Feeling tired, foggy, depressed, and unattractive? These could be signs of low estrogen. Read on to learn 8 natural treatments for estrogen deficiency.
The foundation of good health and hormone harmony is a yin and yang balance. In Chinese medicine, estrogen is considered a part of the yin, that which is calming, relaxing, nourishing, cooling, and moistening.
In our active, busy and often stressful (a yang dominated) lifestyle, yin (and estrogen) tend to become relatively insufficient, manifesting as various signs and symptoms of low estrogen.
8 Natural Treatment for Estrogen Deficiency
We can help increase estrogen in our body by nourishing the yin qualities in our life. In this post, I’ll share 8 things you can do to restore your estrogen – and overall hormone balance.
1. Eat Estrogen Rich Foods
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. So food is the first option to explore when we look for natural treatment for estrogen deficiency.
Certain foods are rich in “phytoestrogens,” plant-based estrogen. They are an excellent natural hormone replacement that easily converts into estrogen in the body.
Soy, millet, barley, flax seed, lentils, kidney beans, lima beans, rye, clover, fennel, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) are super-rich in phytoestrogens.
Other foods that contain phytoestrogens include apples, brown rice, celery, beets, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and almost all seeds, beans and legumes.
In general, moistening and lubricating foods are yin (and estrogen) friendly. So add plenty of water in your cooking – and many of the estrogen-rich foods are excellent ingredients for yummy and nourishing soups and stews.
2. Reduce the Consumption of Estrogen Unfriendly Foods and Drinks
While adding estrogen-rich foods into your diet, you also want to consider reducing the consumption of foods and drinks that tend to lower estrogen in your body.
For example, Gluten intolerance has also been linked to lower estrogen levels – and accompanying amenorrhea, infertility, and a diminished ovarian reserve. If this is a contributing factor, you want to cut out gluten from your diet, and add gluten-free alternatives such as brown rice and quinoa.
To learn more, read 5 primary reasons for low estrogen.
Other foods that tend to dry up the yin (and estrogen) fluid in the body include stimulants such as coffee, alcohol, tobacco, cinnamon, ginger and hot spices, as well as refined and fried foods.
I am a proponent of balance and the “middle way.” A moderate amount of coffee and spices promote blood circulation and enhance mental alertness. They are not harmful by themselves if consumed in moderation and combined with other yin nourishing foods.
3. Increase Activities that Nourish Yin (and Estrogen)
An unexpected natural treatment for estrogen deficiency can come from those little things that we do to nourish ourselves.
In a TED talk, Amy Cuddy, a professor and researcher at the Harvard Business School, shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident – can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.
It makes sense that our thinking and actions affect our hormones, given the mind body connection. So by the same principle, when we engage in acts that nourish ourselves, we’re perhaps also boosting the estrogen level in our body.
Such acts may include cooking, taking a hot bath, making ourselves look pretty, reading a book that nourishes our spirit, tending to and befriending our girlfriends, beautifying our home and environment, playing with kids and animals, having orgasms, doing yoga and meditation, or whatever act makes us feel nurtured and nourished.
This also means slowing down, making more quiet time for rest, relaxation and contemplation, and avoiding burning candles on both ends such as staying up late, engaging in excessive exercises, and driving ourselves too hard for success and achievement.
Note: If you’re interested, check out activities that can affect your other hormones such as progesterone and cortisol.
4. Take Vitamin E
Vitamin E, an important antioxidant to help protect sperm and egg DNA integrity, is another natural treatment for low estrogen.
A study conducted at John Hopkins University showed that vitamin E (at a dose of 800 IU/day for 10 weeks) corrects the progesterone-estrogen ratio, increases a woman’s libido, and normalizes her menstrual cycle.
Studies also found vitamin E, at doses of 50-400 IU per day, effectively decreased hot flashes and other symptoms of estrogen deficiency. To experience the effect, you need to take vitamin E for 4 weeks.
You can get vitamin E in a standalone supplement, with a multivitamin, or from vitamin E-rich foods such as sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, avocados, peanuts, turnip greens, asparagus, beet greens and mustard greens – the top 10 food sources of vitamin E.
5. Get Magnesium
Magnesium, a common remedy for period cramps, can also help treat estrogen deficiency naturally.
Magnesium influences the pituitary gland, which releases FSH (follicular stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). These hormones, in turn, regulate the production of estrogen and progesterone.
Researches on breast cancer patients have shown that magnesium also helps to reduce hot flashes, fatigue and distress, all common symptoms of low estrogen.
You can get magnesium in a magnesium supplement, or add magnesium-rich foods to your diet, such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, swiss chard, soybeans, sesame seeds, quinoa, black beans, cashews, sunflower seeds, and navy beans – the top 10 food sources of magnesium.
6. Add Zinc
Zinc, an important mineral that supports fertility, is also a natural treatment for low estrogen.
Zinc stimulates the pituitary gland to release FSH, which triggers the production of estrogen and promote ovulation.
You can take a zinc supplement or get it from foods rich in zinc, such as oysters, beef, lamb, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, garbanzo beans, cashews, turkey, and quinoa – the top 10 food sources of zinc.
7. Use Ginseng to Build up the Adrenal Functions
In addition to whole foods and vitamins and minerals, you can also consider taking some tonic herbs to strengthen your kidney adrenal foundation. This will help treat estrogen deficiency from its source because estrogen is also produced in the adrenal glands.
Maca, the Peruvian ginseng, has consistently been shown to increase estrogen in menopausal women, and help with memory, concentration, energy, libido, insomnia, anxiety, depression, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Learn more about the benefits and the appropriate use of maca.
Another ginseng recommended as a yin tonic by Chinese medicine is American ginseng. Unlike most ginsengs which are warming, American ginseng is cooling. It has all the same benefits of maca while nourishing the yin fluid in the body.
Alternatively, you can take a daily adrenal health formula, which contains several potent adrenal supporting herbs.
8. Try Herbs to Address Mood, Sleep and Physical Concerns Related to Estrogen Deficiency
Estrogen raises serotonin, which helps with mood, sleep and appetite. When estrogen is low, women experience changes in mood and sleep, such as anxiety, depression and insomnia – all common symptoms of estrogen deficiency.
Black cohosh and St. John’s wort, used together, are an effective herbal combo to address the mood and sleep concerns of estrogen deficiency, along with physical symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
Valerian is another commonly used herb to help with sleep difficulties caused by estrogen deficiency.
Another effective herbal remedy for estrogen deficiency is the Six Flavor Teapills. It’s a classic Chinese herbal formula to nourish the yin and strengthen kidney adrenal functions (the foundation of hormone balance).
This gentle and well-balanced formula can help promote energy, improve moods, and reduce hot flashes, night sweats and sleeplessness.
In this post, I’ve discussed 8 ways you can employ to treat estrogen deficiency and restore your body’s yin and yang balance – through foods, supplements, herbal remedies, and lifestyle changes.
I hope you find my tips helpful, and that they’ll help address your concerns related to estrogen deficiency. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.
Liver Cleanse Detox and Repair Formula (support liver functions)
Dim Plus (improve estrogen metabolism)
Chasteberry (proven to help treat low progesterone and regulate menstrual cycles in more than 60 years of clinical research, including 5 randomized trials)
Vitamin B6 (one of the best vitamins to boost progesterone)
Progesterone Cream (bio-identical hormonal support)
Support Adrenal and Thyroid Functions
Adrenal Health Daily Support (promote overall hormone balance)
Thyroid Support Complex (support energy and metabolism)
Once Daily Organic Whole Food Vitamin Supplement (provide essential nutrients for health and hormone balance)
Liquid Iron (support healthy blood)
Omega 3 Fish Oil (reduce inflammation and promote overall health)
Spiralina (help purify the blood and reduce inflammation and oxidation)
The Hormone Cure, by Dr. Sara Gottfried
Cooking for Hormone Balance, by Magdalena Wszelaki