Trans women can use herbal estrogens and progesterones with a medical provider to:
- if you don’t want to use hormones or undergo surgery, but still want to create physical changes in your body.
- after being on synthetic hormones for many years to maintain the changes that you have made without the side effects of continued synthetic hormone use.
- to compliment your synthetic hormone regimen.
These are my top three favorite herbs focusing on breast tissue development. They can be taken all together or individually, following the instructions of your healthcare provider and directions for dosage on the bottle.
You can expect it to take at least a month to notice any changes, which will likely start with breast tenderness, swelling under the nipple, or slight areola growth. Understand that changes will not increase as fast or dramatically as with synthetic hormones, but nonetheless herbal estrogens and progesterones are a desirable alternative for many people.
If you are taking synthetic estrogens, eliminate the hops from this regimen as it can increase systemic estrogen levels.This trio of herbs may also be used to maintain breast growth created by synthetic hormones if you want to stop taking hormones, though you should always get your hormone levels checked regularly by your healthcare provider to make sure you are maintaining your desired levels.
Herbal Trio for Breast Development:
- Hops have 0.2-20% the potency of estradiol and can increase estrogen levels in the body.
- It is commonly used to increase lactation as it acts on the milk ducts of the breast. It may have a side effect of lactation in some people.
- Maca is known for its effects of creating curves, and is fairly inexpensive.
- It is known for its aphrodisiac effects, and can increase erectile capacity, stamina, and sperm counts -which may either be viewed as extra benefits or side effects depending on your goals.
- It also boosts the immune system and helps combat osteoporosis.
- Fenugreek/Hu Lu Ba (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seeds contain a compound (diosgenin) that’s estrogenic and promotes breast tissue growth.
- Sprouted seeds contain much more diosgenin than the unsprouted seeds, so breast enlargement is more noticeable if you sprout the seeds first.
Taking your herbs:
- Be cautious of interactions with other herbs, supplements, and medications you’re taking! Herbs are safe when used correctly, but can have dangerous interactions if you use them carelessly.
- You can take these herbs all at once if that is easier for you to remember.
- However, because maca increases energy and hops have a mild sedative effect, you might try taking maca in the morning and hops before bed.
- Where you get your herbs has a major influence on their effectiveness. Some herb companies have much higher quality standards and produce a stronger product with less additives. Any of these brands are good options to look into further:
- Gaia and Herb Pharm both have great quality herbs in a variety of options: Hops, Maca, and Fenugreek.
- My Evanesce has several herbal blends, most of which have many unnecessary added ingredients, but their Feminol product has a more useful blend of dong quai, black cohosh, chaste tree, white kwao krua, fennel, fenugreek, licorice, kudzu, sarsaparilla, boron, plus b6, d3, and b12. They recommend taking all of their formulations at once which is not only completely unnecessary as they mostly contain the same ingredients but also could lead to dangerous dosages of the herbs. Do not do this and do your own research!
- If you take synthetic hormones (or other medications), you could take your fenugreek as part of their liver cleanse combo to support your liver.
All information in this blog is for educational uses only. Always consult your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements, or changing or discontinuing your medications.
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For more herbal estrogens, ideas, and resources see my previous posts: Feminizing Herbs and “The Basics.”