Did you know? Herbs can heal rather than just mask your symptoms. Read on to discover the best herbs for hormonal imbalance in females.
The pleasure of hormones! Aren’t they delightful? (Note my sarcasm.)
No, really, they turn me from sassy and seemingly in control to a manic, irrational woman in mere seconds.
In fact, hormones make many women suffer from things like chronic fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, mood swings, and worse – at some point in their life.
Herbs for Hormonal Imbalance in Women
While various lifestyle factors can cause hormone imbalances – things like too much stress or an unhealthy diet – it can also be the natural result of aging or perimenopause.
So now for some good news!
Many wonderful herbs can help regulate hormones and ease the symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the most effective herbs for regulating hormones in women, along with easy lifestyle changes that will improve hormone health naturally.
What is hormone balance
Hormone balance simply means that the hormones in your body work well. They work in sync, helping the body function at its best.
A hormonal imbalance, on the other hand, is when hormones are not balanced in the body. You may have more of one hormone and not enough of another, causing many different symptoms.
The main reasons for hormonal balance (and imbalance) are stress, poor diet, and lifestyle.
Hormonal imbalances can lead to several health issues, including weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, skin conditions, spots, and premature aging.
Problems with the adrenal glands can also cause hormone imbalance in the body.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance
Hormone imbalance can cause various symptoms. Common ones include weight gain, weight loss, hair loss, fatigue, infertility, low libido, painful periods, spots/skin breakouts, and mood swings.
However, it’s important to remember that not all women will experience all of these symptoms.
What you experience will be different from the next woman, making diagnosing hormonal imbalance somewhat tricky.
This is why I love to use natural medicine to promote healthy hormone levels. Natural medicine helped me in both of my pregnancies (hellooooo mood swings!)
So, let’s move on to herbs.
Many different herbs can be used to treat hormonal imbalances.
Some of the more popular and well know herbs include black cohosh, dong quai, and chaste tree berry. I’ll explain them in detail in the next sections. These herbs help balance out hormone levels and improve overall body health.
As well as taking herbs, lifestyle changes should be made to help improve hormone health. Herbs alone won’t heal your fatigue if all you’re drinking all day is coffee and you have low blood sugar from not eating right.
One of the most important things women can do is eat healthily.
Foods rich in vitamins and minerals help to balance hormone levels. Also – exercising regularly, getting out in the fresh air, staying well hydrated (water, not coffee, gah!), and getting enough sleep is essential.
(Getting enough sleep is especially important, by the way, because it reduces stress levels.)
If you think you may be suffering from hormonal imbalance, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider.
That may be your doctor, GP, medical nurse, or pharmacist. They will likely run some tests and determine if there is an imbalance there.
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How to treat hormonal imbalance
Hormonal imbalance is a condition caused by a number of different factors, as we’ve discussed above.
And it can cause so many different symptoms too.
Treating hormonal issues should be holistic, combining lifestyle changes (improved diet, exercise, reducing stress levels, and taking in more vitamins and minerals) with herbal therapies and medical input if needed.
The thing to know about herbal supplements and fresh herbs is that they are, on the whole, kinder and more gentle to your system than conventional medicine.
But! You’ve got to know what you’re taking. Some herbs can be very toxic if not used in the correct way. Some you must avoid altogether at all costs!!
Lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can drastically help improve hormone health.
My ethos is: start where you are and start with what you can control. And your diet is absolutely 100% under your control.
Other natural therapies that can be used to help treat hormonal imbalances include acupuncture and massage therapy.
Herbs for hormonal imbalance in females
These herbs are widely believed to support hormone health in women.
- Black Cohosh: Related to buttercups! Beneficial in menopause to reduce hot flashes and restore estrogen levels. Thought to regulate the production of estrogen in the body. Black cohosh also helps to relieve the discomfort of vaginal dryness.
- Maca Root: Great for premenstrual symptoms such as painful cramps and mood swings. Also good for enhanced fertility.
- Chaste Tree Berry: Apparently acts on the pituitary gland. Also called ‘Vitex,’ it’s good for fertility, periods, reducing acne, relieving premenstrual syndrome, and so too with menopause. It works by regulating prolactin levels. It can also help lengthen the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
- Dong Quai: Worldwide, it’s known as the ‘female ginseng’; it’s a member of the celery family and is seen in traditional Chinese medicine. Useful to regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve menstrual cramps.
More herbs for hormonal imbalance in females
- Red Raspberry Leaf: Useful to strengthen the muscle tone of the uterus. I swore by drinking red raspberry leaf after week 36 of pregnancy (full term onwards) and was on about 2 cups per day. I had healthy, none problematic labors both times!
- Milk Thistle: A liver tonic that I used to take most days when I was at university (for obvious alcohol-related/hangover reasons!) Milk thistle increases levels of Glutathione in the liver, a powerful detoxifying antioxidant. It’s been known to reverse liver damage!
- St John’s Wort: Prescibed in certain countries as an alternative to anti-depressants. Nature’s happy pill! Acts to increase serotonin levels in the brain, elevating mood and brightening outlook.
- Motherwort: Fantastic for anxiety and reduced nerves. A motherwort tincture is a must-have in every woman’s medicine cupboard! (The tea is quite bitter to taste.)
- Red Clover: Native to Europe and Asia, Red Clover is thought to work by regulating estrogen levels in the body. Often used to help relieve symptoms of menopause and has even been used as a natural treatment for breast cancer.
There are many other herbs that have traditionally been used to help balance hormones in females. These include Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Saw Palmetto, Wild yam, Fenugreek, Ginger, Licorice root, Green tea, and Turmeric.
Be sure to research these herbs to determine which are best for your needs.
Lifestyle changes for hormonal imbalance
Don’t underestimate the power of simple daily improvements alongside herbs to help your female hormones! Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, managing stress levels, and limiting alcohol consumption will all help to improve hormone health.
Sleep is extra important. Getting enough sleep helps regulate hormones and allows the body to reset from stress.
Exercise is another essential part of health, reducing stress levels and mood in general.
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fatty acids and healthy proteins all helps support hormone health. Additionally, avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine can also be helpful.
Mindset shifts for hormonal imbalance
Understanding how a hormonal imbalance can affect your mood and energy levels is the first hurdle to get over. Often we look to other things, our minds perhaps jumping to conclusions.
It’s easy to blame our feelings on being tired or run down when a simple trip to the GP could give the boost needed to make a change.
Honestly, don’t be disheartened if you suffer from a hormonal imbalance.
Instead – see it as a gift that allows you to really investigate what your body needs!
Get interested and get inspired!
Herbs are a wonderful natural tool to help balance our bodies better than anything from the pharmacy, as is combining that with better food, more water, and a better attitude to exercise.
Using herbs safely
You can enjoy many herbs as herbal teas (dry herbs and fresh.)
This is the way I prefer to use herbs above anything else – as herbal tea. You could also use tinctures or oils, rubs, lotions, and powders in smoothies and cooking!
Whichever method you prefer is personal; it’s worth experimenting with when you start out.
Be sure to follow the dosage guidance on tincture bottles. For herbal teas, a good average is to use one level teaspoon of dried herbs per standard 350ml mug.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it inspires you to try herbs for yourself. Comment below with any questions or feedback.
I love hearing from you!
Note: I come from a medical background (not herbalism), so the views in the post are my views only.