Hormone Balance

All through our fertile years, our bodies run through the ever-continuous menstrual cycle, which begins with the first day of your period and ends when your next period begins. Throughout this cycle, our hormone levels ebb and flow, which affects how we feel every day. Chica helps balance your cycle, helping your days feel more predictable.

Intro to Your Cycle

Our menstrual cycle guides our ovaries and our uterus to either accept a pregnancy, prepare for a pregnancy, or shed the uterine lining to refresh for the next eligible egg. These changes happen when our brain, uterus, and ovaries communicate via hormones. Hormonal birth control stops or disrupts this cycle to prevent pregnancy.

The Period

The first day of your period kicks off your hormonal cycle. In the first day of the period, the hormone, estrogen, is at its lowest, and with typical heavier bleeding, we tend to feel more fatigued and have our peak pain, if we experience any, on this day. Period bleeding lasts, on average, 3-7 days.

Follicular Phase

When our period ends, our brain produces a hormone (in the pituitary gland) called follicle stimulating hormone, which lets our ovaries know to produce an egg for ovulation. The ovary houses follicles, which are fluid sacs that host eggs. One follicle will begin to grow rapidly in preparation for ovulation, and the follicle produces estrogen as it grows. Estrogen helps our body and mind feel alert and energized. The Follicular phase lasts 10-20 days. 

Ovulation

When the chosen follicle has produced a certain peak level of estrogen, our brain is triggered to release luteinizing hormone, which then tells our ovaries to release the egg. Our uterine lining has been rebuilding until this point, and it is now at its thickest and prepared to host a pregnancy. Following peak estrogen and testosterone levels, we tend to feel our horniest and most energized during ovulation. Ovulation lasts 1-3 days, but we can be fertile both before and a few days after ovulation.

Luteal Phase

After ovulation, the follicle that housed the egg begins to release both progesterone and (less) estrogen. After a few days, both progesterone and estrogen levels decrease, and these shifts bring with them typical ‘PMS’ symptoms, such as bloating, mood swings, acne, and breast tenderness. The drop in hormones alerts the uterine lining to begin breaking down, preparing for the next period. The luteal phase lasts 10-16 days.

Why Are Hormones Important?

Following our hormonal cyles will allow us to predict and understand the way we feel each day. In the pre-ovulation period, estrogen dominates with the benefit of higher energy and increased focus, while post-ovulatory feelings are often more introverted and reflective. Life often demands us to be out-going and aggressive every day. However, with our hormonal knowledge, we can know that nothing is wrong with us when we don’t feel this way. Our Luteal phase is a powerful time to rest. Despite societal PMS-shaming, your hormones cannot force you to perform poorly during your Luteal phase. For example(1), the US Women’s Soccer team closely tracked their menstrual cycle phases during this most recent World Cup, and made sure to focus on their nourishment and sleep during their luteal phases. Some trainers attribute this tracking as an important part of the US Women’s success. Case in point, Rose Lavelle scored a goal in the World Cup finals, and the next day she started her period! #imluteal.

When searching for how to improve your period, hormones are key. When we enter the menstrual cycle with excessive estrogen still present in the body, we feel higher levels of pain, along with other uncomfortable symptoms, and our uterine lining will not break down as well. Too much progesterone can make us feel especially cloudy and zapped while we are luteal. Excessive testosterone can lead to extremely painful and irregular periods, and heavy acne all over the body.

If you are looking to support fertility, supporting your hormonal health is critical. If your follicle does not produce enough estrogen, you will struggle to ovulate successfully and support a strong uterine lining.

How Does Chica Help Your Hormones?

Chica does not contain any hormones. Instead, our herbal formula nourishes the liver, which is our key hormonal regulator. Supporting your liver will guide you to the right balance for your body. The liver also regulates thyroid hormones, cortisone, and other adrenals; which means Chica can give you the bonus of supporting balanced mood and stress levels all month long.

Poria

Fungus & Root

Scierotium Poriae Cocos / Fu Ling / 茯苓 Scierotium Pararadicis Poriae Cocos / Fu Shen / 茯神

Poria calms the heart and soothes nerves, helping with anxiety and insomnia. Additionally, Poria drains dampness, an excess of moisture that the body collects in the wrong places and makes us feel heavy and fatigued (hello moodiness).

Chinese Salvia

Root

Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae / Dan Shen / 丹參

Salvia root nourishes the blood and heart, and calms the spirit. Salvia works with Schisandra and Zizyphus in Chica Chill to help relieve insomnia.

Rehmannia

Root

Radix Rehmanniae Preparata / Sheng Di Huang / 熟地黄

Rehmannia root is your Yin nourisher, supporting calm and cold in your system. With its additional ability to help cool blood, increase fluids, and clear heart fire; Rehmannia is a star herb for soothing and preventing heat flashes.

Polygala / Thin-Leaf Milkwort

Root

Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae / Yuan Zhi / 元志

Polygala root nourishes the Heart, and helps soothe nerves and restlessness.

Schisandra / Chinese Magnolia

Berry

Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis / Wu Wei Zi / 五味子

Schisandra berry is famous for featuring all five flavors of Traditional Chinese Medicine: bitter, sweet, salty, sour, hot. This means that Schisandra is completely energetically balanced, promoting overall health and vitality. Schisandra helps relieve night sweats, insomnia, and hormonal imbalances. Schisandra is also rich in antioxidants that are thought to protect from free radicals and other toxins in the environment that may cause cellular damage. 

Platycodon / Balloon Flower

Root

Radix Platycodi / Jie Geng / 桔梗

Platycodon root is a neutral balancing herb, meaning it is not especially Yin or Yang. Platycodon is nourishing for the lungs, which in TCM, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Scrophularia / Figwort

Root

Radix Scrophulariae / Xuan Shen / 玄參

Scrophularia root nourishes Yin, drains fire, and cools the blood. Scrophularia is particularly soothing for irritability.

Ophiopogon / Dwarf Lilyturf

Tuber

Tuber Ophiopogonis Japonici / Mai Men Dong / 麦门冬

Ophiopogon tuber works with Asparagus to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.

Stemona

Root

Radix Stemonae / Bai Bu / 百部

Stemona root is a balancing herb in the Chica Chill formula. Stemona is nourishing for the lungs, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Licorice

Root

Radix Glycyrrhizae / Gan Cao / 甘草

Licorice acts as a unifier, balancing the formula and amplifying the properties of the other herbs.

Zizyphus / Sour Jujube

Seed

Semen Zizyphi Spinosae / Suan Zao Ren / 酸枣仁

Zizyphus seed nourishes the heart and calms the spirit. Zizyphus helps relieve insomnia, irritability, and anxiety.

Ginseng

Root

Radix Ginseng / Ren Shen / 人参

Ginseng root, one of the most famous herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is known for its ability to strengthen Qi and support life vitality. Ginseng nourishes the Heart and calms the spirit, helping reduce anxiety and insomnia.

Acorus / Grassleaf Sweetflag

Rhizome

Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii / Shi Chang Pu / 石菖蒲

Acorus helps relieve internal heat and is a favorite herb for reducing frequent insomnia.

Eucommia / Chinese Rubber Tree

Bark

Cortex Eucommiae Ulmoidis / Du Zhong / 杜仲

Eucommia bark balances the Chica Chill formula by offering Yang properties. Eucommia is also nourishing for the heart, and has been featured in research in Western medicine for its ability to help lower blood pressure.

Angelica / Dong Quai

Root

Radix Angelicae Sinensis / Dong Quai / 当归

Angelica root is sometimes described as the “female ginseng,” due to its fame for supporting a healthy and regular menstrual cycle. Angelica root strengthens blood and energizes circulation. In Chica Chill, Angelica root balances the herbal formula with its Yang properties.

Biota / Arborvitae

Seed

Semen Platycladi / Bai Zi Ren / 柏子仁

Biota seed benefits memory and promotes restful sleep by nourishing the heart and calming the spirit.

Chinese Asparagus

Tuber

Tuber Asparagi Cochinensis / Tian Men Dong / 天门冬

Asparagus root works with Ophiopogon to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.