Plant Estrogens Contribute to Headaches

Many Herbs are Hormone Disruptive and Worsen Headaches

Most of the personal care products in the health food store has some kind of herb that just happens to mimic estrogen. These herbs will make your migraine worse, if you have a headache that varies with your cycle. The herbs look like estrogen to your body. The herbs are hormone active.

For instance, there are about 300 folk medicines in Europe that are designed to increase breast size. 200 of the 300 these herbal concoctions are topical. What do you think are in these herbal breast enlargement formulas? Yes, these herbs look like estrogen to the human body. Yes, these herbs make migraine headaches that vary with the cycle worse. Yes, some of these same herbs are used in personal care products. It does not matter that the herbs are natural or organic. The herbs mimic estrogen!

Just because something is natural or organic does not mean it is safe. After a big rain in your yard, mushrooms grow. The mushrooms are natural. You don't eat those! Why not? The mushrooms are natural.

Many of the fragrant herbs just happen to be hormone disrupting. This is how the plants fight back at animals that eat them. Animals in general do not eat the fragrant plants. However, we humans use the fragrant plants as taste enhancers in food and perfumes in shampoo and soap.

Clover Disease

Let me give you an example a prototypical example. You can web search "Clover Disease" and sheep. In the 1940's, sheep farmers in Australia imported clover from the Mediterranean to give their sheep better nutrition or so they thought. The sheep began to have still births. After several years, there were no births at all even after breeding with fertile rams. The clover was not poisonous. Finally, formononetin, only one of the chemicals, was demonstrated to be the problem. It was a hormone active naturally occurring plant chemical in the clover. The first scientific paper on this problem "clover disease" appeared in the Australian Veterinary Journal in 1946.

This is the way clover fights back at the sheep. That way the clover can continue to grow and limit the amount of sheep eating it. Guess what? Red clover is found in the health food store. Red clover has made the fibroids in my patients bigger. Red clover is found in the health food store. Alfalfa is in the clover family. Could alfalfa have hormone disruptive properties as well? Could it be that herbs in the clover family have plant chemicals in them that mimic estrogen and make migraines worse?

This is from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Woman's Guide to Identifying and Managing PCOS by John Eden:

Sheep clover disease Human PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
LH levels High High
Androgen levels Not measured yet High
Effect on ovulation Suppression Suppression
Skin Effects Virilized Excess hair and acne
Uterine lining Thick Thick

I was desperate for relief from the pain... . I am now surprised when my period starts!

This website has been a lifesaver for me. I found it while searching for alternative treatments to endometriosis (rather than complete hysterectomy). I thought it all sounded pretty wacky, but I was desperate for relief from the pain. I followed the advice about cutting out parabens & what not, ordered my Progestelle, laundry & dish detergent, Indole-3-carbinmol. I followed all the rules & waited 2 months for the chemicals to leave my system before using the Progestelle. Wow, what a difference! Even before starting the Progestelle, my monthly pain decreased dramatically during that 2 months. I am now surprised when my period starts, whereas before I had plenty of advance pain to let me know it was coming. I was taking Hydrocodone for the pain, now I take a couple ibuprofen the first day & that is all! I don't have to consider having surgery & going on hormone replacement therapy at 37. I'm not completely pain free, but I feel like a normal woman now. I'm no longer desperate for relief, because I have found it here. Thank you! I'm telling every woman I know about this website. Please feel free to use my name and comments on your website.

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March 12, 2007

Lavender and Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca)

Clifford Bloch, MD a pediatric endocrinologist presented in June of 2006 in Denver, Colorado about young boys that had gynecomastia otherwise known as male breasts. Enlarged breasts result from an imbalance of too much estrogen which stimulates breast growth versus estrogen-inhibiting androgens. It is rare before puberty.

Bloch, MD found that the boys were putting lavender oil and tea tree oil directly on their skin. The gyencomastia disappeared in several months. To verify his suspicion, he took the tea tree oil and lavender oil and put it into a test tube with breast cancer cells. The cell culture confirmed that both the tea tree oil and lavender oil separately turned on estrogen-regulated genes and inhibited an androgen regulated gene.

Pediatric endocrinologist Edward Reiter of Tufts University School of Medicine in Springfield, Mass., applauds Bloch for his "impressive, Sherlock Holmes" performance in unearthing what the boys had in common. The rapid reversal of gynecomastia that Bloch accomplished is a rare achievement in medicine, comments Ken Ong, a pediatric endocrinologist at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, England.


Pomegranate is used in ancient times to create abortions. I have had some endometriosis patients complain that their endometriosis flared after they binged on pomegranate. I have had a woman complain of sore and tender breasts after using a shampoo that contained pomegranate. I find it vexing that pomegranate is touted as a source of antioxidants useful for pregnant women. Are these marketers crazy?


Aloe is another common ingredient in many shampoos, health supplements and even progesterone creams. Aloe taken in enough quantity is used to create miscarriages in the first trimester in ancient times. This means aloe may be a progesterone blocker. I did have some patients taking a lot of aloe and complaining that the progesterone cream did not work. Why some one would formulate a progesterone cream that contains aloe is beyond me.


Rosemary is a common herb added to health food store shampoos and lotions as an anti-oxidant. Unfortunately, rosemary is very estrogenic. It has made my patients with uterine fibroids have bigger fibroids.

And Many More.

Anything that has a fragrance natural or synthetic should be suspected of hormone disruption. If you took organic chemistry, the benzene ring compounds are nicknamed the "aromatic" compounds. That is because ring shaped compounds smell good. The whole class of alkylphenols are ring shaped compounds known to be estrogen mimics or hormone disruptive. So you must suspect any fragrance natural or synthetic of being hormone disruptive.

Here is a company that sells progesterone in an oil without preservatives or additives. With a first purchase, they include a list of things to avoid. If you are trying to get rid of a migraine headache, this avoidance list is "pure gold".

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