Summer foods for happy hormones
Over the next moon cycle I am helping you re-boot your hormones by following NATURE as suggested by the cards PACHAMAMMA and PROTECT from the creation fertility toolkit.
Today I am focusing on card 29 – Pacha Mamma and the benefits of summer foods. Let’s talk seasonal produce to connect with the Earth Mother herself to support your hormonal balance.
This is so simple!
*Include some of these summer foods during the next moon cycle – of course I can’t tell you all of the plants in season right now as there is not enough space! Please look around your locality and see what’s fresh right now (not in the supermarket but in nature!). Where I live there is an abundance of fresh produce – so much leafy chard and summer greens, plums, apples, blackberries, raspberries and much much more.
*Make your own plant remedy if you feel inclined. This really helps you connect with nature
* Remember to always ensure that any plant material you use is SAFE to eat before eating or making a remedy with. Some plants are contra-indicated or you cannot use some parts when making a remedy.
Over the course of this moon cycle I shall also be including 2 audio mediations to help you protect yourself and connect with Pacha Mamma too!
8 Summer foods for happy hormones – veggies
- Artichoke: liver decongestion digestive aid; helps build healthy blood. Useful leading up to your period; helps reduce pre-menstrual headaches, bloating, fullness, changes in stool & pre-menstrual water retention. It can also be used during menses to calm heavy menstrual flow and is a great blood tonic. Contains Vitamin C: growth, development, and repair of body tissues; collagen; helps iron absorption, boosts the immune system; encourages wound healing; lessens scar tissue and essential for healthy cartilage, bones, and teeth. Fibre: essential for everyone! If you suffer with menstrual bowel changes; are taking progesterone, are a PCOS or endo sufferer add artichokes to your fertility superfood list because they soften the stool but bulk it up too. Vitamin K: help blood clotting. Folate: supports DNA production and other genetic material. It is also needed for healthy cell division. Magnesium: Oh boy we all need magnesium for hormone balance, adrenal support, heart health, bones (aids calcium absorption); sleep regulation and much more!
2. Beetroot. Helps detoxify the liver and clears phase 1 and 2 liver pathways, helps fight Alzheimer’s disease, strengthen bones; wards off osteoporosis, contributes to a healthy nervous system, synthesis of red blood cells, DNA and RNA. Both the greens and roots of beets are highly recommended for when you are TTC and during pregnancy. This highly coloured veggie contains folate, antioxidants, fibre, calcium, vitamins AC and K, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron. The beetroot also contains significant amounts of boron, which helps produce human sex hormones. In fact, beet greens have more iron than spinach (a leafy green in the same botanical family)! Beet greens also contain leutein which contributes to eye health.
3. Bitter salad leaves – including all forms of lettuce, endive, dandelion, romaine, kale, beet leaves, arugula, chicory, spinach leaves, rocket, radicchio. Highly effective for menstrual bloating, PMT, skin conditions such as eczema; breast tenderness and water retention. Their gentle but effective diuretic qualities encourage kidneys to help release excess water held in the body during hormonal changes. All bitter salad leaves are fantastic for the liver, gallbladder, urinary and digestive systems and help produce and regulate the production of hormones. Most salad and green leaves are high in minerals especially potassium, vitamins A,C,D and iron
4. Broad Beans. Love them or hate them broad beans contain phytoestrogens, which can be called analogues of female sex hormones. They help increase sexual sensation in women with low hormone levels and aids development of natural lubrication! High in B vitamins, calcium and selenium. Excellent source of soluble fibre, protein, folate, manganese, copper
5. Broccoli and broccoli sprouts: This wonderful cruciferous veggie is fantastic for many hormone health conditions because it supports liver phase 1 and 2 . It also have strong antioxidant activities, supports detoxification, has anti-cancer properties, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and an all round goodie goodie. As my friend says “a day without broccoli is a day wasted”. Contains many phytochemicals including sulforaphane and glucosinate (SGS) High in fibre; iron, potassium, calcium, selenium; magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid.
6. Peas: High in folate some people seem to think that peas shouldn’t be eaten when they are TTC (trying to conceive) but science research is not conclusive in my opinion. Everything is about balance and peas are loaded with nutrients, a natural form of folate, in season and easy to eat! Food based folate is also very important if you have methylation issues. Generally you know this if you have received genetics testing. It’s to do with the MTHR gene.
7. Radishes contain significant levels of vitamin C. Cruciferous plants, which include radish, broccoli and cabbage, are all linked with anti-cancer properties. Radishes are packed with Vitamins E, A, C, B6, and K. Plus it’s high on antioxidants, fibre, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and manganese.
8. Sorrel Helps maintain regular bowel movements, lowers cholesterol levels and supports blood sugar balance. Great for the skin and reproductive well being. Vitamins A and C and fibre
Apricots: Anti inflammatory; supports detoxification and reduces fluid retention; increases iron absorption; good for eye sight, skin and mucous membranes. Regulates bowel movements. Contains Vitamins C and A; quercetin, manganese, iron; fibre; potassium, lycopene, B complex, calcium, proanthocyanidins, catechins, epicatechins, hydroxycinnamics, gallic acid.
Blackberries: traditionally we think of these fruits during the autumn but they are already blooming in my garden. Packed with antioxidants they are full of vitamin c, and fibre, vitamin K, manganese and much more. Even my dog loves these! Blackberry pairs well with the mints for diarrhea and lower digestive complaints. Great for brain health, reduces erectile dysfunction, supports bone health, the immune system and much more. A wonderful fruit with a short season so grab some now.
Plums – close to being ripe in my garden plums are an interesting fruit. Excellent to support regular bowel movements they are full of fibre and antioxidants. In addition they support cognitive health; cardiovascular health, can boost the immune system fight cancer cells, help combat diabetes, low cholesterol and are tasty too! Juice, stew or eat them raw.
Basil: Often used to help menstrual pain, encourage menstruation and help reduce hormonal stress. Cortisol is the main stress hormone and if it’s out of balance (too high or low) then it can have a huge impact on all your hormones. So can either drink Basil tea; add some leaves to your vagisteam or rub a few drops of basil oil against your forearms or against the adrenal gland point in your ear to help relax and reduce anxiety.
Calendula aka marigold – a beautiful flower full of happiness and cheer this plant is great for the lymphatic system so fabulous post surgery or illness. It’s also very healing for scars or irritated skin, making it ideal for those who have scarring from any form of surgery. Calendula is thought to lower c-reactive protein and cytokine levels and protect cells from being damaged by free radicals — this includes immunity, aging and cell deterioration. A tea or flower essence can be made with marigold flowers to lower symptoms caused by inflammatory bowel diseases/colitis/gastritis/acid reflux/ulcers/reducing stomach or menstrual cramps and emotionally bring calmness and a sunny disposition. Marigolds contain many potent antioxidants, plant sterols and anti-inflammatory compounds that fight infections, decrease swelling, improve blood flow and reduce muscle spasms.
Evening Primrose: out now and looking grand. Whilst we usually consider the use of its OIL for hormonal health conditions all parts of evening primrose are edible. Native Americans eat the seeds but you can add young leaves raw into salads. Watch out though because they are bitter – some people steam then 1st. Native Americans used evening primrose for a variety of medicinal purposes; the Ojibwa poulticed the whole plant on bruises; the Cherokee drank a tea made from the root to take off weight; the Shakers used the leaves or roots externally to promote healing of wounds and a tea of the leaf and root to settle an upset stomach. Research suggests that evening primrose oil may be useful for treating a wide range of conditions associated with imbalances and abnormalities of essential fatty acids, including atopic eczema, asthma, migraine, inflammations, PMS, metabolic disorders, diabetes, arthritis, and alcoholism. Perhaps you would like to make a remedy with it or something else?
Mint including spearmint and peppermint – most well-known for its powerful stomach-soothing properties, mint can support hormone imbalances too. If you suffer with PCOS; oestrogen or moond swings then opt for spearmint herbal tea; add to salads, make a spear-mint sauce, try making a plant remedy or vinegar with it, add some leaves to your vagi-steam. Opt for peppermint if you suffer with hormonal headaches; head pain or a foggy brain. Mint contains manganese, copper and vitamin C. Mint also contains vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B-6, C, E, and K, beta carotene, folate and riboflavin and the minerals calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and manganese
Nasturtium flowers and petals. Traditionally used to support hair loss this beautiful plant and flower has the ability to improve the immune system, soothe sore throats, coughs, and colds, as well as bacterial and fungal infections. Add to salads, a bath or make a flower remedy both the leaves and petals of the nasturtium plant are packed with nutrition, containing high levels of vitamin C. manganese, iron, flavonoids, and beta carotene.
Nettles. Use new growth leaves and stems. Pick with gloves on! Drink as a tea up to 3 times daily to nourish the immune system, support the kidneys, encourage a balanced digestive system, promote healthy skin and hair and emotionally encourage healthy boundaries. Safe in pregnancy and also promotes breast milk. Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins. Minerals: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. Fats: Linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid. I often use nettles as a Spagyric tincture for my cleanse participants.
Parsley: The impressive health benefits of parsley make it an all-natural and safe plant to include in your diet. It’s a free radical scavenger, hormone balancer, heart protector, brain protector, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, and even a digestion soother plus it helps regulate bowel movements and decreases bloating. Excellent for PMS, reproductive health challenges and urinary tract disorders. Source of phenolic compounds, antioxidant flavonoids, and various nutrients like vitamins K, C and A
Valerian root: Brings peace and calm to your life. This wonderful plant soothes the nervous system so fabulous for sleep disorders, stress and anxiety, stomach spasms, vaginal infections, hot flushes, late and weak menstruation, lack of libido and supports the thyroid. The easiest way to prepare valerian is by decocting the root and sipping the tea as needed. I have been advised to “simmer it hard” rather than boil the root. You can also make a remedy out of it (see below)
You will need
A jam jar or similar – needs to be clear with a lid
A dropper bottle
Spring water or rainwater
A small amount of alcohol or apple cyder vinegar
A muslin or small cloth to keep insects out!
Choose a sunny morning to gather your flowers or plant material. You will be placing the bowl in the vicinity of where you have gathered them so try to choose a spot that will get at least three hours of sunlight. Please collect you plant/flower – being mindful why you are choosing it and silently ask for it’s support before cutting it. You can also set the intention as to how you would like it to help you. Once you have collected your plant material place in the spring water in your jar. The water needs to cover the flower/plant material, then simply place the water/plant in a sunny position for 3 hours (you can also leave out in the moon – I often do). Once you have done this bring it in and siphon the liquid off placing it into a dropper bottle. Depending on the amount of remedy you have I then add between a teaspoon and a dessertspoon of vinegar or alcohol to the remedy. From a Spagyric viewpoint we would add 10% volume of alcohol/vinegar to preserve it but I have also heard of people adding 50% volume. I will leave this to you. The actual flower or plant material can now be returned to the Earth. The remedy is now ready to take. I suggest you “cusp” it regularly.
Dosage: 3 drops of the essence daily – either diluted in water and drunk/placed directly under the tongue or added to a body lotion and topically rubbed into your skin daily.
Cusping: I do this to help imprint the vibration and “wake the energy remedy up” before using it daily. Simply stand the energy bottle in the palm of your hand and then tap the energy bottle on the palm of your hand 3 times before taking your daily dosage.
Justine Evans is a registered naturopath, nutritional therapist, Seasonal wellbeing Expert and healer. Integrating nutritional medicine; western science and Eastern philosophy Justine provides a multi dimensional approach to your hormone health.
On line, Stroud and Twickenham clinic consultations Tuesday-Friday. To arrange a consultation phone 07747 133170 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This article has been written for inspiration and education purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease and it does not consider allergies etc. Please act responsibly and ensure any food or plant is safe for internal consumption before using. This article does not replace personalised evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment by your personal qualified health care professional.