Last week, I took some time to talk about men’s health. So today, I want to direct your attention to a few health concerns that women commonly experience.
Let’s start with a nagging problem that frequently affects women of all ages…
Urinary tract infections (or UTIs).
Natural cure for UTIs hiding in the tropics
About 50 to 60 percent of women will suffer from a UTI at least once in their lives. And for many women, it’s a chronic problem.
Of course, antibiotic treatment is the mainstream’s only answer to this common problem. But women can also turn to hibiscus, a tropical flower that belongs to the rose family.
Of course, hibiscus grows in tropical and sub-tropical regions throughout Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and in the U.S. (in California and Florida especially). Historically, people have used it in cooking as well as in medicine.
Plus, it turns out, the calyces of the hibiscus plant (the green leaves around the base of the petals) contain high levels of flavonoids that can stick to and kill bacteria in the urinary tract.
In fact, in one recent, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, women with a history of frequent UTIs who took hibiscus experienced a whopping 77 percent reduction in UTI recurrence. And in in vitro research, hibiscus reduced contamination of both E. coli (a fecal bacteria) and Candida albicans (the fungus responsible for yeast infections).
Hibiscus also inhibits high levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia), which causes gout. It may also have a diuretic effect as well as some potential as a fertility treatment. It appears to be safe at low doses—below 1,000 mg per day. You can also enjoy hibiscus as a tea.
Now, let’s move onto another problem that affects about one in 10 women of childbearing age…
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Soothing flower extract naturally balances hormones
PCOS is a disorder characterized by an overabundance of androgen hormones in the female body. People often refer to androgen hormones as “male” hormones. But that description is a bit misleading, as all women naturally need some androgens as well. In fact, women have more androgens than estrogens. It’s just that women with PCOS have too many circulating androgens.
PCOS symptoms can include acne, excess body hair, fertility problems, irregular or infrequent menses, insulin resistance, male pattern hair loss, and weight gain. Women with PCOS also run a higher risk of developing longer-term problems, such as Type II diabetes, heart disease, and uterine cancer.
Some women manage their symptoms with lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise. But far too many women resort to taking oral contraceptives, which research now links to breast cancer. (I’ll tell you more about that confirmed link later this summer.)
Fortunately, women with PCOS now have some effective, natural options…
In fact, research shows chamomile, which belongs to the Aster family (Matricaria recutita and M. chamomilla), contains natural phytoestrogens that improve hormonal balance and sugar metabolism. It can also help with painful menstruation (as well as allergies, anxiety, and digestion).
Plus, in a new clinical trial, researchers investigated the effects of chamomile supplements in 90 women with PCOS. They randomly assigned the women to either take 370 mg of dried chamomile flower or a placebo three times per day for 12 weeks.
The women who took chamomile supplements significantly reduced their androgen levels over 12 weeks compared to the placebo group. Of course, you can also enjoy chamomile as a hot tea infusion or as a topical cream for chest conditions.
Lastly, let’s address another common problem for women of all ages…
Eating more of these foods can help with the pain of endometriosis
With this painful disorder, tissue that normally lines a woman’s uterus begins to grow outside of it. Then, the displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would—thickening, breaking down, and bleeding with each menstrual cycle.
Many women with this condition turn to oral contraceptives to deal with their symptoms. But again, that treatment may be a big mistake. Especially since new research now links a higher intake of fruits and vegetables with a lower risk of endometriosis.
In fact, in one recent study, researchers analyzed data on more than 70,000 women who participated in the well-established Nurses Health Study II. It turns out, women who had one or more servings of citrus fruits per day experienced a 22 percent lower risk compared to those who ate less than one serving per week. Plus, women who consumed more of the carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin—found in carrots, oranges, squash, sweet red peppers, and tangerines—had a 12 percent lower risk of developing endometriosis.
So, if you’re suffering from this condition, start adding more of these fruits and vegetables to your diet.
As a whole, it’s really great to see some new studies focusing specifically on women’s health. Because back in the 1980s, when I was doing major studies on chronic diseases, typically only men would be enrolled. But finally, that bias is starting to improve. I even have a new textbook in the works on the topic of women’s health. So, I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it’s available!
You should also make sure to check out the current issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter for how to prevent devastating brain diseases—which continue to afflict vast numbers of women—with three science-backed natural approaches. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now’s the perfect time to get started!
“Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of endometriosis.” Human Reproduction 2018: April 1; 33(4): 715-727. doi.org/10.1093/humrep/dey014
“Halt the Vicious Cycle of Urinary Tract Infections.” Life Extension, 4/2010. (lifeextension.com/Magazine/2010/4/Halt-the-Vicious-Cycle-of-Urinary-Tract-Infections/Page-02)