Background: attempting to treat a case of hirsutism
In this case, progesterone, [bovine ovary, Pueraria,] birth controls pills and sterol treatments for cortisoids have contributed to [hot-flashes, irregular and frequent menstruation,] excess female body hair, and minor scalp hair loss.
Progesterone cream and birth control pills were used [before] in an attempt to treat androgenic symptoms. Then sterol treatments were used to treat metabolic symptoms, inadvertently compounding androgenic problems. Progesterone and birth control pills have a reputation for correcting hormone imbalances. In situations where there is low estrogen production, this was not the case. Progestogens are the precursors to mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids and androgens. Estrogens are formed from [most] androgens. I suspect that the lack of estrogen production allowed supplemented progesterone and herbs that stimulate prolactin production to contribute to androgen and mineralocorticosteroid congestion.
If only the body's production of estrogen [and estrogen response] could be stimulated.
This program largely focuses on herb use for treating hirsutism.
Estrogen levels are higher than last year according to hormone tests, but still low. Results are coming slowly, because extra caution has to be taken.
Menstrual cycles have returned to normal.
Avoid clover, pueraria, basil [, warming foods, caffeinated foods] and estrogen cream during menses, proliferative, ovulation and premenstrual. Avoid other primarily estrogenic herbs (like hops [, clover and pueraria]) and [estrogenic] foods [like soy sauce] during proliferative and ovulation. Fenugreek and asparagus are sometimes exceptions [because of their varying properties]. It is also important that menses intensity and duration are low. Some of this information was established then, but is being restated for clarity.
Also, discouraging use of mints and considering discouraging use of fennel (in inclusion with other herbs) during premenstrual [for the sole purpose of] start[ing] menses. The smallest amount of spearmint increases estrogen (and at times androgens) for the wrong reasons.
For the first dose of menses, either fennel and spearmint is on the current schedule. [It shouldn't] be used after the first dose for menses.
Fennel is only recommended during mid-proliferative phase.
Evening primrose is no longer recommended, and all past notes containing it were moved to its own section at the bottom.
See the journal hirsutism02, for a more updated program on herb use.
A pinch of peppermint tea by itself during premenstrual phase [temporarily] improve[d] estrogen [symptoms] and start[ed] the cycle in March 2019 where there was another minor improvement. [Hops added to a minimal amount of spearmint is likely to work better, and have less downsides. While spearmint consistently improves estrogen response during premenstrual, it likely does so by recruiting follicles. Mints should be replaced completely for this phase. Looking to replace spearmint completely with hops, with minimal amounts of fenugreek, fennel and maybe sunflower.]
The next premenstrual phase, repeating a pinch of peppermint tea for premenstrual phase did not work the same way it did before, likely because it didn't have enough estrogen antagonism due to lowered hormones.
These were developments in her program from March until June.
Later, prescribed BCP which was intended for balancing hormones and to delay the cycle, even for a few months, did not work very well. In my opinion[,] it is not specialized for every woman's hormone balance, as the potency is high for some. There were a few times it partially worked.
She did mention in May or June of 2019, that she used birth control pills with sunflower seed, and it had a positive result for her. That should have a positive effect on the hips, even if temporarily, and considering it is timed. BCP discontinuation causes problems, especially during proliferative phase. Starting BCP during proliferative also causes problems.
Sunflower provides antagonism for BCP's effects on ERβ. In theory, when BCP breaks down, there are antagonist metabolite hormones that sensitize the response of of ERα when BCP use is repeated. Spearmint tea in the smallest sip amounts would be needed with BCP, in addition to sunflower, but if there are these antagonist metabolites from BCP, then possibly, it may not be needed. In theory, the use of BCP would have to be timed, for use when breast swelling goes down, or when there's acne, but not during when itchy scalp appears. Fiber such as from an apple or from brown rice can be used at any time.
Spearmint tea would have to be 30mg, and that tea would be spread out, down to a sip at a time. Peppermint is stronger, so would have to be diluted futher. Without BCP, spearmint definitely needs hops and other herbs, diluted to comparable amounts.
Menstruation: spearmint, hops, fenugreek
She tried about 100mg of fenugreek, and a pinch each of spearmint and hops as tea during menstruation.
Spearmint and hops without fenugreek is expected to cause temporary breast growth. Fenugreek should be used once with spearmint and hops during menstruation to help preserve results, to cause a balanced [progestogenic] response, and for balanced [breast] growth. Spearmint and hops [can] be used several times during menstruation before adding fenugreek.
Fenugreek, spearmint and hops caused mild breast pains within 2 hours. This combination was expected to work. Maybe there will be noticeable breast growth or an improvement in symptoms the next day. Negative symptoms are not expected by the next day.
The next morning her breasts are slightly fuller. High amounts (over 1,500mg each for those with hormonal balance) of these herbs aren't expected to work.
This positive development that caused minor breast swelling, caused a minor improvement in estrogen response, and it maintained the menstrual cycle that it did not easily get interrupted. There was little margin for error or variations for repeating this during menstruation[;] this also was lacking sunflower to be an ideal herb dose.
Potential adjustments: sunflower
Fenugreek should be [25mg] or less with this combination. Spearmint and hops should also be low for those with low estrogen, perhaps less than [25mg].
Sunflower added to spearmint, hops and fenugreek is [more than] likely to improve [or make for consistent] results. [Sunflower and fenugreek may be required with this herb combination for consistency, and] for those with low estrogen response.
[According to other programs] using hops in the related herb combination, which includes fenugreek, for the second time during menstruation had no or little effect on breast size, but it did lower menstruation intensity.
Fennel substituting for hops in a herb combination requiring sunflower, fenugreek and spearmint, that is not the first herb use has worked more consistently for menstruation. Without sunflower, this combination with fennel has only worked once for breast growth, then later repetitions caused breast shrinkage. Sunflower is required for results of fenugreek use (along with fennel and the rest of the herb combination) to remain consistent.
Using hops in the related herb combination[s] [in other herb programs], which includes fenugreek, for the second time during menstruation had no or little effect on breast size, but it did lower menstruation intensity.
This combination with fennel has only worked once for breast growth, then later repetitions caused breast shrinkage.
Dietary fiber & exercise
Nutrition for insulin sensitivity and excess hormones
We'll look at improving insulin resistance and removing excess hormones with nutrition and diet.
Healthy and balanced fats have a reputation for being used to improve insulin sensitivity. Vitamins C, D and E also show improvements according to studies. In this case, healthy fats, vitamin C, and vitamin D, did not make the problem worse. They possibly helped the situation. Vitamin E supplementation wasn't taken yet.
Fiber is supposed to be able to carry away excessive hormones from the body. Not enough fiber was taken [by her during this time] to determine whether its effects would be significant.
Around , she was taking a break from herbs.
For now, she will see if dietary fiber, mainly from brown rice, will lower her hirsutism symptoms. Fiber is primarily useful to lower new and preliminary signs of androgen (testosterone) symptoms. Acne isn't a sign of androgen symptoms, but it often precedes it. The efficacy of dietary fiber during other times, is uncertain. She intends to avoid herb and birth control use for the short term.
She will also do resistence exercises for building hips. Running and jumping squats are two exercises which don't involve weights. She will do one or two sprints, sets of squat jumps or resistance band exercises, then rest for about a week at a time.
With squats, be mindful not to lock knees, and to not bend them too far, which potentially adds to wear and tear on the kneecaps. Squat jumps or exercises with other fast motion won't be done with kettlebells.
Birth control & herb use
BCP has caused breast growth, but this is likely primarily progestogenic growth, and it caused worsening of facial features. BCP is probably better than many combinations, but this is likely not improving the situation.
Birth control pills made it difficult to tell which phase of the menstrual cycle she was on for herb use. A problem was, that when BCP was discontinued, acne then body hair problems came about. BCP may require continued use for it to be effective. Contraceptive pills also potentially lowers follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which makes it difficult for cycles to continue. According to some labels, this is expected, and it takes time for FSH levels to increase after stopping BCP.
When it is difficult to determine menstrual phases, herb use which depends on the body's phase cannot be suggested with confidence. In theory, spearmint alone in the lowest amounts as tea, might be able to be used at the same time with birth control pill for lowering hirsutism symptoms. Combinations with spearmint included have worked during most phases of the cycle.
If birth control is taken during menstruation, it must be taken through proliferative phase. BCP can cause temporary breast growth during menstruation. If BCP use is stopped during proliferative phase, it has the potential to interrupt the cycle and cause androgenic symptoms from the break down of progesterone. Contraceptive pill, also doesn't work well when its use is started during proliferative phase. BCP works less consistently for those with low body fat composition and hormonal imbalances. Those with higher body fat and hormonal balance are able to balance out the effects of birth control pills, and further improve estrogen balance.
For those with hormonal imbalances, BCP use is difficult. It is uncertain if it should be taken daily as indicated on the label. It is more intuitive that a fraction of a BCP tablet be taken, and for another fraction of the birth control pill to be taken near when bloating occurs. This is not recommended for those with low androgens. Contraceptive pill contains estrogen and often progestogen, and without androgens, both of these hormones together [without androgens] have potential to [reduce fertility]. Use this way is speculative only. Avoid BCP in this way until more is learned about its effects by itself and with spearmint. BCP with spearmint hasn't been tried yet.
BCP's effect on fertility is likely limited, because after it is used, the body's response adjusts.
Birth control use hasn't caused major issues, but it delayed menstruation.
Vitex, fenugreek for secretory phase to increase estrogenic responses
Chasteberry for late secretory phase
This is about Vitex use from September during late secretory phase. She had hot-flashes during this time. When she used chasteberry, her hot-flashes went away and her breasts got swelling. This herb temporarily raises estrogen, progesterone and androgens, which can explain the improvement from estrogen deficiency. However, Vitex only worked once, because after it ends secretory phase, vitex shrinks the breasts.
Fenugreek and suma are likely replacements for vitex during secretory phase to alleviate hot-flashes, because they increase estrogen, androgens and progestogens together.
Theory of these & potentially simlar herbs during secretory phase to increase estrogen responses
Production of estrogen from the ovarian follicle and estrogenic responses from the body are obviously important.
Fenugreek raises androgens, estrogens and progesterones together, and it has a reputation for nourishing the ovary. Fenugreek has antagonistic effects, which should be beneficial for bodily production of hormones. It also has a reputation for nourishing the ovaries. Vitex generally only works once during secretory phase, and it according to literature has similar hormone raising properties as [probably shatavari (asparagus),] fenugreek and suma, with the exception that vitex then lowers hormones.
During proliferative phase
This morning, she had hot-flashes and high temperature (including fever). Her arm temperature was 37.3°C. I was hesitant to suggest use of estrogen cream, knowing about how hormones can downregulate, or potentially make problems worse.
When she mentioned she had acne, I suggested for her to apply topical estrogen cream where she had acne. I didn't expect estrogen cream to have a positive effect without the presence of acne. Soon after she used it, her arm temperature was 36.3°C, and for reference her oral temperature was 36.5°C. Her fever went down.
Her arm and oral temperature both varied by an increase of .1°C later. Afterwards, she had itching in her hips and minor breast pains. Hopefully, by tomorrow, this is a good sign. Itching or minor pains in the breast usually mean shrinking or growth by the next day.
The next day of using estrogen cream
Today, her oral temperature was 36.6°C, and her under arm temperature was 36.4°C. There was no apparent increase in androgenic symptoms. Her face was puffy today. Perhaps the puffiness is from [a] conflict of [progesterones, corticosteroids,] estrogen and androgens.
Circumstantial effects of estrogen cream
When estrogen cream is used, sometimes it improves symptoms of hirsutism, and other times it makes it worse. When there was acne, which is a sign of a presence of varying hormones, adding estrogen cream caused face puffiness, and slightly increased estrogenic symptoms. Other times, estrogen cream caused hot-flashes and worsening hirsutism. When one hormone is present largely by itself, it desensitizes receptors, and negatively affects the production of healthy hormone production. Supplemented estrogen requires a counteracting hormone or antagonist.
Estrogen cream and sunflower seed has caused hot-flashes or worsening hirsutism for her before. Other times, sunflower and estrogen cream has slightly lessened androgenic symptoms.
Sunflower seed alone caused breast shrinking, similarly to how estrogen cream by itself caused hirsutism.
Estrogen cream is not recommended, this is showing when it definitely doesn't work, and when it has potential to work.
Next cycle has already begun
The next menstrual cycle has already started [, relevant entries were in early August]. It was light, and it temporarily halted for a day, then resumed. No herbs were taken [yet] during this time.
Once it restarted, pueraria was taken, and it lowered body temperature, which is an indicator of increased estrogen, but breast size was unaffected.
On the second day after menstruation stopped, she took a minimal amount of fenugreek and a smaller amount of lavender. This combination caused breast tingling, but it possibly made androgenic signs worse. It hasn't caused growth yet, and I don't expect it to by tomorrow.
In her case, fenugreek alone has worked to cause breast swelling around this time. Once estrogen rises during proliferative phase, fenugreek is not expected to work.
Hops pairs with mint, but a prolactin raising herb won't work during proliferative phase.
Perhaps, fennel can be used with mint for proliferative phase, because use of hops is counterproductive here. Perhaps, fenugreek can optionally be added to that combination before estrogen rises, only if there is more mint than fennel.
Working on snapping out of hormone imbalance. Hot-flashes were stopped, and there are more signs of estrogen. There are also less androgenic symptom increases. It has been difficult to reach the parts of the schedule to use certain herbs to upregulate estrogen [capacity] to promote breast growth. Extracts of certain herbs won't do, where miniscule amounts of tea or solid herb is needed.
The future plan is to avoid lavender for the begining of proliferative phase, as well as menstruation. When estrogen is low, lavender doesn't work.
Lavender use is risky when there is still an abundance of androgenic symptoms.
When fennel and lavender were taken [together] during menstruation, androgenic symptoms increased dramatically, and body temperature [rose].
General use of these herbs
For separate past herbal trials, a few days into proliferative phase, fennel and lavender together have shown minor breast growth. During [late] secretory phase, fennel and lavender [have] decreased body temperature, and slightly reduced androgenic symptoms.
Measuring body temperature is a way of trying to determine estrogenic balance of the body.
Fennel and lavender together caused breast shrinkage and a heavy increase in androgenic symptoms if used during the wrong phase. Fennel and lavender needed to be taken [late]a few days into proliferative phase for [their] use to be successful. Lavender [when] used by itself, did not work well for [most parts of] any phase.
Fennel & lavender during menstruation & early Proliferative phase
Fennel taken by itself didn't cause noticeable signs during menstruation and early proliferative phase. When fennel was taken with a pinch of lavender [during early proliferative phase], androgenic symptoms came about. There were breast pains or itching, but shrinking also came soon after.
Lavender upregulates Estrogen Receptor Beta, and in the presence of heavy androgens, this is unsuitable.
Mint does not pair with lavender for growth, unless the body is already estrogenic.
Early Proliferative phase [mint, lavender]
Mint/lavender [tea] has worked in the past for [others during] proliferative phase. As noted in the past on an unrelated herbal program, larger amounts [than 1,500mg] of [solid] mint absolutely promote androgenic symptoms [regardless of phase, or part of phase].
Sunflower alone when there was a hormonal imbalance caused slight increase in body hair.
Pueraria/kudzu & sunflower
Sunflower seed, known for estrogenic[-like] properties, taken during menstruation [at this time] did not make problems worse, and it possibly helped.
Sunflower seeds [when taken after pueraria likely during menstruation] did not seem to raise body temperature, and they possibly contributed to lowering body temperature.
During menstruation and early proliferative phase, many herbs known for their estrogenic properties made hirsutism and other negative symptoms worse.
Temperature went as high as 37° [during proliferative phase]. Throughout the course of the day, body temperature dropped to 36.6°. Body temperature closer to 36° is associated with estrogen presence or hormonal balance outside of secretory phase.
When there is acne, there is potential for breast growth. Acne often subsides, and itchy scalp often signifies upcoming excessive androgenic symptoms. She asks if most forms of androgens cause acne, and if dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes hirsutism symptoms. I am unsure if [acne] has to do with a combination of other hormones. Hormones in the androgen class behave the same, except DHT is powerful and cannot be converted into estrogens.
Spearmint by itself seems promising. However, while it has consistently lowered hot-flashes and promoted the cycle to continue in the past, it has also caused additional body hair. I've read where spearmint tea has gradually worked for some to reduce hirsutism. Spearmint in large amounts definitely increases hirsutism.
Fennel often works well with spearmint during proliferative phase. In this case, this hasn't been consistent, because fennel likely works on both ERα and ERβ. Spearmint likely compensates for fennel's effects on ERα, but there is not always enough bodily response of estrogenic effects on ERβ for fennel to work consistently.
A rice size of spearmint by itself as tea in theory has potential to improve estrogen response across many phases. Large amounts of spearmint will be counterproductive: as much as a teabag for those with healthy estrogen balanced caused body hair in the past. The amount that will be helpful depends on body composition and hormonal balance, the smallest amount that can be used into tea should behave most consistently. A grain sized amount may seem insignificant, but it is enough to slightly color tea water. This should be useful when it becomes difficult to determine menstrual phase.
A pinch of spearmint alone as tea was tried in the past during an undetermined phase. It didn't cause breast growth, but it didn't cause negative effects either. Breast growth wasn't expected from the low dosage taken then. The amount was too low to determine positive effects.
Depending on time of phase and time of phase, spearmint needs hops.
Menstruation has started, and the intensity is light. A rice grain size of peppermint as tea about once a day possibly helped bring this about.
Evening primrose requires sunflower, spearmint and fennel. Evening primrose use with any combination should be diluted and limited to once during mid to late secretory phase, and more seldomly, no more [than once] after mucus starts during mid proliferative phase.
This suggestion is being cancelled, because typical available dosages of evening primrose are too high. Evening primrose oil from a capsule can be diluted in olive oil for extended use. The full combination is expected to consistently cause breast growth, but it requires properly identified solid herbs that don't have an old shelflife. Leaving out any herb from this combination isn't hormonally balanced, and it doesn't allow for consistent breast growth.
By the time there is mucus during proliferative phase, the follicle typically releases enough inhibin to counterbalance FSH's effects, and the LH and progesterone action from the herbs in this combination should also keep relevant receptors sensitive. This combination was intended to invigorate estrogen response in the case of low estrogen, or for use for those with estrogenic balance. It is ok for sporadic or limited use, and it should be safe this way, but it is better to take extra precaution from the increase of FSH that high amounts of evening primrose cause. Still, this herb method is safer than using herbs blindly, and using evening primrose without a guide. Evening primrose supplements come in high amounts, because it's the way that results can be seen. Spearmint, fennel, sunflower and possibly fenugreek bring hormonal balance to this.
Caffiene or foods or herbs known for increasing energy or weight loss within the effects of any herb combination, especially this one, would be expected to cause problems.
Evening primrose needs spearmint, fennel and sunflower for a balanced and consistent hormonal response. Oenothera has [inconsistently] caused growth by itself, but a balanced and consistent hormonal response is desired.
Evening primrose raises Follicle Stimulating hormone (FSH). Spearmint provides a [follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estrogenic,] luteinizing hormone (LH) and androgenic response, and fennel provides a balanced progestogenic response. Sunflower needs to be taken with [and soon] after the rest of the herbs to improve a positive response. These herbs need to be taken together to provide consistent positive effects on receptor subtypes (ER-α, ER-β, AR and progesterone receptors) for breast growth and for improving hormonal balance. Hops and wild yam haven't provided the desired result in the past that fennel has caused during proliferative phase.
The [follicle's] production of inhibin [lowers] FSH levels during proliferative. Estrogen produced from the ovarian follicle lowers LH and prolactin. Bodies with sufficient body fat and hormonal balance are likely to better balance hormonal effects from herbs. It is recommended to skip a day between taking herbs for proliferative phase, and to only continue if there are positive results.
Evening primrose & sunflower for proliferative phase?
Follicle stimulating hormone and estrogen develop the ovarian follicle. Sunflower has [corticosteroid] compounds, that seem to behave more like bodily estrogen, than that of other phytoestrogens.
In the past, when [evening] primrose was used, it caused hot-flashes, but no signs of additional hirsutism by the next day. It seemed as if there were increased estrogenic signs on the lower body, but signs of lowered estrogen on the upper body. When she drank water, her hot-flashes got worse, and it caused urination. When she took fiber, sunflower seed and fats, her body temperature lowered to a normal value.
Another time, mint, fennel, evening primrose and sunflower were used, which increased estrogenic signs. When followed up with evening primrose, the positive results went away.
I later had trouble repeating positive outcomes. When evening primrose or sunflower seed were used alone during early proliferative phase, signs of estrogen deficiency increased. Mint, fennel and evening primrose together didn't work well either [nothing happened]. Mint and evening primrose both raised FSH. Fennel lowers FSH, which is expected to antagonize for an increase of FSH output. What was likely missing is the combination of evening primrose and sunflower seed, which, when used roughly with the effects of each other, had shown positive signs.
After taking evening primrose, sunflower & fennel [proliferative phase]
She took a drop of evening primrose, a minimal amount of fennel and sunflower seed still during proliferative phase, October 25. It immediately caused breast pains. After minor breast pains went away, it caused slight breast shrinking and frequent urination. The last time this happened, taking sunflower seed, olive oil and fiber increased signs of estrogen, and it normalized frequency of urination. Sunflower seed has also normalized body temperature and reduced hot-flashes, when taken during the effects of evening primrose, during proliferative phase.
It seems that during proliferative phase, sunflower seed can only be used for positive results in the presence of the effects of evening primrose and possibly when there is acne. I was apprehensive about suggesting more sunflower seed, even though this was likely to improve estrogenic symptoms, as it has seemed to under some conditions in the past. She has taken a break.
Hot-flashes have subsided
Hot-flashes have subsided, but it is not certain if this is from evening primrose later balancing itself out.
For those with estrogen deficiency or other hormone imbalances, avoid taking herbs for proliferative phase until the herb schedule around evening primrose is improved.
Evening primrose, spearmint & sunflower
Last year during the summer, she took mint, fennel, sunflower and evening primrose during proliferative phase, and this lowered hot-flashes and caused breast tingling. Then, taking a different combination of this interrupted results. Trying to repeat this was difficult, because in retrospect it seems like sunflower, mint and evening primrose were needed together for consistent results.
Early Proliferative phase
Using fennel/lavender and evening primrose too early set back the cycle during proliferative phase, and caused breast shrinking.
When there is lack of cervical mucus, fennel/lavender and evening primrose cause adverse symptoms. When cervical mucus secretion just starts and is thick, it is still too early to use evening primrose and fennel/lavender.
Androgenic & hairloss problems still unresolved
Body temperature was lowering a week ago, July 27th, a day after taking primrose. Primrose has normally raised temperature, then lowered it during menstruation and early proliferative phase. Balanced fats, vitamin C and fiber were working to lower temperature to 36.4°C over the course of a day, last month.
This cycle, fennel and evening primrose were taken prematurely [during proliferative phase], then temperature raised, and the problem stopped getting better. Today, cervical mucus occured which is a sign of estrogen production, but temperature remains high. Taking a break, waiting for estrogen to increase on its own.
An estrogenic response can be acheived without evening primrose, so it's better to not use it. Avoid evening primrose completely during menses, premenstrual and ovulation.
Evening primrose, fennel and lavender were investigated for their efficacy in treating excessive androgens and its symptoms.
From the effects of evening primrose and fennel during proliferative and secretory phases, there are premises of adding an herbal estrogenic analog that affects ERβ, and combining evening primrose and fennel with fenugreek. Sunflower has worked conditionally to improve estrogenic signs. One idea is for sunflower seed to provide additional estrogenic antagonism when taken with evening primrose and fennel during secretory phase, while not increasing estrogen enough to interrupt the cycle. The other idea is for evening primrose and fennel to work synergistically with fenugreek to improve ovarian response of estrogen.
Also wondering if evening primrose oil with fennel can be used together for early proliferative phase.
If used during the wrong time, Primrose alone raised body temperature, but it did not [noticeably] increase [other] androgenic symptoms. In the past [for others who didn't have estrogen deficiency], [a few] days into proliferative phase and during secretory phase, primrose, lavender and fennel together lowered body temperature and increased estrogenic responses. The idea was to use primrose to test whether fennel and lavender can be taken on a day without adverse effects.
When evening primrose was taken during menstruation and early proliferative phase, there was a raise in body temperature and breast shrinking. Primrose did not cause [other] androgenic symptoms, however.
Evening primrose, spearmint, fennel and sunflower only when used in the full combination have the potential to work for both proliferative and secretory phase. This may be useful when it's difficult to determine which phase it is, or if there is uncertainty whether ovulation has occured.
This full herbal combination will likely be useful for lowering hot-flashes for those who have them during proliferative phase, secretory phase and possibly premenstrual phase.
Evening primrose requires sunflower seed for better consistency. Either should not be used alone. For those with hormonal balance, sunflower seems to [speed up] the time that evening primrose causes breast swelling. Temperature has to be monitored while taking sunflower seed to help determine its efficacy.
For those with hormonal imbalances, Evening primrose is better limited to secretory phase and in a noted successful combination with it. There's no suggestion of using evening primrose and sunflower seed during menstruation or [late] premenstrual phase.
The [working] theory is to add a minimal amount of spearmint as tea to evening primrose and sunflower. The idea is to use spearmint to keep FSH receptors from desensitizing, because spearmint also raises LH. Sunflower is there to improve the effects of estrogen response, likely by keeping estrogen receptors sensitive. It would be better to try this for secretory phase.
The theory is that evening primrose, which increases FSH, increased production of estrogen by the follicle, which was not immediately enough to overcome FSH [in the upper body]. Evening primrose with sunflower seed should maintain a positive hormonal effect on the ovarian follicle. For those who are not estrogen deficient and have more body fat, the effects of evening primrose are balanced out more quickly and consistently with fewer noticeable decreases in estrogen production, until the body is capable of increasing estrogen levels.
Evening primrose raises FSH, but its effect during proliferative phase wasn't fully understood in relation to the ovarian follicle. It worked well for those with sufficient body fat and estrogenic balance. During secretory phase, evening primrose in combination with fennel has consistently worked to cause breast growth and lower hot flashes. Evening primrose with fennel has also caused breast shape to get wider and shorter during secretory. If timed right for some during proliferative phase, evening primrose and fennel caused breast shape to grow in width and length. Lengthening of the breast implies an estrogenic effect, while widening of the breast implies a progestogenic effect. Fennel lowers FSH, and it has mild prolactin like and progestogenic properties. Evening primrose and fennel together are likely to enhance FSH response. During secretory phase, evening primrose and fennel together seemed to have a progestogenic effect on the breasts, and based on lowering of hot-flashes a sufficient estrogenic effect on the ovaries.