In episode #124 Magdalena Wszelaki, a breast health expert and author, discusses solutions to breast pain and fibrocystic breasts. She explains the role of lymphatic drainage in relieving these conditions and offers helpful tips for improving breast health.
- Why healthy lymphatic drainage may be one of the most important things for breast health
- Practical steps to do breast massage to improve lymphatic drainage and decrease breast pain
- We discuss top herbs and nutrients to assist estrogen detoxification and liver health
Magdalena Wszelaki, founder of the popular Hormones Balance community and Wellena line of all-natural supplements and skin care products, knows firsthand what it means to overcome estrogen dominance. In addition to being a celebrated author, Magdalena is an entrepreneur, holistic nutrition coach, chef, certified herbalist, and speaker serving tens of thousands of women who struggle with issues related to hormone balance.
Developing hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s, adrenal fatigue, and Estrogen Dominance propelled her to leave a high-pressure advertising career and develop a new way of eating – and living – that would repair and keep her hormones working properly.
Now symptom-free, Magdalena shares her practical, proven knowledge so that other women may benefit. In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, she offers hope, more than 50 delicious recipes, hormone-balancing protocols, and a thorough analysis of how the food we eat and the lives we live are throwing our hormones out of balance.
Dr. Jill Carnahan is Your Functional Medicine Expert® dually board certified in Family Medicine for ten years and in Integrative Holistic Medicine since 2015. She is the Medical Director of Flatiron Functional Medicine, a widely sought-after practice with a broad range of clinical services including functional medical protocols, nutritional consultations, chiropractic therapy, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy. As a survivor of breast cancer, Crohn’s disease, and toxic mold illness she brings a unique perspective to treating patients in the midst of complex and chronic illness. Her clinic specializes in searching for the underlying triggers that contribute to illness through cutting-edge lab testing and tailoring the intervention to specific needs.
Featured in Shape Magazine, Parade, Forbes, MindBodyGreen, First for Women, Townsend Newsletter, and The Huffington Post as well as seen on NBC News and Health segments with Joan Lunden, Dr. Jill is a media must-have. Her YouTube channel and podcast features live interviews with the healthcare world’s most respected names.
A popular inspirational speaker and prolific writer, she shares her knowledge of hope, health, and healing live on stage and through newsletters, articles, books, and social media posts! People relate to Dr. Jill’s science-backed opinions delivered with authenticity, love and humor. She is known for inspiring her audience to thrive even in the midst of difficulties.
Dr. Jill 0:13
Hello and welcome to another episode of Dr. Jill Live. Today I have a friend and special guest in my own hometown, Magdalena. I'm going to tell you all about her today. And we're going to dive into fibrocystic breasts, breast pain, and any issues you might have with—as we discussed beforehand—your boobies for women. And for men who love the women in their lives, you may also want to be listening just because this is a very, very common problem as we have more estrogen dominance and chemicals in our environment. We'll dive into all of that today, so stay tuned. You're going to learn a lot.
Dr. Jill 0:44
Just a quick reminder: If you want to find other episodes, you can find them on the YouTube channel. You can find all blogs and information at jillcarnahan.com.
Dr. Jill 0:52
Today, let me start by introducing my guest, Magdalena, who's the founder of the popular Hormones Balance community and the new Wellena line of all-natural supplements and skin care products. I got some cool stuff from you recently that I'm super excited to try, and we'll talk about it today, Magdalena.
Dr. Jill 1:07
She knows firsthand what it means to overcome estrogen dominance. In addition to being a celebrated author, Magdalena is an entrepreneur, holistic nutrition coach, chef, a certified herbalist, and speaker, serving tens of thousands of women who struggle with issues related to hormone balance. Developing hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto's, adrenal fatigue, and estrogen dominance propelled her to leave her high-pressure advertising career and develop a new way of eating and living that would repair and keep her hormones working properly. Now symptom-free, she can share her practical, proven knowledge so that other women may benefit from it. In her book, Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, she offers hope, more than 50 delicious recipes, and hormone-balancing protocols.
Dr. Jill 1:47
I am so excited to have you here, Magdalena! Welcome, welcome first of all. And this is so common in women. Before we dive into what women can do, those who are listening and maybe those of you who want to chat in the chat box, tell us your issues. But let's start with your story. I always love to see what drives you, and you clearly have been through a lot. Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you got here.
Magdalena Wszelaki 2:08
Yes. Estrogen dominance is something that definitely has been plaguing me as far as I remember from terrible periods of being 14-15 years old and then realizing later that it's actually a family trait. We have women on both sides of my family passing away from estrogenic cancers. So estrogen dominance and being able to clear estrogen from our bodies is definitely a family challenge. I remember somehow that when I was in my late 20s, things were going really well in my life. I got a promotion, and then they told me that I was going to be moving into a corporate office in a regional office. So I used to live in Malaysia, which is like this Asian country, and then they moved me to Hong Kong. So I got this huge promotion and expatriate package. I was like 27 years old, super excited about it, and I felt very validated.
Magdalena Wszelaki 3:00
I still remember driving with my boyfriend, and I had my hand on my boob when I suddenly found this lump. I think a lot of women experience—I certainly experienced [it]—a lot of imposter syndrome. I remember thinking to myself: “Of course, it had to happen! I don't deserve it. There are just so many amazing things that have been happening for me, career-wise and monetary-wise. I've got this supportive boyfriend that I'm in love with, and of course, something had to not work.”
Magdalena Wszelaki 3:33
I'll never forget that moment—the terror of finding that lump. The aftermath of that is: “Is it cancer? How do I get it properly diagnosed?” And then I contacted my doctor, and they were pushing me towards a mammogram, and I was like: “Do I do a mammogram? Are there any other options?” And then there's the fear that you go through, right? So I remember the emotional baggage. I didn't choose a mammogram at that point. I think it was a sonogram that I got done. And the wait time for the appointment and all of that and the stress of that, I thought to myself, “If I can do something to never experience that again, how wonderful would that be!”
Magdalena Wszelaki 4:44
As I progressed in my career and left advertising over a decade ago and started doing what I'm doing now, I really redirected my entire calling toward estrogen dominance. One of the many symptoms of estrogen dominance in women—which, as you said, is so common—is [having] issues with the breasts. A few times after that in my life, I found a few other lumps. Every time, it was the same set of emotions, and I thought, “Since I do this as a career and it's my calling, I want to develop a product that will never have a woman worry about a breast lump again.” So that was the big thing. But fibrocystic breast issues are not just about finding a lump or cyst.
Magdalena Wszelaki 5:16
Since then, I started talking to women, and it's become so common that we don't even talk about it because we assume that it's normal that for two weeks out of a month the breasts are so sensitive that we don't do sports, we don't go for a run, we don't play tennis, or whatever it might be because it's so painful. Our formulator of the cream actually has such terrible breast pain that she can't even put on a bra. Women don't want to be intimate during this time. It's uncomfortable, but I also think it's so debilitating for women in many ways. So that was the original thinking.
Magdalena Wszelaki 5:56
The last thing I'll mention is that I just want to give a shout-out to a woman in North Carolina. I met her online through our community. Somebody said, “I had a breast massage done, and it was life-changing.” So I've learned from her. Her name is Gaye Walden. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She taught me how to do a lymphatic massage on the breast, which I'll be very happy to show you later today on how to do a massage on yourself. That was life-changing because whenever I have pain in my breasts like before my period, [which happens] very little these days… And I started using that with a lot of my colleagues, friends, and community [members]—learning how to massage the breasts—and that was a life changer too. So it was just like that fascination with like: “Oh, I thought I could just do [some] rebounding, and that's going to activate my lymphatic system.” But it turns out you can actually massage your breasts, and it's a lot more [of a] targeted way of reducing the pain.
Dr. Jill 6:49
Oh, Magdalena, I love your story, and I love most of all how you've taken it and really made it a life calling and a career that's much more than just random products that don't mean anything—this really matters. Like you said, every day I talk to patients who have breast pain and fibrocystic breasts, be it a cyst in the breast or fibroadenomas, which are all similarly related to too much estrogen or this [estrogen] dominance.
Dr. Jill 7:10
And a little bit about my own personal story; I don't always talk about it, but today it's relevant because, at 25, I found a lump in my breast. I had fibrocystic breasts before [I was] 25, and I had breast cancer. So [it's the] same thing as you; I'm very passionate about this topic. It's interesting because I know now, in hindsight, that the lymphatics were such a huge part of developing that cancer. I grew up on a farm with chemicals that were endocrine disruptors, which just means they act like hormones on our body even though they're chemicals and not hormonal.
Dr. Jill 7:37
Right now—you know as well as I do—we're swimming in toxic soup as women. So part of the problem is that our environmental toxic load is so high and so many of those chemicals mimic estrogen in our body that not only are we sometimes producing too much, we're [also] getting them externally. So thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for your passion; it means a lot to me as a 21-year survivor of breast cancer. So it's pretty exciting because, yes, I've been through it.
Dr. Jill 8:02
And just like you, I said: “Why did this happen? How can I prevent this?” Now, 20 years later, I'm not worried about getting cancer again because I've done all the things I need to do in order to protect [myself]. Probably the number one thing is related to estrogens. So let's go real basic first, then we'll get deeper for those who want more details. What are estrogen and progesterone? How do they work in the cycle? And why would someone have estrogen dominance, or how might it look?
Magdalena Wszelaki 8:25
Yes, so if you think about estrogen and progesterone, they're like two dancing partners. If you watch a dance competition, if the guy is overly dressed and too cocky and the woman is too timid, it looks very unbalanced, or vice versa. So estrogen and progesterone do this beautiful dance as well. For example, estrogen is the one that thickens the uterus, and progesterone comes in like a mower that just cuts the grass down and sheds it—that's why we get our periods. So they have this balancing role with each other. That's one way we can get estrogen dominance when the estrogen-progesterone ratio is off. Let's come back to this in just a second because for a lot of women after 45, their estrogen and progesterone start dropping, and they go: “Oh, I can't be estrogen dominant. My estrogen is so low. I have no estrogen.” That is a big misconception. So let's come back to this in a second.
Magdalena Wszelaki 9:21
The second way you can get estrogen dominance: How you metabolize estrogens is really important. When I say ‘metabolize,' think of a flowing river with a bank in the middle. This river is going through a bank, and the bank separates it into a clean stream and a dirty stream. That bank is your liver. You may also put your gut in there too, arguably. But the point is that metabolites help us to really differentiate [between] those clean and dirty estrogens. So first of all, let's not demonize estrogen. The name ‘estrogen dominant' is in some ways a gift and a curse because it puts the condition on the map, but on the other hand, it also creates a lot of fear around estrogen. If you did not have sufficient estrogen, our ladies here would not be listening to us today, be cohesive, have strong, healthy bones, somewhat healthy skin and brains, and all that good stuff.
Magdalena Wszelaki 10:17
The combination of how we break it down and the balance of estrogen and progesterone—that's really important. Can you have estrogen dominance even though you're going through perimenopause and menopause? Absolutely! And that's the reason why most women who develop breast cancer, for example, are women who are 45 and above—that's the highest demographic. Is our estrogen on the lower side by then? Yes, it is. But it's just how we break it down. However little it is, how we break it down is important. It can also be low—but guess what?—your proportion of estrogen to progesterone is off. So that's one of the symptoms that will manifest—it's going to be through your breasts, for sure.
Dr. Jill 10:56
Yes. That's probably [the] number one [thing], right? Other things that can be related, I know, are endometriosis and uterine fibroids. Any other thoughts on if someone's like, “Do I have this or not?” What would their symptoms look like with estrogen dominance?
Magdalena Wszelaki 11:09
Yes. Very difficult periods (PMS), PMDD—women who have super heavy periods. Women who don't have their periods—it can be due to that too. Where we store fat can be due to hormones. Women who have a lot of cellulite and fat around their thighs and buttocks have the typical pear shape. Where do I put on weight when I put on weight? It all goes down there. I don't have it on my belly. It's all in the pear. Varicose veins are an interesting [symptom]. Having issues with the gallbladder—interestingly, estrogen dominance can be contributing to the growth of gallstones. Losing your gallbladder can also contribute toward estrogen [dominance]. That's another mechanism going on there. Infertility—it's the 101 of estrogen dominance. Mood swings—that's a huge one for women struggling with that. If the estrogen dominance is due to low progesterone, things like sudden anxiety—women who've always felt confident and calm suddenly feel like they are all jittery and just unsure of themselves and very anxious. Also, sleeping problems [is another symptom]. Who here has hit 45, and you're just not sleeping the way you used to before? Those are symptoms of estrogen dominance. You tell me—who do you know that doesn't have it?
Dr. Jill 12:31
Yes. I was going to say it's so common. And again, it's not only because we're producing more, [but] our livers are overloaded, and then we have these external forces. [I'd like to bring up something] really quick before we go into the specifics on the breasts and all the stuff you have to share and talk about. Chemicals in our environment—there are so many things that mimic estrogen. Do you recommend any sort of detox, looking at bath and body products, cleaning products, or organic foods? What are a few key tips that you recommend because there is a lot of external exposure from these [inaudible] parabens and things?
Magdalena Wszelaki 12:59
Yes. We could do a whole podcast just on the 20 worst offenders, but let's just keep it super simple and practical: Just eat organic—it's really as simple as that—as much as you can on a budget. If you're on a budget, then look at the “clean ” and “dirty dozen” right on the EWG website and see which are the worst offenders.
Magdalena Wszelaki 13:21
When it comes to cleaning products, I think the easiest thing to do is just go to a food co-op or a health food store. The buyers there already do a lot of the filtering and work for you. [In that way], you don't have to crack your head on: “What is this ingredient? What does it mean?”
Magdalena Wszelaki 13:43
Plus, another thing is that there are a lot of online brands these days; unfortunately, many of them do a lot of greenwashing. But follow someone like yourself or join a community where you trust the practitioner and the recommendations of products they put forward, whether it's your deodorant, which is such a big part of what gets in here [pointing to the axilla]… You guys, this is your lymphatic system. We're going to talk about this today, but your lymphatic system is so rich here, and this is such a great absorption area. You're putting chemicals in it.
Magdalena Wszelaki 14:09
What about perfumes? Where are we, as women, told to spray perfumes? Right here, which is your thyroid, [is] very thin skin. You can put your progesterone there for the quickest absorption too. Where else? Right in here [pointing to the palmar wrist area]—again, quickest absorption point. Find brands of perfumes that are based on essential oils and such. It can be pretty straightforward if you know the source and trust that source.
Dr. Jill 14:35
I love that you made it so simple. I would say clean air, clean water, and clean food, which is what you're saying with ‘eat organic.' I love the simplicity. I remember after the breast cancer, when I was like, “Why did this happen at 25?” and I started to dive into it, the first thing I did was start to clean up my bath and body, my makeup, and my stuff. It was overwhelming at first because I did dive into the chemicals and stuff. But you don't have to do that. Like you said, you kept it really simple, and I love that. And literally, vinegar and water can do a lot. That's one of the safest ways to start cleaning. Lemon, vinegar, and water—those three ingredients can probably clean your whole house in general.
Dr. Jill 15:08
Okay, so let's dive into the breasts. Obviously, the breasts are an organ that produces a lot of estrogen. They're very estrogen-sensitive because there are a lot of cells. But why are the breasts so affected in women? And again, we can say fibrocystic breasts, but what does that actually mean to someone who maybe isn't sure if they have it or not?
Magdalena Wszelaki 15:23
Yes. So if you look at charts of the breasts, there are so many lymphatic nodes in the breast itself. It's so highly lymphocytic. We have so much blood flow and so many nerves—that's why breasts are so sensitive. I believe that breast health—the estrogen element is huge in that. We also have lymphatic stagnation that's happening. Think of the lymph nodes that are in the breasts, all around here [pointing to the axilla], [and] in your legs as your highway for the trash trucks to carry crap out of your body. [With] stagnation, for example, your fingers start swelling up. You can't take your rings off. That could be lymphatic stagnation. Women's legs start getting swollen. You can also start swelling up here too [pointing to the upper body]. It's the same thing.
Magdalena Wszelaki 16:17
Estrogen dominance, I believe, is lymphatic stagnation, and it's systemic inflammation in the body, whether it's because of stress, poor diets, or very poor sleep—[this] can be a huge contributor toward that. This is when the lymphatic system and the lymph nodes really respond in the breast in such a huge way. One of the ways that they become so swollen is because there is a lot of liquid that gets stuck in them, and you're just not getting that movement. I believe that using topicals can really be helpful in getting things moving in the breasts. I also like to address the underlying cause of it, which is to support the liver [so as] to address estrogen dominance and move the lymphatic system by using specific herbs, as well as lowering the inflammation in the body through both topical [and] internal [means].
Dr. Jill 17:15
I love that you're focusing on lymphatics, and next, we're going to actually talk about the breast exam. But I want to just emphasize that for those thinking medically, “What is this [that's] happening?” any chemical exposure, including our own hormones, needs to be detoxified by our liver like you said earlier.
Dr. Jill 17:29
We have this phase one where the first product goes in and gets metabolized to this intermediate, and then phase two takes it into a water-soluble molecule and eliminates it into the gallbladder with the bile, and then that can be excreted in the gut. Now we can also excrete products in the urine—debris, sweat; there are other ways. But the lymphatics and liver are so closely connected because the liver is like your car's filter—[it's the] filter of your blood. And the lymphatics are, like you said, those streams or those routes.
Dr. Jill 17:57
Looking back at my own history, at 25, [my] breast cancer [was] very aggressive, and my lymphatics basically weren't working at all. Had I known that 20 years ago, it could have made a really big difference. Especially for me, in conventional medicine, we don't talk a lot about lymphatics unless it's lymph node cancer. There's not a lot of emphasis, and it's so critical.
Dr. Jill 18:17
What I've seen in Lyme, mold, and all the complex chronic illnesses that I treat [is that] when they do poorly on their detox protocols, it's almost always the lymphatics that are impaired. So I have to really think like my naturopathic friends who use homeopathic drainage remedies—some of the massage, some of the rebounding. Why don't you talk a little bit about—I know you've gone into this—what are some things we can do to help the lymphatics? And then let's go specifically to the breasts.
Magdalena Wszelaki 18:44
Yes. My father right now is going through the final stages of his life, so his lymphatics aren't working. One of the things that we have learned from the help that he's getting is how to do a lymphatic massage. If you don't have a rebounder—you don't have space for it, you don't have the funds for it, or whatever—let me show you one of the easiest ways of doing that. Literally, you will see what I'm doing.
Magdalena Wszelaki 19:09
[standing on tippy toes and abruptly landing on heels of feet] I'm just standing up on my feet and just dropping like this, and then just doing that. [also wiggling arms and hands] Let me tell you, just by doing this, I feel so energized. It doesn't take much. You're standing in line before you pay for your organic groceries, and you just do that. That's a huge one. Another one a lot of people might have heard about is dry brushing.
Dr. Jill 19:37
I am a huge fan of that.
Magdalena Wszelaki 19:39
You are? Yes. My water heater is on one side of the house and my bathroom is on the other, so by the time the water gets there, there's like a good five minutes of wait time, so I use this time to do dry brushing as well. I have the brush right next to my bathroom. You do that toward your heart before you take a shower. It's so rejuvenating; it's so reviving. You feel so energized by that; it's pretty incredible.
Dr. Jill 20:05
I could not agree more. I just want to say for people watching who have never dry brushed, all you need is a natural bristle bath brush. It does not have to be anything fancy. It's $3 and really simple. Like you, I love to make things easy so that they're not hard; they're easy to do. I set it right by my shower—the same exact thing. So you almost can't not do it; you run into it. And as you mentioned, you're brushing toward your heart and limbs, so everything goes up toward your heart. And you can actually do your upper chest here. Any tips on the actual chest area? [Should it be a] downward motion toward the heart?
Magdalena Wszelaki 20:37
Oh, you mean here?
Dr. Jill 20:39
Magdalena Wszelaki 20:40
I just do it gently with a brush. But I would love to show you how. I also want to say that ever since we got our community to do dry brushing, women have been reporting that their cellulite, which would not go away in spite of exercise and dieting, has actually improved a lot. So it's that lymphatic stagnation. It's quite amazing. It's not just the swelling; it's the connection to cancer, like what you alluded to.
Dr. Jill 21:05
I love that you're saying that because you go on social media and you see all of these gimmicks and things that are like, “This is cellulite” and this and that. It frustrates me, like, “No, it's just lymphatics!” So I love that you're saying that.
Magdalena Wszelaki 21:16
I mean, rolling—the rolling techniques and stuff—I think that works too. I've had a number of people tell me that that works too. There are blocking techniques and all that. But anyway, just doing the brushing while you're doing everything else totally works. Should we do the breast massage thing?
Dr. Jill 21:32
Yes, let's do it.
Magdalena Wszelaki 21:36
By the way, it's on our website, and it also comes in a little brochure.
Dr. Jill 21:41
Say your website, and we'll be sure and link it. We'll say this a couple of times. What's your website?
Magdalena Wszelaki 21:46
It's on wellena.com. Look for a product called ‘Happy Sisters.' This is what we're going to be showing. What I'm going to show you, you can do this in the shower when you're all lathered up with nice soap—non-toxic soap; something like castile soap. Or you can do that with the cream afterward. So it's really up to you. You can do it first thing in the morning or at night just before going to bed. There is no hard-and-fast rule on that.
Magdalena Wszelaki 22:19
So here's the way to do a lymphatic massage. The first thing you want to do is lift up your arm. Think of it like this is your exit point; this is your exit sign. [pointing to the axilla] You want the junk to come out of this. You start off with the nipple and then you go down and then up. We start off with one point and then another, just systematically. As you can see here, I started from this point, went to this point, and now I'm up on this point here. You don't want to be pushing it down or sideways. You want to be pushing it out so that it exits this way. And I'm using the same way here.
Magdalena Wszelaki 23:00
Now, in terms of the pressure, you don't have to put a lot of pressure on it. Think of it this way: It's like you have these pipes here; if you had honey flowing through them, if you pressed too hard on them, it wouldn't flow. So it's just hard enough to get things going, but it doesn't have to be extremely hard. Plus, you really don't want to hurt yourself.
Magdalena Wszelaki 23:23
It's supposed to be pleasurable and self-nourishing in that way. That's really all you have to do. Just do one round, and then you can do another round on the other side. Using anything that is oily or that is slippery is going to be just a fantastic way of moving the lymphatic system in your breasts. It's really that simple.
Dr. Jill 23:42
That's so simple and so easy, and I'm glad you actually demonstrated it because women are like, “Oh, I don't know what to do.” Even with the breast self-examinations, it's so common for women to be like: “Oh, I'm afraid. I don't know what to do.” And it's really not that difficult.
Dr. Jill 23:54
It's so relevant to breast cancer because in my case, what they do is take out the tumor, then put dye and radioactive material in the tumor site and check to see where it flows. And guess what? It flows to the lymph nodes. So in my case, they took samples of the lymph nodes that lit up from the radioactive dye and materials so they could see exactly where the flow of that cancer might have been. And it was literally in my armpit. I have a scar right across my armpit here, where they took out four lymph nodes. And of course, thank goodness they were negative. But this is very relevant to cancer as well because if this lymphatic system had been working, I might not have had cancer at 25 because it would have drained the cells and debris. Often, the debris hanging around can cause damage over time as well.
Magdalena Wszelaki 24:40
I will also say that this is the month of October, and we're doing this. It's the month of so-called “breast cancer awareness.” I don't know how you feel about this, but it drives me crazy, and I really have a challenge with the naming or the convention of this because we are well aware that breast cancer is an issue amongst women. If you look at the traditional ways of looking at this, they [say that] the reasons for breast cancer are unknown. Well, it is actually very well known for a lot of different types of cancer, especially the estrogen receptor-positive [type], which is the most common one, and there's a body of research that shows otherwise. So at Wellena, we decided to call this month, really, “the breast health month” to start paying attention, not only in the month of October but beyond, that if you take care of your breasts now…
Magdalena Wszelaki 25:29
You know, cancer doesn't develop just like that, right? It's the same as in your case; there was probably a progression of 10–15 years when it happened. And given my family history too, we have a joke in our family that no woman has a uterus after 50 because everybody [has] had endometrial cancer, uterine cancer, or ovarian cancer. That just runs across my family on both sides of my parents. I'm turning 50 on January 5th of next year, so it's just a couple of months away. I'm very determined to hold on to my uterus above that age. I'm pretty much set on that. So do your work now. Do it as a preventative measure. Start massaging your breasts. We call them ‘your sisters.' Be good to your sisters, and you're going to have much more confidence and calmness around your breast health.
Dr. Jill 26:23
I love this! And I love empowering women because that's the truth; we don't have to fear all that kind of stuff that could happen because we do have a lot of control. I want to talk about a cream that you developed and what people can do with it. But real quick, what about foods or herbs? Are there any specifics you want to share [about] the kinds of things women could import into their diets?—because you have a whole cookbook on this. So [please mention] foods and then any herbs that are particularly good.
Magdalena Wszelaki 26:48
I do. Actually, I use it to lift up my computer. Overcoming Estrogen Dominance is the book. There's a whole breast health chapter on that and some really nice, simple recipes—and I really mean simple. There are no recipes that are going to win me merits or awards by any means, and that's okay because we made them for women who are busy and have no time to fiddle around in the kitchen for too long.
Magdalena Wszelaki 27:18
Let me just put it this way: A lot of the stuff in the recipes is to support the liver [in order] to help detoxify us from estrogen. So [there are] a lot of the brassica families—the cabbage family [being one]. You will see a lot—in the recipes—of cabbages, broccoli sprouts are amazing with their content of sulforaphane, anything to do with lemon rind, we're using a lot of radishes, [and] for [having] a lot of bitter qualities, parsley, and cilantro. It's also an anti-inflammatory diet, which basically means that we are avoiding foods such as dairy, soy, gluten, and eggs temporarily, which are known to be highly inflammatory. It's just to lower the inflammation [and allow] your body to have a bit of a break and recover from the constant fire that we're experiencing. Thank you for mentioning that. I feel like diet is elemental. It's non-negotiable, if you will.
Magdalena Wszelaki 28:18
The truth of the matter is that we decided to put the product out in conjunction [with it] because sometimes women just need to see some results before they are willing to change their diet. I find that changing a diet is one of the hardest things, whether it's because we have some kind of addiction to food, because we don't have a supportive partner, or [because] a family [member might] be like, “Oh, yes, but I want my mac and cheese,” and it's non-negotiable. So sometimes I think it's better to make some change than no change at all. This is why I think products can sometimes really help before we dive into the deep end when changing our diet. So, can I show you the cream?
Dr. Jill 28:59
Yes, let's go with the cream.
Magdalena Wszelaki 29:01
This is the kit. We wanted it to treat the breasts. We call it ‘Happy Sisters”, and it contains a supplement that has a lot of different herbs that have very high efficacy for liver support and specifically work on estrogen detoxification, skewing the detoxification mechanism towards the 2-hydroxyestrone, the protective estrogen, and away from the 4 and the 16 [hydroxyestrones]. That includes things like yerba santa. We're using andrographis. A lot of people know andrographis as being “the COVID herb.” [laughing] But actually, like with every herb, there's a lot more complexity that they can offer. We have magnesium, and now we have DIM in there, we have calcium D-glucarate.
Dr. Jill 29:48
That's what I was going to mention. My favorites: DIM, calcium D-glucarate, sulforaphane, [which] is from broccoli. So I bet you have all that covered.
Magdalena Wszelaki 29:53
Yes. That is what helps to metabolize estrogens. We're also using GLA in here, which a lot of people know as evening primrose oil. We are sourcing ours from borage seed oil because it actually has a higher GLA content. Anyone who's had breast issues before or terrible PMS, you know that evening primrose oil can help. The cream—let me show you. I love the color of the cream. It's nice and pink.
Dr. Jill 30:22
It's nice, isn't it? I love it.
Magdalena Wszelaki 30:27
It's got a very gentle smell of rose geranium, and we're using, I think, a bit of orange peel in that. [It contains] St. John's Wort, and we're using poke root oil. There's very little research behind it, but if you look at traditional medicinal uses amongst white women in North America, poke root has been used medicinally for mastalgia, women's pain in the breasts, and PMS for centuries. It is so highly efficacious that I have so much love and respect for poke root. I saw a lot of pokeweed this summer, and I have so much love and appreciation for that herb. When we tested it on some of our clients and team members, just the poke infusion itself, the amount of relief they got from that—not even talking about any other ingredients in there—was so amazing.
Magdalena Wszelaki 31:30
There is Nigella sativa in here, so there's black cumin oil in here. There's also GLA. So we're using GLA—gamma-linolenic acid—in both the creams because we also found that it's so anti-inflammatory. It helps with prostaglandins, suppressing the pain and enhancing the protective prostaglandins topically, so it's not just internally. One other herb—you might appreciate that one—is St. John's Wort. St. John's Wort taken internally is very controversial, but a lot of people know that it's like the happy herb. It's the sunshine herb. It doesn't interact with SSRIs, so you don't do that when you're taking SSRIs. But topically, it will not interfere with anything. It is so amazingly anti-inflammatory.
Magdalena Wszelaki 32:18
I actually discovered it completely by accident. I was at this really small town somewhere in the middle of Colorado, in Carbondale—you might know that place—and they have this incredible massage place and a store, and they have this local herbalist who was making a PMS cream. I had a pretty bad [case of] PMS that day, and I thought, “Why don't I try this cream?” I put it on, and within 20 minutes, 70% of my pain was gone. I looked at the ingredients and had the regular clary sage and lavender, which I've used in the past, and it doesn't really move the needle for me that much. But the one ingredient it had was St. John's Wort. And I'm like, “Oh my God! That is the secret ingredient there.” So we infused our oils this summer with St. John's Wort. It's just beautiful. It makes it a rich red color—the oil. That's what we're using in the topical as well.
Magdalena Wszelaki 33:10
So you can use this cream to do the lymphatic massage that I just showed, but you don't have to use our cream. You can just use anything that is oily, or you can do the massage while you're taking a shower and are nicely lathered up with some nice organic soap.
Dr. Jill 33:24
This is tremendous! I love your herbalist knowledge that you bring to this and even sometimes the serendipity like your Carbondale experience. That's just how the universe works I think. I've had that too, like, “I don't know how this all happened, but it's perfect”—as far as how you got the knowledge and all that. I love that—it makes so much sense—and all the great ingredients to help with detoxification in your supplement. I'm super excited to share this with my patients and then our listeners. Where can people find you and find more information about not only you but the product?
Magdalena Wszelaki 33:52
Yes. On wellena.com, just look for ‘Happy Sisters”. The product is right there. On social media, it's with an ‘s', @Hormonesbalance on Facebook, and @hormonebalance [with no ‘s'] on Instagram. So those are the two places.
Dr. Jill 34:12
Very cool. Stay tuned to my Instagram, which you all probably know, @drjillcarnahan. But what I was going to say is that we will do a giveaway, I think. So stay tuned if you're listening and you follow us, and maybe we can connect. Maybe we can even do a little bit of Instagram Live and then do the giveaway that way so people can hear you as well and connect to you.
Dr. Jill 34:35
I love this information. It's so relevant, and especially personally, I'm so passionate because of my history. If I could help one woman prevent cystic breasts, get rid of the pain, or prevent cancer, I am all in. I was so glad to talk to you today. Any last parting words of wisdom? Someone who's suffering from fibrocystic breast or pain, and it could be any realm, it doesn't have to be just breast and hormone-related, but for parting words, what would you say?
Magdalena Wszelaki 34:59
I think that I would just say, listen to your sisters—you know, I refer to breasts as sisters. They're your best friends, and just by showing you their pain, cysts, or lumps, it's their way of saying: I really need your help to figure things out; just come help me out here. And there are so many things we can do early in the game without being fearful or confused about the whole situation.
Dr. Jill 35:27
I love that, and I'll just say the last parting words here. That's so relevant to my life because my calling started with breast cancer. It was literally like a calling from my ‘sisters'. I mean, I was going into medicine, but it took me on a whole different route and [gave me] a whole different passion, especially with environmental toxic load, detox, and hormones like you're talking about. So I have a lot to thank for my breasts as well because that really started my journey and the passion that I have. And it sounds like you, too. So we both have a common story there.
Dr. Jill 35:54
Magdalena, thank you for your wealth of knowledge. Thank you for being a brilliant entrepreneur and creating solutions for women. I will be sure and link, if you heard about this anywhere you're listening. You can find links to the products and the information from her. Thank you again for sharing that with us today!
Magdalena Wszelaki 36:08
Thank you so much for having me!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.