The Hippocratic Oath tells doctors to “first, do no harm.” But no such rule applies to the products in your home medicine cabinet, and that’s a shame. Many everyday “health” products contain chemicals that interfere with the production, release, transport, metabolism, and/or elimination of your body’s natural hormones.
Called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), these toxins negatively affect the body’s highly sensitive hormone system. All hormones suffer at the hands EDCs, but research suggests that they are particularly damaging to estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormones. EDCs are known to affect female (and male) reproduction, thyroid function, metabolism, and obesity.
EDCs are found in a wide range of everyday products, from conventional laundry detergents to perfume to plastic Tupperware containers…. and, of course, in the first aid products many of us keep in our medicine cabinet.
The main takeaway? EDCs can trigger (or worsen) hormonal health issues, including endometriosis, PCOS, ovarian cysts, infertility issues, PMS, heavy or irregular periods, thyroid issues, and more. You should avoid these terrible toxins whenever and wherever you can.
As I mentioned, EDCs turn up around every corner—they hide in upholstery fabric, turn up in lotions and lipsticks, hang out in household cleaning products and lawn chemicals—but they also lurk inside products marketed to help you heal. They’re hanging out, and doing harm, in products that are meant to make you feel better.
It’s time to say goodbye to these not-so-great-for-your-hormones products, and replace them with some easy, inexpensive, and effective natural alternatives.
Your All Natural First Aid Kit
I like to keep my natural remedies simple, quick, and easy. Here’s a look inside my medicine cabinet:
Natural Rx for Cuts, Scrapes, Cramps, Bug Bites, and Bruises
- Product: Neosporin (for small cuts and scrapes, etc.)
- Try this instead: ¼ tsp of Coconut oil with 2 drops each of lavender and tea tree oil. This combination is antimicrobial—without the antibiotics—and will help improve your skin’s immune response so that you heal faster.
- Product: Benadryl anti-itch cream (for bug bites)
- Try this instead: Mix baking soda and water until it forms a paste. Smear the bite or itchy patch of skin. This remedy is also great for dry skin and rashes.
- Product: Noxema (for sunburn)
- Try this instead: Aloe vera gel in its purest form is cooling and healing. And, as much as you can, avoid getting burned in the first place!
- Product: IcyHot cream (for muscle and joint pain)
- Try this instead: Arnica gel works well on unbroken skin for pain and also bruising.
- Product: Mucinex or Vick’s medicine (for cough, cold, or sore throat)
- Try this instead: Nature’s Way Umcka ColdCare range and Zarbee’s Naturals range support the body’s own immune responses.
- Product: Monistat (for yeast infections)
- Try this instead: Vitanica Yeast Arrest Vaginal Suppositories will give relief and help support your vagina flora and Jarrow Femdophilous is clinically shown to restore vaginal microbiome. Check out this post for more natural remedies for UTIs and bacterial vaginosis.
- Product: Advil, Midol or Aleve (for period pain and cramps)
- Try this instead: Clary sage essential oil rubbed into the skin above the pubic bone and below the belly button, where your uterus is, can help relieve cramps. You can also diffuse this oil or add a few drops to an Epsom salt bath. I have a lot more short-term and long-term natural solutions for period pain and cramps just here.
Natural Rx for fatigue, anxiety, period problems, and more
Some “healthy” products don’t contain EDCs per se, but they can come with their health-compromising side effects. Next time you reach for one of these pills or supplements, consider an alternative that is better for your hormones and has fewer side effects.
And unlike the salves, creams, and sprays that you use occasionally (for bug bites or sunburn or sore muscles), the supplements and suggestions aren’t spot treatments. They work best when you make them a regular part of your health prevention and maintenance.
- Product: 5-hour energy, coffee, or other caffeinated drinks (for an energy pick-me-up)
- Try this instead: Take a high-quality B-complex vitamin to help prevent and treat low energy and fatigue. B vitamins also help boost progesterone production, which is critical for balancing with estrogen and easing period problems like severe PMS, bloating, cramps, heavy or irregular periods, and menstrual migraines. Progesterone also helps promote the synthesis of GABA, a calming chemical produced by the brain. This makes B vitamins a good choice for easing anxiety.
Coffee has made headlines in recent years as a “health food,” touted for its anti-aging, cell-health-boosting, mood-lifting abilities, but if you suffer from hormonal imbalances (and even if you don’t!) coffee can be problematic. Skip this faux pick-me-ups in lieu of vitamin D, which supports a whole bunch of health-boosting functions in the body, like robust immune health, healthy aging, healthy metabolism, and healthy mood.
- Product: Over-the-counter diet pills (for weight loss support)
- Try this instead: A high-quality liver support supplement. Optimal liver health is critical for estrogen-progesterone balance (and for avoiding all the gnarly symptoms that come along with estrogen being too high relative to progesterone). Liver health is essential for overcoming weight loss resistance and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Product: Prescription anti-anxiety meds or sleep aids (to help with anxiety and sleep)
- Try this instead: If you work with a trusted healthcare practitioner to find the prescription medications that are right for you, always, always, always, consult that person when considering coming off those medications. But if experience anxiety or trouble sleeping, you may find that taking a specially formulated magnesium supplement can help. Bonus! Magnesium helps support the healthy production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. And then there’s the amazing, mood-improving potential of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Product: Antacids (to help with heartburn and other digestive distress)
- Try this instead: Again, always follow the advice of your trusted healthcare practitioner when it comes to digestive distress. Some GI issues require working with a provider and figuring out what will work for your unique system. But you may be able to improve your symptoms by improving the health of your microbiome. Try a high-quality probiotic. (If your symptoms persist, though, consult a doctor).
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
BALANCE by FLO Living Hormone Supplement Kit
Because you’ve asked for hormone-friendly supplement recommendations, I created a solution that I am so thrilled to be able to offer to you on your hormonal balancing journey:
Balance by FLO Living Supplements are a complete package that work together to keep your hormone levels healthy. They include a 2 month(2 cycle) supply of the following formulations so you’re never caught short in any phase of your cycle.
When you take these 5 supplements daily, you’ll be giving your body excellent micronutrients to support healthier hormone levels. Which means that you’ll start to see your worst period symptoms get better… and even disappear after a while.