Dr. Eckhart's extreme avoidance list, esp re: phytoestrogens

by Tessa

Thank you so much for your product and your help. I love the ease of "measuring" with the pump and how quickly the Natpro absorbs. I am sleeping WAY better through the night which is a Godsend! Thank you. Now I've opened a new story line as I'm switching gears in my questioning.
Before the Natpro I was using Progestelle, which, as I'm sure you are aware, comes with a ton of literature about things to avoid. For years I had already tried to rid my life of chemicals as much as possible so I felt I was already ahead of the game in that area. So imagine my surprise when I found the list also contained so many natural items that I used daily in my homemade skincare/laundry/cleaning items. Some of them come with somewhat convincing scientific anecdotes, but others I'm not so convinced about. Some were easily replaced while others not so much - and quite honestly, I miss being able to use them.
I have no issues with why we should avoid xenoestrogens - that's plain as day. But what is your take on phytoestrogens? Don't almost ALL plants contain some sort of phytoestrogen, so how do we avoid them? And do we even need to be worried with those? And just so you know, I have been all over the "Our Stolen Future" website as well as yours looking for these same answers.
Below are the specific items I personally want feedback on. I would love input from you, Wray, or anyone else's personal experience with the items listed below. If I need to keep avoiding them, then I will, but I would like to convinced of it. And if certain items are okay to use, then I would definitely like to know that too.

BORAX - okay, so this one isn't a plant item but I SO DESPERATELY miss my Borax-based laundry detergent. I feel like I have struggled to get clean laundry since giving it up a few months ago. Actually just today I made up a new batch WITH the Borax out of frustration.
GUM - this wasn't on Eckhart's list but another site listed gum base as being a xenoestrogen
ROSEMARY EXTRACT - this takes almost all castile soaps out
TEAS - I had already mostly given up tea because of reading about the flouride in teas affecting the thyroid. But I struggle with this one because I'm a teaholic.
ESSENTIAL OILS - citrus ones are the only ones OK'd
CHOCOLATE - need I say more?!

Thank you again for the time you put into answering all of our questions and for sharing your knowledge with us. You are very appreciated!!

Comments for Dr. Eckhart's extreme avoidance list, esp re: phytoestrogens

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 24, 2016
Dr. Eckhart's extreme avoidance list, esp re: phytoestrogens
by: Wray

Hi Tessa Thanks for giving me this list, I love these types of questions. And thanks for the kind words. So pleased you like the new container, it does make things easier. Some years back I did a search on phytoestrogens as I was always saying avoid them. I still believe we should where possible, but you are correct. And it's not 'almost' all, but all plants contain them, as do all animal products too. For the simple reason the animals we eat, eat plants. I'll give a list of sites below which you can look through. I used to use borax for cleaning off eye makeup, I'm not sure why I stopped, probably trying out something else. But it was very effective and gentle. I still use it to kill cockroaches. I'm not sure why there is a problem with it, it has a huge number of uses. The Indonesians found that it caused liver cancer if ingested in high amounts over 5 to 10 years……..huh? Why would anyone do that! A study found that 2.66g/kg was required to kill rats. That equates to 133g being ingested by a 50kg person, I can't see anyone doing that! It's not that you ingest it either, but use it in your laundry, I would continue to do so. If concerned though you could always use hydrogen peroxide as the bleach. It's much safer and gentler than chlorine bleach as it breaks down into water and oxygen. I use this in each wash I do, I buy 25L from a wholesaler. But your list did make me laugh! Imagine giving up chocolate!? The gums too, which gum? There are 19, they are used in almost all the products we use now, particularly the products that need stabilising, cosmetics, shampoos, ice-creams, chewing gum, laxatives, and more. see here.
I can't find any evidence of any of them being phytoestrogens, except possibly gum tragacanth as it's extracted from legumes….. A. adscendens, A. gummifer, A. brachycalyx, and A. tragacanthus.
But even then I can only find evidence that Astragalus membranaceus has oestrogenic properties, see here.
But this species doesn't appear to be a source of gum tragacanth. I've looked through numerous papers on arnica, but can't find any stating it has oestrogenic properties.
It's only toxic if the plant is ingested in large quantities, but as it's used topically this is not going to happen. As for the essential oils….omg! How much does one use, 50ml at a time? Then yes I would suggest they'll not do much good. But having used them most of my life, and one to two drops at a time, it's not going to do any harm. Besides if we gave up the oils, we should also give up the herbs, spices etc from which they are extracted! And this I'm most certainly not going to do. So argan oil is now in the firing line. I've failed to find evidence it's oestrogenic, but then I haven't spent hours on the web looking for it. But I did find this article which gives the chemical composition of the oil. It contains campesterol which can be one of the starting points of progesterone, which suggests it's not oestrogenic: (original link no longer active on web), alternative article here.
Sadly you're right about tea and fluoride, it does have considerable quantities, see……
here, and here.

There are five halogens…..
Unfortunately fluoride is the most reactive of them all, so will displace all the others, most importantly iodine which the thyroid needs. But it does seem as if iodine can displace fluoride, if enough is taken. see….
here, here, and here.
So consider having a fluoride test done, and of course an iodine test too, and take it if needed. And continue drinking tea! If concerned you could try rooibos, which has no caffeine, or mate tea which does contain it. And even aloe vera gets slammed? Well I can't find anything against it, except in the NIH blurb on it, and that has nothing to do with it being oestrogenic. Even the Mayo Clinic finds it has some benefits, see here.
But no oestrogen activity. I will continue to use it, a most gentle, healing herb. The same applies to my search for witch hazel. This site has the best info on it's composition, see here.
As for chocolate, I can only echo your words! As I say below, where does one draw the line? And now for the list of foods with phytoestrogens……
Oestrogen, the phytoestrogens, and many oestrogen mimics, have a triple bonded or phenolic A-ring. But the phytosterols don't have the triple bonded A-ring, one reason labs use the phytosterols to make progesterone from.
The following paper lists in descending order the phytoestrogen content of foods, with nuts and oilseeds, including sunflower, having the highest content, see here.
All oilseeds contain phytoestrogens. The USDA Food Composition site is an excellent resource. It's best to get the full report, see here.
It doesn't list any in soy oil, only the phytosterols stigmasterol, campesterol and beta-sitosterol. But it's highly likely it contains some if the above oils to.
Another full paper lists flaxseed, pumpkinseed and rapeseed oils as containing phytoestrogens, but they didn't analyse soy oil. But it's highly likely it contains some, see here.
Unfortunately the abstract doesn't show the list. This paper does give a comprehensive list here.
Phytoestrogens are impossible to avoid, even in animal products, see….
Even olive oil contains lignans, see here.
This is another on lignans here.
Although these are regarded as potent antioxidants, they are still phenolic substances. Coconuts have the lowest level of phytoestrogen content of all nuts, but they still contain some, ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid.
Although I'm against soy in particular, all legumes contain high levels of phytoestrogens, plus trypsin inhibitors, phytates and goitrogens, see here.
Grains are just as bad, see here.
I'm not convinced by the favourable studies, as there are just as many unfavourable, see here.
So all grains and legumes should be avoided where possible. But give me a hot croissant with lots of butter, and I'm lost!
One of the most potent oestrogen mimics is zearalenone, produced by some moulds such as Giberella and Fusarium. Zearalenone is a mycotoxin causing infertility and abortion in animals, especially pigs. It is heat-stable and found worldwide in grains such as maize, barley, oats, wheat, rice, sorghum and bread. All of which we eat too, it's not just animal food. It makes me wonder if many miscarriages are not a result of humans eating grains contaminated with it.
So where does one draw the line?! I feel if the amount used is small, as all of those items in your list are, not much harm will come of it. But if large amounts are consumed, i.e. the grains and legumes, then these should be used judiciously or not at all. And just avoid consuming the borax!
Take care Wray

Jul 26, 2016
Dr. Eckhart's extreme avoidance list, esp re: phytoestrogens
by: Tessa

Dear Wray,
Thank you SO MUCH for such a thorough and well researched response to my question. It is so nice to get such attentive answers. I sincerely thank you!
I actually feel like my thyroid has healed over the last couple years (based on symptoms) and I also began taking iodine a few months back, so now I won't feel guilty when having my tea. Thank you for giving me that back freely!
And thank you for giving me back my Borax. It just works so much better, but the fear was that I was supposedly shrinking my male family members' testicles - not something I want on my conscience! I'll rest easy on that one.
As for the aloe vera, the reasons given for that one were that some cultures drink it in large amounts to cause miscarriages. But since I'm beyond trying to have any more children, I mainly use it topically, and the most I ever drink is a 1/2 cup in a smoothie... I think I'll be okay.
I haven't read all your links although I plan to go back through it and do just that. For future, is there a way to put your links in there so they are actual "clickable" links? That would be really helpful.
Again, thank you and God bless you for your dedication to helping women regain their health. And I'll share a hot buttered croissant with you any day!!

Jul 27, 2016
Dr. Eckhart's extreme avoidance list, esp re: phytoestrogens
by: Wray

Hi Tessa Thanks for the kind words! It's the fear mongering that I dislike the most. Just take the borax for instance, it's used presumably in the wash cycle. The clothes then get 2 or more rinses, what residual borax is left will be so small as to make no difference. I've just checked the web for borax shrinking male testicles and found nothing, also checked PubMed nothing there either. I'm intrigued by your success with it so will try it in my wash. How much do you use? And the aloe vera and miscarriages, I think they were confused between the gel and the bitter yellow exudate that oozes from just under the leaf 'skin' when cut. I know as a child this was called bitter aloe and was rubbed on nails to prevent kids chewing them! I found this "Avoid taking aloe vera latex as it is a strong laxative and may cause uterine stimulation and pregnancy loss" see here.
We used to have all our links as 'clickable', as you say so much easier. But were advised by our internet host that the search engines didn't like it and it invited spam. Since we've stopped I get no more spam messages to 'publish'. A relief as I was always having to delete them. Take care Wray

Jul 27, 2016
laundry detergent recipe
by: Tessa

Here is the laundry recipe I use. I usually make a double batch at a time.

4 Tbs Borax
4 Tbs washing soda
4 Tbs castile soap or dish soap - I can never decide which I like better so I usually do half and half
4 cups HOT water (I usually do 2 c. boiling and 2 c. tap)
optional: 10-15 drops lemon essential oil

Funnel borax and washing soda into jug. Pour in half the water. Shake to dissolve. Then add soap and remaining water.

Shake before each use. Use between 2-4 Tbs per load.

Jul 29, 2016
laundry detergent recipe
by: Wray

Hi Tessa Bless you! I'll certainly try it out. I know Joy will be interested, as she's always looking for alternatives to the usual stuff. She even makes her own toothpaste! Take care Wray

Aug 02, 2016
Laundry Detergent Recipe
by: Joy

Hi Tessa

Wow, thank you for sharing. Wray is right, I do love making my own things. White vinegar and baking soda has now replaced so many of my chemically based household cleaning products too. A very dear friend of mine now makes her own dishwasher tablets. I am yet to try it, but think I must take some time out and make both the laundry detergent and the dishwasher tablet.

Here is the recipe, if you do try it before I do, please let me know.

2 cups washing soda
1 cup baking soda
1 cup citric acid
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon castille soap
15-20 drops lemon essential oil

Mix dry ingredients. Gradually add vinegar and mix well, it will fizz, so add a little at a time. Mix in castille soap and essential oil. My mix had started to harden so I just added more vinegar to make it workable. Pack into ice cube trays and let dry.

Every little bit helps our environment. :)

Aug 28, 2016
making your own items
by: Tessa

Wray and Joy,
I enjoyed your comments as I too make my own toothpaste... and deodorant, and many, many more things. I will say, though, that I admitted defeat with the dishwasher soap. I tried several different recipes and just couldn't find something that lived up to my standards. Now that's been a few years and I actually recently found a recipe involving Sal's Suds (which I only just discovered) that I think I might give a go. I'll have to let you know how it works out. One thing about the recipe you shared, Joy, is that it has both castile soap and vinegar. I've read on quite a few sites that mixing those two just cancels each other out since one is a base and the other an acid. Not sure if you've tried it yet but that's the going word on the web. :-) Thanks as always for the feedback.

Sep 01, 2016
Making your own things
by: Joy

Hi Tessa

That is very interesting. I personally haven't tried it but my friend certainly has and she is raving about it. I am now really keen to try and see for myself.

Did you know that Natpro and Magnesium Oil are excellent underarm deodorants? Mag oil seems to be far more effective though. Again I do not buy my mag oil, I make my own using vodka, I kid you not. The vodka helps to absorb mag which prevents that stinging sensation one often gets with bought ones. I am learning every day and I LOVE IT!!

Take care.

Dec 09, 2016
Re. Phytoestrogens
by: Sky Blue

I know I'm answering an old thread here, but for what it's worth . . . I had noticed that I felt worse after eating a number of the things on Dr. Eckhart's list long before I even found the list. Chocolate was one of the main culprits. Another was butter. So when I found his web site and learned that those two foods are particularly high in phytoestrogens, the light bulb went on. IMHO, every individual woman is her own best guide. If you try cutting some things out and feel better, then one or more of them was probably making you worse. Try adding them back one by one, and if you start feeling worse again, you know that's a product you can't use. Just in my own experience, products that hurt will start hurting within a couple hours of consumption or application.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Progesterone faq.

Share this page:
Find this page helpful? Please tell others. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Search over 8,400 pages on this site...