Top Secrets Every Woman Needs to Know

May 26, 2017
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Quick cures between us girls.

During the perimenopausal time of life you might feel as if your body is out of control and has betrayed you. But, luckily, there are many secret cures to your hormonal woes that can be helpful during this often frustrating time. I just completed an update of my New York Times Bestseller Before the Change and I simply couldn’t wait to share with you some of these cures for the most pressing issues of the day. They are derived from my professional and personal experience—and are officially filed as time-tested remedies.

Out this coming fall and available for preorder now, you can find the complete list in Before the Change.

Read on and share widely.

Secret Cures

Breast Health
Natural compounds—such as DIM (diindolylmethane from cruciferous veggies), botanically grown medicinal mushrooms (like the maitake D-fraction extract from maitake mushrooms), Coenzyme Q10, and modified citrus pectin—contain immune-supporting ingredients that help prevent breast cancer and increase estrogen metabolism. Both iodine and iodide help to enhance the metabolism of estradiol and estrone into the “safe” estrogen estriol. I like iodine supplements such as Iodoral, SSKI, Iosol, or prolamine iodine.

Breast Tenderness
B complex vitamins can be helpful, as they break down excess estrogen, which can precipitate estrogen-dominant symptoms like breast tenderness. Sometimes iodine can also do the trick.

Try also the following herbal remedies:

• Chasteberry decoction or tincture
• Fennel seed and sage tea
• Marshmallow

No, you are not suffering from a Midol deficiency, and forget that Advil or Motrin. Please, instead reach for magnesium and more B6, which have been shown to improve issues associated with perimenopause. The following herbs are also an effective remedy for cramps. Some will work better for you than others because of biochemical differences between women.

If some don’t work, try others.

• Bilberry extract (20 to 40 milligrams three times a day), or fresh berries
• Black haw bark (cramp bark)
• Chasteberry (Vitex)
• Dong quai, or Chinese angelica (Angelica sinensis)
• Ginger
• Kava
• Raspberry leaf tea
• Red clover tea
• Squaw vine, often taken with raspberry leaf tea
• Strawberry leaf tea
• Yarrow

You can also try the cell salt #8, magnesium phosphate (6x), putting four pellets under your tongue every fifteen minutes until the cramping stops.

Black cohosh may help too.

Essential oils to try include black pepper, cypress, jasmine, and juniper berry. Rub a drop over your abdomen.

Periods—Heavy Bleeding
Clean up your diet by eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods of all kinds. Stop smoking, also—the carbon monoxide and nicotine can prematurely halt egg production and damage the ovaries.

Natural progesterone often regulates heavy bleeding.

Massage rose or cypress essential oils over your abdomen. Or blend 6 drops Roman chamomile, 4 drops geranium, 3 drops lemon, and 2 drops cypress essential oils in a 15-milliliter bottle with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil.

The following herbal remedies are helpful:

• Lady’s mantle tea or tincture
• Lady’s mantle with an equal part shepherd’s purse or yarrow
• Cinnamon tea
• Homeopathic Chamomilla or Actaea Racemosa (black cohosh)

Try natural progesterone to balance your cycle.

Massage your abdomen with lavender or melissa essential oils. Also consider cypress, fennel, jasmine, juniper berry, lavender, peppermint, rose, rosemary, and/or thyme.

Homeopathic Graphites or Actaea Racemosa (black cohosh) are often recommended.

Massage your abdomen with marjoram essential oil. A warm compress placed on your abdomen can bring systemic relief. Also consider basil, cardamom, cinnamon, clary sage, coriander, cypress, dill, frankincense, ginger, jasmine, lemongrass, and/or peppermint.

Try dong quai (Angelica sinensis) tea or tincture, or lady’s mantle with marigold flowers.

The cell salt magnesium phosphate (6x) can be helpful. As a natural muscle relaxant, 400 to 1,200 milligrams (taken to bowel tolerance) of magnesium aspartate daily is often helpful. Homeopathic Actaea Racemosa (black cohosh) is often used.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine during the week before your period is due.

Yeast Infection
Eat lots of onions, garlic, parsley, and living yogurt (dairy or coconut will do). Avoid sugar, cheese, white-flour products (such as bagels, breads, and pastries), fermented seasonings (such as vinegar and soy sauce), pickled foods, and foods containing yeast. These dietary recommendations often relieve allergies as well.

Drink lots of filtered water too.

The homeopathic yeast fighter Y-C Cleanse, by Uni Key Health Systems, is extremely effective.

Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics from Essential Formulas is an all-natural, superior probiotic developed to support digestive comfort and encourage your body’s innate ability to grow its own friendly bacteria. Ingredients such as mountain springwater, fruits, and vegetables are fermented for three years, and the resulting nutrients from this fermentation process is called Postbiotics (a registered trademark of Essential Formulas).

Make a bath or douche of one part German chamomile vinegar to six parts warm water.

You can use goldenseal externally or as a douche, or myrrh essential oil as a douche.

For a watery but cloudy discharge, try homeopathic Pulsatilla. For a yellow, burning discharge, try homeopathic Sepia or Carbo Veg.

YeastGard vaginal suppository is also effective.

Avoid irritating soap and perfume, panty hose, and tight leggings or pants. Cut back on alcohol, caffeine, and fruit juices.

Before the Change

Peri- and menopause isn’t just for your mother. This transition into the change before the change occurs much earlier than you might think. You may even be misattributing symptoms now. Before the Change offers a gentle, proven, incremental program for understanding your body’s changes and controlling your symptoms during perimenopause—the period of about ten years leading up to menopause—to help you feel great through this vital phase of life.

Inside you’ll find:

• A clear explanation of the symptoms of perimenopause and a self-diagnosis quiz;
• Safe and natural alternatives to hormone therapy, including healing vitamins, minerals, herbs, and natural hormones;
• A guide to nutrition and healthy diet, with tips for foods that prevent and alleviate symptoms.

In addition, this revised and updated edition includes:

• An expanded section on the pros and cons of soy as a natural phytoestrogen;
• An expanded discussion of hypothyroidism, its connection to hormonal imbalances, and the best natural treatments;
• A full analysis of HRT, including advice for safely weaning yourself off of synthetic hormones, and an overview of herbal, lifestyle, and diet options and modifications available for women who have had a hysterectomy, have risk factors or a history of breast cancer, osteoporosis, or heart disease.

Preorder sales are officially underway, with preorder thank you gifts in the works—updates to come. Save your receipt to claim yours and check back on and my Facebook page for the announcement when they drop.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Ellen

    It appears more and more nutritionists and naturopaths are seeing menstrual and menopausal problems as signs of low levels of key neurotransmitters such as serotonin and GABA. As such, they advise using amino acids and supportive nutrients to balance the body and relieve symptoms. Your thoughts on this approach would be welcome. Thank you.

  2. Ann Louise

    Dear Ellen:

    Thanks for posting.

    I agree 100%. A pharmacological GABA would be so helpful for all menstrual and menopausal challenges. I find GABA, taurine, and tyrosine almost universally deficient in my women of a certain age and stage. Supplementation can achieve rapid resolution of symptoms.

    Best wishes,

    • Ellen

      Dear Ann Louise, thank you so much for your response and guidance. I have followed your wisdom and input over the years and they have served me well. Your book Before The Change put me on the path to natural solutions and I am forever grateful. Thank you for all you do!

  3. Ann Louise

    Dear Ellen:

    Your kind comments are very much appreciated!!

  4. Amy

    Thank you, Ann Louise.

    You have the most helpful and most informative health blog out there! And I love that you are now recommending homeopathics! Yay!

  5. Ann Louise

    My entire team appreciates your comment, Amy. We all love homeopathics – always have and always will!!

  6. Shasha

    Fish oil/evening primrose oil/B complex/Zn/Mg/Osteoprocare/Amour thyroid/no gluten/GMO/soy/strong probiotic helped me. I was given Motrin for pain, but the doctor never checked my thyroid which was going down and made my periods more painful. I was full of heavy mtals that blocked thyroid and other chemical reactions. Far Infrared Sauna may help lower heavy metals. I was undiagnosed Celiac. Tests may not work to diagnose Celiac, but it is the number one reasons thyroid is low. Eating junk food/food with a label is low in nutrients in addition to gluten/GMO. Eating organic fruit/vegetables and no food with a label may help. Grain free eating may help.

  7. Leslee Rau

    Regarding theFat Flush smoothie: since I react poorly to whey, pea and rice protein powders, can hemp protein powder be an acceptable alternative? It is the only one I am able to tolerate at this point. Thank you for being so available to your followers! I look forward to your comment.

  8. Ann Louise

    Hemp, hemp hooray!!

  9. Lisa

    Wonderful information for all of us. I’m forwarding this to my daughter too.

  10. Cynthia

    Any advice/ going thru the change’ estrone at 13,estradiol at 3,progesterone at 31, and testosterone at 16. My homeopathic doc recommended numedica functional female and 10 mil dhea. My cortisol rhythm is depressed especially at noon. Also going through a divorce. Stressed a bit. Thanks so much.

    • Team ALG

      Cynthia, I’d suggest adding Adrenal Formula. Supporting your adrenals for optimum function will help with the stress and help you have energy to normalize your hormones.


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