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Ovaries

General characteristics

General characteristics

The ovaries are a pair of almond shaped organs/glands that sit either side of the uterus, connected to it by the fallopian tubes. The function of the ovaries are to produce healthy female eggs and hormones (predominantly oestrogen and progesterone). These hormones are responsible for the development of female characteristics such as breast development and body shape as well as influencing the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause.

When a female is around the age of puberty, her ovaries will contain around 400,000 immature eggs located inside specialised 'nests' of cells called follicles. Each monthly cycle will see up to 20 or so follicles begin to mature, the healthiest or most viable egg will continue to grow to full maturity (under the influence of hormones) whilst the others are reabsorbed by the ovaries (if conception does not occur). The fully mature egg will break out of the follicle, migrate to the edge of the ovary and is released through the ovarian wall into the fallopian tubes. This process is called ovulation.


Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Base your diet around organic fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, herbs and organic animal products. These will supply you with good nutrition and help to prevent the congested and sluggish conditions in the body that allow disease and ill health to progress.

Get enough vitamin B6 from sources such as avocados, spinach, dark green leaves, broccoli and beans. B6 is often deficient when high oestrogen levels are present. Increasing B6 intake can help to re-balance oestrogen levels and gently help with any effects from hormonal imbalance.

Zinc is also important in the maintenance of healthy ovaries, good sources include white meats, shellfish and pumpkin seeds.

Limit the amount of refined carbohydrates and sugars in your diet as foods which promote chronic high blood sugar and dramatic peaks and troughs in blood sugar are known to adversely affect health, including the health of the adrenals and ovaries.

Make sure you are eating enough good quality fats such as from avocados, coconut flesh, milk and oil, nuts and seeds, organic whole dairy foods (not fat reduced), organic eggs, grass fed organic meats, oily fish and the like. Fats are vital for so many functions including maintaining healthy levels of hormones.

Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol as these can have adverse effects on our ovaries in taken in excess.

Drink enough good quality water daily.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Female reproductive tonics that will help restore general vitality to the ovaries include squaw vine, dong quai, raspberry leaf, agnus castus, wild yam root, lady's mantle and motherwort. For herbs to help more specific ailments of the ovaries, see individual entries such as cyst or polycyctic ovaries.

A daily tea of nettle, raspberry leaf and oatstraw will provide many useful nutrients and feed the nervous system, adrenals and reproductive system, as well as a gentle cleansing action via the kidneys.

The adaptogenic herbs such as siberian ginseng, ashwagandha, reishi mushroom are all protective against the physical effects of stress and act as a tonic to the adrenal glands. Revitalising the adrenals will consequently have a positive effect on many hormonal pathways, including stress and reproductive hormones. They can be used in tincture form safely for many months at a time.


Natural healing

Natural healing

Regular meditation and deep relaxation techniques will help to decrease levels of stress hormones and increase the hormone DHEA, the so called 'fountain of youth' hormone that has a dramatic effect on keeping us youthful in all areas, including the reproductive department.

Exercise regularly to maintain all round fitness.

Avoid taking statins as they interfere with the healthy production of DHEA and increase the likelihood of diseases in the ovaries, breasts and other areas.

Get plenty of sleep each night. If you have problems sleeping see insomnia.


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