Numerous herbs and foods have the ability to affect the female reproductive system, aiding in the management of menstrual difficulties, menopause, breast, cervical and uterine cancer. Those that lower estrogen levels may be able to relieve a plethora of symptoms and extend a woman’s life span. If you are looking for supplements to help you navigate menopause more comfortably or protect against cancer, some of the best ones are readily available in health food and grocery stores in your neighborhood.
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)
The well-known Chinese herb used to relieve menstrual and menopausal issues, dong Quai helps lower estrogen, reduce hot flashes, ease menstrual cramping and irregularities and encourage healthy pregnancies, according to Holistic Online.
Soy and flaxseed are recognized for their estrogen lowering and balancing properties due to the presence of compounds that have an effect on the female hormonal system, according to MotherNature.com. Their phytoestrogens have been found to protect women, especially vegetarians, against breast cancer.
Flaxseed contains lignan, a powerful phytoestrogen with the ability to lower estrogen by increasing a chemical that helps to flush excess estrogen from the body, according to Mother Nature.com.
One of the family of phytoestrogens, red clover balances female hormones, reduces estrogen levels and is an old-time cancer remedy, according to Matthew Wood, author of “The Book of Herbal Wisdom.” It has been found to help prevent tumors from spreading and like soy, red clover contains genistein, a powerful estrogen-reducing agent.
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Black cohosh stimulates the body’s ability to produce its own hormones and only what it actually needs, explains Holistic Online. Black cohosh relieves hot flashes, depression and the reduction of dryness in the vagina at menopause. It has been shown to be an excellent remedy for the majority of symptoms of menopause, many of which are estrogen related.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice has shown efficacy in reducing estrogens and increase progesterone in the body. It has become known for its action in treating pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS), where symptoms are recognized to be the result of an increase in estrogen. Licorice raises the blood pressure, so those with hypertension should use caution.
According to Subhuti Dharmananda, director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine, in Portland, Oregon, certain breast cancers are estrogen driven and respond to treatment with a variety of Chinese herbs. It’s best to see a doctor of Oriental medicine (DOM) for recommendations and dosing. Self treatment is not advised.
Evening Primrose Oil
High in essential fatty acids, Evening Primrose Oil has been show to be effective in reducing the size of uterine fibroids, which are estrogen driven, according to Herbs2000.com.
Chasteberry or Vitex
An herb that is used extensively to help a multitude of female hormonal problems, Vitex or Chasteberry helps to balance female hormones and reduce the effects of estrogen dominance.