One of the king things that we probably know by now is that Endometriosis can and usually does create a hormone imbalance, more commonly called estrogen dominance. Essentially, we have too much estrogen in our bodies and this excess can cause the existing cysts to proliferate further and make Endometriosis far worse than it needs to be. My gynecologist used to actually say that if we could cut the production of hormones, that the Endometriosis cysts would simply shrivel up because they would no longer have the estrogen to “feed” it. I have since come across many women with Endometriosis who don’t actually display this estrogen dominant characteristic, but since most of us do have it, myself included, I thought I would explore some natural alternatives to deal with it.
If you are unfamiliar with estrogen dominance, I will just explain briefly that estrogen and progesterone work in a see-saw relationship. To elevate one means the other will be down. So, if we have estrogen dominance, we are not just too high on estrogen but chances are we are too low on progesterone. By bringing down the estrogen and increasing the progesterone, we should find ourselves in that wonderful medium range, like you do with a see-saw.
A few months back I tried some progesterone cream. It was a completely natural brand and because I had heard some women experiencing some wonderful results with it, I was quite keen to try it. Initially, I found it really good. It lightened my mood and I became less anxious. However, over time I actually found the opposite to be true. I felt more anxious, tense and somehow like I wanted to break out of my own skin. I have heard that progesterone creams can actually react in a negative way in some women. What can happen is that the body actually converts the progesterone back into estrogens. There is also a real danger in simply taking too much progesterone cream. I know, the mentality of many of us is “more must be better” but I think with progesterone cream there can be a real danger with it.
I personally am simply not a fan of taking any singular element of anything to achieve a result. For instance, I don’t like taking a singular supplement like Selenium or Iodine or Zinc. I prefer to find a food that contains heaps of these trace elements and absorb it that way. The reason is quite simple really… nature has provided us with the whole foods, which contain ALL the nutrients and trace elements to then be able to absorb the very things we want. For instance, the body can’t actually absorb iodine if it doesn’t have Selenium and it can’t absorb Vitamin D without Calcium etc. There are more and more of these realizations when it comes to nutrients and trace elements. So, with that theory in mind, I also don’t like the idea of taking a pure progesterone cream either. It feels like nature has not provided us with it in this form, so there must be other elements missing.
I have recently discovered for instance that by drinking Passionflower tea, we can prevent that estrogen/progesterone conversion happening!
Okay, so you are wondering what this new replacement for progesterone cream could possibly be?
It is a tea which I discovered purely by accident. It is called Damiana tea. I found it on a site where I buy a whole bunch of my superfoods from and because it said it stimulated sexual arousal (never a bad thing!) I thought I would look into it. Upon researching it further, it appears that it stimulates progesterone in the body.
One study suggests that damiana may have plant compounds with effects similar to those of progesterone. Over 150 herbs were tested for their ability to bind with estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer cells and found that the damiana was among the six highest progesterone-binding herbs and spices.
I ordered some last month and have been drinking it regularly. It tastes really nice when you drink it cold and so I have had it as a cooling summer drink. It is slightly sweet so it is super easy to drink. Well, I can tell you that it definitely seems to be doing something!
Here are some of the benefits I have personally experienced from it:
- Have felt less anxious and have been sleeping better
- Yes, my sex drive has improved
- It seems to have reduced the IC (Interstitial Cystitis) symptoms in my bladder
Research also suggests that t it helps digestion and any bronchial-related conditions such as asthma or sinus issues.
Well, so far I am a fan. I have to say that I really enjoy drinking it and it doesn’t seem to have any extreme reactions as I experienced with the progesterone cream.
Time will tell and I will report back if I experience any negative reactions.
I would love to know what your experiences have been. Have you tried progesterone cream and had a negative reaction or a positive one? Have you tried Damiana tea and what did you experience? Also, feel free to ask me any questions about it.
This Post Has 34 Comments
Terresa again..also sleep is disrupted. I can call asleep however I wake up after 4hours ..fall back to sleep..wake up in an hour or 2 ..fall back to sleep.. I have gained 10lbs in over a year. I eat healthy..just more than I need to feel full and uncomfortable but I still continue to eat.
hi my name is Terresa. I am 57 years old. I have been using a Menopause Creme with Red Clover. I also take 2tablets of MACA. Lately I have been experiencing the following symptoms:
Tired, difficult focusing, irritable,Grumpy, over all achey. I think I am high progesterone. any suggestions???
I have stopped it for about 4 days now and I’m finding relief.
I would probably stop drinking it if you have noticed such a direct correlation with it. It is far better to focus on the deeper reasons for hormone imbalances when using these techniques 🙂
Working on “Unfunking my Hormones”…Has anyone experienced moderate breast tenderness when starting Damiana? It started about three days into taking it until now (two weeks in). I’m also taking yarrow and serrapeptase.
I have been taking 300mg compounded progesterone by mouth for over 4 years. I have recently upped to 600mg trying to get rid of estrogen dominance symptoms. Looking at taking damiana supplements and or DIM in addition. Just started taking weekly magnesium shots with calm. I have sever PCOS.
I’ve been using progesterone cream for years from a compounding pharmacy 3% 1ml daily at night 2 hours before bedtime and its worked for me . Massage in to tge fatty areas of your body like thighs , butt or tummy . The protocol is 3 months on one month off and you only use it from midcycle to 3 days before your period . The most important is to ensure that its in a non soya and non alcohol base and paraben free.
I have used it as suppositories also with adenomyosis which it shrunk within 4 months . So I have never bought on Amazon as a lot of women do I saw an endocrinologist and got mine from a Compounding Pharmacy. Note it is important to follow up twice yearly to see where your levels are .
Thank you for your article Melissa! I bought some Damiana leaves in capsules from Holland & Barrett (England) today. They can be taken with meals or opened and taken as a tea. I’ll let you know how my body responds to them! 😉
I’d be very careful with natural progesterone cream. I used this for peri-menopausal symptoms and heavy periods. I also thought it would help with thinning hair. My latest saliva tests show an abnormally elevated (off the range) progesterone level, as this is extremely fat soluble. The end result is that it has increased my testosterone and DHEA and oestrogen. So now all my hormones are out of balance from using a supplement that is purported to be safe without side effects. I have also been experiencing heart palpitations and depression which is unlike me. My advice is to be extremely cautious with any hormone – synthetic or natural – and to focus on the diet and perhaps herbal remedies that are clinically proven. I have no idea how to flush this out of my system or how long it will take so please seek the advice of a doctor first.
Hi there Melissa, hope you don’t mind but i was wondering what the outcome was with Kim’s blood tests? I also had my estrogen levels checked and mine was also 180 and doctor said it is hopelessly too low for my age.
Hi, I’m glad i found your post. I’ve just been to a very expensive specialist (I’m in Australia) who prescribed me bioidentitical progesterone troches 400mg daily to put me in pseudo pregnancy like the synthetic pop would to treat my Endo. 1/2 in AM absorbed side of mouth and half PM vaginally. And pow! Massive side effects! Drowsy, dizzy, depressed, sore boobs, massive headaches and nausea. And man my Endo symptoms are all flared up
That is interesting about the Progesterone Cream. Might be worth exploring further….
I would avoid having too much of the raspberry tea – apparently it is estrogenic. I heard it is good for the last trimester to build up the uterus wall though 🙂
There are so many other options for your hair sweets.
Thank you for reading it 🙂
I buy mine in New Zealand from a company called Eternal Delight but don’t know where to get it overseas. Maybe try a health store and get the original dried leaves. That is usually the best anyways 🙂
Thank you so much for this article – I find this so interesting!
1) My Napro endometriosis doctor gave me a prescription for progesterone suppositories a few years ago. However, I found that when I took them, my asthma worsened to the point where I needed steroids. This happened more than once. We couldn’t figure out why this happened. The suppositories were made in a compound lab. Any insights? I’d love to hear them!
2)I happened to pick up a bag of passion flower tea a few months ago. I am going to start making it into a tea and see what happens.
3) Did I ask you what your thoughts are on red raspberry tea? What does that do for the hormones exactly? I heard it was good to boost estrogen, but then I read later in some other article it helps promote progesterone. I do know that red rasberry tea does help my temperamental skin and scalp behave better – not break out. I am not sure why though.
Thank you so much for all this information! I have been suffering for years with endometriosis and just recently was “diagnosed”. This has been a long road. What website do you buy Damiana? I have have found a few but would like to get a reputable brand….thank you 🙂
I wouldn’t feel to despondent sweets. The progesterone cream might just work perfectly for you 🙂 There is no harm in trying it and seeing what happens 🙂 Our bodies are all different and some women swear by the progesterone cream.
You are on the right track sweets. Just keep going with it!
I wish I would have read this post lat week. I found this website last week and read many of the articles and stumbled upon the progesterone cream option and I decided to purchase the Natpro. I was sooo excited to have found a possible solution to my endo and the monthly horror instead of going back on the pill…but now I am reading this article, and other comments, and my hope with the progesterone cream is slowly dying 🙁
I guess I’have to decide if I give it a try or not, since I already ordered it.
It seems like all solutions we find are just temporary and that just breaks my faith in finding some stability eventually…Sorry, I just feel very negative after all this years of pain and trial and error.
sorry, I don’t speak czech. I’m your neighbour – from Germany 😉
Petra, are you from the Czech Republic? If so, please send me a message on my email address firstname.lastname@example.org. We can speak Czech 🙂
When checking hormones by blood it is not always a good indicator. The best method of testing is actually in the saliva. Also, progesterone can also be low, which is the other side of it. They work like a see saw, so they both need to be at the same level or you will experience imbalances 🙂
I am wondering something about Estrogen Dominance.
I am pretty sure I have that, endometrioma, fibroids, thickened lining. But when my fertility specialist checked my hormone levels through blood tests everything came back normal. My estradiol levels were 180.
Would they be higher if I did indeed have estrogen dominance ? I’m waiting for my day 21 progesterone test to come back still.
You could just try an online store or your health store 🙂
That is very interesting Petra and thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I will research it some more for us and maybe test it on myself too 🙂
Great article and a great read. I found further information, further down:
“Interestingly, dong quai, damiana, and black cohosh exhibited little estrogen receptor binding activity in these studies. However, these three herbs are often incorporated into protocols employed to normalize female hormone imbalances. It is not clear whether these latter herbs contain precursors that are converted to estrogens in vivo, or whether they mediate other receptor systems or modulate metabolism of endogenous hormones.”
It does make me a little more weary of using Damiana for too long though. I will monitor my symptoms carefully and see if I suffer any ill effects.
So far it seems to be improving things for me though 🙂
I don’t think it contains any caffeine. I have drunk it late at night and I am very sensitive to caffeine myself. If I drink coffeee, even in the morning, I can’t sleep 🙂
How did you find the Damiana tea? X
I would love to try the tea, but with my endo I am very sensitive to caffeine. I was looking into it and I have yet to find if this tea is caffeine free, or if it actually does contain caffeine? Any help would be appreciated thanks 🙂
I also tried the cream and like you I wasn’t really a fan. I felt like I had more energy at first, but then I started feeling weird…I don’t even know how to explain it but my skin kind of was over sensitive, and it kind of made me nauseous. The tea could be exactly what I am looking for!
O. k., maybe I misunderstood and meant is that
“…extracts that were high in phytoprogestins either inhibited alkaline phosphatase (ie, they functioned as progesterone antagonists)…”
they functioned as progesterone antagonists TO ESTROGEN.
I think this is the study you mentioned:
“….The six highest progesterone-binding herbs and spices (ie, highest in phytoprogestins) were thyme, oregano, verbena, turmeric, red clover and damiana. The abilities of extracts of these plants to regulate the growth of estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cell lines was also examined. Their abilities to regulate production of progestin-induced alkaline phosphatase, in progesterone receptor-positive cells were also compared. Herbal extracts, high in phytoestrogens that bound to estrogen receptors, either stimulated growth (that is, they functioned as estrogen agonists) or they had no activity (they were neutral). In contrast, extracts that were high in phytoprogestins either inhibited alkaline phosphatase (ie, they functioned as progesterone antagonists) or they had no effect (they were neutral) in these test systems….”
But to function as a progesterone antagonist is not what we want, isn’t it? Correct me if I’m wrong, english is not my mother tongue.
I lately discovered a list of anti-estrogens on Tony Pallanteresco’s site.
There I found Tribulus terrestris (Gokshura in Ayurveda), which is a strong aromatase inhibitor and seems to work very well for ovarian cysts (which, as far as I know, are often caused by too high estrogen)
Melissa, didn’t you mention that you are from Germany? Here is a german article about Tribulus/Gokshura
There they state that Tribulus as well increases progesterone.
Anyone here already tried Tribulus?
I just ordered the Damiana tea! Can’t wait to try it:) I’ve used natural Progesterone Cream for a year now. A couple of months back I started to feel so heavy, joint & muscle aches that I had to stop using it. I now feel much better. Progesterone cream in my experience helped for a while but I can not use it any longer. Thank you for sharing your experiences 🙂 Have a lovely day!
Thanks Mel! Perfectly timed. After having my baby 5 months ago my estrogen levels are off the charts. Sadly back to square one where i was 10yrs ago 🙁 back on endo diet and trying anything and everything i can to feel remotely human!!
This is really interesting, thank you. I have been thinking about progesterone cream, but was wary about it. When I can get my hands on this I want to try it!