There has been many studies conducted over modern time on hormonal imbalances and particularly with women. One study on dysmenorrhea or painful menstrual cycles, was found to effect 84 percent of women to the point where they needed medication in order to carry out their daily activities. The triggers of having to live in such a fast paced world where standard 9-5 jobs are prevalent, stress levels are higher, and diets are compromised, are all taken into consideration when understanding the root cause of a painful menses—unmasked. Be it in the form of back pain, headaches, nausea, or debilitating cramps, there is hope. These key indications are roadmaps back to living revitalized with the cycles of time.
We see young women getting their first menses cycle at increasingly earlier ages then ever before in recorded history. Health professionals believe this is because of environmental factors and diet. For instance, studies out of Harvard and Tufts Universities were able to show how eating plant-based diets high in fiber and low in fat were able to more effectively flush estrogens (like those found in animal fats and dairy) out of the body. Endometriosis, endo meaning ‘inside’ the uterus is a condition that effects roughly 2 million women and many, like with diabetes, are left undiagnosed. This condition where the cells that cushion the uterus wall end up escaping up the fallopian tubes and spilling out around the abdominal cavity and intestinal track causes extreme pain.
Often, these women are told by doctors that it’s okay to go back to work or school, just be tough and get through it, or it’s not that bad… Meanwhile, the prostaglandins produced in the endometrial lining cells that fight off inflammation and infection are being released at rapid rates thus restricting blood circulation even more which results in the sharp pains and heavy pressure cramping. Young women, as early as twelve years old are put on artificial hormone replacement drugs like birth control to mask and manipulate the body’s ability to make and eliminate estrogen. Up until recently, many medical doctors were unaware that estrogen production and elimination is directly influenced by food. It’s not their fault… They just didn’t know. And neither did I or my mother—at age thirteen…
Speaking of Mothers…
How often do we look up at the night sky and admire the luminous moon? You know, the night star who influences along with the sun our circadian rhythm and intuition? And who through illumined magnificence teaches us the power of deep listening as we reflect on the mystery of our unique charms. Just as the moon shines in phases, we too can remember how to rest before rekindling worldly fire. Indeed, this is not a sign weakness, but a revival awakening… We see women viewing the natural cycles of their body with shame and embarrassment and much of this stems as a result of modern feminine suppression. Young women are taught to feel ashamed or to suffer through the pain as if there was no other way. Instead of being shown how to embrace sexuality and change that builds lasting confidence, they are mislead to believe bleeding for instance is some sort of curse that they will unfortunately have to bear for the rest of their doomed lives. Respecting the feminine aspect of our existence is making a come back however, and it’s about time it does.
Useful remedies for regulating hormones
Polyphenols, Flavones, and phytoestrogens are classified as phytochemicals which are specific substances found only in plants and proven to prevent disease and fight free radicals. The antioxidant properties are powerful healing chemicals and there are thousands of phytochemicals and who knows how many more to be discovered? Each subclass offers unique properties and these three are a few examples of ones that assist inflammation and balance hormones like estrogen.
Polyphenols: Carrots, cinnamon, fennel, grapes, meadowsweet, parsley, peppermint, red clover flowers, and tarragon.
Flavanols: Mustard greens, kale, watercress, arugula, celery seed
Isoflavones: Red clover sprouts, chickpeas, all legumes, pistachios
Asana with breathing exercise and meditation
Lay in Supta Badha Konasana or reclining Goddess. You may wish to set some pillows under the knees or raise the head on a pillow. Find a comfortable seat allowing the knees to fall out to the side. Rub the hands together building heat on the palm of the hands while gazing at the healing fire being ignited by your hands. Continue at your own pace and vigor for roughly 15-20 seconds. Then gently close your eyes gazing at the area between your two eyes and place the palms on either side of the ovaries. Note: The ovaries take turns each month releasing an egg. You may notice over time which ovary is releasing that month. Then with the palms warm and having just turned on the internal heating pad, begin making small circles with the palms in towards and away from each other (whichever feels good for you). In this way, you can actually begin to assist the breakdown of tissue. Repeat for as long as you like.
Once completed turn the palms face up resting on the thighs. Silently Inhale: Thank you and SilentlyExhale: What you are thankful for that month. Perhaps it was seeing a friend, feeling a breeze that inspired you, having the most delicious dairy free cookie, or a kiss. Repeat for as long as you wish. When finished gently open the eyes and place the palms on either side of the knees. Inhale: Assist the knees back together and Exhale: Extend The legs out straight in front. Inhale:Reach the arms and legs as far away from each other as possible, Exhale: Release. Inhale: Bend the knees into the chest giving the lower back a release.
Melissa’s Moon cycle remedy tea:
Raspberry leaf, Licorice root, Lemon Balm with a dash of cinnamon.
Steep for at least 10 minutes can be longer to desired strength.
Raspberry leaf grows the most during full moon and has long been used for women’s health. It strengthens uterine walls and eases menstrual cramps. Licorice Root is known in Chinese medicine as the “great adjunct” herb for its ability to stabilize blood glucose levels and penetrate all meridians. It is a conduct for other herbs. In this recipe it’s the bridge to Lemon Balm. Lemon Balm is a powerful immune stimulant and anti-viral. During menstruation the immune system takes a slight plunge as the energetic forces of the body focus more on reproductive health. The cinnamon serves as a carminative to the licorice root while adding the perfect amount of sweet spice to the herbs raspberry leaf and lemon balm.
Suggestion: Try each tea on its own to see how much you would like to add of each for the recipe. In this way, you can customize and design a remedy that meets you where you are at now.
“Are not flowers the stars of the earth?” -Clara Lucas Balfour