The estrogen-progestogen hormonal rebalancing by Phytotherapy

estrogen-progestogen hormonal rebalancing by Phytotherapy

There is a hormonal decline towards the end of the period of female genital activity; Over the years, and especially from around 40 years of age, sex hormone deficiencies follow one another in women at a rate and intensity that varies from one person to another. Progesterone levels begin to fluctuate from the age of 40 and then are followed, as you approach 50, by a decrease and then a collapse in estrogen levels . Beyond fifty, there is little by little a decline in androgens (more frequent from sixty). The menopause occurs between 48 and 55 years on average, sometimes sooner, sometimes later.

Hormonal regulation in case of estrogen deficiency


Estrogens stimulate the growth of epithelial tissues through their mitogenic effect, which is also manifested in all female sexual glandular epithelium. They increase vascularization , and especially vascular permeability , resulting in a breast congestion effect ; they sensitize the epithelial tissue to the action of prolactin. The action of endogenous estrogens is mainly based on the mechanism of their binding to the α and β receptors, thus leading to a modification of the expression of genes .

If estrogen collapses, FSH should be restarted. This stimulus indeed generates a secretion of estrogen . In the absence of a sufficient estrogenic response, FSH stimulates the production of adrenal androgens , with aromatization (transformation of testosterone into estradiol) or without aromatization.


Progesterone modulates or inhibits the effects of estrogen by opposing the increase in vascular permeability . In particular, it exerts a double paradoxical action at the epithelial level; it blocks the growth of milk ducts by anti-estrogenic effect , but participates in the development of acini in synergy with estrogen.

In the event of a collapse in progesterone levels, the LH must be restarted. This stimulus generates a secretion of progesterone . In the absence of a sufficient progestational response, LH stimulates the production of genital androgens .


Androgens exert an incomplete pseudo-progestational action , and are rather inhibitory on breast development.

In the event of a collapse of genital androgens, the LH must be restarted. This stimulus generates a secretion of androgens . In the absence of a sufficient genital androgenic response, LH stimulates the production of adrenal androgens .


Prolactin exerts a mitogenic effect , and participates in cell differentiation in synergy with sex steroids. It increases estradiol receptors.

Other hormones are involved in breast physiology: insulin, cortisol, growth hormone, as well as thyroid hormones.

Female hyperestrogenic hormonal disorder

It is rarely the result of ovarian overproduction. Other factors increase the natural estrogen content. The main clinical manifestations are marked by the occurrence of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), with or without mastosis, fibroma, endometriosis , vaginal candidiasis, irritability, cyclical aggressiveness, cellulitis. It promotes venous insufficiency , increases the risk of hormonedependent cancers , and is often accompanied by a lack of iron (low ferritin), hypothyroidism or vaginal candidiasis.

Hepatic estrogen detoxification

Estrogens can also take the path (favorable and safe) of 2OH-estrone in phase 1 of detoxification: this compound, non-estrogenic, non-active, non-toxic, leads in phase 2 to stable and non-dangerous DNA adducts.

Estrogens can also pass the 16αOH-estrone pathway (highly estrogenic, genotoxic) also during phase 1. This compound will then transform into estriol E3 (a short-acting estrogen) during phase 2. The latter route of metabolism, much less favorable than the first in terms of mutagenic risk, is rather found in overweight or obese women , while thin women mainly use the first route.

The benefit of plants like artichoke and black radish is that they not only facilitate the hepatic detoxification of estrogen , but they direct it to the safe 2OH-estrone pathway, which is of interest in overweight women. , whose risk of hormone-dependent cancer (breast, ovary, endometrium) is increased.

It should be noted that the intestine plays a role in the metabolism of estrogen , via a mechanism of reabsorption by the enterohepatic cycle of estradiol (E2) and estrone (E1), which is increased in the event of intestinal dysbiosis.

Hormonal regulation by herbal medicine

Herbal medicine provides plants with genital activity of remarkable efficiency :

The progesteronemimetic activity of Lady’s mantle :

  • Luteotropic properties:

Lady’s mantle regulates ovarian secretion of progesterone, facilitates secretion and luteal production, which makes it clinically effective in endometriosis and the management of premenstrual and menstrual disorders through its progestogen-type activity , and its emmenagogue action : it provokes, facilitates and regularizes the rules.

Estrogenomimetic activity of Alfalfa , Hops and Clary Sage :

  • Hormonal properties of Alfalfa:

The estrogenic activity of alfalfa has been recognized thanks to the presence of coumestans (coumestrol, 4-methoxycoumestrol), which bind to estrogen receptors and show uterotrophic activity , as well as by its other isoflavones (genistein, daidzein) and its lignans.

  • Estrogenic and anti-androgenic hormonal properties of Hops:

Studies measuring estrogenic activity measured in vitro on human endometrial cell lines have shown that estrogenic activity is primarily due to 8-prenylnaringenin (hopein), as well as 6-prenylnaringenin and isoxanthohumol (not xanthohumol). The potent activity of 8-prenylnaringenin, the most estrogenic compound in hops, has in fact been confirmed by several studies. It is reflected in its ability to bind competitively and equivalently to estrogen α and β receptors, with a relative binding affinity much stronger than that of two recognized phytoestrogens, coumestrol and genistein.

In women, 8-prenylnaringenin has demonstrated its activity on climacteric disorders of menopause (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood and sleep disorders, etc.) in several randomized double-blind studies against placebo.

8-prenylnaringenin would also be responsible for the anti-androgenic activity of hops. Furthermore, it inhibits angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo .

Isoxanthohumol is weakly phytoestrogenic . However, it can be converted into 8-prenylnaringenin by a mechanism involving the intestinal microbiota .

  • Estrogenomimetic properties of clary sage:

The compounds responsible for this property are not clearly identified. Sage triterpenes have an estrogen-like configuration without possessing the phenol nucleus. Diterpenes contain a phenol nucleus associated with an epoxy bridge.

Clary sage is considered an estrogen boosting plant at the ovarian level resulting in stimulation of estrogen receptors α and β.

Emmenagogue , it stimulates blood flow in the pelvic region and regulates the menstrual cycle . It would be anti galactogenic.

The androgenomimetic activity of Ginseng , Tribulus and Mucuna :

  • Property of hormonal modulation of the pituitary-cortico-adrenal axis of Ginseng:

Ginseng regulates stress hormones during menopause and improves the cortisol / DHEA ratio. In addition to their ability to independently target multi-receptor systems on the plasma membrane, ginsenosides activate, among other things, intracellular steroid receptors.

  • Properties of Tribulus on libido, sexual activity and spermatogenesis:

In humans, tribulus stimulates testosterone levels in healthy volunteers, especially free testosterone, when they show lower than normal numbers, but not in those with normal baseline values. However, it does not seem to increase the testosterone level in healthy subjects, in particular in young men.

The action of tribulus is more characterized in a situation of hormonal dysfunction , as shown by a recent study (2017), carried out in 65 infertile men with spermatogenesis disorders.

  • Property of Mucuna on androgen deficiency and male fertility:

Consumption of mucuna significantly reduces age-related alterations in sperm by increasing antioxidant defenses. It also helps increase the concentration and motility of sperm. This property is confirmed in asthezoospermic man. It has also been demonstrated, in hypofertile men, that mucuna restores antioxidant enzymes (SOD, catalase, etc.), and improves the quality of sperm . In addition, M. pruriens allows a significant increase in testosterone and LH, essential for increasing spermatogenesis. Taking mucuna also lowers FSH levels, the increase of which correlates with damage to the seminiferous tubule. In addition, the plant decreases prolactin.

Medical bibliographic sources and clinical trials :




Clementine. M.
Naturopath – Aromatherapist / Herbalist – Phytotherapist
Consultant in Clinical Phyto-aromatherapy and Ethnomedicine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *