The endocrine system is one of the more “overlooked” systems of the body – until the symptoms of imbalance begin to appear. These symptoms often may not be recognized for what they really are until the imbalance has reached an extreme – we tend to pass them off as “I haven’t been getting enough sleep” . . . or “I have been under a lot of stress recently” . . . or “I am not as young as I used to be” . . . etc, etc, etc.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms – whether you are male or female – then it may be appropriate for you to have your hormone levels checked by a health care professional.
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Unexplained fatigue
- Bone loss
- Facial hair
- Inability to lose weight
- Uterine fibroids
- Migraine headaches
- Reduced sex drive
- Irregular periods
- Memory loss
- Brain fog
- Reduced energy
- Thinning hair
- Restricted urine flow (men)
Declining hormone levels can also accelerate the aging process. This single effect has raised awareness more than any other. After all, it is hard to ignore what one sees in the mirror each morning!
John R. Lee, MD of Harvard University in the US found that natural progesterone is “very well absorbed through the skin – 40 to 70 times more efficiently than if you take it by mouth”. This has proven to be a boon to the cosmetics industry as more and more creams appear on the market. However, one may consider that if something is “absorbing into the body”, we may want to know just how pure it really is. After all, any synthetic chemicals that are included in the “cream” will also be absorbed by the body.
A few years ago, Gary Young of Young Living Essential Oils in the US said, “If I won’t eat it, I won’t put it on my skin!” (This was after asking during a training session if we would “eat our shampoo”. He said, “You can eat my shampoo! You might not like the taste, but it could be the best thing you put into your body all day!”) The point is that there are many options available, but more information may be helpful to find the best one(s) for YOU.
Laboratory research has shown that essential oils enhance the penetration of topical hormones into the blood. This would indicate that topical creams with essential oils as penetration enhancers are more effective than creams without essential oils.
What hormones are we actually talking about?
Hormones that decline with age are mainly
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
· Estrogens can also drop with age, but not as rapidly as progesterone. This single fact is what causes many women over 40 to develop estrogen-dominant conditions.
Estrogens are not a “single hormone”, but rather a class of hormones. It includes estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estradiol is the one which declines with age in humans.
Cortisol (the “death hormone”) increases with age. The “miracle” injection for joint pain and inflammation, cortisone, is derived from cortisol.
Does one need to take “all” the hormones? Does one need to take only a few? How can the body ever be in balance?????
What is a PRECURSOR?
A precursor is a building block. It is a substance that has “the ingredients necessary for making something else”. It is not actually what you are choosing to make, but it has what is necessary in order to make that which you desire to have. I kind of think of it like the “eggs” in a recipe. If there are no eggs available, then it is impossible to make a cake….or a quiche…or hollandaise sauce. Cakes, quiche, and hollandaise are all quite different, but they all require eggs. If you have eggs available, then you can make whatever you choose to make – OR you can “save” the eggs and make nothing at all.
One must be extremely careful about the amounts of hormones that are put into the body (just like one needs to use just the right number of eggs in a recipe). However, the exact amounts of precursors do not have to be so carefully monitored as they provide only the “ingredients” to the body rather that the actual hormones. In other words, it is not quite such a balancing act.
DHEA is a precursor for human growth hormone. DHEA is not a hormone, but it has the ingredients necessary for the body to make its own HGH. It is derived from wild yams.
PREGNENOLONE is a precursor. Pregnenolone is the “parent compound” of progesterone. Progesterone is actually a hormone; pregnenolone is not. When it is present, the body can produce its own hormones.
Pregnenolone can be made by the body into ANY hormone that is deficient.
Let me repeat that: Pregnenolone can be made into any hormone that is deficient!
Does that suggest that it would be less likely to be disruptive than utilizing hormones themselves? Perhaps that is the case – and that is great news for many of us!!!
In addition, when pregnenolone and DHEA are combined, the results are often far more exceptional than when only one of the precursors is present.
For those who desire a little more information about pregnenolone, the following information comes from Gary Young’s book, Pregnenolone (page 24) :
- It is known chemically as an unsaturated hydroxyl steroid ketone, C21H32O2, formed by the oxidation of cholesterol. Pregnenolone acts as the major precursor for all steroid hormones such as DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, and aldosterone.
- It is produced in the adrenal glands (located above the kidneys), the glial cells of the brain, and the Schwann cells of the nervous system.
- Because it is a precursor for all steroid hormones, pregnenolone helps regulate proper hormone balance. It is also involved in emotional health, proper sleep, and reduced stress. Clinical studies examined its role in relieving depression, improving memory, reducing stress, treating arthritis, and increasing longevity.
- Pregnenolone is naturally derived from saponins (plant steroids) found in soy and the Mexican wild yam (Discorrea villosa). The Mexican wild yam contains diosgenin, a saponin very similar in chemical structure to pregnenolone.
As you can see, there are alternatives to ingesting synthetic hormones – or hormones derived from the urine of horses (which differ greatly in chemistry from human hormones and which are not totally compatible with the human body). What is the right approach for YOU? Each must make his/her own decision. We are all unique beings, and what is best for one is not necessarily best for another. It is my hope that the information provided here will assist you in making the appropriate choice for YOU.
Young Living Essential Oils makes several creams which include pregnenolone:
PRENOLONE, PRENOLONE PLUS, PROGESSENCE, REGENELONE, NEUROGEN
- PRENOLONE: A topically applied pregnenolone cream that is designed as a broad-spectrum hormone supplement for men and women
- PRENOLONE PLUS: Prenolone with added DHEA
- PROGESSENCE: Progesterone cream enhanced with essential oils
- REGENELONE: Muscle and joint cream designed for people who suffer severe pain, inflammation, and stiffness from arthritis, rheumatism, or other muscle and joint conditions
- NEUROGEN: Nerve regeneration cream which contains pregnenolone and DHEA
In addition, there are essential oils which have “hormone-like effects”, but which are definitely not hormones!
References: Pregnenolone, by Gary Young, ND; Essential Oils Desk Reference, 3 rd Edition, Essential Science Publishing, notes from assorted lectures
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Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care.
Sharing experiences with essential oils is an effective way of learning to utilize these powerful gifts from Nature. With this knowledge we can take control of our personal health. However, we are required by law in the USA to state, “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”.