In Blog, Health, Lifestyle

Nurturing Hormonal Harmony: Women’s Supplement for Vitality

Women are more likely to have an autoimmune disorder than men. And women with an autoimmune disorder are more likely to experience premature ovarian failure and perimenopausal symptoms earlier than those who do not have an autoimmune disorder.

Are you experiencing symptoms related to your period? More bleeding? More cramps? Mood swings? Hot flashes? Irritability? These are common symptoms related to shifts in estrogen and progesterone and the balance between these two hormones. Phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that also stimulate estrogen receptors, can ease problems associated with estrogen dominance as well as improve symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause.

facis a unique formula that integrates Native American, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbs to provide balanced support to perimenopausal women and women with menstrual-related symptoms. Phytoestrogens may reduce symptoms from excessive estrogen dominance in young women with painful periods, heavy bleeding, and mood instability. These same compounds can provide estrogen support for perimenopausal and menopausal women, stimulating estrogen receptors and gently reducing symptoms, stabilizing mood, protecting brain tissues, and improving bone mineralization. These phytoestrogens work more effectively when taken in combination than when taken individually.

Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is an herb that Native Americans have used for relief from menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding. Black cohosh may be helpful for post-menopausal women who are experiencing hot flashes and mood changes.1, 2, In the setting of post-menopausal women, black cohosh was as effective as transdermal estrogen for relief of hot flashes. In addition, black cohosh was also associated with reduced anxiety and depression and improved lipid profile.2 Black cohosh may be exerting its beneficial effects through selective estrogen receptor modulation, serotonin pathways, antioxidant effects, and anti-inflammation effects.3

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) has a long history of medicinal use in China, Japan, and Korea, where it has been used to balance the female cycle for hundreds of years. Dong Quai works best in combination with other herbs to support menstrual regularity, reduce dysmenorrhea, and reduce peri-menopausal symptoms.4-6

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) functions as a weak phytoestrogen. Research suggests that glabridin, an isoflavone in licorice, is an estrogen-receptor agonist and supports normal breast cell growth. Licorice has also been shown to have potential for supporting healthy bone mineral density in postmenopausal women and inhibiting serotonin re-uptake.7 Licorice impacts multiple pathways, including NF-kappa B and AMPK. It supports anti-inflammation and anti-oxidation, promotes cardiovascular, bone, and brain health, and protects against diabetes.8, 9

Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) supports symptomatic relief of common perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms and reduces painful periods and mood disturbances associated with menstrual cycles.10-12 In rats that had their ovaries removed, chasteberry improved memory and cognitive performance via stimulation of estrogen receptors.10

Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) has long been used to support female cycles, functions as a phytohormone, and has been shown to stimulate estrogen receptors.13 Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is also considered a phytoestrogen. Its contents include genistein and salicylic acid. Red clover is helpful in reducing flushing and improving blood lipids and glucose control in post-menopausal women.14-18 Red clover has also been helpful in improving bone mineral density in post-menopausal women.19

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) has been commonly used to help maintain healthy fluid balance and for its cleansing effects. In vitro research suggests that the active constituents in dandelion—which include luteolin, quercetin, and inulin—suppress COX-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase, increase antioxidant activity, upregulate phase II detoxification, and support bifidobacteria growth.20, 21

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a phytoestrogen that has been used to treat painful periods, heavy bleeding, and mood disturbances during menstrual cycles.22

Within the system of Ayurveda, ashwagandha (withania somnifera) is classified as a rasayana (rejuvenator) and is expected to promote physical and mental health.23, 24In addition, ashwagandha has been demonstrated to lead to significant reduction in hot flashes and menopausal symptoms and improvement in estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone levels compared to placebo in post-menopausal women.25

As women enter menopause, estrogen levels fall, leading to more rapid age-related changes in the brain and immune cells. Hormone replacement therapy with prescription-based estrogens and progesterone is controversial because of concerns about estrogen-dependent cancers. I recommend women consider taking hormone replacement as they enter menopause. Or they can consider using a phytoestrogen combination to ease menstrual and post-menopausal symptoms.

The Wahls Protocol® Fem Meno Balance is a unique formula integrating Native American, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbs to provide balanced support to menopausal women.*




1. Geller, S.E. and L. Studee, Botanical and dietary supplements for menopausal symptoms: what works, what does not. J Womens Health (Larchmt), 2005. 14(7): p. 634-49.
2. Nappi, R.E., et al., Efficacy of Cimicifuga racemosa on climacteric complaints: a randomized study versus low-dose transdermal estradiol. Gynecol Endocrinol, 2005. 20(1): p. 30-5.
3. Ruhlen, R.L., G.Y. Sun, and E.R. Sauter, Black Cohosh: Insights into its Mechanism(s) of Action. Integr Med Insights, 2008. 3: p. 21-32.
4. Al-Bareeq, R.J., et al., Dong Quai (angelica sinensis) in the treatment of hot flashes for men on androgen deprivation therapy: results of a randomized double-blind placebo controlled trial. Can Urol Assoc J, 2010. 4(1): p. 49-53.
5. Dietz, B.M., et al., Botanicals and Their Bioactive Phytochemicals for Women’s Health. Pharmacol Rev, 2016. 68(4): p. 1026-1073.
6. Hook, I.L., Danggui to Angelica sinensis root: are potential benefits to European women lost in translation? A review. J Ethnopharmacol, 2014. 152(1): p. 1-13.
7. Atkinson, C., et al., The effects of phytoestrogen isoflavones on bone density in women: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 2004. 79(2): p. 326-33.
8. Somjen, D., et al., Estrogenic activity of glabridin and glabrene from licorice roots on human osteoblasts and prepubertal rat skeletal tissues. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 2004. 91(4-5): p. 241-6.
9. Zhang, J., et al., Review on the Diverse Biological Effects of Glabridin. Drug Des Devel Ther, 2023. 17: p. 15-37.
10. Allahtavakoli, M., et al., Vitex Agnus Castus Extract Improves Learning and Memory and Increases the Transcription of Estrogen Receptor alpha in Hippocampus of Ovariectomized Rats. Basic Clin Neurosci, 2015. 6(3): p. 185-92.
11. Chopin Lucks, B., Vitex agnus castus essential oil and menopausal balance: a research update [Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery 8 (2003) 148-154]. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery, 2003. 9(3): p. 157-60.
12. Naseri, R., et al., Comparison of Vitex agnus-castus Extracts with Placebo in Reducing Menopausal Symptoms: A Randomized Double-Blind Study. Korean J Fam Med, 2019. 40(6): p. 362-367.
13. Powers, C.N. and W.N. Setzer, A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol, 2015. 3: p. 4.
14. Gartoulla, P. and M.M. Han, Red clover extract for alleviating hot flushes in postmenopausal women: a meta-analysis. Maturitas, 2014. 79(1): p. 58-64.
15. Kanadys, W., et al., Evaluation of Clinical Meaningfulness of Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.) Extract to Relieve Hot Flushes and Menopausal Symptoms in Peri- and Post-Menopausal Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 2021. 13(4).
16. Kenda, M., et al., Herbal Products Used in Menopause and for Gynecological Disorders. Molecules, 2021. 26(24).
17. Luis, A., F. Domingues, and L. Pereira, Effects of red clover on perimenopausal and postmenopausal women’s blood lipid profile: A meta-analysis. Climacteric, 2018. 21(5): p. 446-453.
18. van de Weijer, P.H. and R. Barentsen, Isoflavones from red clover (Promensil) significantly reduce menopausal hot flush symptoms compared with placebo. Maturitas, 2002. 42(3): p. 187-93.
19. Thorup, A.C., et al., Intake of Novel Red Clover Supplementation for 12 Weeks Improves Bone Status in Healthy Menopausal Women. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2015. 2015: p. 689138.
20. Maliakal, P.P. and S. Wanwimolruk, Effect of herbal teas on hepatic drug metabolizing enzymes in rats. J Pharm Pharmacol, 2001. 53(10): p. 1323-9.
21. Schutz, K., R. Carle, and A. Schieber, Taraxacum–a review on its phytochemical and pharmacological profile. J Ethnopharmacol, 2006. 107(3): p. 313-23.
22. Fierascu, R.C., et al., Leonurus cardiaca L. as a Source of Bioactive Compounds: An Update of the European Medicines Agency Assessment Report (2010). Biomed Res Int, 2019. 2019: p. 4303215.
23. Dhuley, J.N., Effect of ashwagandha on lipid peroxidation in stress-induced animals. J Ethnopharmacol, 1998. 60(2): p. 173-8.
24. Kulkarni, S.K. and A. Dhir, Withania somnifera: an Indian ginseng. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry, 2008. 32(5): p. 1093-105.
25. Gopal, S., et al., Effect of an ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) root extract on climacteric symptoms in women during perimenopause: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Obstet Gynaecol Res, 2021. 47(12): p. 4414-4425.
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