Lavender - most of us know that lavender is used for its anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing, calming) properties. You’ve also probably diffused it to help with sleep, right?
What most people don’t know is that oral supplementation of lavender oil (capsules; a standardized product) can be helpful for disturbed sleep, restlessness, anxiety and depression.
In 2014, a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy trial studied the effects of oral lavender in patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), in comparison to placebo and Paroxetine. Using the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) to objectively assess and monitor, the researcher were able to conclude that after 10 weeks, the lavender oil capsule was superior to placebo and comparable to Paroxetine, with less adverse effects than Paroxetine. Additionally, the lavender oil capsule had demonstrated antidepressant effects and improved quality of life in the study participants. (1)
Other authors also report comparable effects between a standardized capsule of lavender oil and the starting dose of Lorazepam (a benzodiazepine), in patients with GAD. (2)
As always, consult a healthcare practitioner to ensure that this botanical is appropriate for you. This herb can have additive effects with other medications/supplements, can impair ability to use heavy machinery and should not be used in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Do not self-prescribe, and always work under the guidance of a licensed healthcare practitioner.
Reference(s): (1) PMID: 24456909, (2) PMID: 19962288.
Androgens are often referred to as ‘male sex hormones,’ but they’re present in both men and women. When it comes to women, we hear the most about testosterone, DHEA-S and DHT.
Birth control is NOT the only option for painful (dysmenorrhea) and/or heavy periods (menorrhagia). And before jumping on a medication or supplement your HCP should always look into potential causes of extreme cramping – ie. endometriosis, fibroids, etc.
Prostaglandins are a major factor in menstrual cramps – once a month (when Aunt Flow comes to town) they cause uterine muscles to contract in order to release the uterine lining (endometrium). Prostaglandins aren’t bad (they are important for blood clots, inducing labour, etc.), but if certain prostaglandins are high in your cycle – this can predispose to more painful menstrual cramping.
So - the liver is responsible for detoxing alcohol. But it’s also important for metabolizing estrogen. In women, more than one alcoholic drink per day has been shown to increase circulation of androgens (ie. testosterone) and estrogens (1, 2) – this predisposes you to symptoms of estrogen dominance.
Are you taking your iron supplement with your morning cup of coffee or tea?
I’m excited to share that in an effort to increase accessibility to naturopathic care, I am offering virtual consults to individuals who live in rural areas of Manitoba.
Perimenopause: the hormonal shift, occurring over months-years, which transitions you into menopause. ‘Peri’ means “around” or “near”, so - you get the point.
We’re stressed out, right? Well, the increased cortisol produced by stress makes us hungry - hungry for carbs, sugar and fat (and not the good kinds, okay?). If we follow suit and eat like this all the time we start to feel fatigued (and in desperately hoping for a caffeine boost), moody and may even start to find that we don’t think as clearly (some will call this ‘brain fog’). And stress forces our body to utilize a significant amount of nutrients to produce the energy we need to respond - even if our stress is created by sitting in front of a computer all day.
Chronically stressed out? I won’t lie, me too.
But yikes, that eventually catches up to you. Cortisol (aka our stress hormone) is important for our functioning (and our ability to adapt to stress) – but too much or too little can be problematic.
Do you know how to deal with chronically elevated cortisol?
Taking your biotin pretty consistently and still losing hair?
Well, there’s a ton of reasons why your hair might be thinning out. Let’s investigate.
I’m willing to bet you’ve heard the term ‘PCOS’ before.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The first thing I want to emphasize: it’s a syndrome – not all signs and symptoms show up in every individual with PCOS.
So, how do you know if you have PCOS?