There are several reasons that one might think about hormone detox. Certainly for me right now coming off over a year of hormones and fertility meds, it’s a must. But women may also want to consider it if they have imbalances such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), estrogen dominance, perimenopause or menopause. Oh yeah and then there’s postpartum hormone rebalancing too. Just a short list of possibilities! Following are some of the key things that I would look at when trying to detoxify hormones.
The first thing to realize is that the liver is the organ that is responsible for detoxifying most of our hormones. Therefore, as with any kind of detox, liver support is paramount. I love herbs such as dandelion root, burdock, milk thistle, and Oregon grape root. Juicing is great for the liver, especially if you add garlic and ginger and especially tumeric. For this part I use my own formula – Dr. Nicola’s Detox Support – as I’ve always seen good results with it.
The second thing I take for liver support is broccoli seed extract. It comes in capsule form, and is really good for increasing phase II liver detox (which is usually the phase that struggles the most). I like Xymogen’s Oncoplex ES or Thorne’s Crucera SGS product.
Just as important is helping the metabolism and breakdown of the hormones themselves. The best thing I have found for assisting the healthy metabolism of estrogen is DIM. This is a plant indole, and is found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel’s sprouts. It can help shift the break down of estrogen from less healthy, more cancer-causing metabolites, to healthier, less harmful ones. I use DIM with my patients too for women with estrogen dominance (too much estrogen relative to their progesterone levels). DIM usually brings down excess estrogen nicely. I like DIM Avail by Designs for Health.
For rebalancing hormones I love the essential oil blend called Clary Calm. It is excellent for menstrual cramps too. I use it just to help estrogen and progesterone levels get back in balance.
Another great tool for detoxing hormones is the infra-red sauna. I wrote more about that here. Essentially, the infra-red sauna helps to get excess hormones out of the adipose cells, where they are frequently stored. It is also good for general detox, as well as mold toxicity and heavy metal toxicity. Doing an infra-red sauna 2-3 times a week is a great health practice.
Having hormone imbalance is not fun – especially when they’re synthetic/ artificial hormones that our body has a harder time processing (such as fertility meds or the oral contraceptive pill). I have found that a combination of liver support herbs, broccoli seed extract, DIM, Clary Calm and infra-red sauna is a great combination for hormone detox.