Herbal Pharmacy For women & Autocrine Hormones
(Eicosanoids and Prostaglandins)
Please call us IF you do not know which product(s) to choose 1.407.740.8012 (E.S.T.)
These herbs tone the uterine muscles and tissues. They can aid childbirth or strengthen uterine tissue.
Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Red Raspberry, Goldenseal, Menstrual Reg, Female Comfort, FCS II
See also this page
These remedies can be used to help balance female hormone problems in general.
Wild Yam/Chaste Tree, DHEA-F (wild yam, false unicorn, chaste tree), Flash Ease, Licorice, FCS II
Antispasmodics (Relieve Cramping)
These herbs and supplements relax muscle cramping
Cramp Relief, Lobelia, Wild Yam/Chaste Tree, Hops, Magnesium, Lavender oil
These remedies have estrogenic effects.
Black Cohosh, Licorice, Hops, Red Clover, Clary Sage Essential Oil, Geranium Essential Oil
These remedies seem to stimulate progesterone-like effects.
Wild Yam/Chaste Tree
Congestion of the pelvic circulation may contribute to painful menstruation, uterine fibroids and other female problems. These herbs stimualte circulation in the pelvic area.
Capsicum, Ginger, Yarrow, Niacin, Roman chamomile oil, Vari-Gone
Galactogogues (Breast Milk)
These herbs enhance the production of, and enrich, breast milk.
Blessed Thistle, Marshmallow, Milk Thistle
Antigalactogues (Stops Milk)
These herbs help dry up breast milk.
Aborfactants (Avoid in Pregnancy)
These herbs can induce spontaneous abortion and should be avoided during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester. Wormwood, Rue
The liver breaks down excess hormones and helps maintain hormonal balance during a woman's cycle. Decongesting the liver can relieve some PMS symptoms.
Oregon grape, Dandelion, Liver Balance, LIV-J, Chinese Mood Elevator
Adrenal fatigue can be involved in both PMS and menopausal symptoms. Here are some supplements that support the adrenals, helping to reduce anxiety, ease hot flashes, and aid energy.
Eleuthero, Pantothenic acid, Lung Support (LH-C), Licorice Root, Korean Ginseng, NutriCalm
These are aids to enhancing sex drive
Maca (together with X-Action) and X-Action for Women
Perhaps the most basic form of chemical messenger the body produces, eicosanoids are produced by every cell in the body. They were only recently discovered because they last only a few seconds. They are released into the fluid around each cell and taken up by the cell that produce them or neighboring cells. Nevertheless, they play critical roles in the human body.
These messengers are produced from essential fatty acids. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) fall into two main groups, the Omega-3 alpha linoleic acid and the Omega-6 linoleic acid. Understand that these are not the only fatty acids found in fats. Butter, for starters, also contains butyric acid, caproic acid, capryllic acid, lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid. And there are even more fatty acids in butter than the ones we just named.
The reason linoleic (Omega-6) and alpha-linoleic (Omega-3) fatty acids are essential is because one's body cannot synthesize them from other fatty acids. Hence, we must ingest them regularly in our diet in order to maintain health.
"All disease is really one disease. What differentiates the many different types of diseases the body is prone to are three factors:
1) the source of the tissue damage
2) the site of the tissue damage
3) the stage of the body's response to that damage (acute, subacute, chronic or degenerative).
Some people may think this model is over simplistic, and it very well may be, but it serves me well as a natural healer and seems to work in practical application (which is all I really care about)." Steven Horne
Omega-6 and GLA
Omega-6 is the fatty acid we tend to get in the highest quantities. Omega 6 is found in most vegetable oils, including sunflower, safflower and corn oil. Omega-6 is converted in the body into another fatty acid called Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). This conversion may be inhibited by several factors. One of these is aging. The older we get, the harder it is for the body to make this conversion. Viral infections may also play a role in inhibiting this transformation.
However, the major factor that inhibits this conversion in Americans is transfatty acids. Transfatty acids (TFAs) are created when oils are heated to a high temperture. The more often an oil is heated and the longer it is heated, the more TFAs are created. Hydrogenation of oils also produces transfatty acids. So, foods fried in hydrogenated oils are loaded with TFAs, and the Standard American Diet (the SAD diet) is loaded with fried foods and hydrogenated oils.
This is one of the areas where EFA supplements can be helpful. Certain plants already contain significant amounts of GLA. These include borage oil, Black Currant Oil and Evening Primrose Oil. Nature's Sunshine's Super GLA Oil contains all three of these GLA rich oils.
Evening Primrose Oil was first used to treat Multiple Sclerosis patients and today it continues to draw attention. It is due to its healing affects on acne, arthritis, schizophrenia and heart disease. GLA helps the body make more eicosanoids; (hormone-like chemicals found in every cell of our body.) The most well-known of these eicosanoids are the prostaglandins, which play a role in regulating inflammation and pain.
Certain PMS symptoms, such as food cravings, sugar cravings, headaches, fatigue and dizziness are associated with low prostaglandin production. This explains why these oils can also be helpful in alleviating these PMS symptoms.
Eicosanoids and Prostaglandins
Eicosanoids can also help reduce inflammation, make platelets more pliable and less likely to form blood clots in arteries, enhance immune function, dilate blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and inhibit tumor growth. However, they can also do exactly the opposite. GLA is converted to dihomo gamma linolenic acid (DGLA) and then into the "good" eicosanoids or prostaglandins. However, DGLA can also be converted into arachidonic acid, which doesn't provide the positive benefits associated with Eicosanoids.
"In the third phase of inflammation, more eicosanoids (cytokines) signal white blood cells (macrophages and neutrophils) to enter the area for further clean-up. These cells use oxygen radicals to destroy microbes and cellular debris. This is where the oxidative stress of inflammation comes in. Healthy cells have antioxidants to protect themselves from oxidative stress.
If the cells are deficient in antioxidants, then the oxidative process taking place at the site of inflammation can damage more cells. It is like a forest fire which starts because there is a lot of dead, dry wood in the forest. When the fire gets going, and it's hot enough, even green trees will burn. Antioxidants make cells that are like well-watered trees. They are hard to burn. This contains the inflammation and keeps it from spreading." Steven Horne
Highly recommended combination to boost antioxidants level and deal with severe inflammation: Curcumin bp + Super Omega 3
Arachidonic acid forms another group of prostaglandins or eicosonoids that actually have the opposite effect. These "bad" eicosanoids; increase inflammation, promote blood clotting, suppress the immune function, constrict blood vessels to elevate blood pressure and increase the risk of cancer by promoting cellular proliferation. Obviously, we want to limit production of arachidonic acid if we want greater health.
For starters, we may need to decrease foods that are high in arachidonic acid, which include egg yolks, organ meats, most deli meats and fatty red meat. Insulin increases the production of arachidonic acid, too. So, hyperinsulinemia (caused by eating too many high glycemic carbohydrates-simple starches and sugars) will also have a negative influence on eicosanoid production.
|According to The Cleveland Clinic
How do omega-3 Fatty Acids help improve my health?
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids can improve your cardiovascular health. Most of this research involves EPA + DHA, but ALA can also help improve your health. Benefits of including omega-3 fatty acids in your diet include:
Omega-3 fatty acids may also:
"Another reason why the healing phase isn't initiating in chronic inflammation is because it takes omega-3 essential fatty acids to create the eicosonoids needed to signal the repair and rebuilding phase.
Because just about everyone in our society is getting too many omega-6 essential fatty acids and not enough omega-3 essential fatty acids, the body is unable to initiate the healing phase. High levels of insulin also interfere with the production of the eicosonoids that keep inflammation in check and promote healing, so our high carb diets are also contributing to the problem". Steven Horne
The good news is the other essential fatty acids, Omega-3s can also help to inhibit the production of arachidonic acid, thereby increasing production of the "good" eicosanoids. The bad news is that most American diets are very low in Omega-3.
Flax seed oil has a proper balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 EFAs, making it one of the best oils to supplement the diet with in order to ensure adequate intake of EFAs. Flax seed oil can be taken in capsules or it can be used for salad dressings, etc. in place of other oils. Do not cook with flaxseed oil, however, as heating will destroy its healthful benefits.
However, since we get some Omega-6 from other sources, it may be necessary to supplement our diet with even better sources of Omega-3 oils. The primary source of Omega-3 oils is fish liver oil. (Perhaps you might remember grandma's old standby cod liver oil.) Modern supplements made from fish oils, such as NSP's Omega-3 EPA, are much healthier than cod liver oil and are especially beneficial supplements for people at risk for heart disease, diabetes or hyperinsulinemia.
Omega-3 oils can also be obtained by eating deep ocean fish and wild game. Animal proteins will not contain Omega-3 unless it is present in the animal's diet, and animal feeds do not contain significant amounts of this EFA. Even farm raised salmon are poor sources of Omega-3 because they are fed on a commercial fish food diet. Wild salmon or other fish harvested from the deep ocean will be the best sources of Omega-3 in the diet. In fact, the best source is sardines. So, if you don't want to eat two or three cans of sardines a week, you may want to consider taking some Omega-3 in capsules.