Does Burdock Promote Endometriosis?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Nancy
Posted on: August 06, 2004

I have a question about plant estrogens.

I read that burdock root is a hormone stabilizer as well as a blood purifier. Since I have endometriosis, which I’ve been told is a result of too much estrogen, I decided to give burdock root a try, thinking that burdock root would balance my hormones and help the endometriosis. It did seem to help the endometriosis, but other symptoms became worse.

Recently, I read that since burdock root contains phytoestrogens, so that it should never be taken by anyone with ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or any other condition linked to too much estrogen.

Is it true that in taking burdock root (or any herb that contains phytoestrogens), that will increase the production of estrogens in the body?

I have no references to estrogen in burdock. Burdock is often used to help balance hormones by supporting the liver, which metabolized hormones for excretion. When the liver is overloaded with other jobs such as processing chemicals, alcohol, drugs and fats, hormones can remain in the body, cycling in the blood stream, until the liver has the capacity to clear them. In this case, the balance of hormones in the blood stream becomes imbalanced. Burdock root’s support of the liver is the reason that it is called a hormone stabilizer. It is often recommended in estrogen excess health conditions, such as endometriosis, to help clear estrogen from the body. It is important to keep food containing synthetic hormones to a minimum: i.e. meat and dairy products from cows which have been given hormones. Burdock is a powerful herb, so the minimum dosage should be taken to avoid side effects. It is often used to help clear skin disease, but can cause exacerbated skin problems if too much is taken, because it clears the internal toxins quickly, when perhaps the bowels and kidneys are compromised and cannot excrete toxins efficiently. The maximum starting dosage is 2 ml tincture, three times daily. I use about 0.5 ml three times daily as a starting dosage for anyone with skin problems. Herbs that have an estrogen-like effect, such as fennel, aniseed, sage, hops and red clover, act like estrogens, binding to estrogen receptor sites. Legumes, especially soy beans, are rich in plant estrogens. Plant estrogens are not known to cause the harmful effects that synthetic hormones do. There are studies that show decreased estrogen-dependent disease (like breast cancer) in people following diets high in plant estrogens. But we still do not know enough about the relationship between plant estrogens and estrogen-dependent disease, and currently recommend diets low in plant estrogens until more studies have been completed.

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