Breast health is about more than just check-ups. Image via Adobe Stock

Alternative care: How to maintain breast health holistically

Nature’s Pharmacy: Qualified homeopath Hanli Rautenbach gives advice on the importance of taking care of your breasts.


Breast health is about more than just check-ups. Image via Adobe Stock

When talking about breast health, strong emotional responses follow. Opinions are linked to what happened to mothers, aunts and daughters.

This article is not intended to challenge or replace breast cancer protocols. In fact, it does not even refer to breast cancer, but rather to breast wellness — to acknowledge the role of breasts and to find ways of keeping them healthy.

Breast wellness

In her book, The Wisdom of Menopause, Dr Christiane Northrup explains women’s wellness and its link to emotional wellness, spiritual growth, self-care and self-love.

This renowned gynaecologist has written several books around women’s health, using research studies, and a lifetime in medical practice, and has presented her findings with the total wellness of the person in mind.

She explains that the hormone prolactin that is produced after giving birth and that keeps nursing mothers’ breasts full of milk, also enhances the bonding process between mom and baby.

Women are nurturers, but that doesn’t mean our needs should be ignored. Image via Adobe Stock

Prolactin has also been found in men and women involved in pleasurable, mutually-beneficial relationships. Also, the tingling that nursing mothers feel when the let-down reflex is activated when hearing their baby cry, can be also be associated with the emotions of love and compassion that cause a tingling in the body.

Often due to social expectations, women are nurturers to their own detriment — and in this way, breast health can be impacted upon negatively.

Holistic health

To know this — to know that the breasts are the part of the anatomy most associated with nurturing — could give a woman the heads up when it comes to investing in nurturing relationships (of which self-nurturing is also a part).

It is essential to be honest with yourself about your emotions. And to allow yourself to feel them. Your immune system is impacted positively if you feel that you are able to honestly communicate and that there is help available. This can also be in the form of supportive friends or support groups.

Louise Hay writes in You Can Heal Your Life, that breast cysts and tenderness can be linked to over-mothering or overprotective, overbearing attitudes. Again, an interesting perspective in a life that has a fast pace, where bullying is common and working mothers attempt to get their children through life in one piece.

Creating a conscious life

How do you reinvent social systems? You don’t. It is within your power to create a consciousness, a personal life plan, creative outlets and support systems. Does this mean if you get sick it was your fault? Or the fault of your relationships? Of course not.

We know that hormonal changes affect breast health, but so do alcohol and lack of exercise. There have been links made between breast cancer and IGF-1 (an insulin-like growth factor that affects growth of breast cells).

High IGF-1 levels are due to too-high insulin levels, which can be linked to a diet high in refined carbohydrates. So, in reducing fast food and a high-sugar dietary intake, and by crowding out the bad with the good — by eating lots of plant-based fibre, fruit, vegetables, seeds and sprouts — you are already supporting breast health.

Healthy food can help with breast health. Image via Adobe Stock

Supplementally, you can support breast health by taking folic acid, coenzyme Q10, omega 3 (in the form of ground up flax seeds or a supplement high in DHA) and vitamin D3.

From a herbal perspective, wild yam (plant-based progesterone) may be protective. It is also always good to support the liver, as it helps to process oestrogen effectively, so dandelion root could be considered.

Homeopathically, supporting the liver could be done in over-the-counter products like Febro 2 (Natura), Liver 4ch (Pegasus) and Nux Vomica Homaccord (Heel). Where there is lymph congestion Lympha (Natura) and Lymphomyosot (Heel) can be considered.

In colour therapy, the colour green is associated with the heart and breasts and can be used to support breast wellness.

Essential oils like thyme, cinnamon, frankincense, chamomile and jasmine all have breast benefits. As always, use diluted and with caution. Always speak to your health care provider and make informed decisions.

Visit Hanli Rautenbach’s Facebook page here to suggest health-related topics.