Cycle Wellness Part 2: Nutritional Support for Hormone Balance
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Last year, I shared that I was working with a new layer of my menstrual and hormonal health. Since that time, my cycles have gone down from 40 to 35 days on average. The biggest factors were mental health/stress management and diet.
Doesn't that always seem to be the case?
Lunar devotion and women's circles have also been very supportive to this process.
I'm holding a balance of being proactive in my health, AND taking care not to automatically put myself in the category of "imbalanced" or "irregular" just because I don't have a clockwork cycle.
While you may already know that seed cycling has been a part of my regimen, I also created a detailed nutritional regimen for myself in support of hormonal cycle health. I'm sharing it here as a resource for anyone who may be on a similar journey.
CYCLE BALANCING REGIMEN – 9 JULY 2020
Aim: Regulate my cycle, promote reproductive health & fertility, balance hormones
Vitex/Chaste Berry (2 capsules away from food)
Ginger-Ceylon Cinnamon-Honey-ACV tea/water to drink throughout the day
Maca + Cycle Seeds in oats or smoothie 1-2 TBSP seeds (days 1-14 flax + pumpkin / days 14-28 sesame + sunflower)
B complex vitamin (Premier Research Labs Max BnD) away from food
Sauerkraut w/ meal
Triphala (1-2 capsules away from food)
Optional Additions and Boosters:
Probiotic (2-3 capsules – PB8) before bed
Extra ceylon cinnamon (or supplement?)
Bone Broth (instead of dinner)
Snack on seaweed
Calcium-D-glucarate (like DIM, also found in cruciferous veg & leafy greens)
Chick peas regularly (b6 & iron)
Nightly massage w/ magnesium (or magnesium supplement?)
Gelatin/collagen hydrolysate/ collagen or glutamine supplement
Regular herbal teas: peppermint, dandelion, ginger, milk thistle, turmeric, etc.
No Vitex on Saturday (or pick one day of the week to have off)
Stop Vitex and Maca after 6 weeks. Take a 2 week break and resume if needed, or finish what you have left, or switch to DIM/Calcium-D-glucarate
Clay mask once a week
Eleuthero tea, maca + rhodiola with breakfast
Pau D’Arco tea
Adapt 232/Chisan (a combination of Rhodiola rosea, Schisandra chinensis and Eleutherococcus senticosus extracts)
Adaptogens that aid adrenal function include ashwagandha, ginseng, jiaogulan, Chinese licorice, reishi, and Rhodiola rosea
While I did not stick to this regimen perfectly, it was a great reference and blue print while I brought greater care to my diet in support of creating more balance, hormonally and all around.
I am still considering working with a healer/health care provider down the road, but for now, things feel mild enough that I can continue to support myself through my own exploration, research, learning and community support.
This has all been going on for over a year (well, technically since 2015), and most recently, my journey has evolved from menstruation being the primary focus to the importance of ovulation and fertility being a great indicator of hormonal balance and overall health.
Which brings me to Cycle Wellness Part 3...
Menstruation is just one phase of the cycle, and we have come to understand that word as the period, the time we bleed. However, the word 'menstruation' itself is derived from the words for 'monthly' and 'moon'.
I have spent years coming to understand the bigger picture of menstruation, the monthly, hormonal cycle. Hormones are the big players in our cyclical nature, in the shifts and changes we menstruators experience throughout the month.
Just as much of an indicator of health as menstruation, if not more, is ovulation.
This is really where much of my focus has shifted lately, and it has been incredibly empowering to make this connection with my body and to realize that fertility is NOT just for getting pregnant.
It is an essential function of health for any menstruator, AND proper understanding of ovulation is the key to both naturally increasing or decreasing chances of pregnancy.
Please note: We all must do what is right and best for our own health and body, and that can be very different from person to person. I am not a doctor. This is not a prescribed plan. I am sharing my personal story and methods based on my experiences as a menstruating woman. Please check in with your body, a trusted healthcare provider, and do the research when addressing health concerns.