Today a large percentage of women are estrogen-dominant and it often begins early in a woman’s life. We are seeing younger and younger women begin their menstrual cycle, and then get prescriptions for  hormonal birth control pills in order to “regulate” the frequency and severity of their periods. This is the beginning journey of a very long and daunting hormonally imbalanced road.

Other women develop estrogen dominance much later in life as a result of high animal product diets, high intake of processed foods (whether animal based or not — in particular high fat foods), liver impairment or environmental factors or also as a result of menstrual cycles in which no ovulation has occurred (anovulatory cycles). Ovulation is necessary in order to produce the corpus luteum which is found on the surface of the ovary after ovulation. The corpus luteum actually produces progesterone for the last half of the menstrual cycle. So when there is no ovulation during a cycle, less progesterone is produced which can cause estrogen imbalance.

Estrogen dominance can cause:

    • Weight gain
    • Fibrocystic breasts
    • PMS
    • Migraines
    • Irregular and heavy bleeding
    • Endometriosis
    • Fibroids
    • Ovarian cysts
    • Breast cancer
Carrying excess weight is a leading factor in estrogen dominance. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries but it is also produced in adipose tissue (fat cells). This can perpetuate the cycle – the more estrogen dominant you are, the more fat on the hips and thighs because estrogen stimulates alpha receptors, which then stimulate fat cells to store fat.
In order to naturally reduce estrogen dominance, I often work with my clients using hormone-specific liver cleansing and support supplements including lecithin, l-methionine and l-taurine which help increase bile production. These are supplements which are considered lipotropic and help the liver in processing out surplus estrogen. We also look at herbal preparations such as black radish, dandelion tea and milk thistle.
And of course, no plan would be complete without looking at the diet. Elimination of dairy is a necessity, and we focus not only at foods with anti-estrogenic effects but foods that contain helpful fiber to eliminate excess estrogen through the bowels.
Blueberries and figs have the PERFECT fiber to bind to estrogen and excrete it. Here’s a delicious and helpful smoothie for you. Blueberries and figs both have anti-estrogenic effects on the body due to their fiber content, plus they taste great together! Citrus fruits contain d-limonene which helps detoxify estrogen. Green tea has been shown in research to lower estrogen levels in women, according to a study done at NIH National Cancer Institute.

Shilajit is an altogether optional ingredient which may be unheard of to some of you.  Shilajit is a tonic  substance primarily found in high altitude rocks in the Himalayas. It has been used for thousands of years as a tonic. According to Dragon Herbs, many herbalists consider shilajit to be the most important natural tonic substance of Ayurveda. It is composed of organic plant material, and seeps out of rocks after being compressed for hundreds of years. After it is collected, it is naturally purified, concentrated and processed into a high-quality extract.

The main active component in Shilajit are fulvic acids which support cellular metabolism and can neutralize free radicals and help with detox.  It is also considered to be a strong kidney tonic, and strong tonic for libido. I find it to work really well with hormone balancing clients. So, if you feel like being experimental, order a jar and see what it does for you!

  • 1 Cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp. Shilajit (optional)
  • 3 figs (fresh, or dried. If dried, soak for a few minutes in warm fresh water)
  • 1/2 cup green tea
  • 1/2 cup ice

Blend and enjoy!