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Ayurveda & Two Important Female Hormones: Estrogen and Progesterone

Hormones are like chemical messengers which travel throughout the body and coordinate complex processes such as growth, metabolism and fertility. Two of the most important female hormones are estrogen and progesterone. What are the functions of these two hormones and how to treat hormonal imbalances?
 
According to Dr. Marc Halpern in The Textbook of Clinical Ayurvedic Medicine, the following is a summary of these two hormones:
 
Estrogen: 
Brings the female sexual organs to maturity. 
Stimulates growth of the breasts. 
Increases bone growth and rate. 
Increases metabolism.
Increases body fat.
Stimulates thicker, softer, more vascular skin.
Causes mild sodium and water retention at the kidney tubules resulting in mild
edema. 
 
Progesterone:
Causes uterine endometrial proliferation in preparation for implantation. 
Decreases uterine contraction preventing miscarriage.
Prepares the breasts for lactation. Breasts swell and become tender. 
 
Many women experience symptoms of hormonal imbalance, including hot flashes, PMS, weight gain, mood swings, insomnia, depression, fatigue, and endometriosis to name a few.
 
Ayurveda utilizes diet, lifestyle, herbs, building ojas (vital strength and stamina), meditation, panchakarma (deep cleansing and rejuvenation practices), abhyanga (oil self-massage), and other practices to restore hormonal balance. This can best be accomplished by working one-on-one with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. If you don’t have access to one in your community, please contact the California College of Ayurveda, and one of our graduates or interns would be happy to work with you.
 
By Marisa Laursen, C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T., Faculty at the California College of Ayurveda