Chestnut Herbal School


The Ecology of Estrogen in the Female Body

Women today live in a very different world than our foremothers. Our female predecessors began menstruating later in life, had more children, breastfed longer, underwent menopause earlier, ate whole foods, and lived in a cleaner environment. Women today have approximately ten times as many menstrual cycles as their great-great-grandmothers. Our bodies did not evolve with the hormonal inputs of perpetual ovulation and menstruation. As a result, more women than ever are experiencing reproductive disorders, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.


Estrogens are a group of steroid hormones that function as the primary female reproductive messengers.  Estrogen has its etymological roots in the Anglo-Saxon goddess of fertility Oestre, and can be broken down as follows: from estrus (period of fertility for female mammals) + gen (to generate). There are three types of estrogens known: Estradiol– the […]

Endocrine disruptors

Sometime in my early twenties, I began to notice that many of the women around me were experiencing reproductive disease in some form: endometriosis, cervical dysplasia, ovarian cysts, infertility, uterine fibroids, breast cancer etc. It didn’t seem to me that the evolutionary process would select for such faulty equipment, especially given the healthy lifestyles and […]