When a girl becomes a woman is a time for celebration, and though
there are no formal rituals in our society, mothers might very
well wish to create some. This is usually a difficult time in
the life of a young woman, both emotionally and physically.
Those raging hormones can create havoc: acne and other skin
problems, mood swings, and painful menstruation. The liver and
the endocrine glands are the parts of the body that need pampering
at this time of life to achieve hormonal balance. The necessary
building blocks of the hormones are manufactured by the liver.
The liver is also the master detoxifier, responsible for removing
toxic substances from the bloodstream. Toxins are produced by
our own metabolism and also absorbed from the environment. If
the liver is not functioning properly, it can cause all kinds
of difficulties-painful menstruation, heavy bleeding, low energy,
acne, allergies, and general poor health.
endocrine glands are situated in various parts of the body.
They are comprised of the pituitary gland, thyroid and parathyroid,
pancreas, adrenal glands, and the ovaries. They release their
hormones into the bloodstream. These send messages to the other
organs influencing every activity of our body. Problems arise
when there are abrupt fluctuations in hormone levels.
is important. Here are lists of foods to eliminate and foods
to add to the diet:
sugar and sugar products
vegetables and salads
snacks such as chips and pretzels
protein such as fish, fowl, and soy
and soft drinks
squeezed vegetable and fruit juices
to 12 eight ounce glasses of water per day
that strengthen the liver and endocrine glands are the ones
to use during this time. The following are safe and available
in most herb stores:
(Astragalus membranaceus, Chinese herb belonging to the
vetch family) This is a tonic herb that builds and strengthens
the entire system and gives energy to the internal organs. Though
not specifically indicated for the liver and adrenals, it is
recommended for those under 35 years old.
Root (Arctium lappa) Very high in minerals, especially
iron. Combined with dandelion root, it is specifically recommended
as a tonic and cleansing herb for the liver and lymph system
and the endocrine system. It is also useful for skin problems,
if taken for three to four weeks. (3 to 4 cups of tonic a day)
Root (Taraxacum officinale) Detoxifies and nourishes
the liver. The leaves are also recommended in salads.
Leaf (Urtica dioica) It is extremely high in minerals,
especially iron and calcium. It is an excellent liver cleanser
and endocrine tonic. It has mild diuretic properties that help
alleviate bloating and mood swings during the menstrual cycle.
Grape Root (Mahonia repens and Berberis aquifolium)
Good for liver sluggishness and stimulates bile production.
It helps digest fats. Combined with dandelion root, it helps
treat acne and skin disorders. Combined with dong quai and ginger,
it stimulates hormone production.
d'arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa) An aid to the health
of the liver and endocrine glands. Look for organic or woods-grown.
It comes from the rainforest, and like other herbs from Third
World countries, it may be heavily contaminated with pesticides.
(hizike, kelp, arame) Seaweeds are exceptionally high in minerals
and are considered some of the best foods for nourishing the
endocrine glands. Macrobiotic cookbooks will have recipes for
seaweed. If you choose not to go that route, you can always
take seaweed in capsule form.
Yam (Dioscorea villosa) Contains important hormone
building blocks, especially of progesterone. It is an important
herb for the health of liver and endocrine glands.
Dock Root (Rumex crispus) Rich in minerals, especially
iron. It is one of the best liver detoxifiers and cleansers
and is beneficial to those suffering from stubborn skin problems.