oxytocin, commonly known as the “love hormone” or the “touch hormone” is commonly spoken of in terms of birth and breast/chest feeding – but it is far more dynamic and far more intricate than those two purposes. oxytocin does so much more than make us feel loved or help us in childbirth.
it is a growth hormone, responsible in part for uptake of nutrient, cell division, healing & repair, weight gain.
it has expelling effects in the situation of the uterus and mammary glands.
it helps with extrovert behaviour supporting curiosity and less fear, mothering, social interaction, selective social memory and even sexuality.
oxytocin does have a short term stress effect in raised cortisol levels and increased heart rate/blood pressure, but higher oxytocin levels over time have an anti-stress effect and support rest/relaxation, raised pain threshold, lower cortisol levels, lower blood pressure and heart rate.
oxytocin also supports a stronger immune system and has an influence on appetite and thirst.
join us for part two tomorrow when we discuss where oxytocin comes from and how to get more of it
source: The Oxytocin Factor, Kerstin Unvas Moberg, Perseus 2003