Last Modified on Jun 19, 2014
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are chemicals released by the body that affect the way cells function, and they are the way one part of your body sends messages to another to stimulate metabolism, growth, moods, reproduction, sexual arousal, hunger, puberty, menopause, and even parenting. Hormones help with reactive situations, and send signals to allow the body to perform better during a crisis (e.g. the classic "fight or flight" response).
A hormone imbalance can affect your every day activities; from waking up, to eating, to attitudes, to exercising, and even back to sleeping. In one commonly understood example, menopausal symptoms are caused by the reduction of female reductive hormones as the body shifts into a non-reproductive state. Pharma companies have created synthetic hormones to manage menopause, but these increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease and come from strange sources (synthetic estrogen is made from pregnant mares' urine). Bioidentical hormones created from plants are chemically indistinguishable from the hormones our bodies create, but are still synthetic and still being evaluated for risks.
Natural Hormone Therapy
On this page you can find a number of user-submitted remedies in complementary and alternative medicine to help balance your hormone levels. Some of our Earth Clinic reader favorites are apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses, garlic, and Kundalini Yoga. In addition to our cures we have a number of ongoing discussions with helpful information and other related topics such as acromegaly. Let us know what you try from Earth Clinic to help balance your hormones; and if you know of a cure that we do not have listed here, please don't hesitate to share it with us.
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Blackstrap Molasses
- Book Recommendation
- Chinese Herbs
- Cushing's Syndrome
- Dried Apricots With Honey
- Flax Seed Oil
- General Feedback
- Helpful Articles
- High Prolactin Level Remedies
- Kombucha, Omega 3, Evening Primrose Oil
- Kundalini Yoga
- Maca Root
- Menopausal Excess Hair
- Mirena IUD
- Multiple Remedies
- Postmenopausal Hormone Treatment
- Reader Feedback
- Remedies for High Prolactin
- Remedies Needed
- Saliva Testing
- Vaginal Dryness
- Vitamin E
- Zinc, Wild Yam Cream
06/27/2012: Angela from Bloomfield, Nj: "I just found out that I have a disease called Acromegaly (excessive growth hormone levels) Does anyone know of any natural treatment for this disease?"Replies
06/28/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Angela, does not your endocrinologist have any treatment options or suggestions??? I think age is also a factor, it seems you've escaped this condition in your developmental stage, yes?
From the other end of the problem, I take natural supplements to help stimulate Growth Hormone production. So, logically you should avoid foods high in Arginine, Ornithine, and limit protein intake to only necessary levels while keeping sugars and carbs intake up ---candy bar before bed if it doesn't keep you awake. High protein low carbohydrate stimulates the hypothalamus to produce HGH particularly during sleep and in the early morning. The neuroinhibitory amino acid GABA also stimulates HGH release from the Pituitary Gland, so logically supplementing it's opposite, the stimulatory amino L-Tyrosine should help as T would antagonize GABA. If this diet could work, I would definitely supplement Chromium and Cinnamon for help in the burning of sugars.
Hope this helps."
06/29/2012: Angela from Bloomfield, Nj replies: "Thanks from Kentucky. My doctor and I have not yet discussed treatment options. I am doing a sugar tolerance test on Monday and take it from there. I have always thought I was hypoglycemic and have been plagued with yeast overgrowth--don't know if they are connected. I recently started taking GABA because it helps me to sleep. Incidentally, my son suffers from severe anxiety and takes GABA which helps tremendously. That's how I got introduced to it. I now wonder if his illness is as a result of mine. Let me know your thought. Angela"
06/30/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, USA replies: "Angela, Discontinuing GABA alone will help much as it can boost the pituitary gland to produce up to 40% MORE HGH than normal. HGH is converted to Insulin Growth Factor (a hormone) in the liver where it is released into the bloodstream. IGF signals the body to burn fat and ignore glucose for fuel in each cell.
Drop the GABA and replace it w/ Melatonin and/or 5HTP and maybe even some Valerian will be necessary. The Chromium and Cinnamon will help the burning of the sugars."
[YEA] 09/30/2006: Joni from Grafton, ON: "I started taking ACV about 3 weeks ago after finding this awesome website. This month, I had a short, productive period minus cramps, bloating, lethargy and moodiness!!! Hallelujah!! Also no more mood swings during the rest of the month. Been quite happy, actually, no negative thoughts or despair at all. I attribute this with the ACV. Actually I just realized how calm I've been... but this may be also due to the honey I take with it. Also has been great for my skin!! And I feel like I digest my food better and have tons of energy. What a great website!! Thanks Earth Clinic!"Replies
01/08/2010: Suzy from Pembroke, Bermuda replies: "can you tell me, how much apple cider vinegar is used to balance your hormones? Could not find how much to take. Thank you"
03/29/2012: Neha from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia replies: "Hi, how much Apple Cider Vinegar and how much honey I have to drink? Please reply me. I'm really pissed of with my mood fluctuations. thanx"
[YEA] 08/28/2007: P from San Diego, CA: "I don't which is working, but the the blackstrap molasses drink seems to have removed my sugar cravings. I tend to snack less, don't peruse the refrigerator as much (like every 20 min or so) to find something to eat. I used to snack on yoghurt a lot, and that's not happening anymore. I think the nutrients in the BSM are dense enough to keep me balanced and are probably filling my nutritional deficiencies. Also, I've been painting with iodine, I'm sure that's helping. I also started fenugreek two days ago, which I've read also helps with sugar imbalances. Diabetes is in my family, so I'm very happy about getting information from your website. What I thought may have been mostly hormonal imbalances may have been sugar imbalances. I feel so alert these days, I notice tiny details and make the bed much faster and neater - a chore that I was never really good at. :)"Replies
08/25/2013: Karla from Utica Mi replies: "What is the blackstrap molasses drink?"
[YEA] 01/19/2009: Kristi from Cleburne, Texas: "Thanks to Earth Clinic for the natural remedies. I have had much better results with healing my body than with conventional medicine and drugs.
HORMONES: I wanted to share with ALL the women out there about my journey to hormonal happiness. Hormones are such a basic building block of our health.
Somehow I came across the book, What Your Dr. Might Not Tell You about Premenopause. (Got a used copy on Amazon.) WOW, it was fascinating and changed my life. The premise of this book is balancing your hormones and how most of the time it can be achieved with NATURAL Progesterone cream, not synthetic hormones.
My biggest help came with clearing my sinuses. I almost could not breathe through my nose and never knew hormones could affect this. Many things on Earth Clinic's site helped me, but the progesterone finished it off. Within 1 month, I could breathe again. There have been many other benefits as well.
EVERY women needs to read this book -- even those in their 20s. It will help you understand what is happening in your body with your hormones."
[WARNING!] 12/17/2010: Self from Ny: "BPA is disrupts hormones and has been linked to cancer and infertility. From the paper receipts you get from stores to paper money, the BPA can easily transfer through the skin. Usually we worry about BPA in plastic baby or water bottles and canned food linings. "receipts
By Janet Raloff
Web edition : Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
What's the charge?Some but not all cash-register and credit-card receipts can be rich sources of exposure to BPA, a hormone-mimicking pollutant. Christopher Baker while working at Polaroid Corp. For more than a decade, John C. Warner learned about the chemistry behind some carbonless copy papers (now used for most credit card receipts) and the thermal imaging papers that are spit out by most modern cash registers. Both relied on bisphenol-A. Manufacturers would coat a powdery layer of this BPA onto one side of a piece of paper together with an invisible ink, he says. "Later, when you applied pressure or heat, they would merge together and you'd get color. "
At the time, back in the '90s, he thought little about the technology other than it was clever. But when BPA exploded into the news, about a decade ago, Warner began to develop some doubts. Research was demonstrating that this estrogen-mimicking chemical was leaching out of polycarbonate plastics, out of the resins used to line most food cans and out of dental sealants. In the womb, this chemical could disrupt the normal development of a rodent's gonads Â or evoke changes that predisposed animals to later develop cancer. Warner recalls that these reports piqued his curiosity about whether the color-changing papers that were increasingly proliferating throughout urban commerce still used BPA. By this time, the organic chemist was teaching green chemistry at the University of Massachusetts. "So I'd send my students out to local stores to get their cash register receipts. " Back in the lab, they'd dissolve the paper, run it through a mass spectrometer and look for a telltale spike in the readout that signaled the presence of BPA. And they'd find it, Warner says. Not in every receipt. But in plenty. And the paper used in the receipts that contained BPA looked no different than papers that didn't. But that was then, before he co-founded the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, an organization that works with industry to develop safer products and production processes. So earlier this week I asked Warner whether he had evidence BPA might still be present in those papers. Yep. He turned up BPA-based receipts in use the last time he looked. Which was last month. And the amount receipts carry isn't trivial. "When people talk about polycarbonate bottles, they talk about nanogram quantities of BPA [leaching out, " Warner observes. "The average cash register receipt that's out there and uses the BPA technology will have 60 to 100 milligrams of free BPA. " By free, he explains, it's not bound into a polymer, like the BPA in polycarbonates. It's just the individual molecules loose and ready for uptake. "... "At least pregnant women would know to wash their hands after picking up a BPA-laced receipt. And we'd all know to keep such paper out of hands of kids. We might also want to store those receipts in some zip-it-closed plastic baggie, not our wallets. " -- By Janet Raloff
Dollar bills and receipts tainted with Bisphenol A, report finds
Concerned about your BPA: Check your receipts
05/20/2013: Barbara from Port Harcourt, Rivers Stata, Nigeria: "How can I get chinese herbs to treate unbalanced hormone, blocked fallopia tube and fibroid?"
08/04/2013: Carla from Quincy, Illinois: "I refuse steroid treatment for Cushing's syndrome. It causes anxiety and depressive episodes. My condition is caused by my body being hyper productive. I take no medications of any kind except a daily vitamin supplement and melatonin. Stress triggers immediate swelling of my upper back at the base of my neck so terribly I look like a hunch back. It is very painful to carry that kind of pressure sometimes for days. I also urinate constantly at night during periods of high stress which disrupts my sleep and only aggravates my ability to lower stress levels. Please help with any natural remedies that will help me. I need help I'm not finding outside big pharma. Sincerely, Carla"Replies
08/04/2013: Mike Giller from Colorado replies: "Dear Carla, after decades of eating cooked improperly processed food from big agra, bad stuff happens. The cells are not being nourished, toxins poison the tissues, free radicals damage the dna, and infections occur. There are very lengthy technical scientific explanations for these various maladies that clutter up the mind with incomplete and contradictory information. This is confusing. The problems are complex. The solution is simple, easy, and affordable. Eat the best foods the right way. This nourishes the cells with nutrients whose electomagnetism has pure frequencies and high vibrational energies, toxins are washed away, pathogens are killed, and tissues are repaired. The first thing you do is order water kefir grains $10. These contain 26 microorganisms, 3 various kinds, that prevent and cure all illneses and improve digestion. Study water kefir and follow the very easy instructions. Take 1 cup 2 times a day. Next, order hawaiin spirulina, korean chlorella, nondefatted dessicated liver, raw cocoa, raw whey, absorbable colostrum, freeze dried acerola powder, black chia seeds, coconut oil, organic whole dried cane juice, 90000hu organic cayenne, and raw honey. Study the benefits and dosages. While you are waiting for the shipments to arrive, make green smoothies from organic baby leaves and organic parsley. The more of this you take the better. Take 15 grams of organic strawberries 4 times a day. Take 1 tsp. coconut oil and 2 tsp. of flax oil 4 times a day for 4 months. After that reduce the dosage of flax oil to 1 tsp. 4 times a day and keep taking the same dose of coconut oil. For protein take grass fed hamburger rare. Try to get some eggs from pastured hens. Take as many of these as you can afford raw. Do not stir them with a fork or grind them up in the blender. The yolk should be firm and orange, not soft and yellow. For carbs take raw honey and organic sucanet. I take all of these products myself every day. These are properly prepared by reputable companies and highly recommended by naturopath doctors who study the way food affects cellular biology and the mechanisms of aging. There is a way to accelerate and turbocharge the healing process. The dose is per water, not per day. I take a dose per hour, 16 doses per day, At night while I am sleeping I take a dose every 2 hours. Please reply for any neccesary clarification. After you begin the program please reply as to the results, thank you."
08/04/2013: Carly from Pacific Northwest, Usa replies: "Hi Carla, when you are urinating that much you want to make sure you are getting enough potassium. Melatonin is good, you might also want to look at taking Co-Q10 and a high quality fish oil, omega 3 type supplement. Just some things to consider. Good luck to you."
11/10/2010: Traveler from San Antonio, Tx: "Hi--
I need something to try for Cushing's. My friend has the moonface, the weight gain, the purple scarring, and the long stretch marks, and maybe a few other symptoms of Cushing's. What can we try? Or where can we look for answers?"
12/06/2010: Faithinhealing from Forest Park, Ohio replies: "Unrefined coconut oil... Kelp... And unsulphured blackstrap molasses. Build up to three tablespoons of each a day. She also should include vitamin c and echinacea to rebuild the immune system. Milk thistle to detox the liver. Probiotics preferably homemade kefir to rebuild the good bacteria in the body!"
02/11/2013: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "I think I found this recipe on E.C. This may be a good way to get in the BSM and EVCO. I did it today. Milk Thistle supplementation is good if it has artichokes in it. Artichokes scrub the liver. B vitamins are good too, I hear as well as C. Olive leaf extract capsules are good too. Check out the dog websites - they give good hints. Super digestive enzymes. I would rotate the supplements and not take them all at once.
ONE LARGE MUG
2 BAGS OF LIPTON CARMEL TRUFFLE TEA (Amazon has it)
ONE TBSP EVCO [Extra Virgin Coconut Oil]
ONE TBPS BLACK STRAP MOLASSES
ONE HALF TO ONE TBSP HONEY
POUR BOILING WATER OVER THE INGREDIENTS IN MUG AND STIR GENTLY WHILE STEEPING TO MELT THE COCONUT OIL"
[YEA] 02/27/2010: Faithinhealing from Forest Park, Ohio, Usa: "I'm suffering from an extreme imbalance and I can tell you that detoxing your body can help balance out the hormones. The problem is that certain chemicals and foods act just like estrogen in the body causing an imbalance, too much estrogen, not enough progesterone. The liver becomes congested resulting in the estrogens/toxins recirculating instead of being eliminated in the waste. This includes toxins rubbed on the skin, eaten in the food, etc. and you have to clean up the liver to be able for the liver to excrete them. I started with 1/2 lemon twice a day, first thing in the morning and before bed. You also need to do other detox methods, including cleaning up your diet. You also need to add good bacteria to your body so that it can function better.
If you are having a hormonal imbalance, that includes eliminating meats that contain hormones because those are making it worse! Purchase organic or eat more vegan meals. You can find many cheap liver cleansing methods that just require stuff from the grocery store!
By the way, hormone therapy is just a bandaid approach, it does work for some, but eliminating the toxic burden on the liver is the best method. Hormone therapy only ADDS TO the toxic burden on the liver."
12/06/2012: Steph from Toronto, Ontario replies: "A good way to detox estrogen from the body is with DIM and Calcium D-Glucarate. These supplements metabolize the bad estrogen and allow your body to eliminate it, as well as balance the hormones. Research is also being done on DIM, in California, for its benefits on treating hormonal cancers."
[YEA] 04/24/2009: Snowy from J, SA: "dried apricots with honey cured my excessive bleeding
i had been taking fertility medication and had stopped due to some side effects and the had bleeding and spotting continuously for one month. the doctor prescribed iron tablets coz i didn't want more medication.. my hormones were already out of control. well i just had this dessert made of around 100 grams of apricots with 2 tablespoons honey and water, boiled it for 20-30 minutes on sim and blended the mixture and had a cup. next day my bleeding completely stopped and now its been 2 weeks with no bleeding."Replies
12/07/2010: Faithinhealing from Cincinnati, Ohio replies: "Say no to fertility treatments because as you can see that is causing the unending bleeding! The fertility treatments are hormones that are making your body more out of balance. The infertility issues stem from too much environmental estrogens from food and toxic chemicals we put on our bodies and use at home. Learn about them and go organic and use unsulphured blackstrap molasses and kelp and unrefined coconut oil to add progesterone to your body to balance all the extra estrogen.
Also go organic too get rid of the environmental estrogens in the food you eat and ALKALIZE YOUR BODY! Your body cannot get pregnant and we cannot sustain a pregnancy without progesterone... Google estrogenic substances/compounds and switch to NATURAL products with ONE INGREDIENT and no chemicals and detoxify your liver to better handle them with milk thistle!"
[YEA] 05/28/2008: Jonna from Los Angeles, CA: "I have been taking flax seed oil for my skin. However, one additional benefit I have noticed is that flax oil is very helpful during those hormonal fluctuations in my cycle (ie., PMS!). I take more or less depending on how I feel. I take up to 3 tablespoons a day starting a week before I get my period. It takes about an hour, but has an immediate calming effect. I would say the effect lasts about 8 hours before I need to take more. I have also noticed that on day 5 of my period, something shifts in my brain chemistry again (ie., emotional, easily triggered) and I up my flax seed oil dosage again. I am going to keep experimenting with the dosages and will let you all know. I am guessing this could be one of the best remedies to get through perimenopause and menopause. Any else had the same results as me?"
02/10/2012: Lisa from Jax, Fl, Us: "I just received a letter that the FDA has determined the effects of estriol to be unknown, so my insurance, of course, will no longer cover my bio-denticals. Is this one more push for the use of Hormone Replacement therapy (HRT) as opposed to something natural? Bio-denticals have been fabulous for me. Any other info out there on this? Thanks!"Replies
02/11/2012: Timh from Louisville, Ky, Usa replies: "Lisa try a Naturalpathic Doctor ND for HRT using Progesterone or Pregnenolone as either of these are safe (recognized as natural by human body) hormones that will convert into proper hormone metabolites respective of individuality. A correct dosage will need be found and maintained."
02/11/2012: Francisca from Zug, Switzerland replies: "Hi Lisa, I am 54, stopped a year ago with the anticonception pill and am now suffering a bit with menopausal symptoms like very dry skin. I have just been to a natural doctor and she wants to discuss bio-identical hormones next time. I wanted to read about it but unfortunately I haven't gone down to it so right now I know nothing at all about what is good and what isn't. I told her that I don't want HRT, so she knows that. I have an appointment next week....."
02/16/2012: Lisa from Jacksonville, Florida replies: "Thanks Tihm! I will check that out. And, Francisca, definitely do the bio-denticals. I had great success and relief from pretty severe symptoms!"
[NAY] 01/08/2014: Jillery from North America replies: "I tried bio-identicals for about a year. I used a patch, progesterone pill and testosterone cream. I ended up getting vaginal yeast infections-- one after another-- also had BV a number of times (like 6). I just didnt do well with them at all. I also continued to have hot flashes despite my levels being adjusted. I now just take Apple Cider Vinegar (2t in water) right before bed for the hot flashes."
01/05/2012: Ani from Toronto, Ontario: "My husband and I are trying to get pregnant and I received a bottle of Vitex from a friend who has already had a baby; she said it helped her conceive. I have done a BIT of online research and it seems to be very helpful to balance out the hormones, assist with PMS symptoms and increase fertility. I would love to get some feed back and more info about this herbal extract from anyone who has tried it or knows more about it. Recommended dosage is ambiguous; it doesn't say anything on the bottle and online info seems to vary. I was hoping EarthClinic (my "go-to" website) would have more info on it."Replies
01/05/2012: Been There Too! from Atlanta, Ga replies: "It's been a while since I've dabbed in fertility but Vitex (aka chasteberry) is nature's remedy as opposed to one of the fertility drugs used to assist ovulation. It does assist with hormone balancing and other ailments as well.
I don't want to give bad information but I can suggest you check fertility friend sites and comb through the chat boards and I'll guarantee you'll learn what you need to know. :)"
02/10/2011: Kay from Jacksonville, Fl/usa: "I had a hysterectomy at the age of 41 so I was thrown into HRT at an early age. I was on estrogen pills, patches, shots, etc until I was 60 yrs old when one family doc told me I should take HRT anymore and that I will probably eventually wean off of the hot flashes, etc. Didn't happen!
Here 5 yrs later, I have mood swings, hot flashes and my hormone blood test are showing low vitamin D and I am miserable! I went to an MD who also specializes in Holistic med. He has perscribed which I haven't filled the perscription yet, Estradiol, Progesterine and Testosterine(forgive the spelling) all in a combined cream to apply to my skin at 1/2 ml per day. There are so many pros and cons to taking HRT and since I don't have a family or personal history of cancer, has anyone else been through this? Are there safe alternatives out there or should I just go for it? Thanks for your input."Replies
02/10/2011: Carly from Seattle, Wa Usa replies: "Hi Kay - I am 50 years old... I highly suggest you get the book "Breakthrough" by Suzanne Somers. It discusses HRT in depth, and is an exceptionally interesting read. I bought my copy on half (dot) com for just a few dollars. (Hope it is okay to mention that site - if not I appologize).
I then went back and bought another copy for my daughter to read. It is knowledge a woman needs to have BEFORE menopause hits as well as after!
It sounds like the doctor you are seeing now knows their stuff, and that they are trying to get you balanced. Natural hormones vs. The crap the "regular" doctors will shove at you are two entirely different things!"