It is important to understand that there are two very different substances today
which are sometimes called "phyto-estrogen".
One of these substances is more accurately called xeno-estrogen, or psuedo-estrogen.
These are a chemical compound, usually part of other environmental pollution,
which have been linked to various birth defects
because of their ability to mimic some of the functions of the human estrogen hormone,
and thereby interfere with cellular functioning.
Xeno-Estrogens, aka Psuedo-estrogens, are the molecules that do the
"weak-bonding, estrogen receptor interference" thing.
Phyto-estrogens, on the other hand, are a wonderous medical discovery for us...
The April 25, 1994 issue of Newsweek magazine, began its cover story
with the statement that "Just a few years ago scientists didn't know phytochemicals existed.
But today they are the new frontier in [medical] research."
Further, the article stated, "In the world where science merges with health,
phytochemicals are the next big thing.
Phytochemicals offer the next great hope for a magic pill,
one that would go beyond vitamins."
In referring to phytochemicals as a health blockbuster,
the article told of multimillion dollar project[s] to find, isolate, and study them.
Quoting the US Public Health Service, the article states that certain phytochemicals even
"...can turn off the proliferative process of cancer."
The human body makes its primary hormones from the food we eat, specifically from cholesterol.
Cholesterol is the precursor for progesterone,
which can then further convert to estrogen, and/or testosterone,
depending on whether a person's body is primarily female or male,
and on signals (other hormones) from the pituitary and other sex glands;
In the female body, progesterone converts to estrogen
in ratios that vary cyclically during the month.
In the male body, progesterone mostly converts to testosterone.
Side note: suddenly going onto a very low cholesterol diet can seriously upset your hormone system.
All of the food we eat is used by the human body to maintain life and bodily function.
For example, our bodies extract beta carotene from the yellow and orange vegatables we eat;
the beta carotene then works to support our immune system and maintain our eyes....
Lettuce/salad, fruits, etc., also contribute to bodily function.
For thousands of years, healers knew that various plants could be used to heal
-- or at least control -- various disorders.
This knowledge was the beginning of modern medicine, as mankind worked to improve nature.
Aspirin is one of the best examples of this;
another example is coumidin, an oral anticoagulant used to control blood clotting, also called warfarin.
The original discovery in 1939 that spoiled sweet clover possessed anticoagulant properties is a classic story in pharmacology.
Warfarin is also the active ingredient in the poison which various rodenticides and insecticides use.
So as you can see, things herbal can be beneficial, and some can be poisonous,
depending on what they are and how they are used.
There is a classification of herbs that have been used for centuries
to help women manage their hormone balance; these are the phyto-estrogenic herbs.
As with any plants and/or berries, from lettuce and cherries, on,
there are limits to what your body can extract and utilize
from the grown and harvested plant material.
In addition, there are issues of potency and purity
(which anyone from the marijuana generations should understand);
There are no regulations or standards in the herbal industry which govern potency or purity,
or even for measuring herbs.
There are no regulations governing the use of powdered stem, twigs, and/or bark in herbal formulations.
Therefore, It is quite possible that one manufacturer's "500mg" herbal product has far less
of the "good stuff" than another manufacturer's "25mg product".
So you can easily see that comparing numbers across labels from various manufacturers
is an exercise in futility.
Over the past several decades, male wisdom and knowledge said that
"to get any significant benefit from herbs,
an individual would have to consume massive quantities of them".
But today, techniques for extracting the "good stuff"
-- the active ingredients/bio-molecules -- from various herbs,
and concentrating that material in a formulation, have overcome this limitation.
This is the philopsophy behind the Evanesce and Feminol formulations.
These products are state-of-the-art in herbal preparations,
and overcome the traditional limitations on using herbs
for increasing and/or controling hormones.
Phyto-estrogens do NOT, in general, contain actual human hormones or chemicals.
Neither do drug hormones such as Premarin.
The bio-molecules from the herbs used in the formulation of Evanesce and Feminol
are ones that the human body can use to create estrogen,
just as the body creates progesterone from cholesterol.
From that point on, estrogen is estrogen is estrogen.
Drug hormones, such as Premarin manufactured from horse urine (PREgnant MARe uRINe),
must go through the liver to get their estrogenic substances to release.
And, the excess estrogen released (estrogen beyond what the body can use at the time)
must be processed through the liver again, and the kidneys, in order to be eliminated from the body.
These organs were not "designed" to process that much estrogen,
which is why frequent kidney and liver function testing is required for those on prescription hormones.
Injectable prescription hormones must also be processed out,
if their levels are in excess of what the body can use.
Using herbs to create additional estrogen, on the other hand,
allows the body create what it can use utilizing normal bodily biological conversions.
Are herbs faster or slower, or less effective?
Tradition says yes, experience says no;
depending on the potency, purity, and quantity of herbs taken,
as well as the individual's personal unique genetics, general health and nutrition factors.
Nutrition factors, for example, include nicotine, which interferes with the formation and utilization of estrogen
in the human body, and which will likely reduce the effectiveness of ANY supplemental estrogen,
drug or herbal;
most doctors will not prescribe estrogen to a person who smokes.
And in this example, once again we see how an herb (tobacco) affects the body's endrocrin system.......
An article in Health Counselor magazine addressed the estrogenic effects of phytoestrogens,
estrogen-like compounds contained in certain plants and berries.
One of the most exciting findings is that phytoestrogens
are believed to support female hormone levels by causing an increase in estrogen effects.
Herbs and berries containing phytoestrogens also have other compounds,
such as flavonoids, which control the effects of other hormones;
phytoestrogens can even ease menstrual cramps.
"Unlike drugs, the herbs naturally nourish and tone the female system,
making them useful in a broad range of female conditions", according to Dr. Michael Murray,
"...with no reported side effects."
Evanesce is one of the very first commercially available phyto-chemical products,
naturally formulated from plants and berries to emphasize phyto-estrogens.