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The Progesterone Files: Comprehensive List of natural ways to raise & boost P levels
I've spent quite a bit of my time researching natural ways to boost and raise progesterone levels in the body, and I've come up with quite a list. Of course, I had to share my findings! Not sure how complete it is, and I also want to mention that some particular herbs I've found conflicting info on, so I encourage you to do your own research as well. Also, please add to this list if you can! 

-Essential Oils

There are a number of essential oils that can be used to balance hormones, and some even have been shown to increase progesterone levels. Studies indicate that thyme essential oil has the ability to balance progesterone levels in the body. In particular, thyme oil stimulates the production of progesterone. Other studies have also found numerous benefits of Clary sage oil in treating hormonal imbalances. The main benefit of Clary sage it has the ability to regulate estrogen production in the body. A study in 1998 found that oregano is one of the only botanicals that binds to progesterone receptors and increases its release. According to this study conducted by researchers at Aeron Biotechnology, this means it may help increase the production of the hormone progesterone.

You can use essential oils aromatically by diffusing them into the air. Diffusing provides many of the same benefits as topical use. The amount of oil you add to water in the diffuser depends on the size of the water tank, but it’s usually a total of 10-15 drops of oil per container of water.

Another way to use EO is to mix them with a carrier oil or lotion or body butter, and rub all over your skin. Essential oil molecules are absorbed through the skin. You can also do this using a rollerball vial.

Note: some oils can be used internally, but it is NOT recommended to do so without researching that specific oil and making sure that it is on the GRAS list of safe oils that can be taken internally, and also possibly checking with your doctor. Also, please note that EO are highly potent and if choosing to take internally, a very tiny amount (like one or two drops) is best.

Other Oils: There are other oils that are purported to balance hormones, increase progesterone levels, and there are even oil blends that have micronized progesterone contained in them. Click the links above to discover some of them!

-Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid which functions as an antioxidant. Antioxidants work like a defense system, disarming free radicals which are unstable molecules that can damage cell structures. Researchers believe that the ovaries takes in ascorbic acid right before ovulation, which then facilitates a strong ovulation. In a 2003 study, women who took Vitamin C had a significant increase in progesterone levels and higher pregnancy rate than those who did not. Women who took 750 mg of Vitamin C increased their progesterone levels by as much as 77 percent. 

How much Vitamin C should you take?
Minimum: 85 mg per day.
Recommended: 250–500 mg per day.
Limit: Do not take more than 1000 mg per day as high dosages of Vitamin C as the body may get acidic. 

Other sources: Camu camu (Peruvian berry), sweet potato, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, oranges, papaya, guava, sweet peppers, and pumpkin. Many other veggies also boost vitamin C too, including broccoli, mustard greens, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and lemons.

-Vitamin B6

Taking vitamin supplements of B6, can also help reduce levels of estrogen while boosting progesteron production. The lack of this important vitamin may decrease the production of progesterone. Vitamin Bs helps to combat stress and is also necessary for the liver to break down estrogen. If it doesn’t break it down, the levels of estrogen increase, creating hormonal imbalance. This means that levels of estrogen become higher than progesterone levels.

One research study has shown that taking Vitamin B6 at doses of 200-800 mg/day can reduce blood estrogen levels, increase progesterone levels and result in improvements in PMS symptoms.

It’s hard to consume high levels of Vitamin B6 from food alone so you should use a vitamin supplement. When consuming higher doses of Vitamin B6 you should also take a B complex vitamin as the high levels of B6 can hide a deficiency in some of the other B Vitamins.

How Much Vitamin B6 Do You Need?
Minimum: 1.9 mg per day.
Recommended: 10 mg per day. Can increase to 50mg when short term booster is needed.
Limit:  Don’t exceed 100 mgs per day as it can lead to nerve damage.

Good amounts of vitamin B6 can be found walnuts, whole grains, lean red meat, poultry, seafood, bananas, spinach, beans, prunes, pistachios, potatoes, and fortified cereals.


This important mineral is not just a must have for your immunity and skin. Zinc also helps the pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormones. These encourage ovulation and they also tell your ovaries to produce more progesterone, just in case you become pregnant each month.

How Much Zinc Do You Need?
Recommended: 15-25 mg per day, 30 mg for vegetarians.
Limit: 40 mg per day, too high a dose can actually decrease immunity. 

Other Good sources: Oysters, shrimp (prawns), beef, lamb, liver, shellfish, red meat, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, dark chocolate, wheat germ, chickpeas, watermelon, pumpkin, hemp seds, and squash seeds.


Magnesium is another key nutrient for increasing progesterone levels, as it plays an important role in maintaining a healthy hormonal balance in the body. Not only does magnesium allow the body to absorb calcium, it also regulates the pituitary gland, which in turn regulates hormone levels. The pituitary gland regulates the production of FSH (follicular stimulating) LH (luteinizing) and TSH (thyroid stimulating) that in turn regulate the production of estrogen and progesterone. When it is lacking, your body will produce less of necessary hormones that keep your reproductive system in good shape.
This important mineral not only helps to preserve progesterone levels through keeping you calmer, it also assists the breakdown of the antagonistic estrogen metabolites, reducing estrogen dominance.

How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
Recommended: 310 mg per day but during pregnancy that dosage increases slighlty.
Limit: The tolerable upper intake level for all adults should not exceed 350 mg per day. Large doses might cause too much magnesium to build up in the body, causing serious side effects

Other good sources: raw plantain, cashews, dark leafy greens such as kale and Swiss chard, okra, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, hemp seeds, black beans, lentils and other legumes, cacao, mackerel fish, whole grain cereals, and whole grain brown rice.


This amino acid is found in high-protein foods and it helps your body make nitric acid. In turn the nitric acid, relaxes your blood vessels so that circulation increases. This then ensures that your corpus luteum and other organs such as your ovaries enjoy improved blood flow to help them produce more progesterone. If however, the corpus luteum isn’t getting enough blood flow it will decay early resulting in it stopping to secrete progesterone before it should. This can cause you to have a short luteal phase and estrogen dominance towards the end of your cycle as a result of your lower progesterone levels.

In the January 2009 issue of the “Journal of Ovarian Research”, a study showed that  100% of the women had improved corpus luteum blood flow and 71% had improved progesterone levels when they took 6 grams per day of L-arginine. 

How Much L-Arginine Do You Need?
Recommended: Dosage varies widely but you should look to consume 3-6g per day, but you shouldn’t go over 60g per day.

Other Sources: Typically anything high in protein is also high in L-Arginine. You can also find L-arginine supplements in most health food stores, however most prenatal vitamins don’t contain it. A variety of plant-based foods provide arginine. Some of the best choices are soybeans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts and walnuts. You'll also get it from sweet green peppers and the seaweed spirulina. Grains such as quinoa, oats and wheat germ deliver arginine, as do a variety of ready-to-eat cereals made from oats, rice and wheat.

-Vitamin E

Like L-Arginine, it is believed that Vitamin E works by increasing luteal blood flow which can lengthen the luteal phase and increase egg quality. Research shows that vitamin E can help to improve luteal bloodflow and raise progesterone levels in some women. In the same Journal of Ovarian Research study, it found that women treated with 600 mg of Vitamin E per day improved corpus luteum blood flow in 83% of patients and improved progesterone in 67% of the women.

How Much Vitamin E Do You Need?
Recommended: 100-130 mg per day.
Limit: 1,000 mg per day.

Good Sources: Sunflower seeds, almonds and hazelnuts. In smaller amounts: avocado, olive oil, sunflower seeds, red peppers, collard greens, pumpkin, asparagus, butternut squash, broccoli and mango.

-Beta Carotene 

There have been animal studies that suggest that beta-carotene can stimulate the production of progesterone. Beta-carotene is considered an antioxidant and is also a precursor to vitamin A. This compound helps maintain healthy skin and also plays a vital role in eye health. Individuals who consume the necessary levels of beta-carotene can lower their risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, macular degeneration, and other age-related diseases.

The principal dietary source of beta-carotene is fruit and vegetables such as carrots, yams, spinach and kale. In fact, one cup of raw carrots contains 9,135 mg of beta-carotene. Since beta-carotene is only one of the many beneficial carotenoids, it is important to eat a wide variety of fresh produce to obtain a full spectrum of these important nutrients into your diet.

Other good sources: apricots, asparagus, broccoli, chinese cabbage, chives, grapefruit, onions, peas, peppers, plums, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes.


Selenium is the key mineral that enables the conversion of thyroid hormone from T4 to T3 (the biologically active form).  Selenium is also required to make the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which protects the thyroid gland, and includes protecting it from thyroid autoimmune problems.

An Italian study showed that supplementing with 200-400mg of selenium per day had the potential in increase progesterone levels. When it comes to acne, selenium also provides promising results as it dramatically increases antioxidant levels. One study in 2012 showed that selenium reduced acne count by 40% when supplemented over an 8 week period.

Instead of taking another expensive supplement, try eating 3 Brazil nuts a day - they’re completely natural, food-source and just 3-4 Brazil nuts will provide you with your daily dose of selenium! Mushrooms are also a good source of selenium.


Cruciferous vegetables are a great way to reduce Estrogen Dominance, which might help to balance progesterone levels. They are rich in glucosinolates, which activate phase 2 detoxification in the liver, helping to filter estrogen metabolites from your body. This is good news for your hormone balance because it prevents estrogen byproducts circulating for too long, which can raise estrogen levels and cause hormonal havoc.

Other good sources: MSM, Broccoli, collard greens, kale, Swiss chard, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

-Essential fatty acids 

EFA’s are important for hormone production. Many women are low in EFA’s, specifically omega 3. 

Some foods rich in EFA’s are: Flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, sardines, halibut, shrimp, snapper, scallops and chia seeds.

-Good Cholesterol

Cholesterol is needed in your body to make pregnenolone, which is often considered to be the “mother hormone.” Pregnenolone goes on to help make progesterone, which is a precursor for other hormones, like testosterone and estrogen. It is important to note that the building block of all hormones is cholesterol. Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is an important co-factor for your body's endocrine system. The true cause of a heart attack is primarily due to elevated Homo-cysteine levels because there is a missing methyl group. 

Fat intake is vital to hormone production. Instead of worrying about how much fat we eat, we need to be concerned with the types of fats we eat. We need a certain amount of saturated fats to produce cholesterol. Cholesterol is needed for formation of healthy cell membranes and is a precursor to all steroid hormones (progesterone, estrogen, FSH, etc.). We cannot have proper hormonal balance without adequate amounts of saturated fats. 

Coconut oil is amazing for hormone health. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production, can assist weight loss, and reduce inflammation. Coconut oil provides other benefits such as lowering insulin levels, protecting against heart disease. The predominant fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid, which provides antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral benefits.

Other sources: Coconut meat, coconut butter, turkey, eggs and yogurt (if you can tolerate them), olives and olive oil.

-Black Cohosh

Today, black cohosh is most commonly used for menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes (also called hot flushes) and night sweats (together known as vasomotor symptoms), vaginal dryness, heart palpitations, tinnitus, vertigo, sleep disturbances, nervousness, and irritability
This particular herb balances the estrogen hormone in the body. It also boosts production of progesterone by regulating components that behave like estrogen. It is helpful in regulating menstrual disorders that may arise from progesterone deficiency. It improves uterine muscle tone and hence prevents miscarriage, which is quite common among women with progesterone deficiency.

In a study, endometrial thickness, serum progesterone and clinical pregnancy rate were significantly higher when additional oral phytoestrogen black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) 120 mg/day was added to infertility treatment from days 1 to 12.


The active agent in turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also aids in increasing progesterone levels in the body. It relieves vaginal dryness—symptoms of low progesterone levels. At the same time it detoxifies and helps strike a balance in the body’s hormonal levels. 


A review article published in the American Journal of Natural Medicine indicated that licorice root can lower estrogen while at the same time raising progesterone. Licorice promotes an increase in progesterone by inhibiting the enzyme necessary for its breakdown. Licorice root is also a phytoestrogen. The potency of licorice root is 400 times weaker than estradiol, the most potent form of estrogen created within the body.

Licorice helps to corrects the imbalance of progesterone and estrogen hormones in the body. It also induces regular ovulation and corrects irregular menstruation in women. Women are advised to use licorice before ovulation i.e. in the first half of monthly menstruation cycle. Licorice can also treat PCOS, which is the result of progesterone deficiency. It also detoxifies the liver that helps in regulating hormones and restoring hormonal balance in the body. It also has strong estrogenic effects. 

WARNING: licorice tends to increase blood pressure and people on diuretics should avoid using it as it may cause severe kidney disorders.


Chasteberry, also known as Vitex, can stimulate the progesterone production and reduce levels of estrogen, as well as amounts of prolactin, which is another hormone that can lead to low progesterone in the body. Vitex increases the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH), which in turn increases progesterone. It is also known to help balance overall hormones. 

In studies, Vitex has shown to: lengthen a short luteal phase, increase progesterone levels, reduce advancement of mild endometriutus, may help prevent miscarriage, relieve symptoms of PMS, alleviate amennorhea (lack of menstruation), balance irregular cycles, reduce uterine cysts, stabilize menstrual cycles after ceasing BCP, improve acne, and help stimulate milk production in new mothers.

However, you should avoid chasteberry if you are taking any kind of hormonal birth control, if you are pregnant, or if you are currently taking medications to increase your changes of getting pregnant.

Also, check out this article on the do’s and don’ts of Vitex: http://www.larabriden.com/vitex-for-period-problems/

-Red Rasberry Tea

Red Raspberry is known to increase progesterone levels too. It is a phyto-progesterone, which means that it is a plant that acts like progesterone in the body. It acts as a precursor in the process of making progesterone.

Red Raspberry provides a rich source of iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. The magnesium content is especially helpful in strengthening the uterine muscles. Raspberry leaf also contains vitamins B1, B3 and E as well as a high concentration of vitamin C and can help strengthen our immune system.

-Evening Primrose Oil

Evening primrose oil may be an effective herb at balancing hormone levels, whether progesterone or estrogen. The body’s hormones are in a delicate balance. Though evening primrose may boost progesterone levels, its main role is balancing both progesterone and estrogen and bringing them to their correct levels. Evening primrose contains a type of fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid or GLA. According to Dr. Duke, evening primrose oil is an effective remedy for PMS symptoms. However, according to the EBSCO Complementary and Alternative Medicine Review Board, there is little convincing evidence that evening primrose oil works better than a placebo. Evening primrose oil is a safe herb to take, a good source of gamma linolenic acid and it may help to boost progesterone levels and balance the hormones progesterone and estrogen.

-Maca Root

Maca is not a hormone, but a food that helps the body balance itself. It also has a wealth of health benefits, that I would encourage you research into.

Maca appears to act as a central nervous system stimulant, at the level of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. It works to stimulate hormone production, and also operates as an adaptogenic herb to help regulate hormones produced by the endocrine glands. It does this by stimulating your ovaries and adrenals to produce the hormones you need; in the levels you need them, and has been shown to increase natural progesterone production.

-Kenya Oak

Preliminary research indicates that fruit taken from the Kenya oak tree, Vitex fischeri, can help treat menopausal symptoms. The mechanisms underlying these improvements remain unknown, but they might involve progesterone enhancement. An investigation published in the November 2008 edition of the "American Journal of Primatology" revealed that chimpanzees eating this herb had unusually high levels of progesterone. Estrogen levels were unaffected, and the animals appeared healthy during their seasonal consumption of the fruit.

-Szechuan Lovage

The herbal remedy Szechuan lovage, Ligusticum wallichii, plays an important role in traditional Chinese medicine. Native to India, this supplement is known to reduce inflammation and bolster immunity. It activates a special receptor present throughout your body. This receptor controls the immune system, and it regulates the effects of reproductive steroids like progesterone. A study described in the August 2006 issue of "Life Sciences" demonstrated that Szechuan lovage increased circulating progesterone in laboratory animals. This finding suggests that the herbal remedy has potential as a hormone replacement therapy, but additional testing remains necessary.

-More Herbs

Listed below are herbs that support production of progesterone. They do not contain progesterone, they support areas of the body that produce progesterone or regulate hormonal balance by supporting the endocrine system. Herbs that help to reduce estrogen dominance may also support the body in balancing progesterone levels. Reducing excess estrogen is important to getting progesterone levels back up. Avoiding xenohormones and protecting the body from xenoestrogens with phytoestrogen herbs may also play an important role to proper progesterone levels. 

One herb that deserves a special spotlight is oregano. Scientists discovered that oregano is one of the main herbs that binds to intracellular receptors for progesterone and increases its release. 

Another herb that is equally impressive is dill. An experiment presented in the October 2006 edition of "Phytotherapy Research" showed that large doses of dill increased progesterone and lengthened reproductive cycles. The herb appeared safe as no toxic effects were observed in this study.

Other herbs: Alfalfa, Ashwagandha, Burdock root, Elutero root and stem bark, Maca Root, Schisandra fruit and seed, Vitex. Turmeric, thyme, and oregano are all thought to help raise progesterone levels.

-Fermented Soy Products 

The Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that fermented soybean products like miso, natto, and tempeh can boost progesterone levels. The researchers said that supplementing your diet with fermented soy products also helped to lower cholesterol naturally. They concluded by saying that “dietary fermented soybean had favorable effects on progesterone and cholesterol.”

-Seed Cycling 

While there isn’t a ton of science to confirm this strategy, some women have had great success balancing their hormones with Seed Cycling. and it is certainly worth a shot! Seeds are delicious and packed with nutrition and fiber so you’ll be getting benefits regardless. The idea is that certain seeds support us during different times of our menstrual cycle.

From day one of our menses till ovulation, we want to support our estrogen production. (Even women with estrogen dominance can benefit from this practice since it’s all about balance and timing.) To do so, consume 1 tablespoon each of fresh, organic flax and pumpkin seeds. Invest in a good grinder to fully masticate the seeds for easier absorption. You can put the seed pulp in your morning smoothie or in your oatmeal or whatever. You can also put in salads but not in soups or other heated foods/beverages as this will denature some of the beneficial properties.

Once we ovulate, we want to focus on building our progesterone so consume 1 tablespoon each of sesame and sunflower seeds. Again, be sure to grind well, particularly your sesame seeds, since they are so tiny.

Once you get your period, shift to estrogen support again. You’ll want to do this routine for at least 3 months to see if it’s helping to balance your hormones. One other note, if you don’t have periods, start with a new moon and do your estrogen support till there’s a full moon. Then do the progesterone seeds. Change back to estrogen seeds with the next new moon.

-Avoid Estrogen Dominance (especially in Luteal Phase)

The hormone estrogen is dominant during the Follicular Phase of your cycle, and progesterone surges during ovulation and becomes dominant during the Luteal Phase. To keep this balance while doing NBE, make sure you are cycling herbs so that high phytoestrogens are taken during your follicular phase, and herbs that boost progesterone is taken during your luteal phase. 

There are also a number of natural remedies to correct estrogen dominance. Green tea, for examples, helps with estrogen metabolism, which is critical when dealing with estrogen dominance and lowered estrogen levels are associated with fewer incidences of cancer, especially breast cancer.  

DIM is a phytonutrient naturally occurring in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale.  DIM promotes  metabolism of estrogen and aids in healthy hormonal balance.  It optimizes the ratio of crucial estrogen metabolites necessary in breast, uterine, cervical and prostate health.  DIM also acts as an aromatase inhibitor, often present in the drugs used to treat breast and ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women and those cancers that are estrogen dependent in premenopausal women.  Aromatase inhibitors reduce the overproduction of estrogen and allow testosterone to balance. DIM can boost both mood and libido.  It should be used as a supplement for estrogen dominance when there are insufficient cruciferous vegetables being eaten or there is significant estrogen imbalance.

Calcium D-Glucarate also directly improves estrogen metabolism and helps to reduce total estrogen levels. Natural sources of Calcium D-Glucarate also include the Brassica family of vegetables, Rutaceae citrus fruits, Cucurbitacease family of vegetables that includes, cucumbers, pumpkins, cantaloupe and squashes, as well as Rosaceae stone fruit, apples, pears, peaches, apricots, cherries and plums.

Other herbs that help with estrogen dominance: Vitex, Licorice, Damiana, Red clover, tulsi (holy basil), Astragalus. Kelp has recently also been shown to lower levels of estradiol, a type of estrogen. Gynostemma has a wealth of benefits and is well known for being a herb that balances out hormones.

-Reduce Exposure to Plastics

The shocking fact is that the biggest source of xenoestrogen exposure, which tends to increase estrogen dominance, for most people is plastics. Particularly the soft plastics that are used to hold the foods and beverages we eat. BPA, Phthalates and a host of other chemicals used in plastics have been shown to disrupt a person’s hormonal balance.

When plastics are exposed to heat (microwave, a hot beverage, dishwasher or just sunlight), or even just sit for a sufficiently long time, they start to break down and these chemicals will leech into your foods and beverages.  These chemicals are especially potent as your body can’t metabolize these chemicals interfering with your endocrine system—your body’s system of glands and hormones—which leads to higher estrogen levels and can harm fat cells. So as much as possible you should try to avoid storing foods in plastic containers and wrapping, and try to completely avoid reheating food in the microwave in plastic containers. Instead use glass or ceramic containers.

-Avoid Non Organic and Processed Foods

Many non-organic foods on the market contain harmful chemicals, pesticides or added hormones that act as xenoestrogens if you consume them.  Always try to avoid non organic and processed foods in general. This is especially important when purchasing meat products. You should always purchase meat and poultry that is “hormone free”. You should try to decrease your consumption of processed foods and look to eat more organic fruit and vegetables to reduce your risks of eating with additional hormones and pesticides, which can also lead to estrogen dominance.

-Eat More Foods High in Fiber

Fiber is essential in good hormonal balance; it helps with bowel movement and the evacuation of metabolized hormones, including the harmful estrogens which antagonize progesterone from doing its work.

The amount of time it takes for your pass through your body has a directly impact on how much estrogen your body absorbs from your food during the digestion process. It’s pretty simple once you think about. The longer it takes for your body to digest and expel your food the more estrogen that gets absorbed by your body as the food is in your system for longer. If you have a normal transit time it allows any excess estrogen to pass with the stool and out of the body. However, if the stool remains in the bowel for longer periods of time, as with constipation, the excess estrogen is re-absorbed and placed back into circulation.

One of the best ways to speed up the transit time is to simply add more fiber to your diet. Research has shown the highest rates of breast cancer occur in women who eat diets high in fat and low in fiber. Adding fiber not only decreases bowel “transit time” thereby preventing excess estrogen from being reabsorbed, it also reduces your cancer risk.

Good sources: Flaxseed, quinoa, millet, amaranth, teff, gluten-free oats.

-Keep Your liver in Good Health

Your liver is a filter that removes excess chemicals from your body. If your liver is forced to work too hard it will not be able to function properly, causing toxins to build up in the system. One such toxin which can build up is estrogen. If the liver becomes overburdened as a result of a hyper-caloric diet, with high volumes of sugar, with high volumes of alcohol, or with high volumes of processing chemicals, then, it becomes sluggish in its ability to process chemicals.

The result can be excess estrogen in your blood and not enough progesterone. Eating foods high in sulfur keep your liver healthy and can raise your progesterone levels naturally. It is sulfuric compounds of Onions, garlic and egg yolks for example that give the liver the ability to get rid of toxins such as pesticides and liver damaging medications. MSM is also a good source of sulfur to supplement with.

Dandelion root, as well as fennel seed and milk thistle, are commonly used to support liver health. Other foods that aid in liver detox are lemons, limes, grapefruit, beets, spinach, leafy greens, peppermint, artichoke, turmeric, green tea, and Brussels sprouts. Some herbs that support liver detox are: Chanca piedra, gynostemma, borotutu bark, burdock root, Greater Celandine, Chicory root, yellow dock root,

-Keep Your Adrenals in Good Health

Your adrenals house a steroid DHEA, that is essential in the production of progesterone. One way to help foster adrenal health is by working with natural circadian rhythms; try to get to sleep earlier (like by 10 at the latest) and get up earlier. Also, eating a well balanced, nutritious diet and exercising moderately (10 to 30 minutes/ 3 to 5 days per week) is important. 

Herbs/supplements that helps with adrenal health: nettle, ashwagandha, holy basil, fish oil, magnesium, zinc, Vitamin B12 and B5, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D3. 

-Lower Stress 

Stress is the major robber of progesterone and can considerably reduce P levels in the body. During chronic stress, adrenal glands aren’t able to produce enough “fight or flight” hormone called cortisol, which they constantly need. In this case, our body converts progesterone into cortisol. To add insult to injury, remember that all-important magnesium? Stress actually depletes your magnesium levels causing heightened stress responses.

There are the normal ways to combat stress. Eat a healthy diet. Get adequate amounts of exercise. Sleep. Meditate, or spend time in nature. Spend time with your partner, spouse, friends, or family that nourish your soul. Avoid negative people, places, and thoughts.

-Get some sleep

Low progesterone levels have been linked to poor sleep, especially problems in falling asleep, and insomnia.


Have you ever heard of Lunaception? No? Me, either. In brief, it’s a practice to balance hormones (and boost fertility as a result) by controlling the light in your bedroom.

This may sound odd or even silly but there is common sense behind it. Thousands and thousands of years ago, women usually slept closer to the outdoors. Sleeping in total darkness was the norm with the only natural light being the rhythm of the moon. As a result, women used to be in sync with the moon cycles and ovulate at the full moon. Now, with electricity and artificial light, this doesn’t happen and as a result, our hormonal cycles get confused and out of whack. In modern times, we can recreate this natural cycle by controlling the light we’re exposed in the evening and when we sleep.

Believe it or not, there is actually some science behind Lunaception too. Too much light at night can inhibit the production of melatonin, our “master” hormone. The hypothalamus gland is covered with melatonin receptors and some say our ovaries are too. The hypothalamus regulates our body’s overall homeostasis, including blood pressure, body temperature, and most importantly for fertility, our endocrine or hormonal system. So, if the hypothalamus doesn’t receive enough melatonin, its won’t be able to support our hormonal system well.

Clinical research backs this up. Researchers have found that sleeping in the absence of light can: Correct too long or too short cycles, bringing them back to 27-31 days long. Reduce PMS symptoms. Normalize FSH levels. Increase progesterone levels. Reduce spotting throughout cycle. And there are a lot more benefits as well.

To implement Lunaception, sleep in total darkness except for the few nights right around the full moon. On those nights, try sleeping with just a little bit of light, whether that’s the natural moonlight or a night light.

Some simple tips to reduce light at night include: Sleep with an eye mask. Turn off electronics at least 1 hour (two is preferable) before bedtime. Turn off bright overhead lights and use only a few lamps for evening light. You can also invest in special blue light blocking glasses, which can help to boost your melatonin production.

-Maintain a Healthy Weight

Body fat produces excess estrogen which can create a hormonal imbalance. Also, overeating has been shown in studies to lower progesterone. Studies show that weight loss increases progesterone, and that lower body weight was associated with higher progesterone levels.

Fat cells help convert testosterone into estrogen. The more body fat you have, the more estrogen you tend to produce while progesterone levels do not increase with weight gain. Thus, if you are overweight, your progesterone levels cannot offset the amounts of estrogen in your body. Conversely, weight loss increases progesterone levels and may even lead to resumed ovulation in some overweight patients.

-Cut Back on Alcohol

Alcohol has been shown to change the way your body metabolizes estrogen, causing blood estrogen levels to rise. A study published in the 2000 edition of Alcohol and Alcoholism found that women who drank moderately had much lower levels of progesterone than non-drinkers. Alcohol also significantly reduces zinc absorption, and as you already know, zinc plays an important role in progesterone levels.

-Stop Smoking 

The nicotine found in cigarettes can interfere with the way your ovaries naturally produce hormones, which disrupts processes involved with normal cyclic functioning.

-Cut back on Caffeine 

Did you know that even one cup of coffee per day could increase your estrogen levels and more than four cups of coffee can raise the level 70 percent higher than just one cup? In fact, whether it is coffee or the morning Diet Coke, caffeine intake from all sources is linked with higher estrogen, and thus lower progesterone levels.

-Other Causes and Symptoms of Low Progesterone

Women in their mid-thirties and later tend to experience a decrease in progesterone production. Insulin Resistance has been shown to lower progesterone levels. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is both a cause and effect of low progesterone levels. People who suffer from hypothyroidism are likely to also suffer from low progesterone. High levels of prolactin can interfere with progesterone production and inhibit ovulation. Certain medications, as well as birth control pills, can also interfere with healthy progesterone levels. These are only a few of many causes of low progesterone levels, and if you are interested in reading more about this, I encourage you to click on the links provided and also do your own personal research. 

Symptoms of low Progesterone include: Premenstrual spotting, short luteal phase, unexplained weight gain, irregular periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, breast soreness, fibrocystic breasts, infertility, slow metabolism, insomnia, mood swings…. and there are many more symptoms that can be correlated with low progesterone. Once again, I encourage you to read up on the signs/symptoms of low progesterone.
Great post! Look forward to going through it!
(19-04-2017, 12:11 AM)EllaC Wrote: Great post! Look forward to going through it!

Thank you, Ella! I initially wasn't going to post it, it was mostly just scribbles on my notepads of me trying to find more natural ways to increase progesterone without using PC. But it grew to quite a list and I thought many others might benefit from it. It took weeks for me to thoroughly research and also transcribe, so I do hope that it helps out!! 

Everyones so focused on estrogen thinking that's they key to growth. Hello... what about balance ...

We are in a world dominated BY estrogen and not the good stuff so it's great to see so many diverse ways of boosting P . Good work.
(19-04-2017, 12:43 AM)EllaC Wrote: Everyones so focused on estrogen thinking that's they key to growth. Hello... what about balance ...

We are in a world dominated BY estrogen and not the good stuff so it's great to see so many diverse ways of boosting P . Good work.

Right!! I agree completely! <3
Great job Zara!
Thanks for all that info. Especially the dosages. Thats the one thing I find missing on a lot of these herbal reviews is that they never mention how much to take.
Excellent work
Thanks again
(19-04-2017, 02:23 PM)Happyme Wrote: Great job Zara!
Thanks for all that info. Especially the dosages. Thats the one thing I find missing on a lot of these herbal reviews is that they never mention how much to take.
Excellent work
Thanks again

Thank you, Bobbi! <3
Fantastic post and work! Just what I needed....I was worried that I had to limit myself to herbs only in order to increase progesterone so this exhaustive list is super useful! I can imagine the amount of work you put into this so thank you as always Zara, for researching, scrutinizing and sharing your knowledge with all of us. So many of us will benefit. XX
(19-04-2017, 07:30 PM)bettie32 Wrote: Fantastic post and work! Just what I needed....I was worried that I had to limit myself to herbs only in order to increase progesterone so this exhaustive list is super useful! I can imagine the amount of work you put into this so thank you as always Zara, for researching, scrutinizing and sharing your knowledge with all of us. So many of us will benefit. XX

Aww thanks Bettie! <3 I'm just glad to help and contribute in any way. I came on this forum to learn, and I have so much from others, so I also want to contribute when I can! 

I didn't know that Red raspberry had progesterone properties. I have been taking it all cycle long. Maybe I'll reserve lower doses for the first half of my cycle and increase during after ovulation. 

It's also interesting that licorice is a phytoestrogen but lowers estrogen? From Lotus notes I believe I read that it is "Anti-androgenic and activates alpha and beta estrogen receptors and blocks 5-ar." It also increases progesterone by reducing breakdown. Sounds like a balanced NBE herb god!!!!! 

I've seen you talk about EPO before and I really want to try it now that I read about it being so good for NBE across the board. Do you use it both externally and internally? 

Also I LOVE that seed cycling idea. I'm going to be ALL over that soon. 

I've been taking a kelp, ricebran, vitex mixture everyday and after reading kelp can lower estrogen I'm wondering if I should just leave that mixture for my luteal phase so I don't repress the estrogens I'm taking. As well as excluding the Bustea! since it contains licorice. What do you think?


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