HORMONES AND HERBS
Note from Four Winds Nutrition:
In the words of Dr. Bob Arnot, M.D.:
What are hormones?
The hypothalamus is located in the brain, at the base of the optic chiasm. It secretes hormones that stimulate or suppress the release of hormones in the pituitary gland, in addition to controlling water balance, sleep, temperature, appetite, and blood pressure.
The pineal body is located below the corpus callosum, a part of the brain. It produces the hormone melatonin.
The pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain. No larger than a pea, the gland controls many functions of the other endocrine glands.
thyroid and parathyroids
The thyroid gland and parathyroid glands are located in front of the neck, below the larynx (voice box). The thyroid plays an important role in the body's metabolism. Both the thyroid and parathyroid glands also play a role in the regulation of the body's calcium balance.
The thymus is located in the upper part of the chest and produces T-lymphocytes (white blood cells that fight infections and destroy abnormal cells).
7. The pancreas manufactures hormones which raise and lower blood sugar levels.
True. The pancreatic tail makes two hormones, insulin and glucagon. When blood sugar levels are high, insulin carries the sugar into the cells. When blood sugar levels are low glucagon brings sugar out of storage and into the blood.
8. A review of traditional herb sources suggests that wild yam has no hormonal effect.
True. Wild yam has been around for a long time. It was used by the eclectic physicians (medical doctors of the last century who made extremely careful observations about the effects herbs had on their patients). Prior to the 1960s there are no references to wild yam having hormonal effects.
What changed this was the discovery that diosgenin, a sterol in wild yam, could be converted into progesterone to make birth control pills. Herbalists began assuming that this meant that wild yam itself had a progesterone-like effect. This assumption was not made based on clinical experience or scientific data and did not correlate with the traditional uses of wild yam. As a result, many herbalists don't know some of the real benefits of wild yam. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic herb. Its traditional use was to relieve pain and cramping in the digestive tract associated with adult colic (gas), diverticulitis, irritable bowel and colitis. This is why it is found in CLT-X, an NSP formula for colitis. Because of its antispasmodic action it has also been used to relieve menstrual cramps.
It is used topically as a soothing emollient to soften hardened tissue.
The queen of female herbs - "Female ginseng" Angelica, sinensis.
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