The Vitalist Approach to Balancing Hormones
with clinical herbalist, nutritionist and founder of Acorn Herb School Heather Luna
When you say you want to balance your hormones, what do you really mean?
The truth is that imbalanced hormones can mean anything from irregular menstrual cycles to hot flashes to PMS to fibroids to thyroid conditions.
But it's also true that no matter what symptoms are showing up, there is something going on at a deeper level and there are so many simple nutritional or lifestyle shifts that can encourage your body's own inner vitality to restore your version of optimal health.
Vitalism is a therapeutic approach that encourages the healing powers of nature to take the reins.
Indeed, it's all about us humans getting out of the way and trusting our bodies' own wisdom. But it's not just about letting go. It's also about feeding your body what it really needs.
The first steps are getting foundational nutrients, enough sunlight, time in nature, adequate sleep, daily movement, and then adding in targeted herbs to amend the process as needed.
Core nutrients include magnesium, essential fatty acids (appropriate balance between omega 3's and omega 6's), vitamin D, and adequate protein. And in this episode, Heather shares all about specific dosages and where you can get these in your diet.
But hormonal health is not all about nutrition, it's also about lifestyle.
Sleep debt is a real thing, and in the episode, Heather shares all about the dangers of chronically under-sleeping and how rampant this is in modern life. And she makes it clear that in order to recover from it what we DON'T need is more coffee or stimulating adaptogens.
We need sleep. And lots of it. She recommends a full 8.5 hours of sleep, and 9 hours of bedrest nightly. Which ain't no small thing.
She shares tips and tricks to get your natural melatonin revved up, and why you probably don't need to supplement melatonin.
And beyond rest, we also need movement, connection to nature, and quality time with that beautiful star that warms and lights up our plant, the sun.
You can try to slowly incorporate these lifestyle shifts into your daily routines over time, rather than all at once.
Once you've got these lifestyle and nutrition foundations going, herbs can be a powerful amendment to your routine.
For instance, menstrual cramps, which are one of the most common challenges cycles people face, can completely disappear just by, in Heather's words, "correcting a magnesium deficiency." You may never even need the herbs.
But if you do choose to explore herbs, some she covers in depth in this episode are black cohosh, white peony, cramp bark, wild yam, nettles, red raspberry and oat straw.
So listen in for all the details!
Connect with Heather Luna:
Check out her website and herbal training programs - Acorn Herb School
Check out Acorn Herb School's Free Clinic
Check out Heather's in-person Field Classes
Connect with Heather on IG: @acornherbschool or @bloomnheatherluna
Connect with Heather on FB: Acorn School of Herbal Medicine or Heather Luna
Check out Heather's new Youtube channel: Acorn School of Herbal Medicine
DISCLAIMER: This podcast and blog is for educational purposes only, I am not providing any medical advice, I am not a medical practitioner, I’m an herbalist and in the US, there is no path to licensure for herbalists, so my role is as an herbal educator. Please do your own research and consult your healthcare provider for any personal health concerns.
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