After using phyto-hormones for over 2-1/2 years (and with good results) I decided for various reasons to go the prescription hormone route.
After using the "standard" dosages of estrogen, progesterone and anti-androgens now for seven months they seemed less potent but I think it was because they had to compete with the less-effective phyto-hormones still in my system. Then, after a while the greatly superior effects (physical AND emotional) of the prescription hormones began to be very evident.
I'm glad I switched-- they are much more effective, breast development is more firm, the effects are more specifically observable and in fact, THEY'RE CHEAPER than using phyto-hormones, plus only a few pills per day rather than the mouthfuls of capsules I used to swallow.
I ran out of estrogen recently and decided I'd try Black Cohosh until I could get a resupply. I don't know if this is cause-and-effect but I became rather agitated and irritable shortly thereafter. The FDA does caution that Black Cohosh can have some negative effects and one is that it can be a rather harsh digestive irritant.
I've come to the opinion that yes, phyto-hormones are great for starters if you want to see the effects and see if that's what you really want. However, I feel that going the route of prescription hormones is the way to go-- not only for the above-listed reasons but because they really are specific to what you want without other possible side-effects.
I was ordering mine from Greece-- until a shipment failed to arrive. This had been perfectly legal, according to the FDA, for a 90-day reasonable supply for personal use. NOT ANY MORE! The FDA has changed their policy and will now confiscate the shipment.
Now, I'm back on regular US prescriptions which I have filled at the pharmacy. For full prescription doses it costs me about $22.50 US for a 30-day supply This is because my medical prescription card now covers it, and it was costing me over twice that amount to order from Greece. I suspect I was previously spending $50-75 US per month on phyto's.
Phyto-hormones work by weakly binding to estrogen receptors. In males, this may result in a mild feminizing effect (in females, it may give the opposite result, that is, a mild androgenic effect, since the phytoestrogens are competing with endogenous true estrogens for the estrogen receptors).
Since phytoestrogens are not nearly as efficacious (effective) as true estrogens, huge and potentially toxic amounts of these items would have to be consumed to be equal to prescription-level hormones.
The following natural sources of phytoestrogens (estrogen-like compounds), phytoprogesterones (progesterone-like compounds) and phytoantiandrogens (anti-testosterone) seem to work in creating breast growth, if this is your goal. Phyto-hormones are natural chemicals, found in common plants, herbs and things people eat every day which have hormonal effects.
Hormones are natural but highly potent, addictive chemicals that can have widespread effects in your body when introduced artificially. If you are seeking to use phytohormones in order to know or experience the effects of hormones for breast growth it is recommended that you 1) not have any serious health conditions which might be affected by hormones; 2) not use them indiscriminately; 3) not use them for more than several months-- if you really want to effect changes to your body you should be doing it through prescribed medications and under a physician's care. As far as emotional changes, you will probably have more of an emotional (placebo) effect on yourself mentally from taking these than the actual chemicals will create.
Another warning-- most herbals are just that-- herbs, grasses, weeds, things that some people might have allergies to so--- another word of caution-- try just one pill, one type at a time if you have any problems with allergies in this area.
Hormones are not something to play with lightly! There are many hormones in the body and some are inter-dependent with other hormones or systems. For instance, increasing estrogen levels in the body over a long period in a male can cause the pituitary gland (above your sinuses in the brain area) to attempt to counter-balance by producing more testosterone. This can even lead to a pituitary tumor, a very serious condition.
Estrogen can have serious consequences in creating or worsening vascular conditions such as phlebitis and blood clots that can lead to strokes or a heart attack. On the other hand, it has numerous benefits other than gender issues.
Anyone considering using phytohormones should do some reading on the effects of hormones, especially estrogen. There are a number of online (see link at bottom). Another source is the book Hormones for the Male to Female or Hormones for the Female to Male by Dr. Sheila Kirk, an expert in the area. The book is available online through ifge.org.
Also-- as with all herbals, they take longer to create their effect but then maintain their level in the body longer after they are discontinued-- more of a gentle slope as compared to a sharp spike which is common in prescription chemicals. Be aware that taking more than the recommended dose does not have any gainful effects, either.
Also, I have no idea which category these go into but they do seem to help with breast growth and possibly assimilating the phytohormonal effects of the others as well:
Oil of Primrose (although expensive and can be irritating if not taken with food).
Ginkgo Biloba (or just plain Ginko) helps to strengthen vascular structures and to avoid clotting. It also helps circulation in micro-vessels, helps with tinnitis (ringing in the ears), and can help clear up spider-veins (miscalled varicose by some) such as on the ankles.
Milk Thistle-- this helps cleanse estrogen build-ups from the liver, taken occasionally, and also stimulates milk production, therefore breast growth.
Vitamin C (helps facilitate estrogenic effects) 1000mg/day; and Vitamin E 800mg/day
If your goal is breast growth, Alfalfa tablets are also supposed to contribute toward that effect (3-6 tablets several times daily), as well as any of the Thistle or Nettle families. Note-- these are not alfalfa sprouts, which can cause the onset of Lupus in individuals so predisposed.
I started taking Black Cohosh and experimenting with other expensive, over-rated and over-priced pills (available through a number of sources who make money off of transgendered's). After several months I determined that just taking the following worked just as well and also much more inexpensively.
After 6 months I had experienced a 6cm breast growth (hemi-circumference, measuring the breast tissue from where it starts at the breastbone and across the widest part toward the side). This is consistent to what I have read is to be expected for those on HRT (hormonal replacement therapy).
I caution regarding any of the freeze-dried tissue-based "glandulars" on the market except for Rejuvex, available at most stores or under generic label as Rejuve at Revco for much less $$$, or those strictly controlled by FDA guidelines. There is a danger of contamination, infection and serious illness from improperly-prepared glandulars that are not done under strict procedures although this seems to be becoming less of a problem.
Robyn's Phyto-Regimen Formula for Starters:
Black Cohosh (twice a day, 2-4)
Fenugreek (twice a day, 2-4 or increasing it when I run out of Black Cohosh!)
Alfalfa (6 gaggy green tablets or you can make them into tea, once a day)
Milk Thistle (occasionally, or as desired, usually 1-4, once or twice a day)
Chaste Berry/Vitex (1-2 per day or more)
The Alfalfa and Milk Thistle are available inexpensively at the local Walmart. The others can be ordered below or at GNC. The source below is about 25% cheaper if you are ordering enough to justify the shipping costs.
Disclaimer: you are on your own with this! It's your body and it is mine that I choose to modify only after careful research.
Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 Robyn Shanor