The Endocrine System, Part One

Endocrine System by LaRee Westover & Sharon Moran
Butterfly Expressions, LLC

 
 

The following is a excerpt from the book "Butterfly Miracles
with Herbal Remedies"
The endocrine system consists of the various glands of the
body. This list includes the adrenal glands, the pineal gland,
the pituitary gland, the pancreas, the thyroid and
parathyroid, the thalamus and hypothalamus, and the
glands of the male and female reproductive systems. One of
the functions of each of these glands is to produce hormones
which act as catalysts for the various body functions. They
very often work with each other. Without the proper
function of these glands and hormones, our bodies would
not function optimally. Almost every cell in our body is
affected by at least one hormone.
THE ENDOCRINE (GLANDULAR) SYSTEM           PART ONE
 
ADRENAL GLANDS, PINEAL, AND PITUITARY
 
GENERAL COMMENTS
When the glands of the endocrine system do not receive the
nutrients they need to function properly, they send signals
to the brain demanding more nourishment. The brain
responds by informing us—often with great insistence—that
we need more . . . and more . . . and more. We develop an
unhealthy appetite and find ourselves fighting (and, often,
giving in to) food cravings. We frequently find ourselves
wanting “comfort foods” as our out-of-balance nerves and
hormones contribute to patterns of stress eating.
 
SYMPTOMS / DISEASES
This is a broad category and a very long list. So many
diseases have a glandular system component and many
diseases that begin somewhere else eventually affect one
or more glands and impede the ability of the glandular
system to work harmoniously together and with the rest of
the body.
 
GENERAL STRESSORS
The glandular system is impacted negatively by
envioronmental pollution, thyroid medications, drugs for
weight control and metaboilism improvement, birth control
pills, anti-depressant drugs, pain relieving and anti-
inflammatory medications—both prescription and over-the-
counter varieties.
 
The following drugs contribute to glandular problems on
every level. I will list them once here rather than under
each organ, over and over again. (Most drugs are destructive
to one body system or another.) These two drug groups are
just particularly destructive of the immune system.
CORTICOSTERIODS, known generically as Tricycllic
antidepressants. These drugs are used for depression, of
course, but there are also used for skin conditions such as
eczema and hives. Prozac is a leader among this nasty group
of drugs.
INDOMETHACIN ingredient in anti-inflammatories (pain relief
gels and creams)
 
VITAMINS / MINERALS / FOODS
A balanced diet, vitamins C, A, and B-complex, chlorophyll,
supplemental minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium,
potassium, selenium, and zinc, amino acids, omega 3’s, and
flaxseed.
 
HERBS / SUPPLEMENTS
Alfalfa, astragalus, dandelion, devil’s claw, echinacea,
ginseng, gotu kola, hawthorn, juniper berries, kelp, licorice
root, milk thistle, mullein, nettles, olive leaf extract,
Oregon grape root, papaya, parsley, passion flower, saw
palmetto, uva ursi, white oak bark
 
EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS
The emotional connections of the endocrine system are
discussed individually in each upcoming section.
Adrenals
GENERAL COMMENTS
The adrenals produce and excrete certain hormones, among
which are the body’s four major stress hormones:
adrenaline, cortisol, DHEA, and norepinephrine. Under
circumstances of extreme stress, large amounts of cortisol
are released, which can lead to a wide range of health
problems.
The highest levels of adrenal hormones are typically
released in the morning with the levels becoming a little
bit lower as evening approaches. Because the adrenal
glands are continually firing when we are awake, it is
important that we regularly get a good night’s sleep.
Adrenal fatigue is always associated with extreme fatigue
and the need for naps during the day as the adrenals cry
out for frequent periods in which to rest and rebuild.
Some of the functions of adrenal hormones are the
metabolism of carbohydrates, the regulation of blood sugar,
the maintenance of electrolyte and water balance, the
regulation of blood pressure, resistance to stress, and the
response of the body to danger. The adrenal glands are
absolutely vital to immune system function.
The thyroid and adrenals are closely connected. If one
begins to struggle, it can be assumed that the other one
will be in trouble very soon.
The cerebellum area of the brain requires dopamine, which
is produced in the adrenal glands.
 
DISEASES
Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, cystic fibrosis,
hyperthyroid, hypoglycemia, mononucleosis, pancreatitis,
parathyroid problems
SYMPTOMS OF DECREASED FUNCTION
Weakness, lethargy, dizziness, headaches, memory
problems, food cravings, aching joints, allergies, blood
sugar disorders, a need for frequent naps
STRESSORS
Cortisone therapy, prolonged stress (real or only the result
of our perceptions), a traumatic life event poor nutritional
habits, the continual consumption of empty carbohydrates
and sugar-filled calories, smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, and
the consumption of caffeine can result in adrenal fatigue.
VITAMINS / MINERALS / FOODS
Balanced diet, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, chlorophyll,
supplemental minerals including calcium, magnesium,
potassium, zinc
 
HERBS / SUPPLEMENTS
Astragalus, echinacea, milk thistle, kelp, devil’s claw,
bilberry, hawthorn, safflowers, licorice root, ginseng, and
papaya. Avoid goldenseal or limit its use to no more than a
week or two at a time.
 
EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS
The adrenal glands are designed to play a lead role in
protecting us when we are in real danger. Our daily
response to stress determines the amount of work the
adrenals are called upon to do each day. The emotions
driving our adrenal glands to overwork may include a
build-up of tension, the feeling that there is no way we can
cope or get everything necessary done, and being
overwhelmed by our responsibilities. It makes no
difference to the adrenal glands whether or not these
stressful feelings are based on reality or are only our
perception of events and circumstances.
The adrenals, like the kidneys, are paired organs. This gives
us a heads up that we need to maintain balance between
work and family, logic and intuition, and our feminine and
masculine natures if we wish to avoid excess fear or
irrational anxiety.
 
Pineal
The pineal gland is our body’s internal clock, controlling
our sleep patterns and helping us to be alert during the day.
The pineal gland also affects blood pressure, body
temperature, motor function, reproduction, collagen,
enzymes, and body cycles and rhythms. The pineal affects
every other gland as well as the cardiovascular system.
Nerve impulses from the pineal gland are fed to the
hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
 
DISEASES / SYMPTOMS
Depression, discontent, feelings of self-doubt, sleep
disorders, and mood swings
 
STRESSORS
Mercury from dental fillings, a variety of drugs including
cortison therapy, poor nutritional habits, smoking, alcohol,
drug abuse, caffeine!
VITAMINS / MINERALS / FOODS
Minerals, whole foods diet, B-Complex, calcium, magnesium
HERBS / SUPPLEMENTS
Kelp, stinging nettle, alfalfa, ginseng, parsley, passion
flower, cilantro (to remove mercury), gotu kola, nervine
herbs
 
EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS
Problems in the pineal gland are often associated with the
misunderstanding, misuse, or fear of spiritual or intuitive
gifts with which one has been blessed. Intuitive gifts are
meant to be used with love and patience. Their use cannot
be forced or hurried. If we have them—and I believe that
we all do, to one degree of development or another—they
are meant to be used to bless ourselves and others. Their
use is part of our personal walk. Gratitude for them and for
the other blessings of one’s life are healing and
rejuvenating to the pineal gland.
 
GENERAL COMMENTS
Sunlight (or full-spectrum artificial light) triggers retinal
nerve impulses which then travel to the pineal gland and
on to the other glands in the body.
 
Pituitary
The pituitary gland is one of the master glands and gives
instructions to other glands, telling them how much to
produce and how to function optimally. The pituitary gland
protects us from fatigue due to mental stress.
DISEASES / SYMPTOMS
Mental fatigue, trembling, Alzheimer’s
STRESSORS
Much the same as the adrenals and thymus
VITAMINS / MINERALS / FOODS
Vitamin E, B-Complex, manganese, selenium, trace
minerals, amino acids
HERBS / SUPPLEMENTS
Kelp, ginseng, stinging nettle, gotu kola, alfalfa, echinacea, red clover, and herbal bitters such as dandelion, cleavers, burdock, milk
thistle, yarrow
EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS
The basic emotions demonstrated by an out-of-balance
pituitary gland are disconnection between the reality of our
physical, material environment and the inner world of the
spirit. We may find it difficult to remember, and act as if
we remember, that we are all spiritual beings and children
of divine parentage.
The pituitary’s role in pregnancy and gestation gives it
connections to our feelings about our own maternity and
our role as mothers.
GENERAL COMMENTS
The pituitary gland produces the hormones that are
essential to fertility. It is the pituitary that induces
ovulation and maintains pregnancy, controls lactation, and
produces estrogen for the prevention of symptoms
associated with menopause.
Communications from the pituitary stimulates the thyroid
and the adrenal glands, making then an essential part of
normal growth patterns, hair growth, and over-all health,
to name just a few functions.
The pituitary governs re-absorption in the kidneys and
produces oxytocin. Oxytocin stimulates uterine contraction
during labor and promotes uterine tone at other times.
Nursing stimulates the pituitary.
An interesting aspect related specifically to the adrenal
glands is that there are 2 of them, one on each kidney. The
whole concept of two brings into perspective the need for
balance – a balance of not only the physical but also the
mental and emotionally aspects of our bodies. The adrenals
help produce the “fight or flight” response within us. If
they are struggling and out of balance the body may
become severely stressed and fatigued. This imbalance
certainly gives way to such disorders as chronic fatigue
syndrome where the body is exhausted and needs to take
the adrenals “offline” in order to rest and recoup.

The pineal gland manages our internal clock. Notice how
our ability to obtain restful sleep (to rest and take the
adrenals off line) is interwoven with the pineal gland. The
pituitary is considered a master gland. It monitors the other
glands and makes sure that the appropriate amount of each
hormone is produced and released into the blood. As I said
earlier, the glands work together to produce hormones and
almost every cell in your body is affected by them.

Take good care to nurture and balance your endocrine
system. It plays a vital role in your overall health and well
being.

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pineal gland and the pituitary gland include:

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basil, geranium, jasmine, Melissa, patchouli, petitgrain,
rose, sage, sandalwood, spruce, rosemary

To learn more about any of these oils, or their individual
uses, click HERE

To read Part 2 of this Series, Click Here