Monday, October 24, 2011

What to Mix in Your Fruit and Vegetable Juices

There are three categories of juices here: Fruit, Carrot and Green Juices. If you're unaccustomed to juicing, fruit juices may be your first choice. However, your goal should be to drink a variety of juices, (especially green juices), which are very healing to the body. Fruit juices are typically higher in sugar than vegetable juices. Some natural healthcare practitioners recommend "chewing" or swishing your fresh juice so as to have the sugars digest more slowly. Start with carrot juice combinations as a way to transition to green juices.

Green Pepper
Clean Watermelon Rind


Watermelon (see post on "seeds")

Chlorophyll-The Healer in Greens

Chlorophyll is the chemical formed by the chloroplast cells of green plants. It is at the beginning of the food chain-the plasma of green plants. Without chlorophyll all animal life on earth would become extinct. Amazingly, this 'blood of plants' is structurally similar to hemin, the protein portion of hemoglobin that carries oxygen. The main difference is that chlorophyl is bound by an atom of magnesium whereas hemin is bound by iron. Severely anemic rabbits made a rapid return to normal blood counts once chlorophyll was administered. Somehow the body is able to substitute iron and rebuild the blood. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass juice elevated blood platelet counts when it was fed to hospitalized patients.

Wheatgrass-The Queen of all Juices

Wheatgrass is a potent juice that is taken in one ounce doses. Although it is part of the 9,000 member family of grasses, which include the grasses on our lawns, wheatgrass and its cousin barley grass, are grown for nutritional purposes. These nutritional grasses are some of our finest sources of chlorophyll, but that's only the beginning. Grasses contain many other important pigments, too. There are carotenoids, betacarotene, etc. They are abundant in vitamin E and other important vitamins.

See my previous post on Chlorophyll and wheatgrass for more information.

Source: Juice Fasting and Detoxification -
Using the Healing Power of Fresh Juice to Feel Young and Look Great
The Fastest Way to Restore Your Health
By Steve Meyerowitz


Those seeking help for specific medical conditions are advised to consult a qualified nutrition therapist, clinical nutritionist, doctor, or equivalent health care professional.
The recommendations given here are intended solely as education and information, and should not be taken as medical advice. Neither myself nor the sources mentioned accept liability for those who choose to self-prescribe.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease either physical or mental.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Caffeine – Breaking the Habit

If you want to be in tip-top mental health, stay away from stimulants. This is doubly important for those with mental health problems because too much caffeine can, in some, produce symptoms that may lead to a diagnosis of a mental illness. This may happen because high caffeine consumers can become both allergic to coffee and unable to detoxify caffeine. The total effect is serious disruption of both mind and mood.

Giving Up Stimulants

Coffee contains three stimulants: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. Although caffeine is the strongest, theophylline is known to disturb normal sleep patterns, and theobromine has a similar effect to caffeine, although it is present in much smaller amounts in coffee. So, decaffeinated coffee isn’t exactly stimulant free. As a Nutritional Consultant I have seen many people cleared of minor health problems such as tiredness and headaches just from cutting out their 2-3 cups of coffee a day. The best way to find out what effect it has on you is quit for a trial period of two weeks. You may get withdrawal symptoms for up to three days. These reflect how addicted you’ve become. After this, if you begin to feel perky and your health improves, that’s a good indicator you’re better off without coffee. The most popular alternatives are: Teeccino, Caro Extra, Bambu, or herb teas.

Tea is the great British addiction. A cup of strong tea contains as much caffeine as regular coffee and is certainly addictive. Tea also contains tannin, which interferes with the absorption of certain minerals such as iron and zinc. Particularly addictive is Earl Grey tea containing bergamot, itself a stimulant. If you’re addicted to tea and can’t get going without a cup, it may be time to stop for two weeks and see how you feel. The best-tasting alternatives are Rooibos tea with milk and herbal or fruit teas. Drinking very weak tea from time to time is unlikely to be a problem.

Chocolate bars are usually full of sugar. Cocoa, th active ingredient in chocolate provides significant quantities of the stimulant theobromine, whose action is similar to caffeine. Theobromine is also obtained in cocoa drinks like hot chocolate. As chocolate is high in sugar and stimulants, and delicious as well, it’s east to become a chocoholic. The best way to quit the habit is to go one month with no chocolate. Instead, eat healthy sweets from health food shops that are sugar free and don’t contain chocolate. After a month you will have lost the craving.

Changing any food habit can be stressful in itself, so it’s best not to quit everything in one go. A good strategy is to avoid something for a month, then see how you feel. One way to greatly reduce the cravings for foods you’ve become addicted to is by having an excellent diet. Since all stimulants affect blood sugar levels, you can keep yours even by always having something substantial for breakfast, such as an oat-based, not too refined cereal; unsweetened live yogurt with a banana, ground sesame seeds, and wheat germ; or an egg. You can snack frequently on fresh fruit. The worst thing you can do is go for hours without eating. Vitamins and minerals are important too, because they help regulate your blood sugar level and hence your appetite. They also minimize the effects of withdrawal from stimulants and the symptoms of food allergy. The key nutrients are vitamin C, the B complex vitamins, especially B6 and the minerals calcium, magnesium, and chromium. Fresh fruit and vegetables provide significant amounts of vitamin c and B vitamins, while vegetables and seeds such as sunflower seeds and sesame are good sources of calcium and magnesium. For maximum effect, however, it is best to supplement these vitamins as well as eat foods rich in them.

Natural Stimulants

If you still need a boost, especially during the first week off caffeine, you can do it the natural way. The body makes adrenaline and its cousins the “feel-good” neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline, directly from an amino acid called tyrosine. Supplementing 1,000 mg of tyrosine on an empty stomach or with some carbohydrate such as a piece of fruit, gives a positive lift. This is well worth it in the week you’re quitting caffeine. It's best to consult with a Natural Health Care Practitioner when you are addressing neurotransmitter deficiencies.

In addition to tyrosine there are a number of “adaptogenic” herbs. These include Asian ginseng, Siberian ginseng, reishi mushrooms, and rhodiola. While rhodiola is a favorite in Siberia, reishi mushroom is one of the most respected tonics in Chinese medicine. In Asia, it has been revered for as long as five thousand years. These herbs are called adaptogens because they help even out and maintain normal levels of another energy-giving adrenal hormone called cortisol. These are all available as herbal supplements and you can find them combined with tyrosine.

My Experience

I was addicted to coffee a few years ago. Even now, it's easy for me to get hooked again. All it takes is one cup of coffee and I'm likely to drink it again the next day. The only substitute that has worked for me is white peony tea which I drink every morning. It has health benefits, and it's lower in caffeine than black tea. Check out the mountain rose herbs link if you'd like fresh, dried organic white tea shipped to you. You'll find white tea under black or green tea on the tea page.

A few simple steps you can take to reduce your intake of and addiction to stimulants and balance your blood sugar

 Avoid sugar and foods containing sugar.

 Break your addiction to caffeine by avoiding coffee, tea and caffeinated drinks for one month, while improving your diet. Once you’re no longer craving caffeine, the occasional cup of weak tea or very occasional coffee is not a big deal.

 Break your addiction to chocolate. Once you’re no longer craving it, the occasional piece of chocolate is not a problem. Choose the dark, lower sugar kind of chocolate.

 Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner—choosing low GL foods—plus two fruit snacks in between.

 Take a high-strength multivitamin, plus 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day and 200mcg of chromium.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

Source: The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford

Those seeking help for specific medical conditions are advised to consult a qualified nutrition therapist, clinical nutritionist, doctor, or equivalent health care professional.
The recommendations given here are intended solely as education and information, and should not be taken as medical advice. Neither myself nor the sources mentioned accept liability for those who choose to self-prescribe.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease either physical or mental.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Series: Optimal Hormone Balance--Stress and Hormonal Health

Stress and Hormone Balance

Some of the hormones involved in adapting to stress are adrenaline, cortisol and DHA. Most people have heard of the “flight or fight” response to stressors and how this affects the body. Hormones are released in response to stressful situations or states of stress. Stress can cause your hormonal system to go haywire. This happens because when you are constantly under stress, you are literally wearing your body out! Prolonged stress is associated with speeding up the aging process, with a number of the diseases of digestion, and with hormone balance. A very profound statement is, “Any body system that is overstimulated will eventually malfunction.”


If you are living off of coffee, a high-sugar diet, or stress itself, you increase your risk of upsetting your thyroid balance ( which means you’re likely to gain weight) or calcium balance (resulting in arthritis) or of getting problems associated with sex-hormone imbalances and excessive cortisol. These are the long-term side effects of being stressed out all of the time. One way to reduce your stress levels is to reduce your intake of sugar and stimulants. The more dependent on stimulants you are, the more your blood sugar levels will fluctuate, with low blood sugar levels triggering the release of adrenal hormones. This means that just having a sugary diet and unbalanced blood sugar levels can put your body into the stress-response mode. Everyday stress plus coffee, and a high sugar diet is a recipe for ruining your hormonal system.

Irregular Periods

If your periods are either absent of irregular and you’re not in menopause or pregnant, it is worth checking out the cause. Absent or irregular periods are associated with low weight, strenuous exercise, anorexia nervosia, taking the contraceptive pill, or extreme stress. Extreme stress can lead to either missed periods or more frequent periods. (Follow the dietary recommendations given in this article).

Stress and Estrogen Dominance

The hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle estrogen and progesterone can be skewed by stress. The balance between estrogen and progesterone is critical. Stress can interfere with your ability to ovulate, thereby blocking progesterone function and pushing further into estrogen dominance. If a woman does not ovulate, no progesterone is produced during that cycle. This is because progesterone is produced in the sac that contains the ovum, once the ovum is released. If no progesterone is produced there is relative estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and PMS.

Learn about how the pill eliminates ovulation at under "Withdrawl bleeding."

Diet Tips for Hormonal Health:

• Keep animal fats very low in your diet.

• Choose organic vegetables and meat whenever possible to reduce pesticide and hormone exposure.

• Don’t eat fatty foods wrapped in PVC cling film.

• Use stimulants such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and sugar only on occasion, if at all. If you’re addicted to any of these, break the habit.

• Do not let stress become a habit in your life. Identify sources of stress and make some positive changes to your circumstances and the way you react to them.

• Make sure you’re getting enough essential fats from seeds, their oils, or supplements of evening primrose, borage or flax oil.

• Make sure your supplement program includes optimal levels of vitamins B3, and B6, biotin, magnesium and zinc. (see Wellness Resources Vitamins link on this page for a good quality multi-vitamin)

• If you have PMS or menopausal symptoms, consider taking a hormone –friendly supplement containing extra vitamins B3, B6, and C, and biotin, magnesium, and zinc, and/or the herbs agnus castus, dong quai, black cohosh, and St. John’s Wart.

• Natural Progesterone is available on prescription should a saliva test reveal a need for supplementation.

Daily Energy Mutiple Vitamin


Balance Your Hormones Naturally by Kate Neil and Patrick Holford
The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford
Dr. Susan Lark’s Hormone Revolution by Susan M. Lark, MD

The article presented here is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. This information has not been approved by the FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether mental or physical. Please see a licensed health care practitioner for medical concerns. If you have medical concerns, you may consult your doctor before beginning a supplement program.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas

Since I like to eat healthy, I find it frustrating when I’m at a loss for recipe ideas. When you consider that most whole foods must be chopped fresh or cooked ahead of time, it helps to prepare at least some ingredients ahead of time. Below are some do-ahead tips so you can put together quick healthy meals in a few minutes for a main meal or side dish. You’ll need some good glass storage containers with lids if possible.

 Pre-cook brown rice, quinoa
 Quarter and steam small potatoes
 Make some hard-boiled eggs
 Chicken, other organic meats
 Spaghetti sauce
 Home-made salad dressing
 A variety of beans

Here’s one of my salad recipes. It won’t leave you feeling hungry!

Potatoes and Field Greens Salad with Herbed Dijon

You‘ll need: Pre-cooked potatoes, chopped hard-boiled eggs, chopped bacon, (optional), and cherry tomatoes

Add more vegetables like French green beans and artichokes for variety.
Rinse and spin dry the salad greens. Place all of the above ingredients atop the salad with a little Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper.

Herbed Dijon

1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. real maple syrup
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. water
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Blend thoroughly in a high-speed blender or food processor.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Series: Optimal Hormone Balance--Heavy Menstrual Bleeding


Bioflavonoids are classified under phytochemicals. Researchers have discovered many benefits to these biological compounds found in food. They affect health as significantly as vitamins and minerals although they’re not classified as nutrients. As they’re not stored in the body, it is advisable to eat foods rich in phytochemicals on a regular basis. Over a hundred phytochemicals have been identified, some of which act as antioxidants, immune system boosters and hormone stabilizers. In this section we’ll focus on the latter.

Bioflavonoids are often used to help balance hormone levels. They can normalize estrogen balance bringing excessively high estrogen down to more normal levels. They also bind to estrogen receptor sites in the uterus and breasts, blocking your body’s own high-octane estrogen from doing damage.

Reducing Heavy Bleeding

Some studies have shown that bioflavonoids, in combination with vitamin C, also help to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding in transitioning menopausal women, as well as women suffering from bleeding due to fibroid tumors. According to a study from the Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, flavonoids not only reduce heavy menstrual bleeding but also ease menstrual cramps. Of the 36 women who took 1,000 mg a day of a flavonoid-based nutritional supplement for just under 12 months, 70 percent of them experienced a 50 percent reduction in their bleeding, and the duration of the bleeding was one-third less. Seventy-five percent saw a reduction in the severity of their menstrual cramps.

Suggested Supplements:

Try supplementing 1,000-2,000 mg of citrus bioflavonoids per day. In addition to the citrus variety, quercetin and rutin also have anti-estrogen properties. Rutin has been shown to be particularly effective in strengthening capillaries and reducing menstrual bleeding.

Dr. Susan Lark’s Hormone Revolution by Susan M. Lark, MD with Kimberly Day
The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford

This information has not been approved by the FDA and is not intended as medical advice, nor to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental. Please see a qualified licensed health care professional for medical concerns. Consult your doctor before beginning a nutritional supplement program.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Asthma, Insulin and Digestive Health

Oxygen is our most vital nutrient. Therefore anything that interferes with our ability to breathe normally merits our attention. Most of us breathe shallowly, and use only a third of our lung capacity. Deeper breathing energizes the body. Most exercises aren’t designed to help us to breathe properly so we get out of breath. Oxygen deficiencies allow toxic substances to build up generating tension in the body. If you feel exhausted or stiff after exercising, something is unbalanced in your exercise program.

A fresh supply of oxygenated blood is vital to the functioning of every organ in the body. Therefore it’s important to spend time each day doing exercises that relax and oxygenate the entire body. Exercises that combine breath with movement can achieve this result. I like to do Pilates exercises.


Pesticide exposure is linked to asthma, eczema, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome and rhinitis. We are exposed to pesticides in our food, in our homes via pest control, as well as in the wider environment, especially if we live near agricultural areas. This is another reason to eat only organically grown foods.


There are several reasons why a person becomes food allergic. Among these are lack of digestive enzymes, leaky gut, frequent exposure to foods containing irritant chemicals, immune deficiency, leading to hypersensitivity of the immune system, microorganism imbalance in the gut leading to leaky gut syndrome, and the balance of bacteria and yeast in the gut. These tests can be done at home (see Lab tests).

As well as identifying and avoiding foods that cause a reaction, in order to allow the gut and the immune system to calm down there is a lot you can do to reduce your allergic potential.

• Digestive enzyme complexes that help digest fat, protein, and carbohydrate (lipase, amylase, and protease) are well worth trying. Since stomach acid and protein-digesting enzymes rely on zinc and B6, it may be helpful to take 15 mg of zinc and 50mg of B6 with a meal twice a day with digestive enzymes.
• Leaky guts can heal. Cell membranes are made out of fat-like compounds. One such fatty acid—butyric acid—helps to heal the gut wall. The ideal daily dose is
• 1,200 mg a day. Vitamin A is also crucial for the health of any mucous membrane including the gut wall. Having five grams of glutamine powder in water before bed also helps to heal the gut.
• Beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus or bifidobacteria can also help calm down a reactive digestive tract and reduce allergic potential.
• Boosting your immune system also helps to reduce any hypersensitivity it may have.

More advice and supplements for asthma

Often attacks of asthma are brought on by underlying allergies, stressful events, or changes in environmental conditions like the weather. Vitamin A helps to protect the lining of the lungs, while vitamin C helps deal with environmental toxins. Antioxidant nutrients and essential fats are also anti-inflammatory.


• 2 x multivitamin and mineral formula
• 2 x antioxidant complex
• 2 x vitamin C 1,000 mg
• 2 x essential omega-3 and omega-6 oil capsules
• Calcium/magnesium formula ratio 2:1, and up to 1,500 mg extra magnesium

You may order the above supplements from There are other companies that also provide high-quality supplements. This is where I purchase my vitamins. Please find the wellness resources link on this page, and follow to place an order. Thanks!

Please read more about this topic in the book The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet by Felicia Drury Kliment which is the one source for the above information.

Source: The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford

Also, see,,, a respitory health supplement, and Histablock),, (quercetin info.)Books: Digestive Enzymes a Woodland Health Series,

Wellness Resources

Disclaimer: These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any disease whether physical or mental. Please consult your licensed health care practitioner for medical advice and concerns.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Series: Optimal Hormone Balance--Estrogen Dominance

What Is Estrogen Dominance?

Women will experience hormonal changes throughout their lives. Many of us think of these changes as occurring at only two significant life stages- adolescence and menopause. Women in their mid- to late-30’s and 40’s will have a major shift in their hormonal life. Some women simply produce fewer and fewer sex hormones, (DHEA, progesterone, androstenedione, testosterone, and estrogen). However most will experience hormonal fluctuations, usually marked by normal to excess estrogen and decreased progesterone. This is known as estrogen dominance and often marks premenopause.

It’s important not to dismiss estrogen dominance as a trivial hormonal imbalance. It can lead to serious and life threatening health problems if left unaddressed. Some of the complications may involve: fibroid tumors, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, heavy menstrual bleeding, benign breast disease, hyperplasia and uterine cancer.

Are You Estrogen Dominant?

The following is a checklist to help you determine if you are estrogen dominant. If you anwered yes to four or more of these questions, you are very likely in estrogen dominance.

 Are you over age 35?
 Do you suffer from PMS?
 Do you have heavy, irregular periods?
 Do you suffer from anxiety, irritability, and mood swings?
 Have you gained more than 10 pounds?
 Do you have noticeable cellulite?
 Do you have puffiness around your eyes and face?
 Do you have a decreased interest in sex?
 Are you experiencing sleep difficulties?
 Are you retaining fluids?
 Are you having headaches?
 Do you have bouts of brain fog—forgetting your car keys, your friend’s first name, or the point of a text you recently studied?
 Have you recently discovered cysts in your breasts?
 Have you been told you have fibroid tumors?
 Do you have symptoms of endometriosis?
 Have you been diagnosed with hyperplasia or endometrial cancer?
 Have you been diagnosed with ovarian cysts?

If you answered yes to many of these questions, you may like to get your hormone levels tested.

Tip of the Day:

Saliva Hormone Tests

Like blood, saliva closely mirrors hormone levels in your body’s tissues. However, saliva is the preferred test for determining free hormone vs. bound in the body. This is important since only free hormones are active, which means that they affect the hormone sensitive tissues in the body.

Saliva testing is easy, stress-free and non-invasive. If you think saliva testing is right for you consider consulting your physician. Having your doctor order the test has two advantages: The profile is more extensive and your insurance may cover the cost. If your doctor doesn’t have a preference for labs, you may like to us Geneva Diagnostics, ( or 800-522-4762 as well as ZRT Laboratory ( or 866-600-1636). If your doctor is unable to order a test for you, you could take a home saliva test from Aeron Laboratories ( or 800-631-7900).

Dr. Susan Larks's Hormone Revolution by Susan M. Lark M.D.

The opinions given here have not been approved by the FDA or the author of the aforementioned book. This information is not intended as medical advice nor to treat, diagnose or cure any disease and is for entertainment purposes only. If you have any health concerns, please consult a licensed health care professional. Please consult your doctor before beginning a supplement program.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Series: Optimal Hormone Balance—Foods to Promote Estrogen Balance

Keep Your Liver Healthy

Your liver detoxifies harmful substances. Much of what goes into the body must be broken down and changed from harmful substances to harmless ones. The liver is able to recognize millions of such chemicals, transform them or prepare them for elimination.

How the Body Detoxifies

The body processes toxins in the liver using different chemical pathways. Some of these pathways are the glutathione conjugation, sulfation, glucuronidation, and glycine conjugation pathways. These avenues of detoxification convert caffeine, asprin, into harmless substances. These different pathways rely on different nutrients to work properly. While many substances processed by the liver come from outside the body, others come from within. An example of this is estrogen.

Estrogen and the Liver

Estrogens can be toxic in their free form in the body. Therefore they must be converted into non-toxic weaker estrogens or other substances. The sulfation and glucuronidation pathways are involved in breaking down estrogen. What can help or deter this process from working optimally? The breakdown of estrogen is helped by certain nutrients found in simple foods. Estrogen metabolism is weakened by substances such as alcohol or caffeine that hinder the liver’s ability to work properly.

DIM and Estrogen Metabolism

Diindolymethane or DIM is a plant-compound found in Brassica veggies such as broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts. Researchers have found that this compound is very beneficial in promoting estrogen metabolism. While DIM is not an estrogen mimic, its pathway exactly coincides with the metabolic pathway of estrogen. When these pathways intersect, DIM favorably adjusts the estrogen metabolic pathways by increasing good estrogen metabolites and decreasing bad ones. The idea is to have your estrogen go through the healthy pathway instead of the unhealthy one. DIM is available as a supplement or you can consume more of the foods above to ensure proper estrogen detoxification.

Tip of the Day:

Eat more cruciferous vegetables.

• Broccoli
• Brussels Sprouts
• Cabbage
• Caulifower
• Cress
• Horseradish
• Kale
• Kohlrabi
• Mustard
• Radishes
• Turnips
• Strawberries
• Raspeberries

Try to eat a variety of these vegetables on a regular basis in your diet. Foods containing indoles also have anti-cancer benefits.

The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford
Dr. Susan Lark's Hormone Revolution by Susan M. Lark M.D.

The opinions given here have not been endorsed by the FDA or the author of the aforementioned book. This information is not intended as medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only. If you have any health concerns, please consult a licensed health care professional. Please consult your doctor before beginning a supplement program.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Series: Optimal Hormone Balance

Many women suffer from PMS and hormone related health issues throughout their lives. Unfortunately, we don’t always clearly understand hormones and how they work. This lack of knowledge has led some women to seek unnatural remedies to common imbalances. For example, you may know of someone who has taken birth control pills for alleviating menstrual cramps. Aren’t birth control pills for preventing pregnancy? And how do birth control pills prevent pregnancy? Chances are we haven’t investigated this thoroughly up until now. Birth control pills mimic progesterone in the body but they are often made with progestin. Progestin isn’t a natural hormone. In fact, if you want, just look at the back of a birth control pill advertisement in a magazine and you’ll be surprised at all of the potential side effects they pose. I personally haven’t taken the pill for about 11 years now and my health has improved. I stopped taking the pill when my Candida symptoms became out of control. I feel that my eyesight changed from perfect to blurry after having taken the pill for about 6 months. (Of course, I don’t advise anyone to discontinue medications without a doctor’s consent).

My interest was sparked in this topic was when I read a newsletter based on the book Dr. Susan Lark’s Hormone Revolution. Dr. Lark has extensively studied hormone health and as a medical doctor she highlights natural solutions to hormone woes. I highly recommend her book to anyone who feels their health concerns are related to an underlying hormonal imbalance. I will be using information from her book as well as from other sources to present this series on hormone balance. I’ll be sharing advice for all ages of women along with helpful natural supplements. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at

Natural Remedies for PMS/Menstrual Cramps

EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) are beneficial for reducing menstrual cramps. EFAs are effective for a wide range of estrogen-dominant related conditions, but they are most commonly praised for their effectiveness in easing cramps. A study from the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology looked at 42 girls between the ages of 15 and 18 years, all of whom had experienced significant menstrual pain during their periods. The girls who took 1,080 mg of EPA and 720 mg of DHA every day for two months enjoyed a significant decrease in pain due to menstrual cramps. No change was reported in the placebo group. Additionally, the amount of pain killers taken by the girls during their periods decreased by more than 50 percent during the time they were taking fish oil supplements as compared to the placebo group.

Flax for Stimulating Ovulation

The two best sources of EFAs are flaxseed and fish oil. In the case of flaxseed both the oil and the ground seeds are rich in EFAs. Plus, flax has been proven to support progesterone production. A research study was done by the University of Minnesota on 18 women with normal menstrual cycles. The women took 10 grams of ground flaxseed per day in addition to their normal diet. The women who ate flaxseed had more cycles where ovulation occurred, (necessary for hormone balance), than those who didn’t consume flax. Ground flaxseed was also found to improve the estrogen-to-progesterone ratio, favoring the levels of progesterone in the body. The researchers noted that the flax was converted into prostaglandins, which are necessary for ovulation to occur.

Today’s tip:

If you can tolerate ground flaxseeds or cold-pressed flax oil, try adding 1-2 tablespoons of oil per day or 4-6 tablespoons of ground flaxseed per day.

Flax Facts

1. The lignans in flax are weak phytoestrogens that help modulate estrogen production.
2. The fiber assists the intestines in the excretion of excess estrogen, once it has been inactivated by the liver.
3. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are converted into series 1 and 3 prostaglandins to help with progesterone production.

If you can’t handle flax, you can get your EFAs through fish oil. If fish is oil is your preference, I suggest taking 3-6 capsules that contain at least 300 mg DHA and 200 mg EPA every day.

If you’d like to give flax a try, it goes well in yogurt, smoothies and in cereal. I prefer it in yogurt.

Dr. Susan Lark’s Hormone Revolution by Susan M. Lark MD with Kimberly Day

The opinions given here have not been endorsed by the FDA or the author of the aforementioned book. This information is not intended as medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only. If you have any health concerns, please consult a licensed health care professional. Please consult your doctor before beginning a supplement program.