Supporting and Nourishing the Hormonal System
by Corinna Wood
Many women's health issues come up around our menstrual cycles, menopausal changes, and the corresponding dance of the hormonal system. I get countless questions about the estrogen/progesterone balance. Women are wondering how to nourish themselves naturally in relation to PMS, endometriosis, fibroids—or how to support fertility, a healthy pregnancy, or menopausal transition.
In these times, many girls and women tend to have high levels of estrogen, or what's known as "estrogen dominance." A significant contributing factor is the xenoestrogens found in pollutants such as plastics, pesticides, and bovine growth hormones, which find their way into our food and water supplies. This estrogen dominance is in turn contributing to various chronic women's reproductive system health issues.
In these times, it's wise to take steps to nourish and support the hormonal system. Here are a few of my favorite tips:
1. Support your body's hormonal system with herbal sources. Nettle infusion supports our bodies with phytosterols (plant hormones) and Vitex extract supports the pituitary gland which helps regulate estrogen and progesterone.
2. Healthy fats support the liver in filtering the blood. Even cholesterol, which has been demonized, is an essential compound in the body—medically, cholesterol is considered the "mother of all hormones" as the body uses cholesterol as a building block to make all other hormones as needed. Healthy fats include organic butter (raw if possible) and coconut oil. See fudge recipe below.
3. Reduce exposure to unhealthy compounds. Eat organic foods and drink clear water. Avoid plastics, x-rays, carpets, microwaves, and harmful chemicals (e.g., nail polish, synthetic perfumes).
In this vein, I'd love to share one of my favorite recipes with you. My students find this a most welcome addition to their health care plan—deeply nourishing, energizing, and divine to taste!~
Delicious, Nutritious "Fudge"
1 1/2 cups coconut oil and/or organic butter (preferably raw)
1/2 cup honey (preferably raw), or alternate preferred sweetener
1 cup roasted carob (or cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla
Optional: chocolate extract and/or walnut pieces
Let coconut oil and/or butter sit in a warm place to soften for several hours. Then stir all ingredients together with a spoon or electric beater. Keeps in refrigerator for several weeks. Eat at room temperature (soft) or from refrigerator (firm).
Eat at least a few big spoonfuls of fudge per day to maintain optimum health and receive the essential nutritional benefits of healthy fats that are so lacking in modern diets!
Corinna Wood apprenticed with Susun Weed in 1993, and has been practicing, teaching, and carrying on the Wise Woman Tradition ever since. Corinna co-founded Red Moon Herbs, making herbal medicines from fresh, local plants for 20 years before passing on the baton. Corinna is also renowned as the founding director of the legendary Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference. With extensive training and experience in herbal medicine and spiritual psychology for women, Corinna now offers earth-based woman-centered tools for inner growth and healing. See Wise Woman Studies with Corinna Wood at www.corinnawood.com
A note from Corinna: "After many years of making and teaching herbal medicines for women's health, it dawned on me that I needed my own medicine kit for the heart, mind and soul! I applied all I knew of the wise woman ways towards my own deep inner healing. I drew on my depth and breadth of knowledge––nature and her cycles, health and healing, nonviolent communication and feminist spiritual psychology. Now I support wonderful women like you, with tools for inner growth and healing to ground you in your own innate wisdom, needs and desires. I'd love to support you along your journey ~ come connect!"
Wise Woman Studies with Corinna Wood