Anna Evans

The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried, MD

In the captivating work on of women's hormones, Dr. Sara Gottfried reveals how harnessing this hidden force can lead to extraordinary well-being and vitality.

The Hormone Cure

The book has gotten 3.96 ⭐️ on GoodReads.

“You don’t have to accept the hormonal hell of being tired, stressed, overweight, and never in the mood for sex as you grow older. In her fabulous new book, the brilliant Dr. Gottfried gives you an effective, easy-to-follow plan to balance your hormones and become lean, energetic, and loving life again. Stop settling and reclaim your sexy!”
– JJ Virgin, nutritionist and fitness expert, author of The Virgin Diet

Many women are unaware that hormonal imbalances can negatively impact their well-being. They can feel distressed, experiencing irritability, fatigue, menstrual irregularities, low libido, and other symptoms, as though their bodies have turned against them. This vulnerability to hormonal imbalance is more prevalent in women than in men. Conditions like underactive thyroid affect women up to fifteen times more frequently.

Women also report higher stress levels compared to men, with a significant number relying on medication for anxiety, depression, or coping issues. All of the above is a good reason why more women should learn about the world of hormones and the ways to manage and control the fragile chemical balance within their bodies. ‘The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol’ Dr. Sara Gottfried explores these topics in an engaging and easy-to-understand manner.

Author’s background

Dr. Sara Gottfried is a distinguished gynecologist with a Harvard education, known for her holistic approach to health that addresses the underlying causes of health issues rather than just treating symptoms.

Dr. Sara Gottfried (r)

As a renowned yoga teacher, she guides women on harnessing the power of natural hormone adjustments to achieve a sense of sensuality, vitality, and balance throughout their entire being. Dr. Gottfried has gained national recognition through appearances on 20/20 and The Ricki Lake Show, and her insights have been featured in prominent publications such as Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Woman’s World, and Natural Health Magazine, among others. She resides in Berkeley, California, with her husband and two children.

What is the book about?

In the first part of the book, Dr. Sara Gottfried lays the groundwork by introducing the essential concepts related to hormonal health and balance. She explains the significance of hormones in regulating various bodily functions and how they can profoundly impact overall health and well-being, particularly for women.

Dr. Gottfried discusses how hormones work in harmony with one another, and an imbalance in one hormone can affect the entire system. She emphasises the importance of maintaining hormonal harmony for optimal health.

Another section introduces the concept of a ‘hormone reset’ and the idea of rebalancing hormones through natural methods rather than relying solely on medication. Dr. Gottfried explores the various factors that can contribute to hormonal imbalances, such as stress, diet, environmental toxins, lack of sleep, and more.

The second part of the book delves deeper into the specifics of hormonal imbalances, their symptoms, and how to identify them. Dr. Gottfried helps readers understand how these imbalances can lead to various health issues and impact their daily lives. To assist readers in identifying potential hormonal imbalances, Dr. Gottfried provides a questionnaire that helps them assess their symptoms and health concerns related to hormones.

The book also explores various hormonal profiles, including estrogen dominance, estrogen deficiency, progesterone imbalance, thyroid issues, and adrenal imbalances. Each profile is explained with its symptoms and potential causes.

In the third part Dr. Gottfried provides guidance on how to implement the hormone-balancing approach discussed in the previous sections. This section covers the dietary recommendations for rebalancing hormones and optimising health. The author suggests specific supplements that can aid in hormone balancing and support overall well-being.

Key takeaways from ‘The Hormone Cure’

1The majority of women undergo massive hormonal changes after the age of 35

The book addresses age-related hormonal changes that occur in women as they age, particularly after the age of 35. It explains how these changes can impact health and offers insights to help women navigate this phase effectively.

2Every woman has unique hormonal needs

The book emphasises the significant impact hormones have on women’s well-being and explains that every woman has unique hormonal needs. It explores how hormones influence mood, energy levels, sleep, and various other aspects of health. The book provides a science-based correction for hormone imbalances tailored to each individual, incorporating nutrition, botanical remedies, essential precursors, and bioidentical hormones.

3Embrace natural solutions

Consider natural remedies, such as dietary changes and targeted supplementation, to support hormonal health. Embrace a holistic approach to health, recognising the interconnection between lifestyle, nutrition, emotions, and hormones. The author also introduces ‘The Gottfried Protocol,’ an integrative approach to natural hormone healing that prioritises lifestyle design. It is based on decades of research, education at Harvard Medical School, and clinical experience.

4Prioritise sleep and manage stress to achieve better hormonal balance

The books encourages readers to embrace the importance of quality sleep in hormonal regulation and overall health. The author also calls to implement strategies to reduce stress, as chronic stress can negatively impact hormonal balance.

5Organ reserve is a crucial aspect of longevity

The author introduces the concept of ‘organ reverse’, which is very important for longevity and well-being.

Organ reserve is an organ’s inherent ability to handle demands and restore balance. As we age, this reserve declines, decreasing by about 1 percent per year after age thirty. By age eighty-five, the reserve becomes only a fraction of its original capacity.

The significance of organ reserve lies in an organ’s capacity to function beyond its basic needs. For example, the adrenal glands’ reserve can be tested by assessing their ability to produce cortisol during times of stress. Similarly, thyroid reserve can be evaluated. By maintaining a healthy organ reserve, you can better handle life’s challenges, such as pregnancy and the stressors of ageing.

Table of contents

  • Foreword by Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD
  • Preface
  • Introduction: Why Hormones Matter
  • Chapter 1: Getting Started: Fill Out the Questionnaires
  • Chapter 2: A Hormonal Primer: Everything You Need to Know About Hormones
  • Chapter 3: Perimenopause: Your Own Personal Global Warming Crisis, Hypervigilance, and Tighter Jeans
  • Chapter 4: High and/or Low Cortisol: Stress Case? Is Life Without Caffeine Not Worth Living?
  • Chapter 5: Low-Progesterone Blues and Progesterone Resistance: Heavy Periods, PMS, Insomnia, and Infertility?
  • Chapter 6: Excess Estrogen: Depressed and Chunky?
  • Chapter 7: Low Estrogen: Are You Dry and Cranky?
  • Chapter 8: Excess Androgens: Do You Have Pimples, Ovarian Cysts, and Rogue Hairs?
  • Chapter 9: Low Thyroid: Weight Gain, Fatigue, and Mood Problems?
  • Chapter 10: Common Combinations of Hormonal Imbalances
  • Chapter 11: Hormonal Nirvana: Staying on Course Epilogue
  • Appendix A: The Gottfried Protocol, by Hormone Imbalance
  • Appendix B: Glossary of Terms
  • Appendix C: Hormones and Their Functions
  • Appendix D: How to Find and Work Collaboratively with Practitioners for Your Hormone Cure
  • Appendix E: Recommended Labs for Home Testing
  • Appendix F: The Gottfried Food Plan
  • Acknowledgments
  • About Sara Gottfried, MD
  • Notes
  • Index

Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews


  • The book presents a wealth of valuable information on hormones in an approachable and empowering manner.

  • A comprehensive questionnaire is included to help readers identify potential hormonal imbalances and their specific type (thyroid, high and/or low cortisol, low progesterone or estrogen, high androgens).

  • The author goes beyond generic advice and offers a structured ‘protocol’ with three phases, guiding readers through lifestyle changes, herbal remedies, and bio-identical hormones for those who need more targeted solutions.

  • The book’s organisation allows readers to customise their reading experience by choosing the balance between theory and practical advice that suits their preferences.


  • Despite claiming a commitment to evidence-based practices, the book sometimes relies on anecdotal evidence and outdated methods.

  • Some readers find the writing style to be irritating, gimmicky, and reminiscent of a sales pitch at times.

  • The book neglects to address hormone-related issues specifically for postmenopausal women.

Best quotes from ‘The Hormone Cure’

“Your genes are merely a template. In other words, your body is full of natural mechanisms for repair and healing. When you nourish and augment these built-in mechanisms, you may prevent and even reverse disease.”
“Among people with high blood pressure and anger, forgiveness training lowers blood pressure. Even conditional forgiveness of others was identified as a major predictor of longevity.”
“We know that alcohol raises your level of estrogen and can disrupt the function of the liver. Even one glass of wine a day increases breast cancer risk by 11 percent. Yikes!”

Final takeaway

This book is a must-read for women in their 20s and beyond, offering valuable insights into the impact of hormones on overall well-being, including mood and sleep issues. It provides a powerful tool in your health arsenal, making it essential for anyone feeling off or seeking to understand their hormonal health better.

As women approach 35 and beyond, their hormones undergo significant changes, and the book offers essential guidance for navigating this phase. It covers various hormones, their interactions, and includes helpful questionnaires to assess hormonal balance, making it a valuable reference alongside clinician tests. The author’s expertise as a passionate hormone specialist shines through, empowering readers to take control of their health and find the right resources to address hormonal concerns.

Where to buy

You can buy ‘The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol’ on Amazon, where it’s available in hardcover, paperback, spiral bound, audio and Kindle formats.

Healthypedia FAQ

Common signs of hormonal imbalances in women include irregular periods, mood swings, weight gain, fatigue, low libido, and vaginal dryness.

Hormonal balance is essential for healthy reproductive function. Proper regulation of hormones like estrogen and progesterone is crucial for regular menstrual cycles, fertility, and a smoother postpartum experience.

Organ reserve refers to an organ's ability to withstand demands and restore balance. As women age, their organ reserve decreases, affecting their ability to bounce back from stressors and challenges. Maintaining a healthy organ reserve is crucial for longevity and overall well-being.

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