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Phoenix Project!

  • Lucy, hugs,

    It was not my intention to lead anyone into believing my last post was written by me, I posted the link to the actual artical, I did'nt notice the headng and author was missing, Its one of some 20 odd reports and valid clinical studies evaluations I have collected over the years poo pooing herbals. I read it understood a little and along with the other reports etc, gleaned a little knowledge from what in my opinion are reputable sources. I rely on my endo/doctors to make recomendations for my own peculiar conditon as to my mones regime, no way am I as knowlegable as you or Marsha, each to their own, but I can by reading reports like this tell the difference between a bag of monkeys and a bag of nothing.

    Cristine.

    PS your the living epitome of getting it right, WOW xxXxx

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
    This post was edited by Cristine Jennifer Shye. BL at March 10, 2013 4:27 PM GMT
      April 22, 2010 1:09 AM BST
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    1638 1‚ 0
    Bizarre, but I’d expect nothing less from Anne Selene.
    I rather wish you hadn’t posted this Marsha, but since you have I must concur with you that she has no idea how my transition is going. I did once post a pic after my 2 year experimentation with herbals (very expensive!) I achieved nothing more than a tiny increase in subcutaneous fat, and was still a no-cup after herbals, still presenting as male, going to work in a light shirt – no problem. This year I’ve gone through another growth spurt and I’m now a B-cup, thanks to oestrogen, human oestrogen of course. I could not present as male now even if I wanted to. These are not man-boobs, these are boobs, nice ones too.
    To summarise: I got NO breast growth from herbals, and have had great results with proper hormones. My development has been slow (just like my mum’s was), but sure. Breast growth is ongoing and still increasing, not to mention all the other benefits I get from oestrogen. Anne also stated she was using bio-identical oestrogen and progesterone when she was here (Oestrogel and Utrogestan), so her case is in no way clear cut. Indeed, I would expect her to get good results with these, they're the same as I use!
    I hope all this doesn’t tempt her back here, but if it should I will not allow her to expound the benefits of her products in this forum.
    Cristine’s post above is the definitive word on herbals. Everything in that is on the money. It’s just ridiculous to suggest that human oestrogen doesn’t feminise the body, or that eating lots of roots can do a better job.
    Of course if you’d rather believe someone who sells herbals…
    xx
    By the way, I’m really not a strange person.
    <p><span style="font-family: 'book antiqua', palatino; font-size: medium; color: #000080;">"Stop aspiring to be other people and start being you."</span></p> <p>Gok Wan</p>
      April 22, 2010 12:58 AM BST
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  • Probably not surprising to others here, Anne Selene has contacted me about this thread and feels that Lucy and I are too critical on herbal products. She has provided me with what she calls documentation on her product which is something she herself put together rather than an independent testing firm. I think the easiest way to explain her comments and my reply would be to post the message here.

    Hi Marsha,

    I must say you and Lucy are some really strange persons when it comes to herbals. First of all don't forget that Lucy started off with herbals and you can see her breast pictures of how her breast developments were while on herbals and you can see even today she haven't reached any satisfied breast development even she's on "real" hormones. Same is for you.

    For myself I found out that MiroHealth with Pueraria Mirifica together with breast cream gives far better feminisation (at our age) than whatever "real" hormones would. Beside this, herbals gives far more other benefits to the body than just oestrogen would give.

    So jumping up and down claiming the herbals does not work and all the other B.S. you and Lucy presenting on TW is really stupid and only shows how little you both are educated in this matter.

    You was asking on documentation on TW so here you are... even though I guess you've seen it before, but read it and educate yourself and post more "neutral" information on TW for your own sake because even though people thinks you're a fool, they don't tell you but they tell me to ready what you and Lucy said.

    Don't forget several of TW members are also regular MiroHealth customers but they don't post about it thanks to you and Lucy, why? Because they see your posts as mobbing people that use herbals.

    http://www.anne-selene.com/downloads/MiroHealthResearch.pdf

    PS! I know you would not do it but you should for your own sake post this PDF on TW as many of the research made was also made in the UK by well known people. (See the reference list)

    Best regards

    Anne Selene


    My reply
    I've read through "your" documentation and I am not impressed at all. There is nothing there about your specific product, but instead, studies on the active ingredients. Next is it clearly states that it is more like E1 not E2. Estrone, E1, is rather useless for transition. The only comparison to E2 states that it is .25% as active as E2. Basically your product is 400 times weaker than estradiol 17b. Your documentation presents no studies on the use of the product at dosages equivalent to taking E2, therefore no facts relating to safety including potential side-effects are given. Your documentation basically describes a product designed to supplement the estradiol level of natal females.

    As for my breast development, you have no clue about my development. I am very pleased with my development and see no reason for augmentation. So criticizing me for lack of development is ludicrous and shows you will say anything to make your point.

    I have clearly stated many times that herbals may have their place. The only problem is they don't have clear documentation as to the safe use at levels required for transition. The documentation you have provided here does not meet that criteria either.

    Hugs,
    Marsha

      April 21, 2010 9:16 PM BST
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    1638 1‚ 0
    Thank you Marsha, I'd love to:
    "...is there anything to prevent any member opening a new thread and calling it "Herbal Remedies" which would be quite separate from the Hormone thread ?"
    No, Joanne. But the moderator of the forum in which it was posted would probably move it across to here.

    Cristine, your first 2 paragraphs above are the perfect explanation of the difference between herbals and reals.
    xx
    <p><span style="font-family: 'book antiqua', palatino; font-size: medium; color: #000080;">"Stop aspiring to be other people and start being you."</span></p> <p>Gok Wan</p>
      April 21, 2010 1:02 PM BST
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  • Joanne, to answer your question in regards to starting a herbal remedies thread, it needs to meet the same criteria as any hormone post would require.

    1. We are not doctors, therefore no recommendations as to dosage and medication can be made.
    2. Health safety is the biggest concern and there needs to be existing documentation to support a products claim. That is where the gray area is on herbals. Maybe word of mouth says a herbal product is effective, however if someone has a health problem there is rarely if ever any information available to assist medical personnel in diagnosing the problem, let alone, knowing what is in the product and how it may interact with other medication.
    3. Discussions of the effects and side-effects of particular medications is really what the hormone forum is for. Feel free to discuss your results or lack of results. Along the same lines, if you are having health problems related to taking any medication please share that with the readers.

    Lucy may also want to comment on your question.

    Hormones, prescription or herbal, are not candy. And any discussion of them will be monitored closely.

    Hugs,
    Marsha
      April 21, 2010 12:46 PM BST
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  • http://www.hemingways.org[...]bal.htm


    HERBAL HORMONES

    Many plants contain compounds that directly or indirectly affect hormones or hormone activity in the body. Since phytoestrogens (i.e., "Plant Estrogens") are far weaker than their animal counterparts, they can be used effectively to manage overabundant or deficient amounts of estrogen. The molecular structure of phytoestrogens is so similar to those in animals that they readily bind with estrogen receptors, in some cases even more readily than the actual animal steroids. Becase the plant steroids are so much less "reactive," though, they occupy the receptor while only performing some (or none) of the job. The animal estrogen is swept on in the bloodstream to either bind with some other receptor, a blood protein, or ultimately to be destroyed in the liver or excreted from the body altogehter. In this way, plant hormones can be used to "block" the direct activity of free, unbound estrogen in the body. If there is a deficiency the small amount of stimulation from the plant hormones can cause a mild estrogenic effect and in this way act as an estrogen supplement.

    USE IN TRANSGENDER FEMINZATION

    If you are a Male-to-Female transgendered person who have come to this page in search of information on over-the-counter natural/herbal hormones for the purpose of feminizing your body, you need to be aware that the effectiveness of the few herbals the DO exert estrogenic actions is extremely minimal because phytoestrogens tend to be only about 1/1000th as strong as animal estrogens. These herbal drugs may work well to help balance a biological females peri-menopausal or post-menopausal endocrine system, but they are wholly insufficient for over-riding a biological male's testosterone dominance. The amounts of herb that would have to be consumed would be dangerous if not outright toxic. While some people do report some minor effect from certain herbal formulations (such as gynecomastia or a small amount of fat redistribution) the majority of transgender people who've tried them will tell you that herbals are ineffective and a waste of money if your goal is to fully feminize your body. Only prescription-grade hormones will provide adequate feminization results (some of which are bio-identical to what your body produces - i.e., "natural") .


    Disclaimer: I am not a medical nor naturopathic doctor. This is all based on months of research I did myself trying to find out if herbal supplements might help my own hormone imbalance. I provide it here for informational purposes only.

    PHYTOESTROGENS

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) - The hormonal activity of alfalfa was first observed in Veterinary Medicine. Animals observed grazing on alfalfa developed traits similar to animals treated with synthetic estrogens. Alfalfa contains three major plant estrogens: coumestrol, genistein, and formonetin (as well as the lesser diadzein and biochanin A). Coumestrol is the most active with a relative activity of 5% that of a natural estradiol estrogen. Genistein's activity is about 1%, and formonetin is .01% or less. The amount of "active" phytoestrogens varies with the growing season. It is highest during the full blooming and seeding stages. Also, keep in mind that these are the active percentages for EXTRACTED phytoestrogens as compared to an equal amount of true estrogen - the amounts consumed in plant form will vary widely and will likely be in much smaller concentrations. From the Journal of Naturapathic Medicine, Volume 1, Number 1:

    The practical importance of the phytoestrogens lies with their ability to alter the biological response to endogenous estrogen. Estradiol receptors will bind to a diverse group of chemical compounds, including other steroids, isoflavones and phytoestrogens. When phytoestrogens bind to estrogen receptors on cells, they translocate to the nucleus and stimulate cell growth in a manner similar to estradiol. Despite the apparently weak relative binding capacity of the phytoestrogens, they can have significant hormonal effects. This is due to their lower affinity for the serum estrogen binding proteins, this resulting in a net effect of enhancing the concentration of available phytoestrogen at the target tissue sites.

    The relative weakness of their estrogenic action means that these compounds will have an "alterative" or "balancing" effect. Thus, phytoestrogens may be used therapeutically in both hypoestrogenism and hyperestrogenism states. It is precisely this quality that makes them so useful therapeutically, especially in a naturopathic setting.

    In conditions of hypoestrogenism [lack of estrogen] the plant estrogens will bind directly to estrogen receptors and provide a mild estrogenic effect. This is enhanced by the tendency of the phytoestrogens to concentrate in reproductive tissues, in preference to the serum proteins.

    . . . .When we use these plants medicinally as an alternative to synthetic drugs, it is essential to remember that we are utilizing the specific plant components in order to produce pharmacological actions. Thus, we would be well advised to utilize the most concentrated sources available. In the case of Medicago the preferred forms are solid extracts, fluid extracts and concentrated tinctures. Teas and tablets may not deliver enough active ingredient to be effective.

    It should also be noted that alfalfa contains a seperate and distinct "anti-estrogen" compound that is reported to be about 12% as strong as the phytoestrogens, so there is some "attrition" of effectiveness when this compound is also present (the compound is apparently chloroform-soluable, but I don't know if that means it can be eliminated).

    Sage, Soy, Red Cover, Black Cohosh - large amounts of phytoestrogenic compounds.

    Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa or Cimicifugae racemosae rhizoma), also known as "Snakeroot" can be toxic in large doses. The best info I could find was not to take more than about 2000mg/day of the ground root. If you get nausea, you're taking to much and should cut back your dosage. It is one of only a couple plant steroids known to have a direct hormonal effect within the human body (source).

    Red Clover contains high levels of isoflavone compounds such as Genistein, which have estrogenic properties.

    Sage and Soy also have phytoestrogenic isoflavonoids in them, but not to the extent of Black Cohosh or Red Clover.

    Vitex (Chaste Tree/Berry) - has no phytoestrogenic or other direct hormone effect. Stimulates LH (Leutenizing Hormone) production, which can in turn increase levels of progesterone secreted by the endocrine system. However, a component of Black Cohosh also has a LH suppressing action, so if these two are taken together they can end up working against one another.

    Don Quai - clinical tests performed by Kaiser Permanente showed it has NO estrogenic or phytoestrogenic effects. Another component acts as a muscle relaxant, which explains why it helps ease PMS cramps for women. As a component of HRT, however, it was no more effective than the placebo.

    Licorice - also has lots of phytoestrogenic compounds but side effects and long term toxicity preclude it's value as a Hormone Replacer. In fact, it is one of the very few plants that has a direct hormonal action in the human body (source). It's generally used short-term as a treatment for Asthma or other bronchial problems in that it acts as an expectorant. It also can cause high blood pressure if used for extended periods.

    .

    DIOSGENIN EXPLAINED

    There appears to be some debate over the value of "Diosgenin" as a hormone in plants like Mexican Wild Yam, Fenugreek, Agave, Soy, and Yucca. The herbal supplement industry is walking a very thin line of legality in their labeling practices and has contributed to much of the confusion surrounding this "herbal hormone." The herbal supplement industry also likes to use the terms "disogenin," "hormone precursor," and "phytoestrogen" interchangably.

    Here is the scientific fact: The human body does not have the enzymes necessary to synthesize Diosgenin into Progesterone or any other hormone.

    Diosgenin is not really a hormone anyway. It is what is called a "Saponin." Saponins mimic hormones because they have molecular structures that are similar to natural hormones.

    Natural plant steroids are formed by the polymerization of 5-carbon isoprene subunits into tetracyclic triterpenoid compounds during complex metabolic pathways inside plant cells. All steroids have the same fundamental structure of four (tetracyclic) carbon rings called the steroid backbone or steroid nucleus. The addition of different chemical groups at different places on this backbone leads to the formation of many different steroidal compounds, including the sex hormones progesterone and testosterone, the anti-inflammatory steroid cortisone, and the cardiac steroids digoxin and digitoxin. (source)

    As you can see from the three images below, the "Steroid Backbone" for hormones is the same whether it is a male or female hormone. What is different is what is molecularly bound to that backbone - which determines the molocule's chemical interactivity inside the body:







    Unfortunately, just having the "back bone" molocule isn't sufficient. It HAS to have the other carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms hanging off of it in the right places. Complicating matters is that this useful "backbone" molucule is already "bound" in the plant cell as "diosgenin." It is essentially non-reactive and not bio-available for use by the human body.

    BEFORE it can be used by the human body it must be pre-processed. As mentioned previously, the human body does not have the chemical mechanisms (enzymes) to break the complex diosgenin molocule apart, nor to reassemble the pieces into a useful hormone. This MUST be done outside the human body.

    If you were hoping there was some easy procedure to pre-process diosgenin containing plants and produce your own supply of progesterone (or other hormones), you're outta luck.

    The process was developed in the 1940s by Dr. Russell Marker, which is why it is called "Marker Degredation." Using a multi-step process involving specific enzymes and recombinant agents he was able to extract the diosgenin molucules, break the down with enzymes and other chemicals, and with other enzymes and chemicals get the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms to bond to the steroid backbone and produce pure, pharmaceutical-grade progesterone. Because it came from plant materials and is molecularly identical to what the human body produces, it is called "Natural Progesterone" even though it is synthesized from plant material in a laboratory. (source)

    In Dr. Marker's early trials the process took over 30 steps, which made synthesis from plant saponins economically unviable. Eventually he wittled it down to about 6 steps, which made it less expensive than other methods of hormone synthesis or harvesting. Although I've found numerous references to the history of this process and Dr. Marker's problems finding someone to fund his research, I have not been able to locate any source online that details WHAT enzymes and chemicals are used, or what constitutes the 6 steps of the synthesis process. I'm not looking for that information for the purpose of making my own - I'm no chemist or biologist and to attempt to make pharmaceuticals yourself is stupid and dangerous - I'm just curious about the process and materials involved, as I'm sure you are too if you're bothering to read this stuff. Cortisol is also extracted from diosgenin, but through a different process involving stigmasterol and bacterial culturing. It is also worthy to note that one researcher found that no company producing pharmaceutical-grade progesterone has used Yams or the "Marker Degradation" method in about 20 years (source). This being due to other methods of production and laboratory synthesis, usually using an inexpensive Soy-oil "starter" and stigmasterol.

    This isn't to say that there is NO effect in using diosgenin containing plant extracts. Anytime you put something into your body, your body is going to attempt to break it down and process it. One also has to remember that if the plant materials have been pre-processed in any manner, it is likely that some of the long-chain molucules have been broken up in the mashing, chopping, or other processes likely to "degrade" molecular bonds. It is possible that a limited (an EXTREMELY LIMITED) amount of diosgenin is accidently broken down to the "Steroid Backbone" or some other form that will mimic the actions of a real hormone or will bond to hormone receptors - which may just have the effect of occupying the "seat" or it may have the desired biochemical effect. But this is a complete "crap shoot" as to how much diosgenin is broken down into something useful and exactly what form it takes. I bring up the possibility only because there have been some studies of women using plant-derived topical ointments in large concentrations who HAVE shown a progesterone-like effect, but nothing comparable to the use of pharmaceutical-grade progesterone.

    Some of the topical creams DO contain low concentrations of pharmaceutical-grade progesterone, however. I recently found out that in the United States these concentrations are limited to less than 3% if the product is to be non-prescription and sold as a "cosmetic" and that the inclusion of any concentration of pharmacuetical-grade progesterone in a cream was banned by Canadian law. The preferred method of delivery for progesterone is as a topical ointment. This allows the hormone to enter the bloodstream and be both circulated and bioavailable to receptors in body tissues. Oral consumption is the least effective, as progesterone is destroyed by acids in the stomach and whatever isn't destroyed is passed to the liver where, if you're lucky, up to 5% will be absorbed into the bloodstream. Sublingual (under the tongue) is much more effective at about 90% absorbtion, but are ruputedly hard to find. Injectibles are considered 100%, but most people don't like the injections. Transdermal delivery (by skin patch or creams) is more than 90% efficient - depending upon the method of delivery and the transfer agent (source).

    To summarize:

    Diosgenin is compound with a steroidal structure similar to natural hormones
    The human body cannot process diosgenin into any other substance
    Diosgenin must be pre-processed into hormones in a laboratory and you can't do it at home in your kitchen.
    Many diosgenin-containing plants have other, non-hormonal, benefits.
    Orally consumed progesterone is mostly destroyed by digestion.
    Progesterone IS available in some products at low, non-prescription (but often ineffective) dosages.
    Progesterone is best introduced to the body Transdermally, Sublingually, or by Injection.


    Cristine
    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      April 21, 2010 9:15 AM BST
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  • In view of our Mission Statement is there anything to prevent any member opening a new thread and calling it "Herbal Remedies" which would be quite separate from the Hormone thread ? I am on HRT. but sometimes log on to the Phoenix site
    <p>ooxxoo</p>
      April 21, 2010 5:19 AM BST
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  • This is a link to substantiating the claims for herbals negating any side effects, notice the repeated use of disclaimers and who is sponsoring the forum?????????????????

    http://www.myevanesce.com[...]tid=691

    I am presently searching my files for a piece I noted a couple of ears ago, research done at Ontario University, A very comprehensive report negating a lot of the claims, another done by A University in Melbourne Australia and another shorter piece done in The Gene clinic at Cambridge Adenbrooks in the UK, all baisically saying you can't beat the real thing.

    Notice herbal remedies, magic pills advertisments have a disclaimer, why?, as none of them actually list any detrimental effects.

    Basically you pays your money and taker your chances.

    http://transwoman.tripod.[...]nes.htm

    http://www.healthwatcher.[...]ywatch/


    FDA Issues Warning Letters to Marketers of Unapproved 'Alternative Hormone Therapies'
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that the agency has taken action against a number of firms marketing unapproved "Alternative Hormone Therapies" because the products these firms are selling are unapproved new drugs that have not been found safe and effective to treat or prevent certain serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions. FDA issued Warning Letters to 16 dietary supplement and hormone cream marketers who are making unproven claims that tout the benefits of their "alternative hormone therapy" products in treating or preventing serious diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis, and in affecting the structure or function of the body. These alternative therapies are often promoted as "natural" or "safer" treatments that can be used in place of approved hormone treatments. Marketers have 15 days to respond to FDA.
    Items promoted for treatment or prevention of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis
    FTC Warns Web Sites Peddling Hormone Replacement Therapy Alternatives to Review Their Claims
    The Federal Trade Commission staff today sent warning letters to 34 Web site operators making claims that products advertised as natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy will prevent or treat diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, or osteoporosis. The warning letters advise these sellers that their marketing claims may be illegal. FTC staff strongly advised the marketers to review their advertising and promotional materials, and to revise or delete any false, misleading, or unsubstantiated product claims.


    Post the other links when I find them



    Cristine
    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      April 21, 2010 12:33 AM BST
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    1638 1‚ 0
    Thank you Marsha for that clarification, it was the first thought that occurred to me when I read the post in question. As a co-moderator of this forum I take a dim view of anyone who joins the site and immediately posts here in support of patented “herbal” products. It’s happened before, I’m sure many of us remember the problems we’ve had in the past from such people. It’s not that I’m judging any one individual, I just have issues with the surreptitious promotion of such products in open forums which are intended to discuss medically tested hormones.
    None of these people ever start by saying, “I sell these products…”
    21 years eh? I think we should redirect her to the last person who tried to promote their product here claiming that theirs had been used for centuries, then they can argue which is best between themselves.
    Bio-identical hormones cannot be patented because they are found in the human body. In comparison to all these magical herbs, they are extremely cheap, but they are completely natural in that they are supposed to be present in the body.
    Congratulations if you have developed a product that improves on nature itself, but you can’t sell it here, sorry. Future promotional attempts may well be deleted.
    Oestrogen feminises the body, you don’t need to look any further. If you’re born with a male body it’s already in your system, you just need more of it because your body doesn’t make enough. Expensive alternatives will NOT work any better.
    Oestrogen has been around a lot longer than 21 years.
    <p><span style="font-family: 'book antiqua', palatino; font-size: medium; color: #000080;">"Stop aspiring to be other people and start being you."</span></p> <p>Gok Wan</p>
      April 20, 2010 11:41 PM BST
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  • I would like to point out that Dainna is the person or screen name behind Evanesce, the Phoenix Project herbal product being discussed here. You will find that the sight shows Dianna, but she uses Dainna@myevanesce.com for her email. This is public information found by searching the name Dainna on Google.

    Dianna Cicotello who uses "Dainna" for her email addresses is a positive activist for the transgender community. In noway am I insinuating she is anything other than a good person. For that matter, the products discussed here may have some value. The problem lies in there is no published test data to prove the claims of this product. And more important than if the product works is what are the long term effects and side effects. Too much of anything can be bad for you, without a documented guide to proper dosage, there is an untold risk that may exist.

    Hugs,
    Marsha
      April 20, 2010 9:29 PM BST
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  • I'm not sure that was exactly what I was implying Dainna. Being in business for 21 years has nothing to do with the effectiveness of a product. We see it time and time again here that gals only interested in growing breasts will purchase ANYTHING that promises to achieve that. That does not change it from being snake oil. If that product was so good, then why in 21 years have they not been able to publish any documentation of factual studies. Testimony is B.S. because I can go to that site never using the stuff and write whatever I please. And if it was so good, why then is it not widely recommended by physicians. Don't give me because they don't know about it because as you say they have had 21 years to prove their case. And something so specialized as treating transsexuals has little monetary value for doctors to prescribe a particular medication as to receive kickbacks.

    SHOW ME THE DOCUMENTATION!

    Hugs,
    Marsha
      April 20, 2010 4:14 PM BST
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  • Marsha Ann writes:
    " Maybe the Phoenix Project has its pluses and with time will be able to prove their products to the medical and transgender communities."

    The Phoenix Project is now in its 21st year (twenty-first year) of making their products available to transgender people around the world.
    Since late 1989....

    I would have to believe that if their products did not work, or were somehow dangerous,
    the company would have been out of business a VERY long time ago.

    There are doctors who buy for, and who recommend the products to their transgender clients,
    and there are some doctors who even use the products themselves.

    Ttransgender/transsexual people who would actually read through the various Message Boards on the Phoenix Project web site,
    will clearly and easily see that the site fully promotes whole body health and life success, full social and family transition and personal health ideals.
    not just breast growth.




      April 20, 2010 3:57 PM BST
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  • Hi Marsha Ann, my mention of your Christianity ("There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28" ) was in the context of having a healthy personal attitide towards feminization.

    Since January 3rd my spouse speaks with me as a female,...and our communication level has grew to levels I've never known. I went from wanting to be a girl, to being a girl,...and wondered if that psychology has helped my feminization. I don't smoke, and only drink (margarittas) occassionally,...however, with two beautiful growing teats (and visible clevage) I feel as being empowered to embrace all sorts of challenges.

    As for herbs, I'm so glad they are working for me. I didn't want to get into a Natural vs Pharmaceutical debate. I've never taken hormones, but have heard and read things about them that don't resonate with me. It was only in January that I heard of Feminizing herbs (while looking breast forms),...and after a month of researching I felt like trying them.

    I joined this forum primarilly for information about the medical aspects of my decission. Well, to be honest, it really wasn't a decission as in I could or not,...I am a female, who has lived as a male for too long,...who has never been fully happy for too long. I just can't pretend to be only a guy any more,...it's a lie.

    Any way, I'm certain I'll stay on the Phoenix Project products for awhile. Perhaps my feminization and T levels will reach a point where small amounts of actual hormones will be a good stategy for me. I have read that these herbs with atrophy the testes about 30%, thus reducing the T machines production. A future orchidectomy is surely on the table,...probably in Panama. Until then, allopathy is definitely not my cup of tea.

    Janelle
    There is no Present in Time...Janelle
      March 11, 2010 2:45 AM GMT
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  • Moderator
    1638 1‚ 0
    If you believe that hypnotism, magic pills, or prayer will give you satisfactory feminisation then, well, god help you.
    Once again, estrogen causes feminisation. It’s a lot cheaper than any alternative and at least as safe. There is no “better”.
    It works for me.
    xx
    <p><span style="font-family: 'book antiqua', palatino; font-size: medium; color: #000080;">"Stop aspiring to be other people and start being you."</span></p> <p>Gok Wan</p>
      March 10, 2010 11:05 PM GMT
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  • Janelle, my last reply didn't address that last part you brought up about my Christian beliefs and that "attitude (or prayer) has help many dis-eases to ease." Actually no I don't subscribe to that. I believe God gave us science and medicine to take care of our needs. That is my argument to the fundamental churches such as Savannah Christian Church that I battled with last year. God gave us science and medicine, therefore you cannot ignore the things we learn through science to cure diseases or show this as a biological condition. Bottom line is Jesus invited all to his table.

    I have no experience with the hypnotism stuff in relationship to bringing out your girl side. The first time I tried to quit smoking I did use hypnosis and I quit for a few years before the stress of transition led me back. It is not good to smoke and be on hrt and I can only assume the same would or should apply to herbals as well. I again stopped smoking and remain a nonsmoker to this day.

    Hugs,
    Marsha

      March 10, 2010 10:45 PM GMT
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  • To start with I have nothing to do with the medical industry however I do work with chemicals so I am very familiar with the testing. I don't have any issues with what you are saying but we have to be cautious that we don't get into all pharmaceuticals are unhealthy and all herbals are good for you.

    Documentation is indispensable for any chemical. Whether or not you want to believe herbals are chemicals, it is the natural chemicals that make up the herb and cause the effect you are after. Nature does not only produce safe chemicals, take arsenic for one example. Even oxygen can be dangerous in the its purest form.

    I hope you stay at TW for sometime to come and keep us updated on your progress. But along with that I hope you take care of your health and have it monitored as need be so no problems arise from this or anything else.

    Hugs,
    Marsha
      March 10, 2010 6:28 PM GMT
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  • Marsha Ann, your modification notice of my post was presented as a true Allopath. Perhaps I can say I take the maximum suggested doses. Interestingly, I also had three starts of my herbal feminization. After the first 4 1/2 days I stopped for 5 days, and then after the second start (3 1/2 days) I stopped for 4 days,...been continuous ever since.

    The two short beginning breaks were dramatic,...urges for erections were markedly increased, and my irritability went way up. I have no idea why Evanesce ES T blockers work, but for me they do, and quickly.

    I understand the allopaths view of results, and a zillion years of perfect duplication needed before something can be printed in their text books. However, my education background is in the Arts, so my veiwpoint is a little different,...such as I wonder if my Italian physiology is perhaps more in resonance with the Evanesce ES T blockers,...or perhaps because in body, mind, and spirit I see myself as female.

    I see my legs, arms, hands, feet, my male body as female. In the past several weeks that "seeing" has only gotten more embedded in my psyche,...somehow my brain has rewired to see myself as fully female. Even though I have more body hair then most, I see myself as female.

    Most of my life I fantasied about having different physical female attributes,...but this is different. This isn't autogynephilia that goes away for awhile after an orgasm. I see myself as a girl 24/7. Thus I feel there is a psychological/emotional aspect of feminization.

    As an apparent Christian, Marsha Ann must somewhat agree that attitude (or prayer) has help many dis-eases to ease. I heard of an experience called Hypno-feminization,...and although I haven't tried it, suggest that anyone feminizing should do all they can to let the full Girl-Within out, to allow the feminization to flow without male (patrifocal) mental blocks.

    Janelle


    There is no Present in Time...Janelle
      March 10, 2010 6:02 PM GMT
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  • I would like to point out I modified Janelle's posting by taking out the dosage information she had included. Just as with prescription hormones, TW is not in the business of prescribing or even recommending which hormones or herbals should be taken. That information should be left up to qualified medical personnel.

    However, experiences using various products is most welcome. Everyone needs to understand that as with any medication, results may vary and many of the changes occur over a rather lengthy period of time. Therefore a few weeks may not be indicative of long term results.

    Hugs,
    Marsha
      March 10, 2010 12:29 PM GMT
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  • Hi Tracy,
    Lots of opinions here,...few with any direct experience.

    Here's what I know:

    By week 4 (taking Evanesce and Feminol daily, plus Red Clover) I had significant enlargement of the mammary fat pad,...swelled to a measurement of 3" difference between bust and under bust or band. This first phase of mammogenesis became visably noticable at week 3. I very noticably found my arm or hand brushing against my bust/nipple every time I raised it.

    By week 3 my areola diameter had increased 1/4", consistant with Tanner stage 2:
    "There is an elevation of the breast and nipple as a small mound and the areola diameter may begin to enlarge. Milk ducts inside the breast begin to grow. "

    My breast measurement called the hemi-circumference (that is, a measurement along the contour of the breast, across your nipple, top to bottom, from where your breast projects away from your chest,...measured in a sitting position) was 13 cm after 4 weeks on E-ES/F. I don't have a pre-feminizing measurement to compare with. I began with 463T and 194E. I'll do a followup at 3 months

    It's an incredible feeling spooning my spouse,...my mammary pads against her back. I can't seem to keep hands off them during the day,...they are the most beautiful things I've ever touched.

    Some softening of the skin, nipples erotically sensitive, a calmer disposition, less morning or during the day erections,...no shrinkage yet. I observed a significant difference with the penis within the first 24 hours on Phoenix Project herbs,...including a very pleasant, tingly sensation in the glan.

    No breast buds yet, however I expect them in less than the average time of pharmacuetical feminization. I say this because of the fortunate genetically predisposition of copious amounts of fat cells in my family,..mother and sisters are DD's

    So, for me, feminizing herbs have better results than what I read about the allopathic path.

    Janelle
    There is no Present in Time...Janelle
      March 10, 2010 8:33 AM GMT
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  • Hugs Traci, it has been so tough debating this knowing you were on the otherside. I honestly understand that not everyone has access to knowledgeable doctors for various reasons and therefore look for alternatives whether overseas pharmacies or non prescription herbals. Others have found for medical reasons that their bodies will not tolerate prescription HRT meds. My deepest concern is for the health and success of all gals. Maybe the Phoenix Project has its pluses and with time will be able to prove their products to the medical and transgender communities. If anything, I hope this debate caused those following it to want to know more and for them to dig deeper to understand as much as they possibly can about feminization products. Both the good and bad need to be understood. You offered up some very valid points which we can all learn from. No matter how you choose to proceed, I wish you the very best always.
    Hugs,
    Marsha
      October 31, 2009 8:14 PM GMT
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  • Marsha...it's all good...glad to see your feedback...at worst, we educate others (and myself) about all of the options out there and lure to a "quick fix"...please don't take my posts as gospel or even think there is a hint of anger or otherwise. I truly value my relationship with you and many other girls in here, especially for remaining active in the site when it would be so easy to say "I'm there, done it, move on"...so if you could see me right now, aside from what I'm wearing, you'd notice a tiny tear emerging from my duct as I am moved by your continued support, concern, and friendship! (smile)
    Thnx for taking the time to review and comment in here...you have no idea how it impacts girls who need that kind of connection.
    Fondly,
    Traci xxx
    <p>Traci</p>
      October 31, 2009 7:35 PM GMT
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  • Traci, that is a mouthful to respond to but I will try to in a brief way. First off I have never called the Phoenix Project quackery and they may have the best of intentions for what they do. However, if they believe their product is as good as they claim and they want to be the Lexus of herbal treatments, then at a minimum they could get USP certification.

    As for spironolactone, I used that only as an example because most TS gals are familiar of it and what it is used for. I do not use spiro myself. What you fail to realize is pharmaceutical drugs taken for feminization are taken for the side effects of the drug. NO PRODUCT ON THE PLANET WAS DESIGNED TO CHANGE TS MALES INTO FEMALES.

    Last is this nonsense
    Our formulations are near drug potency, created in the way many drugs are created.

    followed by
    And because there are no drugs in our formulations, there are no concerns about drug interactions, with only a very few exceptions for major drugs.


    They are drugs, they are designed to modify body chemistry. And to say they don't have side effects or drug interactions is ridiculous when they don't even have the products tested to standards and have no way of knowing all the possibilities. Right there in the forums are stories of gals having problems.

    And one more thing, I think it was obvious I along with others clearly stated medical supervision and tests should be done..

    Hugs,
    Marsha
      October 31, 2009 6:25 PM GMT
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  • OK...received a reply to a request to respond to some of the comments made...I'm only the messenger here...believe whatever you want...but it is interesting regardless...

    From the principal of the Phoenix Project:

    "quiet in the community"
    I personally have been very active in the TG/TS communities, and in the GLBT communities constantly for almost 30 years. I have personally counseled many thousands of TG/TS people through that period, and I worked with many other community leaders to establish the groundings for the various civil rights laws, and corporate laws which increasingly protect TG/TS people today.

    Money for these efforts comes from sales -- I personally profit very little from the Evanesce sales.
    (I do not own a car made in this century, for example)

    This past week, for example, I have been traveling, teaching and counseling
    TG/TS people at a conference in Massachusetts.

    I do not run a huge slick marketing campaign for our products -- I have chosen to focus on providing the very best products, and giving the best service to people who really care about their health and their successful, minimal loss, transition journey.

    comments:
    >> I also question why someone who believes strongly enough that they need to go on HRT, would choose such unproven chemicals to put in their bodies. If you can find a doctor who treats transsexuals and recommends to his/her patients that they take herbals, then I might change my opinion. Let me qualify that with a doctor that doesn't make money selling herbals.

    And my response would be to question why people would choose to use dangerous chemicals and drugs,
    most of which these days come from overseas pharmacies with no doctor oversight or checkups....

    For example, the community has spent more than a decade convincing each other, and doctors,
    that Spironolactone is a testosterone blocker.
    It is not, and it was never intended to be, that.

    Spironolactone is a potassium-sparing diuretic; i.e., a drug created to strip water from the human body and to leave potassium behind.

    No one -- NO ONE -- is telling the people in this community that when taking Spironolactone, it is necessary to drink 3-4 liters of water daily to make up for the drug striping water from the body.
    The result is that MANY of our girls suffer from dehydration symptoms -- muscle cramps, flaking skin, brittle nails, headaches, etc etc, with no knowledge of why...

    Spironolactone has what the medical community considers a negative side effect in 10% of the males who use it, of reducing testosterone.

    Please go to http://www.drugs.com/spironolactone
    Read past the several Google Ads sections, to the bottom of that web page.
    Don't just take my word for what Spironolactone does, see what the company which makes it, says.

    And then re-look at what the people in this community are telling each other, every day.
    How many of our sisters have died from dehydration, or done serious body damage to themselves,
    using a drug no one knows they are using?
    One of the other TG web sites I read, had a post about a person taking potassium supplements, for some health condition, and then taking Spironolactone on the sly, for her own purposes.
    Potassium overload is usually fatal.

    Where are the warnings on the drug hormone web sites?
    they are not anywhere.

    Comments about herbals being dangerous are just ignorant. (uneducated)
    Yes -- some herbs are dangerous. But those are not ever used for feminization.


    Most people who state that "herbs don't work", have done less than three months of over the counter herbs,
    and generally have used Estroven, (which does not have enough estrogen to feminize), and Saw Palmetto,
    which in a male body is a precursor for additional testosterone;
    and those people believe that Dong Quai and Black Cohosh somehow *are* estrogen.
    All lies, and yes -- these kinds of "using herbs to feminize" do not, will not, cannot, work.

    "Over the counter herbs" cannot, except in rare cases, feminize a male body.

    Evanesce and Feminol, etc., are FAR removed from being "OTC herbs"
    Our products are based on bio-molecular usage of the active ingredients of various herbs, in ratios known to make each ingredient more powerful than any of them could be on their own....
    and our products include ingredients known for centuries to block testosterone formation.
    These ingredients are used as Standardized and concentrated extracts;
    a person would need to consume hands-full, and bottles-full of OTC herbs daily to get the same overall potency that a few of our capsules provide.

    And because there are no drugs in our formulations, there are no concerns about drug interactions, with only a very few exceptions for major drugs.

    Our formulations are near drug potency, created in the way many drugs are created.

    A significant percentage of born women fear the health safety of the various drug hormones.
    Strange that the TG/TS community, in its rush to achieve the "C" cup, do not seem to care,
    about personal health and safety.

    I hope that the people pushing a drug hormone solution for feminization are also telling their readers to get frequent doctor checkups of kidney and liver function. Drug hormones can destroy those organs.
    I hope, but I know that they are not telling....
    Sad.

    By the way -- many of our ingredients are difficult to manufacture;
    working with molecular extracts of herbs is difficult.

    I choose to make the best possible products,
    backed by research and knowledge of some of THE greatest herbal experts on the planet,
    and yes that means comparatively expensive,
    products which work in total safety, rather that just shove crushed herbs at people.
    By analogy, I sell Lexus, Mercedes, Ferrari, and BMW. I choose to not sell Kia.

    I hope that this helps you to understand!"

    So there you have it... Traci xxxx
    <p>Traci</p>
      October 31, 2009 3:06 PM GMT
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  • There is a reason that Lucy and Marsha are moderators of the HORMONE CITY forum. They were carefully chosen for their knowledge and reliability in the interest of discouraging TW members from taking a poor or dangerous path to hormone therapy. They speak their minds strongly. That is their job. It was a relief to me when they accepted the position. I could stop worrying about what was posted here.

    I am also glad you started this post, Traci. It is always good to have a thread that educates. When someone makes a claim, it is always good to ask: "Who benefits from this?" and be cautious about believing what they say. Often Googling a product, person or company name will show up quickly if they are not what they claim. Many people who expose things on the Internet are good at getting their links up near the front in listings of a search. Some may be false, but you will see many negative links if there is a problem. Some companies/products even have their own "AcmeAnvilsSucks.com"-type counter-sites (webmaster: Wiley Coyote)....like PayPal and other well known companies. There you can read counter-arguments.

    Lucy and Marsha are not the "Hormone Police." Think of them more as the Hormone Crossing-Guards. Nice ladies who try to keep girls from getting run over.
    "A live lived in fear is a life half-lived." - Native American proverb. "Inside every man is a woman who was drowned in testosterone before birth". - Wendy Jeanette Larsen "It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you're not." - Andre Gide (French writer)
      October 31, 2009 8:15 AM GMT
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  • I cannot speak about the effects of estrogens on the body, as I have not seriously tried them. I did play with some of the herbals several years ago but it was like eating grass and just as effective – plus I could only stomach them for a few months.

    However, I can speak of the effects of testosterone blockers. Two years ago, I had a medical condition (low potassium) that required me to take spironolactone for a period for about 3 months. In that time, I noticed a definite tenderness in my breasts, a little puffiness, and a knot that formed under my breasts (all of which I thought was pretty neat). I was not taking estrogens of any sort, so all the changes were just from blocking the big T, and the changes happened quickly.

    My condition was corrected by surgery and I had to stop taking the spironolactone and let me tell you it was a let down. Like an idiot I started taking what was left of my prescription in an attempt to get the changes to start up again (without telling my doctor) – but it made my potassium levels spike to ridiculous levels which my doctor caught right away. Anyway I stopped taking them, but they were powerful.

    Jeri
    Jeri Elaine “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” - Irina Dunn, 1970 Indecision is the key to flexibility. - unknown
      October 31, 2009 12:23 AM GMT
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