of regulating a woman’s physiology. It also operates as an adaptogenic herb to help regulate hormones produced by the endocrine glands. It does this by stimulating your ovaries and adrenals to produce the hormones you need; in the levels you need them.

This was shown in a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Science. Researchers tested the effects of maca on mouse sex hormones. They found that while progesterone and testosterone levels increased significantly in the mice that received the maca, their estradiol levels were not increased. In other words, the maca helped to raise the levels of progesterone and testosterone to offset the blood levels of estradiol in the mice. Clinical experiences with conditions like fibroid tumors which are triggered by estrogen dominance appear to support these findings although more human research still remains to be done. This is potentially exciting news for women suffering from estrogen dominance.

Suggested Dosage: A traditional dosage of maca is 2-10 grams a day. However, dosages are unique to each woman, so you will need to determine which dosage works for you. There have been no acute toxic effects of maca, even at very high doses. In fact, many Peruvians eat it every day!

Note: I suggest beginning at the low end of the recommended dosage, as too much can cause head-aches, breast tenderness, or hot flashes. If you are sensitive or allergic to herbs, you may want to use maca cautiously. It is recommended that you avoid maca if you have a hormone-related cancer (due to lack of formal studies), liver disease, if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are currently taking conventional HRT.

For more information about maca or other herbs that promote progesterone production, or balance estrogen and progesterone, see my book Dr. Susan Lark’s Healing Herbs for Women available on AmazonAmazon Kindle and Womens Wellness Publishing.