Is It Safe to Use Estrogenic Herbs?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Wanda
Posted on: July 9, 2001

Would Saw Palmetto cause cancer of the breast? It would help me in other ways like my nervous system an my sinusitis, which I have trouble with. I did or (may still have) low estrogen, that was what I was told years ago. With all of what I told you, do you think this would help or hurt me? I want to take it, but only if it doesn’t cause another problem, like cancer. Also, I want to know if you can just take Saw Palmetto to enlarge the breast, or would I need to use fennel seed, don quai & black cohosh along with it? Would all of this be harmful? Please give a yes or a no, an let me know more about it.

Please see other answers to questions about using herbs for breast enhancement on our website at www.richters.com. Select Q&A from the main menu, then choose "Search Q&A" and enter the word "breast" for the search.

There is no guarantee that any herbs will enlarge the breasts. The herbs listed in the various breast enhancement questions, and herbs in various herbal products marketed for breast enhancement, contain herbs that have been traditionally used for this purpose. Most of the herbs in these breast enhancement formulas contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens). To answer the question "will these herbs be harmful to me" requires a full assessment of your current and previous health.

As a medical herbalist, I would look to use diet, herbs and possibly lifestyle changes to support your basic health. For example, if your primary medical problem is sinusitis, I would look for possible causes and possibly recommend dietary changes and herbs to support your digestive and elimination systems as well as herbs that directly affect the sinuses. For more information on using herbs for sinus problems, please see our website www.richters.com, choose "Q&A" from the main menu, select "Search Q&A" and enter the word sinus for the search.

If your body is low on estrogen, I would also want to know if it was low on progesterone. To get more information on other possible hormonal imbalances and how your hormones are being processed, I would want to know about your diet and how your bowels are working. The first line of herbal therapy to balance your hormones may be supporting your digestion, your body’s elimination functions and your liver, which metabolizes hormones. For more information on the use of herbs in hormone balancing, please see the Q&A item "Herbs and Estrogen Replacement" on our web site. Here you will see how we look at the diet, lifestyle changes and exercise as well as herbs to promote a healthy hormone balance.

Saw Palmetto does not cause cancer. Taking a herbal formula that is loaded with plant estrogens may not be helpful in your particular health problems, and may, in fact cause a hormonal imbalance that may trigger other health problems.

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